need some encouragement

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 5/13/2009 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
hey guys,

I'm in my senior year of high school. Lately my crohns has been acting up and I have missed LOTS of school. Now, with two weeks left, I need to work my butt off in order to graduate. I am still not even close to being healthy. I can't seem to concentrate and do any work. I hate how this disease affects body AND mind. Every time I sit down to do some work, I find myself completely distracted or wanting to go curl up in bed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 5/13/2009 10:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi jackel, I feel your pain – at the moment I am working full time with full-time crohn’s disease, but I was first diagnosed in my 1st year of university and I know how hard it can be. In my last few weeks of my degree, my boyfriend of 4 years and I (we were living together at the time) broke up on top of my health problems. So I know how to work through problems to get through your study!


In terms of advice, I would say keep your head held high and think of how worth while it is all going to be – and how much you will feel you’ve achieved. That feeling can’t be beaten. I’ve been described as ‘a toughie’ by lots of people since getting crohn’s because I try so hard to live a normal life and I think that is extremely important, especially when you’re young!


Be easy on yourself and find times through the day that are best for you health-wise. If you find mornings are tough, aim to study in the afternoons. I took lots of naps on days where I wasn’t attending lectures.


You CAN get there, just believe in yourself. Of course its always going to come down to your health and how dedicated you are study-wise, but I believe in you!!


Through adversity comes greatness!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 5/14/2009 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't let the disease win!
You can do it!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications: Asacol, Folic Acid, Multivitamin, Dbl. Calcium, Probiotics, Protonix, Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 5/14/2009 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I feel your pain, and have been there too. It is tough and frightening being so sick in your final years of school.

OK, first things first, take a deep breath. Make sure you get enough sleep, because you'll be sicker and struggling even more if you don't. Eat as well as you can, and stay off the sugar and caffeine and Coca Cola, as you'll have a better change of maintaining a modicum of health if you eat healthily.

Next: take fifteen minutes (no more) to write down exactly what it is you need to do in order to graduate. It would help if you posted that list here, too, so we could help you.

Now: divide that list by fourteen (your two weeks). This will be your workload for each day. As an example, "I need to memorise the key facts in five chapters of my biology text book; that's 280 pages; so that's 20 pages a day. I also need to include some time for review, so I'll try to learn 35 pages a day, and use the extra time for review and consolidation".

*Now* you need to make a decision. Is it at all possible to do all this work each day? If yes, then great! Plough in, and do your best, and you may be able to graduate. If no, then you have some hard decisions to make. Perhaps you may need to repeat your last year of school. It may be that summer school is available, or you may be able to complete your studies by correspondence.

If you decide that it is possible to get it done in the next two weeks, then here are a few tips to help you:

You might find it helpful to only study for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, and then have a short rest. You might also find it helpful to change subjects every study session, alternating between hard memorisation and easier, more creative subjects; e.g. fifteen minutes of reading novel for English (in bed); ten minutes of learning French verbs; nap; ten minutes of algebra, fifteen minutes of English novel; ten minutes of French verbs; nap; fifteen minutes of novel; ten minutes making biology flashcards (which can be used in bed); fifteen minutes drafting that history essay. You'll be surprised at how much you can get done in ten and fifteen minute invervals.

If you make flashcards, take them everywhere with you! Use them on the bus to school, while waiting for your blood test, while queuing for lunch; while waiting for teachers to arrive; in ad breaks if you do watch television.

It might also help to have some motivational charts close to your bed or your desk. I had ones to mark off every five pages of biology that I'd learnt; for how many flashcards I'd memorised, things like that.

Oh, and if you do use flash cards, don't waste your time constantly reviewing the ones you already know. Run through them once, put the ones you get right in one pile, and only review the ones in the "don't know" pile. Every now and then review them all, just to make sure you haven't forgotten the ones you used to know :-), then re-sort, and start afresh on the "don't know" pile.

Oh, and I also used to keep a running tally of how much time I'd spent studying on each subject, to ensure I spent adequate time on each subject, and spread my time evenly between the subjects I liked and the ones I didn't :-).

Once these two weeks are over, I would start asking some very confronting questions of your school. I would dearly like to know how they allowed you to be in this position at all. If you've been sick all year, then reasonable accommodations should have been made a *long* time ago to ensure you could still keep studying, despite absences, and not fall too far behind your class. And if those accommodations could not have been made, then they should have allowed you to split your senior workload over two years, so you would not be so stressed while so sick.

I'm indignant on your behalf, but I do think you should leave those final questions until *after* these two weeks are over, as it sounds as if you have enough on your plate and just need to study now.

All the best to you,

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New meds thread

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 5/14/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Ivy has some great advice... I am so very sorry you are having to deal with all of this at the end of your senior year. It surely seems like this disease challenges us to a point we don't know how to deal with. But, then something amazing happens... As Ivy suggests, one step and one day at a time, things fall into place. And we deal with them. Sometimes that means taking a loss but sometimes not. And if it does mean not graduating in June, remember to go easy on yourself. You've been through so much... Much more than many people go through until their later years.

You are a strong person... As upsetting as all of this is, I know you can do it! That means you can do what *you* decide you can do.

Everyone here is sending good thoughts, that I know. Good luck and sleep well...
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--currently taking methylprednisolone 40mg-taper.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
How are you feeling, Jackel? I hope you are able to rest up over the weekend.
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--currently taking methylprednisolone 40mg-taper.  Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09
--single mom to 11-yr-old girl

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I just want to let you know I am sending good vibes your way!! I know it's so difficult...I'm a full time college student (currently off for summer thank goodness) and's just too much sometimes so don't feel bad for giving yourself the rest you need. It may take longer for people like us to graduate high school and college, but it is definitely possible so keep at it :)
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you informed the school about your disease? A good school can be a big help to students who are hampered by physical or mental illness...

Ivy gave some good advice...

Also... as additional encouragement, I'd like to tell you I was diagnosed my senior year... and I was sick so much that I became uncertain of whether or not I'd be able to graduate.... but I managed to pull through and graduate... So, it can be done! :)
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

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