College students with FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by CatofDoom, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. CatofDoom

    CatofDoom New Member

    i'm 20 years old and in college, and i was wondering if there are any other fellow college students on the board. how do you deal with classes and professors? do you tell your professors or advisor?

    i'm just so frustrated right now, it's all i can do to make it to class right now. i'm the only person i know with FMS, so it's hard to find someone to talk to who understands.
  2. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    I am not a college student anymore but did go through it with FMS. I didn't know my dx back then so I never discussed it w/ my professors. I do think it might help you situation if done in the right way. Especially if you offer suggestions of how you might still complete the coursework (so they can't accuse you of using this dd to get a free ride - people can be very dense).

    Some of the things that helped me through those years were: Keeping a routine (same wake time daily, bed early (by 10pm)) I also had a regular exercise schedule which you may or may not be able to do - I can't right now but was able to then. I ate regular meals. I kept a list of to-dos in which I prioritized my studying.

    The biggest help was my nap system. I would try to nap in my breaks. I especially napped right before exams rather than cramming. I had read a psych study that said we retain the most info right before sleeping and upon waking. It worked for me. I did very well in college despite this crazy DD.

    I hope this is helpful!

  3. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    I'm also a college student, in Philadelphia. I have CFS, though, not FM. It really is a struggle to even go to class, let alone pay attention to the lectures because of the fog. I've been able to keep my GPA at 3.8 or so, but I'm not getting the most out of the classes just because it's so much work to concentrate. Thaknfully, my major deals mostly with working on a computer, so there's not a lot of heavy reading, which I would not be able to do.

    There's also a woman on here Frecker77 or something like that. She lives close to me and just graduated college, but it took her a little longer to do so.

    I don't tell any of my professors, because it's too much work to explain it to them, and I don't feel like dealing with people's questions and misconceptions about it.
  4. CatofDoom

    CatofDoom New Member

    thanks a whole lot for your input, it's heartening to know that i'm not the only one. i really appreciate your ideas^.^

  5. UPK5

    UPK5 New Member

    Hi Cat,

    I am more than double your age. I went back to scl for my Master's degree after 23 yrs. of NOT being in school! I had worked, got married and started raising my children (that job is NEVER done). When I went back to work, they required a Master's degree in order for me to keep my job. I started with one couse. Then I took 2 courses. After working full time, taking 2 graduate courses and still being a mom, I was diagnosed with FMS! My doctor said I need to reduce the stress in my life. Jokingly, I said, OH YEA, that sounds like an easy thing to do!

    I decided to work a half day (only half a day's pay) and I got a doctor's note excusing me from taking classes temporarily, I was NOT functioning. This year they forced me to either go back to school or give up my extremely LOW paying job. I am taking only ONE course at a time and still only teaching one class intead of two. I teach pre-school.

    I can get stressed out easily, and so far taking it in small doses seems to work for me.

    I hope my academic experiences have been a help to you.

    Reduce your LOAD! Go slow. Soak in the learning experience while you can. Reduce your anxiety.

    Best wishes,
  6. jenemc

    jenemc New Member

    get your dr to write a note explaining your disease or what is wrong and take it to your counslor at the college so they can put it in your file..also explain to all your instructors ..if need be..have a copy of letter from dr...explain that you may have to get up and walk off or whatever..when i was going i explained and never had trouble..they even amde exceptions for me for my tests..even the major college exit test.
    good luck

  7. vp

    vp New Member

    I'm 36 and in college. I'm only taking 2 classes a semester, which makes things a little easier.

    I registered with the accessibility office. There are all sorts of things they can do for you to help you succeed. In my case I have private exams in a quiet area, and extended time to take them. They also offer tape recorders, note takers, laptop computers to type notes on, tutoring, and alot of other things that students with any type of disability.

    The office of accessibility gives me letters to give to each of my professors. I just fill out a short form with my basic information on it before each semester, and request thre number of letters I need. They have me on file so they are able to bring up my accomodation needs and print them out for me. They just state the accomodations I need, not the reason why. It is up to me if I want to go into detail about my condition with my professors or not. I usually don't because they have no idea what it means, and don't really care about problems that they don't understand, just class related stuff. Just my experience so far.

