Dealing with symptoms at school
May 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm #6412
Hey guys, me again (sick of me yet? ) and I was wondering if anyone else here is in school or starting school soon? I start back again in September (5 years of school in total, my last course was only a year) and I’m a bit concerned about how my health is going to affect my studies. I’m trying to brainstorm some ways to get around these problems and any help will be massively appreciated. If you have any concerns yourself, please post them so we can work out a way around these things together.
The last time I was in school, most of my symptoms were invisible (pain, numbness, fatigue, that sort of thing) with only one really noticable symptom (tremor, but other people passed that off as me just being a nervous student). Now that I am having a hard time with walking at times, I’m a bit worried about getting from class to class (maybe a wheelchair would be easier and faster than a cane, since the school is wheelchair accessible).
I have to use a speech recognition program sometimes instead of typing, but that would be really disruptive for the rest of the people in the class during lectures. I never had to record lectures on a webcam last time I was in school, if anyone here has done this, how receptive were your professors to this? (my concern is that some might refuse because of privacy issues, maybe some sort of contract guaranteeing them the lectures will not be uploaded to the web?)
I’m not worried about stress triggering things since I really enjoy school and don’t freak out over tests, but I am worried about heat. Some of the classrooms at my school are absurdly hot and the teachers have no control over this. The only way I can think about getting around this is bringing cold packs with me, but they’re bound to warm up throughout the day so afternoon classes may be extremely difficult. Any suggestions?May 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm #6605
Hello. I’m afraid I can’t really help you since my symptoms are currently still mostly invisible (well, my cane is very much visible, haha, but otherwise I can hide it). Regarding the heat problem, though: When I have a long day of classes, I put a plastic bottle of iced tea in the freezer overnight (you have to make sure it won’t explode in there, obviously). It’ll be a massive block of ice in the morning, and if I put aluminium foil around the bottle, it’ll melt very slowly and still be cold in the afternoon. You can sip cold tea for much of the day and put the cold bottle against your wrist or something. The only problem is that you have to carry it around, and my legs tend to complain about that. But you could give it a try, I guess.
Also, most of my professors are decent human beings and will agree to a lot of things after I’ve told them that I have MS. If you find that people at your school want to help you and there is a kitchen or something for the teachers/professors, you can always ask if you can store something in the fridge. I know it sucks when people are all “um…no!?”, but it’s worth a try.May 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm #6606
Ok symptom recovery lol I am in an intensive theatre program so I use all the help I can get…I don’t know if this will help but here goes nothing: The first thing I did was register with disability services on my campus…use them they have helped me immensely (and usually they have services that can set up a note taker and accomodate you for writing tests)…second thing I did was lighten my course load (if you can manage to do that then it is a good idea)…third thing I do is tell all my profs, it is kind of spineless of them not to have even the tiniest level of understanding and all my professors have been wonderful with accommodating me. but mostly you just have to survive and take care of yourself…it helps to know people in your classes as well because you can lean on them if necessary
hope that helps…and if nothing else I believe in you!!! (it wont do anything material but I am a sucker for support so maybe it will make you feel a little better lol)May 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm #6607
Thank you for the responses Hippo and Amanda
wrapping a frozen bottle of ice tea in aluminum foil…I gotta say, I’ve never heard that one before. Last time around I tried bringing frozen bottles of water with me but they always melted and warmed up by the end of the day, I’ll have to give that one a shot, thanks!
Hmmm I’m not sure if I can register with disability services on campus yet. The woman in charge of that department though is an absolute doll so I’ll have to dig around for her number to see if something can be arranged. I may have to have a meeting with the financial aid adviser as well to adjust my student loan paperwork…didn’t even think of that one, oops.
I’m not counting on my professors being very understanding though. Generally (at least at my campus) any professor in the health services programs are very strict and have the “if you have a hard time now, you’d better quit before you get into the real world” attitude (I took PSW before and survived clinicals though and spent 4 years doing medical first response, so I can do the insanity again). I hold no illusions as to what specialities would be a horrible idea for me after graduation (going to get my RN), I just want to be in a nice research facility somewhere or maybe do public health
I honestly never thought of having someone take notes for me. I usually end up tutoring a few people so maybe I can get them to trade some study help with some note taking Thanks for the suggestions and support guys!May 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm #6608
Oh, and as for the course load…I can’t drop any of my courses without having to add on extra semesters (which is just too expensive) but I’m fairly certain I can get exempt from a few computers courses and maybe a psychology.May 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm #6609
omg ya I read the other subject about you battling with the uncertainty of a possible diagnosis after I sent the email lol apologies! also all I have to say about your profs is thumbs wayyyyyy down!May 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm #6610
No worries Amanda I gotta say I kinda agree with the professors though. A lot of people drop out of health sciences courses once they start doing clinicals, and the placement ends up sort on people since they counted on having the students there so the profs want to thin the heard as soon as possible. Since it can be dangerous to have someone who can’t physically or emotionally handle the work, I get it. Last time around, the strictest prof in the course started cracking down on me after she found out that I’m allergic to certain adhesives. Just gotta push through it and turn the pressure into motivation.June 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm #6611
I guess you are right however I would argue there is more then one way to motivate people…and stress is not good for ms (and I am a theatre student so I have had my fair share of pressure). My profs are still hard on me obviously but I don’t think it is fair to limit someone because of stuff they can not control. I can do theatre and I can do it well…but I have to be able to focus my energy there and therefore have trouble keeping up with other subject areas, it is all about managing and that’s where I look to my profs for understanding.I admire your tolerance but I can not say I allow the same treatment when it comes to me, I am too stubborn lolJune 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm #6612
heh, I’m really stubborn too, I think that’s what lets me tolerate it I must still have a little bit of teenage rebellion in me because as soon as someone tells me I can’t do something, I get the overwhelming urge to prove them wrong (I swear if someone told me I can never fly under my own power I would find a way to sprout wings).
Their attitude is a bit helpful in a way though, because a lot of nurses seem to have major problems with having a co-worker with any sort of disability (they tend to assume that it will be used as an excuse to slack off). So, it helps prepare students for the insane amount of politics and drama that go on in health care jobs.
Sometimes it helps to just cover your ears and go “la la la I can’t hear you” and carry onJune 7, 2011 at 12:08 am #6613
I was in your shoes not too long ago, I would ask your profs if you could record their lectures. Explain your situation, they are human beings so I don’t see why it would be a big deal! Just because you have certain issues, doesn’t mean you can’t do what everyone else can do … we just have to work a little harder, right?June 8, 2011 at 4:09 am #6614
Very true…I don’t think I will actually discuss the problem much with the professors though, after all I don’t have to tell them what exactly is wrong, just what the challenge is and what can be done to overcome that specific challenge. At least if all goes well with the doctors, by the time we start covering injections I should be pretty comfortable with that already
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