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Thread: Cystic Fibrosis teen drop out?

  1. #1

    Cystic Fibrosis teen drop out?

    Hi, I'm Hannah. I'm 17 years old and I need some help on convincing my parents that high school isn't for me. I realize that this is probably the wrong place to post this, but I don't know where the right place would be. I am a CF patient. Tomorrow is my first day back to school after I've been out for almost a whole month on IV antibiotics. Long story short, I hate school. It just isn't for me. I'm a junior in high school. I went to elementary school, middle school, and obviously now I'm in high school. Ever since I've started school I have probably missed 2-3 years of school all together because I get sick so much. Right now I'm in a rough patch. I don't take care of myself properly. That's one of the reasons I want to drop out and get my GED. I don't want to waste whatever time I have left in school. I have no idea when I'm going to get myself together and take care of my health. I just don't seem to have the time to go to school 9 hours a day, do treatments before and after school, do homework and have a social life. I can't find time for it all. I suck at balancing these things. So please, if you have any suggestions as to what I can say to my parents so that they will let me do this, speak up. I really want to do this and start having some fun in life.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannah Poiry View Post
    Hi, I'm Hannah. I'm 17 years old and I need some help on convincing my parents that high school isn't for me. I realize that this is probably the wrong place to post this, but I don't know where the right place would be. I am a CF patient. Tomorrow is my first day back to school after I've been out for almost a whole month on IV antibiotics. Long story short, I hate school. It just isn't for me. I'm a junior in high school. I went to elementary school, middle school, and obviously now I'm in high school. Ever since I've started school I have probably missed 2-3 years of school all together because I get sick so much. Right now I'm in a rough patch. I don't take care of myself properly. That's one of the reasons I want to drop out and get my GED. I don't want to waste whatever time I have left in school. I have no idea when I'm going to get my shit together and take care of my health. I just don't seem to have the time to go to school 9 hours a day, do treatments before and after school, do homework and have a social life. I can't find time for it all. I suck at balancing these things. So please, if you have any suggestions as to what I can say to my parents so that they will let me do this, speak up. I really want to do this and start having some fun in life.
    I urge you to reconsider, Hannah. I felt exactly the same as you as a teenager, and I mean exactly.

    In the UK, we finish school at 16, then optionally go onto college (2 years) and then university (3+ years). I dropped out of college at 17 to pursue more time enjoying life, convinced that I was wasting whatever time I had left and that I needed to live life to the fullest. My friends ended up having fun together each day at college, whilst I was alone.

    I ended up enrolling again and eventually heading to university.

    If you're not going to school, you'll have to work, and work is far more demanding and filled with obnoxious rules when compared to something relaxed, easy-going and ultimately enjoyable like school. I get that you hate it, but you seem smart; you'll be able to figure it out. I personally get up at 6:00AM and do the necessary treatments after exercise, then shower, etc. I had to learn to take care of myself, which came from making my parents back off, so that I could become independent.

    Staying at home, you'll be bored, and when your friends get their qualifications and go onto university and other exciting things, you'll curse the fact that you threw it away. Hang in there for a couple more years and you won't regret it! It takes hard work.

    -Paul

  3. #3
    Administrator
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    Hannah,
    There is one person I am thinking of from our community who ran away at 13. He thought his life would be too short to waste going to school. He later got his GED and graduated with honors from a top college. Today, he is in his 50s and has an important job with the US government.

    It sounds like you are a thoughtful young lady, overwhelmed with all you have to do to get through your day. I wonder if you have a guidance counselor at school, your center or at church who can help you sort out your priorities. School should be a place where you enjoy learning. Are you taking the right courses? Preparing for something you like to do?
    Communicating with parents at 17 can be a challenge.

    I pray you find peace and purpose as you move forward at this time in your life.
    salt and light,
    imogene

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
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    Dear Hannah,
    if I were sick so much and had to be in school so much that I couldn't stay healthy, I think I'd feel the same. I'm a mom and think education is very important but also think you have very valid points...but think rather than GED the better option might be to get more accommodations to finish and get a degree without dropping out and without having to go daily. You can accomplish a lot with a GED but the diplom means something to educators as well as if later you want to do other things like college. Also there are on line schools for homeschool where you get a diploma. What I'd suggest to prepare for the talk is you come up with four options and pros and cons...1) stay in school missed time, sicker, etc. 2) get more accommodations maybe call cff attorney and ask what accommodations and devise a plan such as home study on some days, late start, extra study hall; 3) GED and explain how you will do and what after....4) homeschool option research programs tat fit your family religion time, etc. then write it out, swing these are options these are pros and cons, this is my preference and why and I need your help...if this is coming from reality which is sounds like and not despair, and with hope of making a great future they will be more receptive. If you so and you want help researching pm me.

  5. #5
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    AboveAllIsLove,
    This is a beautiful reply so understanding and helpful!
    Education is a BIG DEAL. We are failing our youth on so many levels...not just chronically ill children, but all young people need to feel engaged and love learning.
    I like this most popular Ted Talk:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinso...ill_creativity
    So Hannah: You are not alone in your feelings!

