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View Full Version : It's official, I'm screwed. Now wtf do I do with myself?



Fenika
01-07-2009, 08:34 PM
So I survive most of vet school, despite my health taking a few nose dives.

Then I get to my clinical (4th) year.

And my already sketchy health blows up in my face. In 2.5 weeks, the physical demands of clinics had me in the ER one too many times.

So back home I go, to be passed around by doctors and getting lots of blank stares b/c heaven forbid they should actually have to figure out how to diagnose a patient that isn't a clear case.

So here it is January, I just went through another round of tests. Nothing. It will be a miracle if they figure out wtf is wrong with me by 2012.


So now I either beg the vet school to work with me and take me back even though I'm too ill for the regular program, or I give life the finger and do whatever.

I really am so pissed off with the world of medicine that I can't imagine getting through my last year of vet school with the complications of my fickle health.

So, I'm up s*** creek. The only plus side is I'm currently capable of regular exercise. It's not always pleasant, but I'm capable. I have no illusions of this lasting given past patterns, but it might hang on for a few months if I'm lucky.

Now what?

Please don't quote me, I want to delete parts of this rant later.

Cheers

Yeshanu
01-07-2009, 09:17 PM
My advice: If you have your heart set on being a vet, talk to the vet school people and see if anything can be worked out.

:Hug2:

DL Hegel
01-07-2009, 09:28 PM
I agree with Yes.

Baha, you have my wishes and prayers to get well soon.

CaroGirl
01-07-2009, 09:31 PM
Are you in a time crunch with vet school? Can you take a leave of absence for a year or two while you look after your health and then still be able to apply the credits you've earned to date toward your degree? If so, that's what I'd do.

You have my sympathy. It's hard to put aside something you want so badly. All the best to you!

brad_b
01-07-2009, 09:39 PM
Not knowing what problem you're having with your health, I can only speak from my own experience. Several years ago I started going downhill fast for no apparent reason. I'd get shocky from the least bit of sugar. After so many tests I was ready to give it up, the doctor came back with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was pretty much flat on my back for the first six months and only partly mobile after that for some time. I wasn't able to do anything in my landscape business, had to remortgage the house a couple of times - wasn't a fun period of life.

A friend from church told me the state would pay for schooling so I took online courses at a local college in Computer Science and English; I certainly couldn't sit through classes. Finally I saw a chiropracter who took X-rays and came to the conclusion nerves in my neck were being pinched as the result from a rear-end collision at a stop light several years earlier by a guy trying to run it. The chiropractor started treating me and it took a few years but I started coming out of it and now am back to almost 100%.

Like Yeshanu said, talk with the folks at the college and explain, if you're disabled check with the state. They have programs to help people who've become disabled, even for a short term. Perhaps you can take some of the college work online, I found it to be harder because you have to self-motivate more than with classroom studies, but see if it's an option. Good luck and don't despair, things will change for the better, have faith.

Kitty Pryde
01-07-2009, 09:50 PM
Keep at it! Is there any way for you to do, say, 1/2 time clinics for two years, instead of full time for 1 year?

Or, can you keep your student status/insurance by taking a light courseload of one or two upper level electives or something, while you work on sorting out your health? I don't know exactly how vet school works...

Have you talked to the Disability Office at your school? I'm pretty sure they have these at every school. The people there are experts in thinking creatively, working around stuff, and bending rules, and they can help you both to brainstorm solutions and to get things done.

Lots and lots of good luck and fortitude and hugs and warm fuzzies for you! I have a handful of friends who took extra time to finish school because of health stuff (one friend with CFS/mystery disease took seven years), so it is possible. hang in there!

Mela
01-07-2009, 10:07 PM
Hi Baha - I've had problems myself with being outside the diagnosable box with doctors - most of what's been wrong with me (gluten sensitivity, BTW) I learned on my own through the internet just by googling various symptoms in various combinations.

But I agree with the rest - talk, talk, talk with the school until every option is exhausted. Not knowing the extent of your health problem, I'd say it's easy to tell you not to give up. But I'll say it anyway: don't give up on what you want

Fenika
01-07-2009, 10:13 PM
My 1 year medical leave is almost up and not extendable.

Wheat does me no favors but I'm not a celiac. Go figure. Diet, chiro, acupuncture. Mostly I spent money I don't have, though the diet changes are helpful.

As for the rest, I dunno. Thanks folks.

Nakhlasmoke
01-07-2009, 10:14 PM
Oh Baha.

This is so uncool.

I don't know what to say other than I send you all my love and hugs, and I hope things come right.

Kate Thornton
01-07-2009, 10:19 PM
You are alive - I know you have invested 4+ years in vet school, but maybe this is a good time to rethink that direction.

As to your health, it must come first. If vet school is too much for your health, then your health MUST come first and career plans second.

I hope you can find the care you need, the diagnostician who will correctly figure it all out and the treatment you require. Don't give up.

