How a Film Studies Student Recovering From a Collapsed Lung Spent $1,000 on Wellness

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What if you had $1,000 to spend on your health?

Welcome to Wellness Diaries. In this series, we send readers $1,000 to splurge on any product, service, or experience—as long as it’s something that can enhance health. (Any leftover cash is donated to a charity of the diarist’s choice.)

This month, we shipped Wellness Diaries off to university and awarded the funds to four college students. 

Why? College can be an expensive and challenging time to prioritize wellbeing. A lot of healthy practices are free (so many on-campus climbing walls!) but many assists come at a cost. We selected students who did the research to find products to make their university experience a little healthier, surfacing products and experiences unique to their wellness journeys and stages in life. These picks aren’t unique to the university experience, though—there’s something for everyone.

In this diary: Matthew Evans, a television, film, and new media studies student at San Diego State University. He’s also recovering from a collapsed lung. He spent his Wellness Dollars on an aromatherapy oil diffuser, an SPF 30 facial moisturizer, and a breathing trainer—among other things.

Matthew Evans Headshot

Meet Matt

Matt is studying Television, Film and New Media at San Diego State University after completing three years of study in the UK. So far, his time in the US has been unconventional: 24 hours into arriving, one of his lungs collapsed, which landed him in the hospital for two weeks. He’s now working on his recovery and is excited to explore what the country is like outside of a hospital room.

Matt’s charity: Leftover funds were donated to MindOut LGBTQ Mental Health Service.

Matt’s Diary

$22.95 Blood Oxygen Monitor

Product Image: Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor (Royal Black)

Zacurate Pro Series 500DL Fingertip Pulse Oximeter Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor (Royal Black)

Recovering from surgery after a collapsed lung means that I am constantly anxious about the condition of my own body. After all, how do I know if my lung is healing if I can’t see it? A blood oxygen monitor is a way for me to see if my body is processing oxygen properly, thus easing my mind and helping my recovery!

$19.95 Breathing Trainer

Product Image: Aobbiy Lung Expansion & Mucus Relief Device

Aobbiy Lung Expansion & Mucus Relief Device

Training a lung is a lot like training for a marathon. You start off slow and steady, then build your way up to the full distance. Using a breathing trainer helps me get my lung used to deep breaths so I can prepare it for the future and ease its recovery.

$15.99 Diffuser

Product Image: InnoGear Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser

InnoGear Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser

Having more control over the quality of air would have such a significant impact on my surgery recovery. When trying to heal a lung in this dry San Diego heat, few things make as much of a difference as a diffuser and humidifier.

$14.62 Sunscreen

Product Image: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Coming from the UK to the US and immediately being thrown into hospital means that my skin is ghostly white! This facial moisturizer will protect me from San Diego’s strong UV rays while helping clear my skin out from two weeks of hospital grossness.

$899.99 Laptop

Product Image: 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, Space Gray

2020 13-inch MacBook Air, Space Gray

I am a strong supporter of The Nessie’s ethos that health and wellness can take many different forms. For college students, it’s undeniable that access to course materials and online resources takes a huge weight off our shoulders. Especially after the pandemic, accessing software like Zoom and online quizzes has become essential. 
My own background means that I’ve had to write essays from my phone in a hospital bed. Now, I am expected to walk for prolonged distances to reach my classes at the detriment of my own health and recovery. For students like me, access to technology is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. A laptop I can rely on will help me reach my full academic potential while I safely rest and recover from a very difficult time in my life.

Total: $973.50

Stay tuned for details on our next Wellness Diaries by subscribing to Nessie Sightings! (That’s our newsletter.)

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