    We are thinking of you and hoping the system can rescue you and others.
    Salt and Light
    Imogene

  6. #6
    Patti Rowland
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Hannah Poiry View Post
    Hi, I'm Hannah. I'm 17 years old and I need some help on convincing my parents that high school isn't for me. I realize that this is probably the wrong place to post this, but I don't know where the right place would be. I am a CF patient. Tomorrow is my first day back to school after I've been out for almost a whole month on IV antibiotics. Long story short, I hate school. It just isn't for me. I'm a junior in high school. I went to elementary school, middle school, and obviously now I'm in high school. Ever since I've started school I have probably missed 2-3 years of school all together because I get sick so much. Right now I'm in a rough patch. I don't take care of myself properly. That's one of the reasons I want to drop out and get my GED. I don't want to waste whatever time I have left in school. I have no idea when I'm going to get myself together and take care of my health. I just don't seem to have the time to go to school 9 hours a day, do treatments before and after school, do homework and have a social life. I can't find time for it all. I suck at balancing these things. So please, if you have any suggestions as to what I can say to my parents so that they will let me do this, speak up. I really want to do this and start having some fun in life.
    Hannah, My daughter who has CF is currently finishing her sophomore year at college and is having the time of her life. Yes, its a challenge to juggle her treatments and classes but she is making lifelong friends and memories. She went to college at a school in Florida and found that the salty and moister air made her feel better. But, my daughter NEVER misses a treatment because she knows its only a matter of time before the new treatments on the horizon will make a huge improvement in her quality of life. Don't give up Hannah - you are just a bit depressed and probably very tired of CF right now. You will get better at balancing these things - and the better you are at taking care of yourself the more energy you will have to to it. MOre and more colleges are moving away from the "core classes" to a concentration of classes in the area of study that interests you. And of course college is not for everyone, but there are other ways to achieve an education in a field that interests you. (My daughter also received financial help from CF related scholarships)
    Hugs to you!

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2008
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    Hannah,

    My daughter is a junior in high school and turns 17 next week. She also has had a rough year, missed a lot of school due to illness so we have her on the homebound program through our school district this year. She does teleclass's for some classes, works directly with a teacher for a few others and takes 1 online through our states virtual school. She too felt she couldn't go back because of the amount of work she had missed, how far behind she had gotten and was generally overwhelmed and stressed. We felt homebound was the right solution for her this year - let her heal and get strong away from the germs and the stress and will return to school for her senior year next year. I know she has thought about just dropping out as well but education really is so important. I agree with AboveAllIsLove - do your research and consider all your options. Know you are not alone in the way you feel!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
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    506
    Hannah, when I was still able to work, I had to spend somewhere around 1-1/2 hrs. doing treatments in the morning, before I went to work. I would then grab something to eat on the way out the door & then put in my 12-14 hour work day. I ate my lunch going down the road. (I was a truck driver) When I got home in the evening, again, 1-1/2 hrs. of treatment, supper & then off to bed so I could do it all over the next day.
    I'm not whining. I'm telling you this because you will probably have to do the same thing once you're out of school. You have to think about your future.
    I was told for as long as I could remember I probably wouldn't live to see insert-age-here. Of course, I was never supposed to hear that, but you know how kids are. If they're NOT supposed to know something, they do. If they ARE supposed to know something, inevitably, they don't!
    If you decide to drop out, at least attend high school online.
    That's an option I never had. Instead, I just wasted my high school years, smoking pot & finding other ways to get in trouble.
    I have full confidence that you too, will be surprised when you look back after high school & realize that it's time to get a job & leave home.
    We weren't supposed to live that long, remember!
    Hang in there Sweetie. Remember, hard times don't last but hard people do!
    Take care, I hope I've been of some help.
    Pat, 50 year old male with CF, DF508 & CFTR2. DX at birth. Double-lung trans on 6/16/05 asthma, diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain.
    Medically retired truck driver, married to my personal Angel for 23 years.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,756
    Hannah:

    Or maybe you will be like alot of out out here and live into your 70's.

    FYI, I missed the entire 2nd Quarter (one- third of the school year) of my Junior Year of High School. You are not the Lone Ranger.

    Bill
    Male 79 CF undetected until age 47. (First symptoms at age 3) Delta F508 & V562I with one copy of Variant 5Tand 12T. 100% PI. MAC, CFRD.

  10. #10
    Unfortunately a lot of us have to deal with this same issue. My son is in 8th grade and I swear he's missed as much as he's attended school the last 3 years. High school starts next year and I'm stressing over it a bit. We're being proactive working with the counselor & nurse at the high school and are planning to have 1st hour as a study hour that he can go or not as he feels (mornings are ROUGH for him even on good days) and looking at taking less hours during the day 4 or 5 of the core classes and doing a few as internet versions. I'm guessing as time goes on we will look at more of a homebound situation and probably home schooling.

    Aboveallislove is awesome with her replies. She has a great point. Parents will listen to a 17 yr old much better if they see you have an actual plan plus a few options. I do know that the GED program is hard to get through and quite boring, look into the homeschooling or online high school classes as an alternative. If the GED is the way for you, have the research done to present it to your folks. I have to apply HERE (have website written down). It will take THIS LONG (time frame), etc.

    Hang in there honey. The social stuff of school is great, but it's sure hard when my son's missed out on a couple of months' worth of things. Know you're not alone and HUGS!

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