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I've just gone back to college as a mature student on a post-grad course and find it disheartening that no-one has even heard of lupus!

I'm quite obviously disabled and am unable to walk without crutches and even then don't walk well. The attitudes of some of my fellow students quite frankly sucks with some of them quite clearly ostracising me and obviously having a real problem associating with someone with multiple disabilities. Quite scary when you consider they're all training to be psychologists!

I've been told by my dermie to make sure I wear dark glasses and a hat when under UV lights! I know I should but this is going to really make me feel like a freak... I also sometimes have major problems with my speech in that the words don't always come out right and when it happens I have no awareness that what I've said makes no sense at all!

I'm naturally a strong person, but am really struggling to cope with this ignorance.

Anyone got any coping strategies?

Thanks

Sammy
 

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Its the rare college student that isn't clueless and insensitive. They haven't experienced enough life yet to really understand what its like. I usually try to either feel sorry for them because they are lacking in compassion or know that eventually they will be facing problems of their own and have a huge adjustment to it. If not in this life, than in the next. Sorry if that doesn't help, but I know that even with a father with MS, I didn't understand as much about disabilities as actually having one taught me.
 

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My advice is to hold your head high and tackle any issues as they arise head on! It is sad the way they seem to be behaving toward you especially given their future profession. There will certainly be someone that you can bond with in the program, so I would seek that person out if at all possible. If not, then there will always be the support of us, your friends and family, and your neighbors, etc.
 

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ditto what Jirel said. Honestly, students of that age (I have two at home attending uni) are so tied up in their own lives that they don't really see far past their own daily drama's, it's just the developmental stage. So I'd try not to take it personally. Are there any other mature students that you can hook up with? As you are much older than the younger students, it may also be that they see you as much older therefore from another planet (again, not unusual but they will grow out of it).

sorry not much help here - psychologists are a pretty weird bunch on the whole (and I am one) so I wouldn't raise my expectations terribly high on the basis that they are training to be psychs!

hope things sort themselves out soon

raglet
 

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Hi Sammy,

Way back when, when I was in college I was having a terrible time with Raynaud's. The only way I could get around was on crutches. Also the doctor had me using battery operated socks. The battery was huge and made the bottom of my pants bulge. Then of course were the thick gloves with hand warmers that I wore even indoors. I felt like a freak but I did have some relief. When people stared I would just smile back. Eventually I stopped noticing the stares.

The stares started once again when I began to use my walker. The big difference was that people actually challenged me about needing one at my age. I have been very tempted to ask if they were ready to catch me if I did a demonstration. Instead I just smile and go on.

I don't think people even realize how rude they are being. My theory is just to take the high road and ignore their disability.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 

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Howdy Sammy,
I'd like to be normal too. I'm not. I can either accept that or waste a lot of time trying the impossible.
Recently I was asked by a stranger at a meeting, "Were you in a traffic accident?" I replied, "Nope. System Lupus unpronouncible." No further explanation was necessary.
Good luck with both acceptance and sharp comebacks.
It gets easier as one gets older too!
Douglas+
 
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