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Is it bad that I want to withdraw for the semester?

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  • Is it bad that I want to withdraw for the semester?

    My struggle with IC has been getting worse in the past couple of months. It started with severe pain 24/7 for the last 3 1/2 years but now I have the frequency too. This morning I went to pee 3 times in 30min because I felt like I was going to pee in my pants. And I just had the procedure done where they stretch the bladder, it seems nothing changed and its been 3 weeks now. I'm afraid I'm going to fail from all my absences so I'm thinking about doing a medical withdrawal. Is it weak of me to do this? I'm only 20 years old. Should I be handling this better? My parents don't get it. They tell me I need to be strong and fight through this cause school is so important. The struggle with IC is so much more complicated than that, especially because I have the Fibromyalgia that comes with it. Just when I think I'm feeling better and being strong I get knocked on my ass again.

  • #2
    I do NOT think it is weak at all if you want to take a medical leave of absence. I actually think it would be very STRONG of you to do this if you feel it is necessary. I think sometimes, especially with a chronic illness like IC, your physical body needs to come before your mental. If you are in such pain and having such frequency I think you need to listen to your body. It may need some time off, to rest and to heal a little before you can finish college and that is perfectly fine. Many people these days do not finish college in four years so you would certainly not be alone. I know of at least three people who took medical leaves while they were in college and none of them had IC. But it is also perfectly fine if you decide to ride out the semester if you feel up to it.

    I think with your parents you need to really sit down with them or have a long phone conversation about this issue. I found it important in my own conversations to as clearly as possible describe the physical pain or symptoms I was feeling. What can you compare it to. In addition you need to take with them about it is truly affecting your school work and why it is. I think it also may be a good idea to see a therapist (thats what I did) alone and possibly with your parents.

    I am a senior in college and started showing symptoms of IC my second week of freshman year. It got worse and worse that first semester until I ended up missing a total of two weeks of classes (one week in the hospital). I ended up taking an incomplete in one of my classes and finishing the work over winter break. My parents were luckily really supportive and they actually wanted me to take a medical leave of absence my second semester. I came pretty close to doing so but decided I would instead just take a really light load and try to adjust to doing school with in my new condition.

    Sorry for the long response, good luck and I am sure you will come to decision that is right for you if you trust your instincts and your own body.


    • #3
      I just decided I would respond now, too. I do know some things get repeated; therefore, I am gonna state that it would not be weak to take a medical withdrawal. Besides, you seem to think you will fail to begin with. It sounds like you do need a break. Yep! None of us enjoy having IC, or any chronic illness. By the way, I don't think I could handle taking any classes now. Of course, I am 44 and deal with degenerative disc disease.(advanced)(as one doctor stated) If a person in the military has to get out on a medical discharge, then we can know that is not the same as a dishonorable discharge. Besides, your parents are not the only ones that don't get it. At least, they are not in your shoes now. My parents had told me that I had to keep on working instead of trying to think about getting on disability.(even though I was coming home in pain that was causing tears)(and IC & CFS) (and never said I wanted to be on disability)Anyhow, I finally got told to stay home because I was having balance issues as well. (falling)(and got MRI that showed the ddd that I had mentioned) I am now waiting to see if I will get approved on disability. OK. I will let that be all now.


      • #4
        Taking a break could give you time to feel better. Just don't give up on going back next term.

        Warm hugs,
        Stay safe

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        • #5
          Hey, I also dropped out of college ...not because of IC, but it was a real pain having to get up early to travel to college when I'd had no sleep the nigth before. It makes me scared about future jobs etc.

          It was horrible as I had urgeny too, which made it extremelly awkward to go to the toilet when I was in a lecture.. I almost peed myself lol it was horrible !

          No I don't think it is weak for you, you should maybe assess how important this course is to you, but if you are in physical pain all the time or have frequency etc, no you can't exactly go to college all the time.

          My parents didn't understand either. I had to take the day off one day because I was in so much pain, and my mum just sent me to the doctors. Which was no help atall.

          Anyway good luck I hope you make the right choice


          • #6
            It has been many year since I was in College, way before IC diagnoses, but not before symptoms.

            I managed to make to my course pretty reg. I often got up to go pee during classes. My college course was a bit more like elemenary school, there wer 20 people in the course all taking the same classes at the same time, and for the most part about 3 teachers teaching all the courses, so to say the least we all got to know everyone quite well, I was not just a number to the teacher.

            I always peed alot during reg classes they were 2-3 hours long with 1 break, not enough for me, I just nipped out did what I needed to do and nipped back in. Nothing was ever said till one day during an exam, which always made me pee more, because of added stress of the exam. I could only make it about 20 mins and thenI couldn't concentrate on the exam the urgeto pee was so strong.

            Anyways one day during an exam the teacher followed me into the bathroom and confronted me that I must be cheating if I need to go to the bathroom that much, and that in the future she would not allow it.

            I was flabbergausted to say the least I would not cheat, I had no medical reason to give her for my need to go, I had never even heard of IC and at the time she would not have heard of it either.

            I finally asured her I was not cheatting, that I really needed to go and if she felt the need too she could watch me but I needed access to the bathroom, now a days they would never get away with this but this was 30 years ago and we didn't have much for rights or if we did we didn't know about them.

            I know she had talked this over with the other teacher before confronting me
            so i figure they all thought this. Anyways they never brought it up again.

            The thing that irked me was the guy sitting next to me was cheatting and opening his text book with his toe to read his cheat sheet. by following me to the bathroom she just gave him and easier time to cheat.

            I got good marks on papers and exams but found out later which is a different story that the teachers didn't mark paper's and tests equally they admitted to marking according to how well they felt you should or should not be able to do, basicly if they thought you were smart and could better they would mark you harder, if they thought you were not up to par and did well for you they marked you easier.

            This really was a sore spot with me as future schools etc are going to look at your marks verse someone else's marks and know you actually did better then the other student, but the teacher decided to be more lenent on the other person.

            Enough said I feel your plight. MG
            My are with you all. May you all find a way to peace and joy in your lives.


            • #7
              Just wanted to emphasize what Donna said, just because you take a medical leave this semester does not mean you cannot go back next school year. Sometimes we just need a little time to recover and get out symptoms to a manageable level. I was not sure I could do it and I have had many periods of doubt and anxiety and extreme pain. I was able to make it through college and I am now 2.5 months from graduating and I am going to medical school next year. I have had to make adjustments and two semesters I only took three classes. I just wanted to let you know there is hope even if there are a few set backs along the way.


              • #8
                I agree with Donna too. Also is there any chance some of your courses could be taken online at home? I know a lot of people who do online classes and then just have to go to regular class every now and then.

                Taking this time away may help you get better control of your symptoms for next semester.

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                • #9
                  Hi I was going to suggest along the same lines as dyno. My daughter wwas sick during University.

                  The way she got through it was taking online courese when she could.

                  When the option was available she took course that were offered as 2 -21/2 hour classes a week instead of an hour a day.

                  She took evening classes or afternoon class, this was often a bettter time of day for her, she dosen't do am's she is a night owl.

                  She took second year off.

                  She took some classes at summer school, these courses she loved, they were one week long, she was given a few assignments to bring on first day of class completed. then she was in class all day for 7 days often with homework to do at night, and at the end of the course there would be a major assignment due 6 weeks later.
                  If you can find schools offering course like this if you are doing well this kind of thing maybe an option. The down fall of this was the courses were often held where ever the prof lived, and she would have to travel there for the course. But often it was where she had people she could stay with for the week, or she camped.

                  She needed to keep track of course she took from other Universities, it was her job to make sure her school got all her records.

                  She also had to keep track of how many courses she took at other schools as her school had a rule as too what % of course could be taken else where,and a % of course she could take from her school online.

                  She does not have IC but an ongoing medical issues.

                  She is now working trying all kinds of different jobs, waitressing, working in a bar, freelance writting, manual labour, construction worker, managed a hotel and did all the book work etc for hotel, open and ran her own store. Volenteer work on the Art and Cultural sosciety, acting traveling etc.

                  What she is doing is keeping her self really busy getting all the requriments for a post graduate degree in Art Therapy, there is a lot of requirements to get into the course that you can not get at a University.

                  Anyway don't let withdrawing get you down, it does not mean the end of your education, take the time to figure IC out and what helps you, then when you are ready look at all your options, you may find there is a program that will work for you.

                  Peoples probles with IC wax and wane, but for the most part with diet and treatment things do improve.


                  Lots of times she took 4 course a semester rather than 5, it took her 6 years including the year off to get a double degree.
                  My are with you all. May you all find a way to peace and joy in your lives.


                  • #10
                    Are you registered with your disability services? They should be able to get you accomodations for IC (for ex., I was allowed to use the bathroom as much as needed during class/exams since a prof might get suspicious if you kept leaving during an exam).

                    But to ansser your question, no. If you need to withdraw, you need to withdraw. Or maybe you could compromise with them and go part-time for the rest of the semester.
                    Diagnosis: IC, VV, anxiety