Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:41 PM
I'm new to this whole forum thing and don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing but I am looking for some advice and I suppose a little empathy in regards to the situation I am currently dealing with.
I was diagnosed with IBS - D sometime in 2012 from my GI. (I had suffering from these symptoms since my junior year in high school. I am now a senior and will be turning 18 in about a month) After doing a bunch of tests including a barium swallow, an endoscopy, and a colonoscopy... basically the whole ruling everything out procedure... he gave me the diagnosis. I have been prescribed with some anti-anxiety medication and taken two round of antibiotics for intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I also have weekly therapy sessions with a doctor who specializes in patients with IBS in order to improve my anxiety and the way that I handle this disorder. In regards to medical things I feel that I have been doing everything right.
When I am having symptoms and flare ups, which happens nearly every day, I am in a lot of pain and need to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and then resting, to calm my stomach down. Because of this illness I miss a lot of school, and as you can probably imagine, it is making my life very difficult.
At the beginning of the year I spoke with the school nurse to get a health plan outlined because I knew my absences would be an issue. She told me that as long as I had good grades in my classes I could appeal my absences at the end of the year and it wouldn't be an issue as long as I had a letter from a doctor legitimizing that I have this illness. I continued to miss a lot of school and although I kept my grades up, I felt the absences were becoming an issue as far as missing work and also a point of tension with my teachers who seemed confused as to why I was missing so much school. So I met with my counselor and school social worker to see what my options were and they basically wanted me to immediately drop all of my classes except the two that were required to graduate.
A little background on myself - I am a very hardworking student. I don't often receive less than a B in my classes, and usually I get an A. I am also senior class council President, and a school newspaper editor. Recently I heard back from the school of my dreams, UNC, that I was accepted early admission which was just the most incredible news.
So - I was not ecstatic about dropping all of my classes and, rather than taking AP Lit, AP Stat, and APUSH, taking just English 4 and US history. I rejected this option thinking that I could handle it. We had another meeting later in which we rearranged my schedule so that I had classes in the afternoon and not in the morning because I am usually sicker in the morning and find it hard to get to school. After this change, I felt I was going to school a lot more but the administration at my school didn't agree.
All of the sudden, after about 2 weeks of trying the new plan, they pulled me out of my AP Lit and APUSH classes (the two I need to graduate) and told me I would have to take them online on a credit recovery site called Apex as English 4 and US History. They have not mentioned what they are going to do about my AP Stat and journalism class, but they told me that if I remain in the classes the way things have been going with all of the absences that they will likely have to fail me at the end of the year even if I get A's in the classes because of the absences. This leads me to believe that with their plan for Apex I would graduate with a Pass (apex doesn't give letter grades) in both English 4 and US History, and F's in AP Stat and Journalism.
I believe that this plan would jeopardize my acceptance at UNC because it is a really good school and I doubt very few people go there who get two F's. I have accepted their offer for admission already but that is subject to change if they are not happy with my grades at the end of the year.
The other option I have is homebound - however my therapist and doctor have not yet agreed to sign off on this as they feel that 1.) taking me out of school and the social aspects will make it even more difficult for me to feel comfortable in those types of situations and will worsen my symptoms and 2.) that I shouldn't be missing this much school with this illness. I feel the 2nd reason is just unfair because I am missing school because I am using the bathroom, not just because I don't want to go to class.
I also feel that the administration at my school is being very difficult with the whole situation. They are continually saying that they feel "manipulated" by my mom and I when all we've done is ask them what our options are and what we can do to make sure that I graduate and to keep my chances of getting into UNC high. They have lied to use about our options multiple times - said apex didn't offer AP classes, that college board says you can't take the AP test without taking the class, and that I couldn't start home schooling this late in the year - which makes it hard to believe that they really have my best interest at heart. I feel like they just want me to graduate for their numbers, not because they actually care about me or my future.
So I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone else has had similar experiences with their school administration being difficult with their IBS situation and if anyone has tried done apex online classes or homebound because of their IBS and whether they were helpful or a good idea? If anyone has any recommendations on how to deal with my school or anything else I could do? Or whether or not the apex option would actually jeopardize my standing at UNC?
Thank you so much! I'm so sorry for the long post but it's, unfortunately, a very long story.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 12:47 PM
So I graduated in 2011, but in my school I worked in the office for three years so I got to see a side of the teachers and administrative that most people don't get to see. The truth is they gossip as bad as the students do. Even as I was reading this story I thought to myself, "Why doesn't he just take some anti-d pills and get over it?" An insensitive comment to be sure, especially since I don't know if you are a "he", but one that your teachers may be thinking. It only took the thought of what I've gone through with my ibs-c in my life to make that unpleasant thought go away. I think you're right that they just want the numbers, and making all of your plans work the way you want them to isn't their concern, to them it's their problem. Most online classes aren't exactly easier, but they aren't nearly as hard as most in person classes. They are there to help you pass, rather than to challenge you to make it through. I fully agree with your therapist and your doctor that you should stay in school. I have been out of work and in pain from mine since October, and solitude is not what you need when dealing with any type ibs. I can't tell you what to do because inevitably this isn't my problem to work out. I do hope that this helps in some way, and that it all works out for the best. It gets better.
Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:19 PM
I graduated in 2009, I missed a lot of school my senior year and they didn't exactly understand, luckily I attended enough days to graduate. If your school isn't being understanding you should contact someone of higher authority, someone in charge of the school district not just that particular school. Perhaps they could arrange a meeting with you to discuss the real options. Otherwise, if you can try to eat a light diet for the remainder of school and do anything you can for the pain. I take an antispasmodic medication which is fairly strong, it is the only thing that helps. I also have medications to keep my anxiety under control. That's the only advice I can really give in this situation.