View Full Version : What This Semester Is Teaching Me
04-05-2007, 02:37 PM
Otherwise known as "The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Mem."
When the semester began in January, I was jazzed. Up beat. Excited. Returning to college after years of being away, after years of disability following injury in '93, had me positively beaming. Yes, I was shooting happy gimp beams all 'round.
In the three months since the semester began, I've become aware of many things.
What the brain and heart most want to do the body does not always allow. At least not for now.
I love school, love learning, the interactions, feeling of accomplishment. Hell, college is fun. It's just the fuel my grey matter needs.
What I don't love is the continuing UTI making me feel like crap, the boo boo on my bum which has yet to heal, the sinus and bronchial infections plaguing me, the low grade temp I've kept for a couple of weeks. My body's tired, weary, letting me know it needs to recupe at a time I don't want to stop, can't allow for that.
Yet I must. For now.
My dreams of education aren't over, just delayed until the summer semesters.
Sadly, I haven't been back in class since before Spring Break. I'm frustrated with what seems to be my body's betrayal yet again. I cannot help being sick, yet I feel upset with myself.
Saw my doctor this a.m. and while my bum looks better, it still isn't healed. This will take a bit. Have another two weeks of antibios for the UTI and sinus/bronchial stuff as well as inhaled steroids. Gotta love living in the South during everything's blooming and making pollen season.
As for school, my semester ends the first week of May. Monday I'm discussing either an Incomplete or changing my classification as a student to audit for this semester. Can't be on campus. Tending my body is my only job for now.
I'm home recuperating, feeling very much stuck.
I miss the old days of quick recovery from anything which hit. In those days, infection would've been, but a minor blip on my health's radar screen.
On a different note, a new chair is now officially in the works. Along with the rx's for antibios, my doc wrote another rx for a very lightweight chair. Talked with a DME before my appointment this a.m. Seems I'll get to demo several chairs before commiting to one. Of course I'll need to be able to be in a chair all day, transferring as needed to get an idea of what each kind is like. **Sending heal thy bum** to me vibes so I can.
So that's the mixed bag of what's happening, what's not. I haven't given up on my dreams of additional education. However, my enthusiasm for school is tempered with the reality of what can happen, what does happen, how dis life too often is.
04-05-2007, 03:16 PM
I'm so sorry. The physical limitations are the hardest for me. Any plans have the caveat "If I'm up to it." And denial runs deep. Especially if you've spent your whole life thinking one less hour of sleep cant hurt, that deadlines are fun, that your productivity is the measure of your worth as a human.
Then boom. The spirit is willing but the body can't go. It just sucks.
So fwiw, you have a partner in misery. I hope you heal well, and quick. Please don't beat yourself up for what you can't overcome physically. (Easier said than done.)
04-05-2007, 03:29 PM
Oh how much this stinks doesn't it. I am sorry your studies are on hold.
If i may steal your thread. What do you do when the people around you do not understand these issues? I tried working full time and it lasted a few weeks before my body said NO. I just don't have the stamina that I had. I get sick quicker than I used to. I am always tired.
My husbands lawyer is trying to prove that I am underemploying myself in order to get more child support. Because I occasionally ride a handcycle I must be physically able to work full time. I should give up PT twice a week put the kids in day care and get to work. Simply because I am "just in a wheelchair" is not reason for me to be "sitting" at home. As if I choose to be this way. Which by the way is her other argument. I did this to myself becasue I was speeding so why should he have to pay for it?
Ok just another of my vents. Sorry mem
04-05-2007, 03:38 PM
My goodness at the storm clouds in this thread. I hope you get to finish out your semester mem...you have put so much effort into this. I hate to see you end up with an audit.....Hopefully they will let you complete some of your work later.
((((hugs)))) and hope good things happen to you soon.
Addie....you deserve (((((hugs)))) too. Working full time with two small children is hard as hell. Just do what you can for now... Ex hubby needs to be slapped into better thinking.
04-05-2007, 03:45 PM
I know exactly how you fell Mem.
Back when my Lupus came back in 2001 I was going full time nights with a hemoglobin running in the ranges of 8.0 to 9.0. I would get picked up and head to Acute Care to have my blood tested to see if I was dropping before 8.0 to see if I needed to go to the ER for a blood transfusion. Nurses couldn't believe I was even sitting up with a hemoglobin so low and couldn't believe I was going full time. I did this for months - I finally pulled myself out in June. I had developed a pressure sore on my butt and we decided to do flap surgery. I've posted that story somewhere on here, but doc messed up and I was in bed for almost the next two years waiting for my Lupus to calm down and have another surgery.
I am back full time and have been for awhile. My one regret is that while I was stuck in bed I didn't take classes via the Internet and I would be done with my degree now. I didn't know that was an option back then. That might be something you can check into - it's not quite the same, but I now still take classes on the net because they don't offer everything I need.
I do hope your health turns around very soon. I know how frustrating it can be. Sending you good vibes!!
04-05-2007, 05:24 PM
Thanks, guys. I see I'm not the only one, not alone with my body being very uncooperative with school or work. I wish I were from what I'm reading of what's happened or happening to most of you, too.
B, I'm sorry you're having a hard time, too. I hope you continue to feel better and better, to recover and gain your strength. You've had a rough go for a while now. I have no idea what Graves Disease is like. What I know of it I know from you. It has to be hellish.
C/AddieSue, no worries on posting on this thread with what's happening with you. While what I'm dealing with is personally very disappointing, what you're dealing with isn't just personally very disappointing, but potentially affects you and your children. All I can say is get your doctor to document what's happening with you and why. Hopefully your physiatrist is on board.
I'm sorry to hear work fulltime was too much. You not only had work, but children and meals and running a household and all the things single-parenting entails. Add to that your P/T and daily exercise to maintain, to improve, to prevent future problems.
Is it possible to arrange through your lawyer for someone (an SCI expert) to explain through the courts that paralysis is far more than "just sitting in a chair"???
T/DDaisy, thank you.
Kristi, you had such a hard time with the Lupus and paralysis. I can see you hitting up the lab to see if it was transfusion time after classes. Two years is a helluva long time to devote to a wound and flap surgery yet it's what happens to so many of us.
The idea of flap surgery or hospitalization for my skin has me afraid to do anything, but take absolutely wonderful care of this place until it's better.
Your suggestion of online classes is exactly what my doc suggested today. I told him I want to go for hybrid classes and he agreed I should try that or online. With hybrid I'd do half online and half in the classroom. For summer, given what I'm going through now and the accelerated pace, I think online may win.
Sending **hugs**, good thoughts and healing vibes to all.
04-05-2007, 06:08 PM
I'm in a similar boat as you with this semester... :( I, too had finally gone back to school, been loving it, enjoying the classes and human interaction...I've had a myriad of issues this semester(some self-inflicted, most not) culminating w/a pressure sore that's got me off my backside, and using a wound vac as well...I've talked to the dis. counsellor/advocate and she's getting back to me about the incomplete/make up classes over summer/fall thing as well...Issue with that being that the instructor for the pottery class goes out of state all summer and they are only "supposed" to give 6 weeks to make up an incomplete...we'll see what happens...
Healing wishes being sent. Kinda sucks when the body doesnt cooperate for sure. Wish I had more to say, but I'm a guy I guess. The thought's there though...
04-05-2007, 07:25 PM
'Chelle, you, too? Wow. Sorry you're looking at the same alternatives this semester I am.
Not at wound vac stage here. EScaped it for the moment. Sorry to hear you are. Hope it works well and quickly for you.
I'm jealous of the pottery class. **Visions abound of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost** Maybe there's a way to complete it this summer under a different professor/instructor?
Thanks for the thoughts for all of us, Andy.
So, given I'm here, going to live dangerously tonight. Oh, yeah. Ordered a pizza for dinner. New issue of "Shutterbug" arrived in today's mail. Hoping for endless hookups on "Grey's Anatomy" tonight. Oh, and the pharmancy just delivered my meds. The fun I'll have with this round of antibiotics. Do I know how to live on the edge when home alone for days and days or what? Gah.
Sending good thoughts, positive vibes and **hugs** to all. Thanks for being here.
04-05-2007, 07:32 PM
Sorry to hear about everyones ills. Here is something I just came across. It's called pressure mapping. KLD originally posted this link. I will be looking to get this done once i'm healed.
04-05-2007, 07:36 PM
Grey's is a rerun tonight. And I can't believe I know that. The Office and October Road are new. Yes, I used to be a guy.
I got my master's degree mostly online and started teaching that way. Now that I am healthier and can handle the cold better, I'm in the classroom a lot more, both teaching and taking doctoral classes. Being around people is nice, but I wouldn't be where I am today without distance education.
Grey's a rerun? Drat. (feeling like I might be missing some genitalia here too) At least Office is new and will get Tivo'ed. What's the word on ER, any new ones coming up?
