for those of you crohnies that have gotten your bachelors degrees and up, I need your help...

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malakai
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 1/31/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I just got into a university as a transfer student (Junior ranking) this past Fall quarter and was doing sooo well until the last 2 weeks of school and then I flared to the point where I had to go to the ER on the day of finals AND had to take incompletes in both classes. =/

I finished the finals for Fall Qtr 3 weeks ago but now am dreading Winter Qtr finals which will be in March. I don't want to flare again if I can help it so I'm trying to devise a proactive attack plan. Any suggestions?



p.s. I was diagnosed with crohns in 2007 so I was used to the all nighters and stress involved with school/work etc and was able to successfully do them. Now, not only am I freaking out because I am trying to get used to a new environment (school), I now have to learn new ways to do what i need to do in order to succeed. =(
Diagnosed: 08/03/07
Meds:
lamictal 200 mg/asacol 2 pills 3x day/imuran 100mg day
Started humira 3/14/09.... pulled off due to migraine side effect. Dealt with migraine for 74 days and then it finally went away.


2nd generation crohns
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/31/2010 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   

 

Hey, I feel your pain, I am in exactly the same boat. I am a junior in college as an undergrad. I was diagnosed in Nov. of 08 and have been really having problems lately. I have normally been able to keep up but this semester has been a disaster. I developed a cold that turned into broncitis (most likely due to my immune system inhibitor medication-Imuran) I tried to drop a gen ed class but the process would have been over 2 weeks and it might not have been approved. I'm trying to pass the class but I'm doing horribly.

To top it off I'm a musical Theatre major so I'm always having prblems with the one thing that is my insturment. I'm getting scared that if I get sick or have a major flare up this semester that I'm totally screwed. I'm sorry that I'm not really answering the question but I was so amazed to hear someone having the same frusterations and fears as I am. Good luck and I hope that you get and keep things sorted out. Your not alone.

(I will say that I have found some help in being entirely upfront with my professors and when I am having health issues I find that they are more than willing to work with me. I just try really hard not to abuse it and they help me when I can.)

Again I wish you all the luck in the world. Your not alone and have support. :)


malakai
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 1/31/2010 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for replying. I read a post from someone this week on grad students and I wonder if I will ever get there.

I'm on imuran too.

yeah my professors this quarter are much more understanding than last. When school started in Jan I was trying to finish the final projects AND do the new quarter's stuff so I took a couple of days from one class on each of the dates I turned my finals in so I wouldn't be so stressed. He was totally understanding and even told me to take care of myself. Last quarter I had a professor that made me feel like I was faking my crohn's symptoms to get out of the final. Never mind that I did the final test and it took me 34 hours to do. I too try not to abuse that privilege and I am SOO thankful that I signed up for the disability services for my school because that mean professor wouldn't write me back until I cc'ed the disability director on my email.

Good luck to you... Hang in there and if you need someone to complain about our lovely disease about, I'm here. =D
Diagnosed: 08/03/07
Meds:
lamictal 200 mg/asacol 2 pills 3x day/imuran 100mg day
Started humira 3/14/09.... pulled off due to migraine side effect. Dealt with migraine for 74 days and then it finally went away.


2nd generation crohns
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/31/2010 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks, and be careful what you offer. My friends here are sick and tired of me talking about my crohns (of course they can't really understand) so I just may take you up on that offer. :)

malakai
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 1/31/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
=) Please do. I know some of my friends feel the same about my complaining. I don't complain about my crohns that often, but when it rears it's ugly head, complaining for a short while makes me feel better. One can only hold so much in.
Diagnosed: 08/03/07
Meds:
lamictal 200 mg/asacol 2 pills 3x day/imuran 100mg day
Started humira 3/14/09.... pulled off due to migraine side effect. Dealt with migraine for 74 days and then it finally went away.


Sue T.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 1/31/2010 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't give up! I'm in grad school now. I did my BA slowly over 4.5 years. Now I opted for the 3 year program in grad school instead of the 4 year program (while I work full time).  Don't let the stress build up. Do assignments right away. Start  studying way in advance so that you don't get stressed out by the end.
 
