The Lupus Forum banner

Back to College

657 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mandynor
I have started in on my Masters in Elementary Education. I haven't been in school for eight years. I was diagnosed with SLE about three years ago, which lead to some hospitalization and then about 9 months laid up at home. I did manage to go back to work for the last two years full time, and did okay with that.

But now with this change, i'm feeling some effects. One sore knee, my shoulders are acheing from my backpack, and i'm quite tired :yawn: , to name a few things bugging me. I was feeling great before classes started, but I think the change in routine is effecting me some. Hopefully with a little more time, I will adjust.

My question is; do I tell my professors about my lupus now at the beginning of the semester so they have and idea of what's going on if something should happen and I flare or something else? Or do I keep it to myself until it becomes a problem, then let them know.

I just dont' want to be treated like I'm weak or get that, "oh poor you!" thing thrown at me. At the same time, I guess I need to realize that prehaps it will be harder for me than other students and maybe I need the extra attention or help?

On top of it, i'm trying to get off my steroids!!! 3mg and counting....

Any thoughts from other college students? professors? or anyone that can help????

Thank you!!!!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Dear Mandy,

I am a student also, although my lupus is such that I can only take one class at a time and I sometimes have to choose classes that are satellite courses that I take at home. In my opinion, I think it is best to let your professor know ahead of time, since lupus is so unpredictable. You can wake up one day and feel fine and then wake up the next day and can't get out of bed. I have found that when you are upfront things go better. If you are concerned about appearing weak, just let your professor know that you are a dependable person, that is not lazy and looking for a way out, but that you have to face the truth of how lupus may affect you. Maybe you can let him know that you are willing to make up work or do what you need to do to keep up. Hopefully he will be reasonable. Maybe ask your Lupus Dr. if he/she would be willing to help if a note is needed.

Good luck,
Hi there,

I think that I too would let the professor know. I had so much trouble at work getting through to people that when I "can't" do something I really CAN'T do it. Being able to occasionally say "stop" and pace yourself a little from time to time is invaluable to staying well and completing your studies.
Whether we like it or not we do have to do things differently and hey, I'll take all the help I can get if it means I can succeed and do it without running myself into the ground.

Obviously most of us don't go round telling everyone that we're ill, but telling a professor is different. The professor should be keeping that to himself/herself and it might just gie you the little bit of understanding and leeway you need at times.

As for that backpack - Well, I'm an in-company trainer and have always had a backpack with all my material in. Thing is, I just can't carry it anymore and if I do try it does terrible damage to my muscles which then become even more stiff than before. So, I've taken a book out of all these well groomed, executive type, women's books. A trolley!! Yep, mine is just a pair of luggage wheels, but you can also get school bags, briefcases, almost everything with wheels. Admittedly they're are not great if you have to negotiate lots of stairs but there are some that are backpack/trolley hybrids.

I wish you all the very best with your studies,
See less See more
Most likely, your professors will be flexible and help you without any official documentation. I would say, 99% chance of that happening (I was a college professor myself for a few semesters). I did not have any students approach me telling in advance discussing of a medical condition however. Personally I would not tell my professors unless I had to if I was a college student.

I'm a rather private person though, and don't want my reputation to precede me as being a "sick person" or more likely to be sick as you never know - it could negatively effect your job chances in the future if word gets around. Good luck with everything and enjoy being a student again ;)

FYI: if problems arrive at some point with a professor not granting you extended time, etc. then you may have to go through the official disability services program of your university. This would require forms to be filled out, with doctor supplied information, etc.
Thank you all for your thoughts. I am leaning towards telling my professors, but i like the idea of making sure they know i am dependable and i'm NOT looking for an easy way out. just giving them a heads up incase something should come up later.

i have a hard time seeing this getting in the way of getting a job. I guess it could, because people do talk. But i figure if I'm a good student and prove my lupus is not all I am, why should it affect my ability to get a job? perhaps i'm too optimistic!:hehe:

People are people, and i guess we've all had our not so good encounters with people after telling them we have lupus. I told a new friend of mine who is in a couple of my classes about my lupus, and now every time i see her she asks me how i am...And I mean the kind of "how are you" with that "sympathetic/poor you" tone to it. I know she means well, but it's annoying. Now i'm getting off on a tangent.:p

I'm still thinking about all this....
thanks again!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.