04-05-2007, 07:44 PM
Chelle! *gasps* I didn't know you were on a wound vac! I was on one for 9 months for the second go around of my flap surgery. Mem, I was stuck for almost two years because my second doc wouldn't touch me until my Lupus was under control. He's smart like that - I haven't had a problem sense! I am battling a couple of sores on my feet right now and am seeing him for those - made him blush today when I said I was going to be on Girls Gone Wild last night, but the cancelled. The look on his face was priceless. Once I have a doc for more than two years or so they know to be on their toes when they come in the room. I always have something up my sleeve. :p I'll be glad when school is over because I will be in shoes less. Sores on my feet are a never ending battle. I'll heal one and another one will show up. Pain in the ass!! :mad:
Well, your schools should allow you guys to drop and not charge you. Both colleges I have attended have been more than good about my health issues. When I broke my leg last semester I was just over a week past the drop day for complete refund, but my advisor said this is a special circumstance and filed the paper work with voc rehab and the colleges to get full refund on the classes I couldn't attend.
You guys heal fast! Summer is coming soon!
04-05-2007, 08:27 PM
Chas, excellent thread on pressure mapping. Don't recall seeing that. Wish I had. Going for a seating clinic and pressure mapping for new chair and cushion given what I just read.
My bum place is from a really bad transfer in the bathroom weeks ago. It was better, but not 100% when i took to scootching around on the ground two weekends ago to take pics outdoors. That blew it open again. Live and learn.
It's not where I sit on it, just above it, but transfers, wearing clothes, all the usual things put pressure on it, keep it irritated, weeping, oozy. These skin problems wreak no small amount of havoc on all of us.
As for tonight ... Grey's a freakin' re-run? Nooooooo. Wanted GA tonight. Needed my vicarious hookup fix. Waahhhhhhhhhh.
Very kewl on distance ed working for you, Mike. Glad to hear that's gotten you ahead, helping you reach your goals.
Oh, The Office and October Road and you know about Grey's, too? No worries. You're still a dood.
Ohhhhhh, The Office is on now. Oops.
No idea on ER, Andy.
Two years, Kristi? It's awesome your doc knew not to deal with a flap surgery until the Lupus was under control again.
Good for you on getting your doc with GGW comment. Way to keep him on his toes. :D
Yikes on your feet. Will be glad when you can be shoe free.
Amazing how many of us are dealing with skin problems right now. Somehow that's probably true at any given time though.
As for Summer coming, oh, yeah. Ready for the outdoors. Want to be over this stuff to enjoy the warmth and sunshine, to get out there again.
We've gone from highs bumping 90 just over a week ago to lows in the 20s through this weekend. My heater's blasting away again. Gah.
Most def ready for warmth and sun. Think we all are.
LaMem’ Sorry for your trouble but like some said here, maybe online studying can be an option? It requires some more self discipline as for studying though I would guess, but if I was going to study some more I think I would have investigated that option. Over here I can see in various catalogues that there are lot’s of classes, directions etc. for higher education also that can be taken by doing it this way. You would lose the human interaction by regular studies though, but if regular studies are a problem and you want to be occupied with studies maybe it is a good route?
04-06-2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks Leif. I'm definitely looking to online or hybrid classes for summer.
04-11-2007, 04:45 AM
I hope you start feeling better really soon, definately sending good vibes to you, Chelle, Kristi, and everyone else who is having skin problems or SCI related problems. I am considering Master's School in the fall, waiting for my applications to come back with some good news--then I'll really start worrying about how to pay for it. Thank God for only once a week classes--all day for the first year. I took online classes during my bachlor's degree, right after my accident to graduate on time with my class--really way too funny sometimes thinking what I was on typing term papers, etc...oxycontin, fentenyl..doesn't mixwith 20 page term papers ...lol. Hybrid classes are great but internet classes can also be great with the right professor, always be upfront with them about your situation either way and normally even the hybrid class teachers are great about attendence--even will call to tell you not to come in if it's something they can talk to you over the phone or only review. I hope things work out. It's always terriable when the mind feels able and the body just give out. I definately know the feeling...finally my body is starting to catch up with my mind hopefully my broken leg will heal and no surgery will be needed. It's been 4 months--I just want the cast off and my leg to fully heal, so worried about pressure sores...
Anyways...everyone please feel better and I'll be sending healing vibes out to you :) Please send some leg healing vibes mine I could use them...:applaud:
04-11-2007, 11:54 AM
Thanks, Idy. Will return to classes one way or the other. I'm determined.:)
Congrats to you on grad school! :applaud:
04-11-2007, 06:16 PM
I echo 'My Conchos' reply ... he's where I got the idea from. I enjoy taking classes online and it works out soooo much better because of my shift work. I just have deadlines of when I take the mid-term and final exams. I have my supervisor at work proctor me for the final. Works great! Some universities offer complete degrees - all online.
If I didn't have work, I'd miss the human interaction though.
04-11-2007, 07:47 PM
In regards to pressure mapping, go for it if it is available. Not only will you be able to see if the cushion is right for you, but you can do pressure shifts while the mapping is running, and see if what you are doing is effective.