And vet school can be refigured - talk to them, explain the situation. And good luck.

DeleyanLee
01-07-2009, 10:24 PM
WTF do you want to do?

Once you figure that out, take steps to make it happen. Things look bad right now, and it's natural to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. The sooner you start making decisions and laying out steps to accomplish them, the faster you shake the blues and focus on something more positive than the crap hand you're holding at the moment.

Limitations aren't the end of everything. Just walls to be climbed over on your way to wherever you're going.

jennontheisland
01-08-2009, 01:48 AM
Definitely negotiate (not beg, negotiate) with the vet school. You may have used your med leave, but I'll bet there are other ways to avoid going back before you're ready. Most schools give more than 4 years to complete a '4 year' degree.

Shweta
01-08-2009, 01:54 AM
Baha, is the main problem staying on after the medical leave is expired, or having health insurance after the medical leave is expired? These have different solutions, I think.

Either way it sounds like you need new doctors. Do you know anyone with a really good diagnostician who can recommend someone to you? Can you email round everyone in your area and ask?

Neurotic
01-08-2009, 02:00 AM
You know what I'm going to say, Brat. Keep pushing and don't take "I don't know" for an answer. If one doctor can't figure out what's wrong with you, ask for a referral to someone else. Leave a trail of discarded doctors in your wake if you have to.

And :Hug2:

Clair Dickson
01-08-2009, 02:04 AM
I'm not celiac either. Nor am I "allergic" to gluten. Or so say the test. My body tells me otherwise. Tests aren't everything. Go with what your body tells you. Dietary problems take time to get over-- even if you stop eating it, there are still amounts in your system and it will take your body time to adjust. If I accidentally ingest corn or wheat, it takes several days to stop feeling completely fatigued and all fuddle-headed. And that's with a trace amount.

That said, I suggest finding a new doctor and talking to the staff at school about how to deal with this option. Maybe they can work something out or can tell you what will happen if you have to delay your clinical part. Talk talk talk. Someone will know something that can help you. If they can help all sorts of special needs students through school, they can help you. Keep pushing. (BTW, schools spend little time or money on retention for Junior and Seniors in college... they figure if you get that far, you're likely to finish. So you may have to fight harder to get them to try.)

Best of luck.

Beach Bunny
01-08-2009, 04:03 AM
You know what I'm going to say, Brat. Keep pushing and don't take "I don't know" for an answer. If one doctor can't figure out what's wrong with you, ask for a referral to someone else. Leave a trail of discarded doctors in your wake if you have to.

And :Hug2:
I agree with Neurotic.

:Hug2:

If you're an American and you're that sick, you might be able to get Medicare or Medicaid to pay for your medical bills. Check into it. You might also be able to go on Social Security Disability even though they don't know what is wrong with you, yet.

Clinical rotations in Vet School are tough on the body. Real practice is not. Talk to the Vet School and some of your professors, see if they can find an agreeable accomodation so that you can get through the clinical rotations. I don't think they want to see you have to toss away four years of Vet School. It doesn't look good for them, either.

You might also look at alternatives in the vet medicine field, research, teaching, etc. Or switching to a PhD track so you don't have to do the clinicals, but you do have the degree. One of my medical doctors has PhD in physiology, did research in Ob/gyn before he decided to go to Medical School and become a doctor. It should work in reverse. I'm sure there are alternatives for you to explore which won't require you to chuck everything you've already done.

:Hug2: Good luck.

scriptor
01-08-2009, 04:30 AM
DON'T GIVE UP!!!! Most of the time it is the battles that take the most out of us that give us the most back!!! Besides, if it was easy... anyone could do it... ROFLMAO..... ya got my prayers....!!

Fenika
01-08-2009, 04:41 AM
Okay, so dumb question.

If I go on SS disability, and or medicaid/care, what are the downsides (if any). Could this affect my future anything? I don't see how it would bite me in the ass down the road, but that doesn't mean it can't.

And of course when I asked my doctor about it he just vaguely told me it was a horrible choice and looked at me like I'd suggested summoning a demon. Thanks, doc. ><

Cheers again folks

TheIT
01-08-2009, 04:51 AM
I don't have any answers, just encouragement. Hang in there and do what's best for your health. You're not alone.

:e2grouphu

Just a thought, but can the school credits you've already earned be applied to another degree, perhaps something less physically taxing?

Fenika
01-08-2009, 04:52 AM
Baha, is the main problem staying on after the medical leave is expired, or having health insurance after the medical leave is expired?

Do you know anyone with a really good diagnostician who can recommend someone to you?

The main problem is the lack of health insurance. I wisely (hah) signed with a provider that wrote for vets and vet students. I wonder if I could 'sue' them not to dump me???

And I'm thinking of scanning my file and sending it to every one of my dad's friends (he was a doc) and telling them to play House till I'm suffering anemia from too many tests...