    I would thinnk most schools would have to have programs to help disabled students.

    Another thing I take advantage of is early registration and "locked" classroom schedule. It means I register with the earliest group for classes to get the best schedule and room location for me, and after I register the school can't change the location of any of the classes I am in. very helpful. Also getting first pick on proffs. is a bonus. have you tried "rate my professor" to search ratings on profs? I wish I would have known about it earlier, it's a free site that rates professors based on student feedback. just google it it should come up.`

    I'm taking Chem II and Geology this semester. 3+ more years until I get my civil engineering dergee!

  8. mer0928

    mer0928 New Member

    I am a 21-one-year old college senior (yeah!) with FMS and CFS. It's good to know there are other college students with FMS that share similar problems. The best thing I ever did was register with the Disability Services at my school. Sure, there's some paperwork and your doctor has to fill out a few things. But I don't think I could have made it through college otherwise! I found that a lot of professors count absenses against your grade, which is totally not fair if you're absent for a valid reason. Disability Services gave my copies of a letter from them to give to all my professors at the beginning of each semester. I have never once had a problem with any of them not understanding my illness. That's probably because they have to give special accomidations to disability students under the law. Another advantage was not having any early morning classes, which I requested. I knew there was no way I would be able to make it to those classes regularly! I also have problems with my friends understanding what I go through on a daily basis. They say "you never feel good," like I choose to be that way or something. It definitely gets frustrating. How long has everyone had FMS? Just curious, since so few young people are diagnosed...

    Mary Elizabeth
  9. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    I am 29 years old and I am in college as well. I feel like I have been going to college all my life. Anyway I started getting FMS, CFS and IBS (say that three times REALLY fast LOL) when I was about 22 and it was hard for me to attend classes and when I finally got to class it was so hard for me to sit there in pain and pay attention.

    I recently started back at school again in the last year however all of my classes are online and I can do my coursework in my own timing as long as I meet the deadlines and participate in the class. So when I am awake at 2am in the morning, I am working on schoolwork and reading. It is perfect for me. I am studying Human Services/Management, and I will have to be doing an internship later in the year and I have NO IDEA how I am going to handle that one. LOL. So hopefully by then I will either be feeling better or I am able to get more help from the Disability Offices at my school.

    Much love,
    [This Message was Edited on 02/27/2006]
  10. poohbear24

    poohbear24 New Member

    I am so glad to hear your story. I have been thinking about going to school. i feel that I need to do something with my life while I am not working. I really feel that school is my calling but after hearing what struggles your having, it really makes me think twice. So good luck with your journey. You have more strength than many others.
  11. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    I was at the university, and will be again soon, so I understand some of what you are going through. Before I even had CFIDS, I had IBS and anxiety issues that made school and just about anything challenging. Disability services at my school helped a lot, but eventually, due to CFIDS, I was just too sick to continue. For now. I'll go back soon.

    I'm still scared about getting sick again and not being able to complete my education and get the career I want .... but I have to put it all in perspective and be thankful I'm feeling as well as I am.

    You are NOT alone. At all. It can feel like it, but just keep telling yourself you are doing the best you can and love yourself. :D
  12. vp

    vp New Member


    I hear what you are saying about needing to do something while you are not working. That's why I started college at 34. I only take as many classes as I can handle. Right now that is just 2, maybe next semester it will be 3, 4 or just 1, but at least I am working towards something. It helps me feel better about myself, (especially when I understand the material).

    It is hard work, but overall I enjoy the experience. If I didn't get sick, I would still be doing factory work and working midnight shift which wasn't bad, but I believe "everything happens for a reason" and I feel that reason, for me, is to go to school. Maybe it is yours too?

  13. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

  14. soonerchic10

    soonerchic10 New Member

    Hi! I am a college student too.

    Talk to your professors. Also, check with the health center on your campus. My school has a students with disabilities office that is great at helping you get your professors to work an illness (you can set your own test dates and turn in assignments on schedule not theirs -- also, you can get it set up where attendance policies don't apply).

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