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When I was 19 I enrolled in college, to become a nurse. What I've always wanted to be. Shortly after the first semester started I found out I was pregnant with my son. I had a rough pregnancy (bed rest) so I dropped out, with hopes to pick it back up later on. Six months after having my son IBS hit me, and hit me hard. I haven't been able to work, nor less even think about school ever since.But lately I feel like there is something missing in my life. I think staying at home as much as I do is contributing to my health problems. I got a booklet in the mail from the community college here the other day. And honestly I would love to go back and finish. IBS is one thing that is holding me back. Also I'm 24 now, and even though my school days aren't that long ago, I know I've forgotten quite a bit! Especially in the math department! LOL So I wonder if I could even do it at this point. Will IBS make it too hard on me, too stressful. I don't know. I know I got through this past week on vacation without problems, which gives me some hope that I can hold it together and do something with my life. But it's so scary. I know many of you have gone to college and now work with IBS. Any good tips, advice? Do you think I should go for it? Jennifer
 

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Homebound,my IBS is much worse now that I constantly sit at home, doing nothing, than when I go to school.When you're doing something, when you're preoccupied with something, and especially when you love what you're doing, IBS is not ALL you think about. You become preoccupied with a different kind of problems, your days become shorter, there is always something going on. You will have hard days for sure, but you will be able to do something useful, you will be proud of yourself and surprised at how much you can manage.Now that I sit at home, as I said, without going to school, the only thing I think of is my IBS. I read about it constantly, it preoccupies my mind, and the symptoms never go away.It's really better when I go to school...
 

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Homebound, I was feeling the same way you were a few months ago before I went back to school full time. I was a nervous wreck but I managed to do it IBS and all. I went for classes later on in the day b/c my IBS is bad in the mornings. I made sure I had enough time before I went to school to eat and calm my stomach down. Peppermint tea really helped me most mornings. And then at school I made sure I had some "safe" snacks with me and I also would eat something bland for lunch in between classes. I actually made it and did really well my first semester back!!! I say try it out and don't worry school will always be there!! Lots of luck!
 

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I had IBS-D during college. I took Imodium when I needed it, and dealt with it. NIce thing about college is that usually you can miss a class if you need to, a lot easier than you can miss work. If you have much of a commute, i think that will be your biggest challenge. You can always leave the classroom to go to the bathroom. I tried to sit on aisles and/or in the front, esp. if I felt sick. There was a day or two when I had an upset stomach and visualized the distance to the trash can if I didn't think I could make it to the bathroom in time to vomit. I missed a midterm exam once due to a stomach bug...vomitting and D...and my professor was so nice about it when I called. She said to drink plenty of fluids and we'd schedule a makeup exam when I was feeling better. That was the only test I missed due to D. I've been in exams where students leave because they have to go to the bathroom or need to vomit and profs are pretty nice. I think I've left to go to the bathroom too. When you've got that urgency in your voice, they tend to let you go.
If you find your D is being a problem, you can talk to your instructors about the situation, so they understand what is going on and don't think you're just getting up for a stroll or something. If you feel you need to, you should be able to have your test administered at a different location where you have a bathroom right there...services for students with disabilities will help you out there. Sometimes they give you a different test in those situations, so if you can, I'd just take it with everyone else.I really do think it does wonders to get out of hte house if you can, and to do something that you find fulfillment in. I'm also 24...I went through four yrs of college right after high school, but I have a friend who is a few years older than me who is back and school, and she's very happy about it...she is finally on track to do what she wants to do.
 

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Hi Jennifer,Totally agree with all the posts here. I left school at 15 and wandered through life pretty aimlessly for 8 years after before going to TAFE (technical and further education) college. I surprised myself by passing my Advanced Office Administration Certificate with a Distinction! I envisaged myself barely passing when I signed up, and doubted my ability to even see the course through. I had IBS at the time, though in a much milder form. I went to the bathroom when neccessary and I think I only missed two days due to illness.It is WAAAY better than being in school, you don't have to ask for permission to go to the bathroom, you just go.Explaining the situation will go a long way to releiving anxiety too, why not give your teachers a copy of the 'What is IBS' leaflet in the FAQ forum here? I gave a copy of that to my boss at work and it went a long way to explaining my problem and in recieving some understanding about it. My boss even allows me to make up any days I lose at work later now (as I only work part-time). I am sure your teachers will be accomodating about any exams you may have to take too, once they know.And, yes, there is always the handy stand by of taking Imodium (or Lomotil if you doc writes you a script).Go for it, if it does not work out at least you can say that you tried, but I am sure you will do well.
 

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Homebound: I totally understand your frustration. I am a teacher. Fortunately, I have 2 aides in my classroom so I am able to leave for the bathroom when I need to. I have missed many days of work due to my IBS-D. I have depleted all of my sick time and now have to go without pay for the days that I miss. It puts quite a strain on my finances.I have wanted to return to college to get my Master's degree. I am afraid that I would end up paying for classes that I would not be able to attend. I have been checking into on-line classes lately. I haven't found any in the field that I'm seeking, but it may be worth your while to check and see if some of your required courses are offered on-line.
 
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