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Thread: Considering going back to school not sure how to make it work

  1. #1

    Considering going back to school not sure how to make it work

    Im 30, been hurt for 10 years now and am considering going back to school. im pretty dependent when it comes to cathing, transportation, and transfering... My mother helps me now but if I were to goto school out of state I don't think she would be willing to make the trip.. I don't know where to begin to organize something like this. Like how would i get into bed at night and out in the mourning. what nurse has the ability to stay with you for the majority of the day?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Hi Eric,
    It is so worth trying this, and there are some schools that will set you up with fellow students who are willing to help out for a few bucks. Many of the larger colleges and universities have a disability department, who help out on things like aides, someone to help take notes or to make sure you have recording equipment so that you can tape lectures, and they also deal with basic accomodation stuff like having a class moved to a more accessible location if you want/need to take it. I remember once showing up (or trying to) for a history class and finding out that it was being held in a charming brownstone with no elevator. It only took one phone call and the class was moved to an entirely different location since I needed to be able to attend. Check to see if the schools you are most interested in have a disability services office. Start there. If they do not, you might want to move onto another choice just to make your life easier. I went to a pretty progressive school, and at various times had blind students using recorders, other disabled students being given longer test times to be able to write, and even once had a deaf person who attended class with a sign language interpreter. It is all possible, it just takes some planning. A fellow quad at the school I went to had students as aides for all four years, was given his own parking spot in several locations so he could go to the bookstore, or to the main campus and have parking. It works, and is possible.
    One more thing. If the school happens to have a school of physical therapy or occupational therapy attached to it that can become a treasure trove of willing helpers!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Eric, as a T-6 para (per your user profile), unless you're obese or there are issues with your arms, you should be able to be completely independent. Instead of worrying about a caregiver, focus on getting independent before returning to school. You'll make your life much easier overall, and the freedom you'll gain will change your life for the better. You won't need anyone to stay with you day or night.

    There are a lot of paras here on CareCure who can answer any questions you might have regarding cathing, transferring, etc.

  4. #4
    Eric, it sounds like you have not had much or any rehab. Usually, a t 6 para is quite independent, including all those things you mentioned as needing help with. Are there problems that interfere with you being able to do those things? If you can deal with them, you should not need much help, but as Eileen indicated, most schools have disability services programs to help. From my experience, having a big gap between high school and college can make academics a real challenge for a year or so. However, that can be dealt with these days by taking less than a full course load at first. I did not have that option and really struggled.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
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  5. #5
    Almost every class is online now, just do that. I went back to college when I turned 30 also.
    Life's perceived journey in this PMR is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy **** what a VR ride!"
    Pete C6/'97

  6. #6
    I would also recommend taking this a bite at a time. Start now by registering for the fall or summer session at your local community college, and start taking the GE and pre-requisite courses you need for your major. You can do this while still living at home. It would be much better to go to a school than trying to do this on-line, as you really need to on-site school environment at this point. Do you know what major you are interested in?

    Have you met with a vocational rehab counselor and opened a case yet? Many state VR programs will not fund out-of-state education programs, so you need to take that into consideration.

    I would second the need to get some more therapy and rehabilitation and learn to be more independent if your level of injury is indeed T6. You should be able to set a goal to work toward of being independent in all bowel/bladder/skin care, dressing, bathing, transfers, cooking and light housekeeping, and add driving and manual wheelchair management at a high level. This will enable you to eventually move away from home, perhaps getting a local apartment where you are still close to family in an emergency, but on your own. Try this out before moving out of the area and going to a university.

    I would also recommend that once you start working with a VR counselor that you also identify schools that both have your major and have a good reputation for disability access and accommodation, and making early contact with the office at the school in charge of these programs. Find out if they have special dorms, transportation programs, and other support programs that you would qualify for and under what conditions.

    I am going to move this over the the Work & School forum as well.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    I took a class the summer before I went back to school titled 'Returning to School - Study Habits' etc., or something similar. It was a 6 week course, and it helped me get back into the groove.
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