I never told any of my professors about my disease but maybe try to tell them at the begining of the semester that you have crohns but you'll do your best to keep on top of the work. Do the best you can and if you really can't manage that speak to the teacher again.
 
When it gets too hard - think of your graduation day. When that day comes, it will all be worth it.
 
Good Luck!     

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 1/31/2010 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
One thing that has really helped me is that they let me take my finals early.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


FunGuy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1070
   Posted 1/31/2010 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Make sure that you stay sharp on your meds and try to figure out what foods bother you. Avoid the kegs and perhaps a word to your advisor. Somehow it strikes me as against the ADA for them to give you an incomplete when you can document your incapacity.
 


FunGuy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1070
   Posted 1/31/2010 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Bill of Rights
III : at college
Register at your school’s Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) to discuss what accommodations you may
require from your teachers during the semester. The OSD may also have handy resources, such as support
group info and note-taking services.
Don’t miss class if you’re feeling well. Your teachers will recognize your effort and will be more
understanding when you really have to skip class. For example, if you a miss a test because of a
flare-up, your professor may let you take it at the campus-testing center when you feel better.
If you live in a dorm, talk to someone in the Housing Office about getting a single room or a room closest to
the bathrooms. A letter from your doctor will help them understand your situation.
 


hld4good
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 1/31/2010 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
My professors were understanding about it. I think they knew how badly I wanted an education. Hang in there and you will make it. The best advice is rest, rest, rest.
Age 58, Crohn's since age 21
3 bowel resections, 1980,88,95
1 fistula repair, 2005
probiotic
digestive enzymes
L-glutamine powder 3 times a day
sublingual B-12 and B complex
2 T. cod liver oil
2 tsp. tart cherry juice concentrate
Multiple vitamin, 2,500mg vit. C, 1,000mg calcium mag.


malakai
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 2/1/2010 12:07 AM (GMT -7)   
@ funguy - yeah it would have been against the ADA but my professor was a jerk so that is why I had to get the director involved. He is the first professor i have ever encountered that was like that but I'm sure, i'll run into a few more--but this time I will be prepared. My vice is caffeine and chocolate. When I feel really good, I'll have 1/2 of an alcoholic drink but I don't normally drink alcohol. However, when the good ol crohns fatigue comes on or I start feeling stress, I think coffee/chocolate will perk me up and all it does is inflame everything. I get B shots 1x month and drink emergenc for energy but i still seek comfort in that darn coffee and chocolate because it used to perk me up prediagnosis. old habits die hard.

@mmmnavy, you said that they let you take your finals early? how did you work that? If i could spread them out it would really help. =D

@hldwodrgs Most of my professors at my old college were very accommodating with me which is why I went into shock with my mean professor. He made me feel like because I was not as savvy (I have a learning disability in addition to the crohns so i would ask for clarification on items to keep me on track) and on top of that had tummy issues that i was inferior and therefore not worthy of being in that class or college. (I have another word for him but mean will suffice here) My major is sociology and I hope to get a masters of social work because I feel i can turn my disabilities into positives with people and help them to overcome things because I have. He made me doubt myself and I think that is where most of my stress came from last qtr. My other professor was strict but was cool with my illness.

@Sue... ok i will think about graduation day. I am doing what you did and not taking a full load. I'm doing 2 classes and the disability office made it so it counts as full time so i still get financial aid. I just sometimes lose patience because i'm an older student (i'm 38) and I just want to get it done with cause i have places to go and things to do--and of course i need to start building up my retirement. Yet another lesson. I need to just pace myself.

thank you all for your advices and for your "hope".... ok, will try the advices you gave me this qtr. if you guys can do it, I can too. =D you have no idea how happy your responses made me.

Have a great week!
Diagnosed: 08/03/07
Meds:
lamictal 200 mg/asacol 2 pills 3x day/imuran 100mg day
Started humira 3/14/09.... pulled off due to migraine side effect. Dealt with migraine for 74 days and then it finally went away.

Post Edited (malakai) : 2/1/2010 12:10:44 AM (GMT-7)


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 2/1/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
As an adjunct college instructor who also has Crohns, I would make one primary suggestion: Inform all of your professors at the very beginning of each semester that you have Crohns, could be forced to take some time away from class but will make anything up promptly -- and then communicate with them throughout the semester if that happens. Most college insructors will work with students who make an effort to communicate. It's the ones who just don't show up and never tell us why who fall through the cracks.

Toodles
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 405
   Posted 2/5/2010 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I made the mistake of not telling my professors and I failed nearly all of my classes....Do tell your professors. Best things you could do.
I also stopped stressing. It didn't help. Give yourself time. Like they said, don't miss class just because.
Also, keep in mind there's a light at the end of the tunnel!smilewinkgrin
By the way, now that I'm done with my undergrad, I'm dying to go back to grad school! I'm such a nerd rolleyes

bookworm21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 2/5/2010 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Do tell your professors about the disease and that your registered with the disability services. If you don't want to mention Crohn's directly, just say autoimmune disease.
Do not eat your bad foods!
Do your assignments as soon as possible, especially if you're feeling well. You don't want to procrastinate and then get sick, and then panic. (Learn from my mistakes!)

Toodles, my nerdy self is looking forward to grad school as well! A mindless office job is sooooo boring. I'd rather learn stuff.

Noulls
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 2/5/2010 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm a lecturer at a large university. I too suggest that you tell your professors at the beginning and register with the disabilities office. I am not supposed to make accommodations for students if they are not registered. I have several students each semester who are registered with disability services and I don't feel that they are somehow inferior so don't let that worry you. I had a student come to me once about her Crohn's disease and she was shocked when I told her I understood her problems because I have it too. Unfortunately, there are a lot of students who are not sick who fake illnesses when they fall behind. It is hard for us to tell who is telling the truth and most excuses come just before an exam and near the end of the semester. If I know in advance that a student has a problem, I am much more likely to believe it. I myself have good days and bad days and I try to just make it through the bad days. If I stayed home every time I felt sick, I would not be able to hold down a job. Just this week I was partially obstructed and in considerable pain but I pasted a smile on my face and convinced myself that I could make it through three hours of class. I actually felt a little better after interacting with students which served as a distraction and then went back to my office and sank into my chair. Of course, I have been hospitalized and I had to miss classes but luckily that has only happened three times in the last 10 years.

ky_girl
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/6/2010 12:00 AM (GMT -7)   
This is something I'm kind of having to figure out along the way too. I'm in my senior year of college and had to leave school at midterm last semester, when I was diagnosed. I had no clue I had Crohn's until my doc did a diagnostic laparoscopy which turned into a resection - all this at what was supposed to be my next-to-last semester of college! I dropped 3 classes and took incompletes in the other 2, basically just so I would not have to go through the trouble of withdrawing and reapplying. I went back to school right on time this semester, I'm back in the dorms and everything is going really well - luckily my roommate is amazingly understanding and wants to know all about my Crohn's and what it's doing to me. The main thing for me has been to remember to not stress out over things that I can't help or control - in my case, those incomplete classes and not graduating on time, specifically. Do what you have to do, get stuff done and don't procrastinate (I need to take my own advice on that one, heh), make sure your professors know if you get sick, and take care of yourself above everything else. You can always finish classes when you're well; if you're not, you need to focus on getting that way!

I'm hoping to go to grad school next year and I'm pretty nervous about being away from my family and my doctor - I don't think I'd handle being sick alone very well. :\
Leslie, 22
Diagnosed with CD October 2009
Bowel resection/appendectomy and 2-week hospital stay, October 2009
Currently receiving Remicade


Malkavian
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 2/6/2010 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I ended up doing a BA in 4 years with UC (not crohn's but close enough lol). I did have to drop a class or one year and take summer classes, but then again durning the semester I wasn't JUST doing school, I was working and had leadership positions as well. And I was only diagnosed in my last year, but was sick since my second...two years of unmedicated UC. Just be sure to stay on top of everything when you're NOT flaring.
22, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009, symptoms for 2 years beforehand
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently on lialda 4x/day, calcium and d, B12, yogurt
Things that help: probiotics, omega 3's, oral 5-ASAs, low fiber when flaring, soluble fiber, low saturated fat diet
Things that hurt: insoluble fiber, fried or spicy food, caffeine, alcohol, rectal meds when not flaring

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