View Full Version : Schooling advice

10-26-2003, 08:27 PM
My 16-year old stepdaughter has CF and has been home schooled since part way through last year. Her health hasn't been too bad, although she was recently in the hospital for almost 5 weeks with MRSA. She has announced to her mom, dad & me that she doesn't care about school any more, there's no point, and she's going to quit when she's 18. She doesn't believe she'll ever be able to keep a job due to frequent illness & hospital visits, so she's just going to collect disability and do nothing.She's too healthy to sit around watching TV all day, and she's making me nuts! I want her to at least finish high school, you never know what medical breakthroughs are around the corner. Any advice?

10-27-2003, 04:47 AM
The only reply I have is the one that was given to me, which simply was "... what a waste..."I have a feeling that if your stepdaughter manages to graduate high school (which any meathead is capable of) then her perspective will have changed by then. Good luck and God bless.- Wes

10-27-2003, 02:32 PM
Hi, I too have a 16yr. old daughter. It's an emotional time, 16, almost out of HS, what are you going to do when you finish? On top of that CF. My daughter spent alot of time in the hospital last year, missing about 60 days of school for the year just being sick. She was extremely frustrated trying to stay caught up. Her GPA dropped because she had to drop/fail a class that was impossible to catch up in, she struggled in French II because you really need to be in the class to succeed. She was wanting to just stay home and be homeschooled. She didn't have too many friends due to the fact that we are military and it was her first year at this HS and she'd been out sick in Oct., Dec. & March. She too got to the point to where she asked, "whats the use?, I'm going to spend the rest of my life in the hospital anyway." I don't think there is any advice I can give you on how to handle your step-daughter. We just told our daughter that homeschooling was not an option for her, that she just needed to do her best that was all we asked, and that she do her best to gain weight so she could help herself to stay healthy. That we are so close to a cure that the most important thing was to try and keep herself as healthy as possible. That others with CF go on to college, get jobs, travel the world even. We try to encourage her in what ever she wants to do. I believe that friends are important, close friends. She didn't feel this way two years ago (for us two bases ago) With homeschooling, for us I knew, that friends would be nonexistant if we agreed to go that option. Having just moved here. Does your step-daughter have close friends? Is she active? Have you tried asking her why she feels this way? Has she always felt this way or is it just after being hospitalized for 5 weeks. I would assume she doesn't have the added stress of keeping up with school work since she is homeschooled. Is CF the reason she is homeschooled now? I hope that you are all able to convince her that quitting is not the thing to do and to discover why it she's feeling this way. Liza

10-27-2003, 03:37 PM
I am a 19 year old with CF. 16 is a very hard age. It the point in your life that you really have to start thinking ahead for the first time. When you are younger by law you must go to elementary school, junior high, and enter high school. When you are 16 you can start to think about whether to graduate high school or not and decide if you would like to go to college. For most people graduating high school is a given, but I can see how your daughter's frustration may be making her think otherwise. Has she felt this way for a while now or is it something she has just brought up recently. Because I know sometimes when I am feeling down I think or say things that I don't really mean. I am not sure exactly what to say or how you can make your daughter feel better, but just keep reminding her that new drugs are always being developed and that she has so much potential. Not going to college was not an option in my mind since...well forever. But for me I knew what I wanted to do with my life regardless of how long that was, and I could only obtain that through college. Help your daughter find some direction in her life so that she is motivated to work hard. I would also suggest allowing her to work or volunteer somewhere that way she feels useful and can see that she can have purpose. I think with CFers we need a reason to stay healthy and strong. For me it was college because it was a goal I worked hard to stay healthy for and I am glad to say that ever since going to college (I am a 2nd year) I have been healthier than I have been in a long time because my health is now my top priority. I know a lot of parents don't want their children to worry about working because it will "distract them from their school work" but for me it was the best thing. I could see that despite my CF I could still go to work like a normal teenager and I worked with kids so I felt like I had to go to work because they depended on me. If your daughter isn't well enough to keep a job, volunteering is great because you can't get fired for not coming into volunteer. If your daughter needs someone to talk to I would be happy to talk to her...just let me know!Emily (aka Emm)19w/CF

10-27-2003, 11:34 PM
I know a woman from another group who is in her mid 60's. Not every person with CF "spends the rest of their life in the hospital" If this lady had given it all up at 16, 50 years later we wouldn't have her as an insipration to the rest of us. At 16 it might just be the need for an attitude adjustment. Or maybe a way to get attention. Let her meet a few kids at the hospital with untreatable cancer and then tell her to go live her life and not waste it sitting around the house feeling sorry for herself. This may sound harsh but it may actually help her to see things in a new light.Andrea

10-28-2003, 12:23 AM
Thanks for your feedback...She has been homeschooled mainly because of CF; there were other factors. She does have friends, but she recently became close to another CF patient who's sicker than she is, and I think that's feeding her negative outlook. She has been volunteering (at the hospital, of all places) which is a great social outlet for her, but it also tires her out and we worry about her picking up more germs. Honestly, we've been letting her handle her schoolwork without much supervision at all, and now it's coming back to haunt us. I think she figures that if we don't care, she doesn't need to either.

10-28-2003, 01:48 AM
I'm sure she already does this, but just to be safe... she should always wear a mask when she's walking about the hospital and wash her hands when she's done w/ a patient EVERY TIME. And she should NOT be in the respratory wing without a mask EVER. Sounds lame I know, but it really is necessary.I sometimes wear a mask to class even when I notice everyone around me seems to be sicky. It's tough to be 16, and we all have these thoughts of "why do I bother?" Perhaps finding an alternative high school that caters to her interest would be a good idea. I know around here we have middle schools and a few high schools that focus on preforming arts or science and even environmental studies! I think it's important that she socialize and have as "normal" a time as possible (but what is normal at 16, really?) Or if you have the resources, she should do some traveling with her mom or dad and you. Although everyone, including myself, is going to tell you to reinforce a positive attitude, I also suggest giving her thoughts some serious validation. She is comming from a valid place. CF is unpredictable, and although everyone will say that "no one on earth knows when they will die," we have been told all our lives that we're going to, or that our lives depend on medicines and treatments, ect. This kind of stuff really makes you feel powerless and no matter how well things are going, these thoughts are reoccuring throughout life. She needs support in learning how to overcome these feelings, because she will have them from time to time. Growing up is rough.Debbie22 yr. old w/ CF in CO

11-13-2003, 03:58 PM
Hello everyone I am that 16 year old step-daughter. Yes I ways wear a mask MRSA is nothing to fool around with and I would never put anyone else at risk of getting it. I would like to go on the record saying that one day I will finish high school but right now that is not what I want for my life. Each person has different goals for there life and that is not one of mine right now. Yes I have gone to the cancer and I several friends there but I don't knnow what the rules are where you live but I have MRSA which means that I can't and WOULD NEVER go any where with out a mask and my O2 level drops very quickly when I wear one. I do not sit around and watch TV all day I do work with other hospitals in my area and I lave doing that!! I do not feel sorry for my self live sucks for everyone and this just one part of mine that does no one has the "perfect life" and I know people with CF that are much healther then me and I know people that are much sicker then me.And FYI even if there is a cure I WILL NOT GET IT!!! God gave me CF for a reason and until I find out what that reason is I will not get the cure. Also I am VERY happy tht I was born with CF I think that it's one of the best things that ever happend to me I have learned SO much and feel luck to have been born with it. I do not feel sorry for myself I feel sorry for people that don't know what it's like to wake up and feel happy to be a live. Emm I would love to talk to if you have AIM my sn is StrongBadwannaB or my E-mail adress is [email protected] thank you!!

12-01-2003, 11:26 PM
Hello, I am a 30 F with cf and I thought my story might help your daughter so here it is :at her age, I spent many days in the hospital getting one pneumonia one after another so I thought it would be it. There even was a point where I doctor came up to talk to me and said that if I decided that he was going to be the one treating me, I was going to be hospitalized once every 4 month and that he was going to be very agressive with my treatments. As you can imagine, I decided to be treated by another doctor. I was in bad shape both physically and mentally, and I kept on repeating myself that going to school was no longer a necessity. I was then 16. This part of my life was hard. My parents didn't really know what to do with me and I had made up my mind : I was going to quit school right after my school year would be over. That year, I flunked most of my classes and all my family thought that my schooling days were about to be over. To make a long story short, I ended up quitting school after I got my high school diploma. After that, I just sat down watching tv and kept repeating to myself what's the point anyway... I'm just gonna die ! Then, as I grew out of my teenage years, my health started getting better. I met a great guy and we started travelling around. Those were great years of my life even if I have CF. After a few years wandering around, I realized that I was still alive and that it was now time to get back to school since I thought that I deserved more than part time jobs even if I had CF. I went back to school, going though college and university all in five years. I now have a diploma but most important thing, I have a great job (because I studied in a filed that I love) that gives me everyday the opportunity to furfill great tasks while meeting fun and entertaining people. And yes I still have cf and yes life is very rough sometimes. But I decided that I was going to live it to the fullest regarless of what was coming ahead. I work for a major ski resort in Canada in a PR department. Live your life and please, if you do like school just keep on going! Forget about cf and just see the bright future that just might be ahead of you. Take care <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0"><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border="0"><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif" border="0"><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif" border="0">

12-06-2003, 02:09 AM
I'm 17 years old and now currently a senior in highschool. I missed my junior, and most of sophomore year because of health problems. This is never easy and it is never fun. The best option is to stay in school as long as you can, I would encourage her to go back if possible. It sounds as if your stepdaughter could be suffering from depression, I know this because I went through it too for a while, though I was younger than she is and was going through a lot more, having just been put on a transplant waiting list. Within the past year I have received the transplant and have gone through more emotional ups and downs due to anti-rejection medication. The one thing that pushed me through this was stubborness and a determination to show everybody that I could do better than just "rest, and don't push it." "You probably shouldn't do that," were the big motivators for me. My suggestion is don't pull her out of school, just for missing that much school, get tutoring and help, but push her to be with friends while going to school, because overall seeing them succeed while she is just going to sit there, will probably motivate her, also you might want to talk to her doctor about depression, if it is serious enough they will treat it. You can always look up disability laws, certain states require equal descrimination and will allow for hospital visits and doctors appointments. In some cases it is illegal to fire a person for those types problems if they are legitimate. Sit her down and talk to her and her doctor. I hope this helps a little. If you ever want to talk my email is [email protected] yr old w/CF in TX