Educational Implications of Crohn's Disease

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Michelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 11/22/2007 3:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone...
Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving! I was wondering how IBD has affected your education. I've had Crohn's since I was 11 when I developed a fistula. I am now 23 and in college. This disease has affected my school-life in numerous ways, but even though it's taking me longer than the norm, I plan on getting my bachelor's degree. If you developed Crohn's when you were still in school, or you are a parent of someone with Crohn's, please respond to this post with your experiences... or just respond to the poll question (if I can figure out how to do the poll haha). Some questions I have...



1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers?



2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it?



3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness).



I'm sure I could ask more questions, but I'm just throwing out ones that I know matter a lot to me, personally. I went to a private school, so maybe there are better programs out there in the public school system. Feel free to e-mail me at the address provided in my profile. Not just about my questions, but anything. It's always nice to relate to someone going through some of the same obstacles in life... I also have a lot of knowledge about the disease and physiology. I've also experienced a lot of the odd manifestations that can accompany crohns...(rheumatoid arthritis, erythema nodosum, fistulae, pancreatitis, uveitis, etc). I've also been on almost every medication (except for humira, but i did remicade).



Thanks :)

Michelle

_____________________________________

I just took your email out of your post.

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 11/25/2007 7:25:05 AM (GMT-7)


Krysta
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 340
   Posted 11/22/2007 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had crohn's since maybe middle school (wasn't diagnosed until this past year). and have definitely been affected by it. I graduated and everything, but I had like a 3.0 when I could have had a 4.0. I was always sick and fatigued. Then when I went to college I was sick also. I did pretty well though. NOw I am about to graduate from nursing school with a 3.8 or 3.9 depending on my final exam in 2 weeks!

Professors have been "ok" about it. My school wouldn't let me register my crohn's as a disability though and that I feel is messed up. I have had a surgery every semester and still managed to get A's. But, I was miserable a lot of the time. Also I couldn't work as much which wasn't good financially for me and my partner.

I feel I would have done better in high school without crohn's.
Finally Dx- April 13 2007 (age 26) ilio-crohn's-colitis. Surgeries:appendectomy, cholecystectomy, tonsillectomy, pinidal cyst removed,emergency abdominal surgery for hemorrhaging ovary from burst ovarian cyst, LEEPcervix, emergency abdominal surgery for grapefruit sized ovarian cyst removal, D and C of uterus, lumpectomy of breast.
MEDS: remicade, Asacol TID, protonix, metformin, prozac, wellbutrin, trazodone, multi V, iron, B complex, flaxseed. Vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. no nuts, seeds, or wheat.
Many allergies. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, depression, ITP 
Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right ~ Ani Difranco
 
 


malakai
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 11/22/2007 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I just got diagnosed with crohn's this past summer and had to do a medical withdrawal from school because I wasn't in remission yet when I came back.
 
1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers?
 
I did suffer a lot of absences.  Was absent for 2 days the first week of school and it went downhill from there BUT I also didn't listen to my body and took 15 credits + I work 28 hours a week at a hospital.  My relationship with my teachers was great.  From day one I emailed them and talked to them about my situation.  I also was very upfront with my classmates that sat by me.  I got their phone numbers and email addresses so they could keep me up to date on the days I got sick. I normally did this before I got crohn's so there you go.

2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it?
I went to disability student services at my school and turned in paperwork from my gastroenterologist so they could advocate for me on my absences.  They were also the people who handed my withdrawal appeal to the dean.  I was satisfied with it.

3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness).
 
a) of course!  I have been going to college for the past 3 years and was able to go to school AND work AND volunteer at a food bank no problem.  I am cleared to go back to school spring qtr but only cleared to take 1 class a qtr with work OR three classes and NO work.
 
b) my teachers were great.  again I was upfront with them 100%.  I didn't tell them so they could be easier on me, I told them that I was there to learn and would give them my all.


Newbie - 35 yrs old Diagnosed: 08/03/07
Meds:
Asacol 3x day
Imuran 50MG 3 x day
Lamictal 125 MG/day for bioloar II


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 11/25/2007 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Michelle,

Some of the moderators have been concerned by your post. We feel that it sounds more like a research study than a support group posting and ask, if that is the case, that you please email Peter to ask his permission to conduct such a study.

We would also ask that no forum members reply to these questions until such permission is obtained.

Best wishes,

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


Michelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I understand your concerns - I am a student and know that in order to conduct research you need to obtain an IRB. I am, however, interested in this and would love to do research on it in the future, so maybe I will be asking Peter one day. However, that is not at all what it is at this time. It's just me seeing if people have struggled with the same things I have. If it makes people feel uncomfortable though, I understand completely. Thanks :)
~*~ Michelle ~*~

Diagnosed age 16
Symptoms began age 11
Currently 23


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   

1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers?



2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it?