*sigh*

Fenika
01-08-2009, 04:56 AM
Just a thought, but can the school credits you've already earned be applied to another degree, perhaps something less physically taxing?

Ya know, since you're the second person to suggest that, my brain is finally processing the idea.

I'm not crazy about research, but what's a year in the lab when it means not tossing over 30k in tuition/fees/loans?

Anyone wanna give me a PhD/other primer? I have half a masters from University of Canterbury in NZ :o (I think it's long past the deadline to turn that into a masters however, but no worries, the intent was never to get my masters)

If I missed any other pertinent points, don't worry, I'll process and reply to them soon...

Cheers

SherryTex
01-08-2009, 05:03 AM
First of all, you have friends. Here in the AW community and in that vet school. After four years, you must have some connections and relationships with some of the professors. You need to talk talk talk and have them help you make arrangements so you can do as much as possible without compromising your health. Is it the actual work or the amount of time that taxes you beyond your health limits? There have to be ways around this, but you have to be assertive here with them. You are the student but you are also the customer. You are paying them. They work for you.


Step II, start over with doctors. Ask friends for the doctors they recommend. Ask your dad. Ask ask ask until you get someone who hears what the problems are and figures out what the cause is.

Step III Surround yourself with as much of a support system as possible. Family, friends, colleagues in the school, to keep your spirits up and keep you moving forward. It is in isolation that we find the greatest pain. You'll get through this, I know it.

All the best.

Kitty Pryde
01-08-2009, 05:07 AM
If only Dr. House were around! I assume you've already checked with Dr. Google? And his colleagues Dr. Webmd.com and Dr. Wrongdiagnosis.com?

Stick with it and ask everyone you know! I had a bit of medical mystery myself in 2003 and was about ready to drop out of Stanford when I was able to sort things out because I happened to chat to the woman who did massage at my parents' gym, who had experienced the exact same thing. You WILL hear a lot of ridiculous suggestions, but there may be a gem of usefulness in all that craziness.

Siddow
01-08-2009, 05:08 AM
Eat more protein.

I can only guess that an aspiring veterinarian doesn't eat enough meat. :D

IceCreamEmpress
01-08-2009, 05:17 AM
The school should (if it's in the US, it's required by law to) have someone who is an advocate for students with disabilities.

Speak to that person. They are often affiliated with the Office of Student Life, but failing that they may be affiliated with the Registrar's Office, Provost's Office, or President's Office.

Chronic debilitating illness qualifies as a disability (under US law, at least).

Best of luck. I was out of work for two years with a major viral illness myself, and chronic illness is so draining.

Pat~
01-08-2009, 05:41 AM
Baha, first of all a (((Hug))).

Second, see if you can negotiate/appeal your particular situation with the powers that be.

Third, (and this will sound strange probably), do whatever medical investigative tracking you can do on your own via the Internet. (And if there are any docs out there reading this, pretend you didn't see this.) Both my son and daughter had chronic childhood illness that was not as common (son with Tourette's and daughter with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). With both of them, diagnoses were not forthcoming until I was able to arm myself with enough info to press the docs with (I actually had to show my son's doc videotape to prove to him I knew what verbal and physical ticcing was--and to prove he did have it, as his case was not severe enough for both types to present in the initial office visit.) My 5-yr. old daughter's illness was more rare; all the pediatricians scratched their heads at her bent knee and limp. It took some sleuthing on the internet to link together the symptoms and even after I was convinced she had pauciarticular JRA, there was only ONE child rheumatologist in north Texas at the time...whose waiting list was about 9 months out. Unfortunately you sometimes just have to keep pressing, keep standing your ground, and keep badgering in this type of scenario. It's extremely draining. But whatever knowledge you might bring to the table can often be helpful in putting together the pieces that eventually lead to a diagnosis.

Best wishes to you in resolving this, and for your recovery.

Shweta
01-08-2009, 05:46 AM
The main problem is the lack of health insurance. I wisely (hah) signed with a provider that wrote for vets and vet students. I wonder if I could 'sue' them not to dump me???

Let me third the motion to talk to the folk who deal with disability issues then. I bet they know what you can do, what your options are, and what the advantages/disadvantages of different courses are. They must have dealt with this before.

Fenika
01-08-2009, 07:37 AM
Eat more protein.

I can only guess that an aspiring veterinarian doesn't eat enough meat. :D

I love animals. They taste great!

But more seriously, I do need more protein. I'm not as able to handle red meat as I once was... cruel punishment for a steak and potatoes gal.


The school should (if it's in the US, it's required by law to) have someone who is an advocate for students with disabilities.


I shall call them in the morn'

And yeah, chronic illness is no fun.


Thanks to everyone again. I did a little research into SSI and it's possible, but a long long process.

For now, I need sleep. Cheers.

Greenwolf103
01-09-2009, 11:15 AM
I'm sorry I can't give you sage advice but I'm feeling for you. If this is a career choice you REALLY want, please try to hang in there. Never say never! :Hug2: