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How to plan for physical problems in everyday life?
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How to plan for physical problems in everyday life?

I like to plan in advance for the unexpected. I know it's not always possible, but it brings me comfort to know I'm ready for unwelcome intrusions into my life. I could use a little help with this one.

How would you handle this?

I'm currently going back to school and having difficulty (especially since this flu bug) with energy levels, occasional, unpredictable severe spasms, and leg weakness.

Attendance and missing class, also missed assignments they will not accept late.

It's a long walk from the parking area to the school. Even the handicapped parking (which I don't qualify for) has a very long ramp up a hill to get to the building. I could see having difficult traversing even that some day.

The hugs, you know, the kind that burst through out of nowhere and have you doubled over groaning and sweating? How to deal with that in a public place?

I can contact the student assistance center for accommodations, but I never know when I'm going to need them, or what to ask for help with. I have no diagnosis. Do you think they'd just think I'm a lazy student looking for an excuse to be lazy?

If anyone has some ideas for me, I could use some input on this. I've never had to do this before.

Tags: accommodations, college
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
PS, I thought I was out of the woods and could tough it out. It's not working so well.
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1260255_tn?1288658164
You have my sympathy and I can imagine the stress that this must place on you. I would advocate for you to work between the student assistance center and your doctor(s) to try to come up with some kind of accommodation plan. You are not being a lazy student looking for an excuse; you are being proactive in recognizing that you have limitations that are not predictable which may prevent you from meeting deadlines and accommodations are in order.

I read through your posts and it appears that you do not have a definitive diagnosis. I can't tell what, if any, abnormal test results you might have. After a preliminary discussion with the student assistance center to find out what they need to provide you with accommodations, I would then consult with your doctor(s) to provide the school with the information they need to do so.

Good luck and congrats on going back to school!

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338416_tn?1260996698
The two biggest problems is that sometimes I'm unable to drive, and showering has become a hazard for me.  I eventually got a shower seat, which comes in handy if you don't want to remodel your bath.  As for the driving, I rely on my hubby, and when he can't, I call a cab.
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667078_tn?1316004535
That is a tough one. I have a list of folks I can call if I am out and have one of my diaphragm spasms. I wear a medical bracelet with a thumb drive with all my info. Oh and pills around my neck.

Basically I have learned I can't push myself like I used to. I do things but in the last few months I have learned my limits. I only do things before noon if I can help it. I have less attacks if I take it easier.

I do not get tired I run out of gas completely. I have to rely on others.  I budget my time. Especially for the week. I have to ask my husband for help. He knows when he has to step in and do something simple like finish making a salad.

The transport on campus is a tough one. I use crutches when I get tired just to avoid falls. I also use them when I have to stand for any time.

Alex

Alex
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1394601_tn?1328035908
How about approaching the professors directly?  I know when my daughter in law had trouble while pg many arranged for the work to be sent via her computer.  Friends took notes for her.  She did have to show in person for tests.  It might cut down on using energy and saving it.

Also, no age is shown on your profile.  Is there a rush to get this degree?  Can you take fewer classes?
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1394601_tn?1328035908
ummm..also you do not have to give your medical history.  I would just say, "I am having medical issues that prevent me from being as active as I would like at school".  Nothing more needs to be said.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you. That is helpful. I'm 44, and in a race to get this degree finished and get working in a sit-down job before things become obvious to others. I work as a massage therapist right now, and can't do enough to make enough for our needs. It's just too strenuous. I always wondered why if I did more than three or four in a day, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck and need two more to bounce back.

If I go full-time at school, I can be finished maybe by the end of next year. The hard part is staying focused when my body is trying to take center stage. Most of the classes are offered online, but I want to go to class to socialize some too. I've worked from my home and been pretty isolated these last ten years. It's a great thing to get out and meet other people this way.

I'm still running my business at home while doing this. It's not stressful. It's enjoyable. I just wish I could do it without these limits and be a super star. :-P With the limits, I feel like it's a waste of my time. I don't think I'll be able to work full-time or keep a job when I'm done anyway.

It was easier to push through the fatigue better when I was younger, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to do. Ritalin keeps me from getting to sleep, and xanax makes me drag in the morning. There is no happy medium. But I need to bite the bullet and try anyway. There might be a surprise at the end of the road waiting for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's nice you have a network of people to call on. I don't know a lot of people in this area and only have a couple I can call - all of them work full-time, some crazy hours. One is currently unemployed.

I don't think I would want to be out in public when one of those spasms hits. It scares people. You know? They're pretty intense and I really wouldn't want to freak out the class by getting hit with one. Could you imagine? LOL Or better yet, while driving. No fun!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm excited to be doing this. I don't want to work from home when I'm finished and would prefer to work onsite. But it is one of those occupations that are going to have off-site capabilities. I'm studying health IT - coding, billing, information technology, etc. It will require long hours sitting at a computer. That, I can do.
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1453990_tn?1329235026
For the most part, I work from home as an IT System Engineering Professional.   The bad part is I can be asked to fly anywhere in the world on about 48 hours notice.  Gideon (the dog) is welcome at work and has done well on client sites (although he really prefers to be ignored and not touched when he is in harness.)   Even training Gideon is "just in case," although there are times when I use a cane (or Gideon.)  My company knows the deal and I can always say No.  So as long as my brain continues to work, it looks like I'll be employed.

As far as planning ahead, I get lucky sometimes.  I decided a few years ago to change the bathroom on the master to an open plan en suite bath and I changed out a small 54" tub for a 48" shower with built-in seats and dual head (one fixed and one on a hose.)

My partner and I have been building decks that wrap around most of the house.  We also decided to build a ramp "just in case."  We have also been replacing smaller doors with 36" doors where we can.  Again, this is "just in case."  We are also adding electric garage door openers on the three bay doors to the barn.  Looks like we will also be pouring a bunch of concrete walkways to the chickens and the barn "just in case."

Not sure if I can keep working the cattle and chickens, but I'll do it as long as I can.

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Avatar_m_tn
That's wonderful your employer offers such flexibility. I hope to find one the same some day. I can do a lot of work, it's getting there and keeping set hours that is the problem, and has been for years.

I don't have any idea what we can do with our house. It's a split-level. Laundry in the basement, second bathroom (barely enough room to turn around in there on your two feet) also in the basement, kitchen on the main floor, master bathroom (also tiny) and bedrooms upstairs. I guess the good thing is, they're both half-flights of stairs. We're planning a wrap around as well, but it was before this happened. Hubs has already put in a pathway to the chickens, but it's bumpy and narrow.

I saw on another board where a couple bought Segways to get around and cut down on the physical exertion. I thought that was a brilliant idea, but they're so expensive. And if you have trouble with balance, would they work?

In either case, I like hearing about how others have adapted and overcome some of these common obstacles. It's very helpful in giving me ideas on how to plan.
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