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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.As you may know from my other posts, I am 17 years old and I am a high school senior in So. CA. I have been struggling with a poor attendance record since last Thanksgiving when I became severely ill with IBS. I vomited everything and lost weight rapidly. Since then, I haven't been able to attend school much because of the vomiting, pain, gas, and diarrhea. I am seeing several pediatric doctors who deal a lot with IBS. I have tried most medications, therapies, natural supplements, etc. I hate to not go to school anymore because I miss all of my friends...as it is with most teens: out of sight, out of mind... I exercise a lot and I eat as well as I can given that I vomit most foods up. Has anyone else had to quit his/her job or to the youngins: did you have to go to home schooling? I had to take incompletes in most of my classes because I could not make up all of the work in time. The grades will be changed when I am able make up the work. I hate this. I feel like the IBS is suffocating me because I can no longer participate in anything I enjoy. I had to quit being editor-in-chief of my high school's newspaper, I am no longer in real school, and I had to quit my part-time job that I really enjoyed. These decisions were all made within weeks or months or each other, as I hoped that quitting each would help. But it hasn't!!! What do you guys think of the home schooling? It is really my only option right now....Thanks,L
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Linny, I feel so bad for you because my highschool years were the best of my life and I can't even imagine what it would have been like with IBS. I didn't get IBS until my early 20's I had a stressful job at the time so I thought quitting would help, it has helped a little, but I am still plagued by the same symptoms. The one thing I have noticed is less stress not having to work, explaining to collegues why I was running to the toilet, smelling disgusting all the time, lying and making excuses. So my only advice to you is, if home schooling is an option you should try it, give yourself a chance to stop worrying about your condition, relax enjoy it and get great grades.
 

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Hi Lindsey,Sorry you are haveing such a rough time again.I'm slightly confused. . .and it may just be the different education lingo in the different parts of the nation.Are you talking homebound education where the school system sends out a teacher as a go between teachers and you?Or are you talking home schooling where your parents are now your teachers?I've emailed you, have you received my notes?I will most likely not be checking on this board as frequently. In fact you are one of the main reasons I still scan the posts. But I would like to continue communicating with you.
 

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Linny, Like you I developed IBS in high school, so to some extent I know/remember what you're going through and know it's not easy. On the other side of the coin, I also remember the good times, and especially all the friends I had during those years. Sure, having IBS ment I had to make certain modifications to the way I did things, but I was able to be in the band, play sports etc. So, before you take the step toward home schooling, talk it over with your treatment team. Make sure you've exhausted all avenues to make going to school as comfortable as possible. From you posts it sounds like you have many fine qualities to offer your high school and I believe, if you can find a way, high school will give you a lot in return. Keep us informed.Regards,Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Linny: I do empathize with your concerns and problems, but don't let anyone tell you that you're missing alot in high school. I think it's sad when people say that highschool was 'the best years of their lives' -how sad! It's only 4 years and I relaly believe your life begins after high school - at least for 70 or 80 more years. My family homeschools by choice - I have IBS and I'm the teacher. I believe homeschooling allows you to customize your studying - studying things that interest you - you have the freedom on pursuing your interests, going to the library, exploring the Internet,etc etc. The social situations in high school are not all positive. You will have plenty of opportunities after this phase of your life. I do pray that you find relief soon. I have IBS - D and finally have it under control with a drastic change in my diet, relaxation techniques and taking calcium (see previous posts.) Good Luck! karenr------------------
 

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Linny, With all due respect to Karenr, if you leave high school, you may very well miss a whole lot. First, let me make it clear that I did not state that my high school years were the best in my life, actually that would be my wild college years. Then again, compared to my tour in Viet Nam high school were a pleasure. Childhood and youth should be a grand time where you can get out and grow, knowing that your parents are in the background to help when needed. Going to school gives you the chance to learn the very socializaiton skills you'll need in college and in later life. What I think is sad would be to see a child who's only view of the world around them is through the internet. Sure not all things in high school are positive, like your first broken heart, or failure to make it to the varsity team. But guess what, that's life and you have to get use to taking the good with the bad. Like I said, talk this over with your treatment team. And lastly, know you have your own support team here.Best of Luck,Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My doctors are not per ce against me doing home schooling. They think that the stress of bringing school and teachers into the home may prove to worsen the situation. At the very end of my last meeting with them, they suggested, and did not go into grand detail, that I should consider not doing the home schooling and going to school to avoid the stress because I am getting worse. I already quit the only really negative situation I was in which was being editor-in-chief of my high school's newspaper. I do not think what my doctors (a GI and a health psychologist who works with him) said is right for me. I have always had an extremely high standard for myself, but that is just the way I am. If I do not graduate in June with my friends and classmates and receive the recognition that I have worked so hard to accomplish I will be devastated, and I think that I will be more sick as a result. And what would the point of dropping out be? Sure, I may get better, but what about college? I wouldn't consider not going. And I'll eventually have to have a job. There will always be stress, and I think that I need to find a way to get better under a bit of pressure. I think that the home schooling will make it to where I don't have to worry about feeling well enough to make it to school or worry about vomiting during every class, but I will still have a bit of a challenge..... I'm not sure if this situation that my parents and I have chosen will be the best way to get me better, but I do believe that it will be best for my health---emotionally and mentally. And it will only be a couple of months til graduation. The administrators of my school are aware of exactly what my health problem is, and they know that if I am feeling well enough to attend my classes again after a few weeks, months, whatever it takes, I can go back to being school. This is not a definite decision that I am making, and I hope that it will be the best for my health.ThanksLindsey
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One more thing...sorry....I am continuing to hae social contacts even though I am not in school. I make sure that once a week or more if I am feeling up to it, I have a friend over to talk, gossip, and what not so that I don't become too isolated.L
 

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Linny, I think you answered your own question about home schooling when you talked about going to college. You stated you know that college will bring stress and after graduation, a job and more stress. So doesn't it seem reasonable to continue to work with your treatment team and use high school as something other than learning facts and figures? Use school to learn to deal with the same type of stress you'll face in college and the rest of your life. If you read the many notes on this list, you'll see case after case where people with the same condition as you are able to accomplish amazing things under difficult conditions (as if you don't already know that). The point is you have to live with your condition, NOT around it! I have often reflected on the difference between someone with IBS and someone without IBS. For the normal(and I use that term loosely), they look forward to school or any new experience with excietment. For those of us with IBS, we look forward with the same excitement, but added to that excitement is a fair degree of fear. Fear of discomfort, pain, and possibily embarrasment. And after it's all said and done the normal person looks back at the experience with satisfaction. The IBS person does the same, but added to this is a level of relief that's it's all over. But even with all the fear that comes with something new, I wouldn't have missed my kids school plays,graduations and weddings and so much more. Finally, good luck, God speed and known that you have a friends no more than a couple of key stroke away.Tom
 

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Lindsey,First I want to say that I'm ONLY voicing my opinion and I'm NO expert on anything, much less this IBS stuff or I wouldn't be suffering like I am now.However, I think that you are worrying too much about the "big picture." College is still fairly far off, (months at least) and a job in the big bad world is FAR off!! I think that you seem to need to concentrate on the present and healing yourself for the NOW. I also wonder if some of the stress you are experiencing with school is the kids wondering what is up with you when you do go there. I really had a hard time in high school (not with IBS, that came much later) but just with high school kids in general. I went to a very small school and everyone knew everyone else's business no matter what. I was the top of my class grade wise and everyone always hated me for that. I was constatnly called OA (over achiever) and although, you may think that's good, high school kids can be very cruel!!Are you in a big enough town that you could transfer to finish you year and would be rather anonymous? I know that you DO NOT want to lose your friends, but I wonder if you feel ok, go to school, kids bug you about "what is WRONG with you?" and that makes you feel worse, so yo go home and then the cycle starts over.Just some thoughts... also you seem to be panicky like I was last fall. (I don't mean that in a accusative way!) Are your doctors sure the Zoloft is doing what its supposed to??Hope things are better today.... take it one day at a time
Jill
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello everyone.I have struggled with attending school with IBS for a year, and I have missed a lot of school days because of it. I am to the point now to where I cannot go. I am in so much pain and I am going diarrhea so much that it is not really an option. My pain medications and diarrhea medications that used to take the edge off are not working very well anymore. As far as the big picture is concerned, I do agree with you that a job and even college is somewhat far off. I've always had very high expectations for myself since I was a young child. My parents don't put much pressure on me, but I've always done so well that if I didn't do well, I would be horrified. I used to have the highest GPA in my class. I was eidtor-in-chief of the high school's paper. I have seen a health psychologist, but I still have trouble quieting the internal drive that I have for myself that brings on these expectations. And I have worked far too hard for the past 12 years I have been in school to throw it all away now. I think that if I were to give up school, I may become more ill. I think that the home schooling will provide a way for me to finish up my senior year so that I can still graduate with all of my friends, but I can still have an easier time working through my IBS. I guess you could say that it is a compromise. ThanksLindsey
 