3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness.
1. Yes, it did not help that is for sure.
2.nope, not a whole lot, no
3.I am not sure I would be getting my PhD, since I already had my BS before I got dx, if I could work I would not be here
b.a more flexible time requirement has helped the most

Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 11/26/2007 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
1.) I didn't have a lot of absenses just some poorly timed absenses.
2.) In high school my teachers were great about me leaving for doctors appointments and I didn't even have a diagnosis yet. As long as I arrived at school at some point during the day it wouldnt count as an absense and I could keep my senior privileges. A little silly considering I went to school for an hour on occassion but it was great that I was able to keep my privileges. In undergrad I had a hospital visit during the period after classes and before exams. I wasn't able to study at all so I had two exams rescheduled no problem. I didn't even have a diagnosis still so I'm sure any student w/ a repuation for being honest and reliable could have done the same. They didn't even ask for a note. I also looked like death when they saw me and was still sporting fresh "track marks" so I think they had the proof they needed.
3.) I think I have achieved the same with or without crohns. I think I actually may do better because I dont go out partying as much as my "healthy peers." I spend more time at home, buried in books. What you didn't ask about is my career and I will admit I do stay in my comfort zone too much because of the crohns and am anxious about willingly putting myself in situations where bathroom access is limited.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


Smrtgrl96x
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 11/26/2007 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I am currently in graduate school and it's ENTIRELY online. It's the ONLY way I would have been able to continue my schooling.

Aimee =)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 11/26/2007 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers? Yes, at times I did. The semester I was being dx, I missed almost all my classes. My professors were incredible and let me complete things from home and email things in. My friends took notes for me, came to my house with books for me to study, and kept me up to date. Once I was on Remicade and doing better, my grades and attendence improved dramatically.



2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it? Yes - tons of understanding and help.



3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness). I wasn't sick until graduate school and I accomplished everything I wanted.

Zazucat
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed two years ago, right in the middle of my first year of grad school. I'm in my third year now and in remission (yay!) but school has definitely had a lot of ups and downs.

1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers?
Yes, I did miss a lot of classes. I became the type of student who hides out in the back and doesn't speak up in class so I can't say my presence was missed- however, I've learned that I need to be in class to learn :-) Also, I didn't tell my profs at first and so I struggled alone. I've found that telling my profs has helped them to understand me as a student better and not think of me as a disinterested student because I'm quiet in class.



2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it? Definitely. Things as small as a prof making sure I was okay during a long lab session to offering advice and being understanding if I had to leave class for long periods of time. We do clinical rotations as part of our program, and one prof has been incredible about helping me find sites near my home and doctors as well as advice about how to handle being sick at clinicals. Nobody has been unhelpful. I did apply for disability accomodations last year but I found them to be less helpful than just getting to know profs on a personal basis, and I didn't apply for accomodations this year.



3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness). I think my academic achievements are as much as I want them to be. I haven't lowered my expectations, but I have learned to give myself a break and not expect perfection when illness is getting in the way. In lots of ways the challenges of dealing with Crohn's in grad school have made me a stronger and more motivated student (even if my grades don't always reflect this!) and I am very proud of my accomplishments.

Your school disability office will be able to set up what you need. Mine wasn't very helpful but they gave me the official ok to have accomodations.

Krysta, your school should have given you accomodations. Crohn's is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and your disabilities office is obligated to help you. If I were you I'd go talk to them and use harsh words!

Michelle, good luck!
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Zazucat- I did the same. My students w/ disabilities office was great but the professors were so kind and easygoing on their own that I ended up not registering my second year. I still told all my profs and it is still officially on the books from the first time but I realized I got everything I needed without the paperwork of the Students w/ disabilities office.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!
 
 


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I am struggling with this right now.  Medical school is just rough in general and it really puts a damper on things when you have to poo 20 times a day.  I've found talking to my professors is moderately helpful.  They let me rearrange lab times if necessary and take bathroom breaks exams, but those are the only "accommodations" I'm allowed.  I think eventually it might come down to decelerating my courseload (we take 24 credit hours in the hard sciences - anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, etc. - every 10 weeks) but I really hope I don't have to turn to that solution.

Co-moderator - IBS Forum


inflamed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
1. Did you/Do you experience a lot of absences during your education? How did this affect you/your grades/your relationship with your teachers/peers?

When I needed to be in the hospital I would miss full weeks at a time. My profs were all cool about it (something about emailing that you are in the hospital). My peers were the best, they gave me all the notes I needed and checked on me. I had no negative effects, and I liked having reading and homework to do while in the hospital. When I was sick for a day here or there, I would debate the benefit of rest with what I would miss. Somedays I went to school, others I stayed home.

2. Did/Do you receive adequate assistance/understanding from your teachers and school? What kind of help did they offer you? Are/Were you satisfied with it?

See above.

3. Do you feel you would have experienced greater academic achievements if a) you didn't have Crohn's and/or b) if your school/teachers had helped you out more (or if there was a type of program to help you succeed better having to deal with a chronic illness).

No.
Currently in remission!

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