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I think maybe you should go and check into getting Paxil or something along that line. You can't let this lock you up in the house. Paxil or other drugs may help. I usually against taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs just for IBS, but when it gets this bad and your house bound, time to pull out all the stops. Good Luck Did you try the calcium?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hello everyone.Thanks for your concern. To answer Terio's questions, I have tried that calcium (Caltrate Plus) two pills three times a day for over a month and there is no difference, and I was on paxil, but I had an extremely bad reaction to it, so my doctor substituted it for zoloft. I am on 100 mg of zoloft, 50 mg elavil, and 80 mg of mellaril. I am still taking the calcium to see if it will work eventually. Lindsey
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Linny. In my opinion, you've gotta do what you've gotta do. And if you have no other alternative than home-schooling, so be it! I can tell you're a smart girl, and it would be a shame for you not to graduate because of IBS. You've got a few months until you go to college, and chances are that you'll have found some way of making this more bearable. Keep exploring all of your options until you find something that really works for you. You may not get rid of the IBS altogether, but at least you may be able to keep it under control. There's a bunch of anti-nausea medication out there, maybe you could have your doctor give you samples of the ones you have not tried, to see if any of them will work for you. I agree with Terio, it's time to start pulling out all the stops! This is a disorder that can just about ruin your life if you let it, and you just can't let it do that. I hope you start feeling better very soon. K
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is wonderfull that you have such a drive to succeed. Having gone to school most of my life and getting my masters degree at 47 I wonder whether there some alternative ways that you can educate yourself? Work part time and go to college part time, maybe. Often when a person is focused on succeeding on just one thing it is very difficult, but when she/he has more then one thing to think about she/he does fine. So, I think the most important thing in life is to be able give ourselves choices and options. That leads us to very rich lives. Feel better, belle
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi, Linny I've been reading these posts with interest and am impressed with your insight and maturity. I agree with Belfor and think she has hit on a sensible solution. I also think you are doing the right thing - homeschooling so you can graduate with your friends. My daughter is 12 and has all of the symptoms of an overachiever already. I have to constantly tell her to step back and relax - enjoy life - a little bit. Being uptight and nervous about your choices can only make things worse. You obviously cannot blow off your IBS - it is real and must be dealt with. It is (unfortunately) a fairly controlling aspect of your life. So, you must do what's best for you under the circumstances. Leaving your options open after graduation seems sensible. Perhaps a year off to settle down, work a part-time job and try to get well would work. With the rest of your life ahead of you, one year is not a whole lot of time. As Belfor Suggested, you could take a night course. I think it's important that you don't work yourself up with the unrealistic expectations of yourself as well as others. Do what's best for you, Linny. And if you need time to figure out what that is, take it! I really feel for you, I want you to know that. I wish you the best and am getting off to say a prayer for you! Keep us posted.
 

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Hi Lindsey, In Wisconsin these things could happen. Have dear old dad check them out in California for you. 1. If you stay in high school and have incompletes do to illness you can still attend graduation and all of its fesitivites. The diploma folder is empty anyway you realize until you turn in cap gown etc., etc.etc. Administartors usually need to be asked about these type of things. Than you finish up your work in summer and they give you the paper for your folder.2. Should you not finish this year. . .not going to happen. . .post secondary enrollment option. Have to be signed up a semester ahead. Like now for fall. Get dual credit...credit towards high school graduation and credit towards college.Should this need to be it could give you the best of both worlds. . .but you'd need to look into it right now. Remember if you sign up and don't need it, you can just drop off the list.3. There are always exceptions made for persons with disabilities, wheter those disabilities be educational (not you) or physical. Need to read Calif. and Federal Law and then have your schoold district do whatever it is that is necesary for you to complete high school.You may want to consider a junior college for next year. They are usually smaller and would be a breeze for someone with your communication skills. Just a few more options to add to your list.Take Care,Rose
 
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