The “D” Word (Disabled) Part 2

Frustrating.  Disappointing.  Annoying.

These are just a few words that come to mind when I think about my college’s disabilities office.  If you aren’t up to speed, you can read about my first encounter with the “center” in part 1 of The “D” Word (Disabled) here.  I was pretty optimistic that their program would help me out a lot, but it’s all gone down hill from there.  I put off writing this post because I was so sure that things would turn around and the program would start benefitting me rather than annoying me.  I wanted so badly to have something good to say about the program, after all, it is my college and I really do love my university.  But this is one area that Henderson is seriously lacking.

In my first meeting, I explained everything I was worried about: excessive absences (especially in my morning classes), taking notes in class, and the PE requirement I have to have before graduation.  I was told that they would look into every option and that they would be able to help me out: they’d give me note takers, talk with my teachers and look into some sort of accomodation for my morning classes, and that I may even be exempt from the PE requirement.

“HALLELUJAH!” I thought.  Someone actually understands what I’m saying and wants to help me out.  All my worries flew out the window.

It wasn’t long until those worries soon came crawling back.  My second meeting came after I was officially accepted into the program (all of the necessary paper work had been finished and looked over, and they decided I wasn’t full of hot air).  It was then that I was told that they couldn’t actually do much for me.  They said they “couldn’t excuse any absences,” even though that’s not what I was asking for in the first place; they couldn’t do anything to help me out with my morning class; and as for PE, any day I “didn’t feel good,” I could take a note to my instructor and sit out.

Seriously?  So basically, what you’re telling me is that all the crap you said was just so I would join your silly program, right?  “Oh yeah, we can help you.  SIKE!”  Wow, you sure pulled a fast one on me!  That’s a good one!  Hahahaha!

:/

At the time I still thought the disablities center might help a little with note takers.  I was wrong again.  I sat in class, happily listening to my instructor as he lectured, all the while feeling very certain that some considerate soul was jotting down every last word he said.  I picked up the notes a few days later to find that the individual only copied down the text from my instructor’s power points.  I was also missing a days worth of notes, and the notes I had were not very legible.  A test for that class was scheduled for two days later.  Yeah, I’m still livid.

I don’t want to sound picky, I think it was very nice of this person to take time out of their schedules to copy their notes and run them by the office for me to pick up.  However, the whole point of this process is for me to maintain my grades despite having a disability, and I like A’s, not B’s or C’s.  I do not settle for B’s or C’s.  I want my A.  And those notes will get me a D at best.  That’s not acceptable to me.

If anything, joining “the center” has caused me more stress.  I still do not know how I did on that exam, and the mere thought of it makes my stomach hurt.

There’s one possible benefit left to joining this program, and that’s priority sign up for classes.  Everyone wants to pick classes as soon as possible, it’s the deciding factor in whether or not you’ll be able to take the classes you want (unless you are okay with groveling, I’m pretty sure teachers get a good kick out of that each semester).  Time will only tell if this actually helps me or also causes me more stress.

In the meantime, I’m going to have a word or two with the disabilities office sometime next week about how despicable their services are.  One reader told me on the My Bum Thumb Facebook page that most of their accommodations came directly from talking with teachers personally, and I’ll start doing the same.  I’m through getting tossed around by these people.

Readers, I’m sorry today’s post is lacking it’s usual pep, but hopefully someone out there can benefit from my rantings.  I think we have all learned to be on guard with any kind of disabilities service!  I know I have.

Stay healthy!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frankie
    Mar 19, 2010 @ 03:20:39

    Hey,

    I posted on your fb page but I thought I’d write here too. I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with RA about 10 months ago. It has been a really tough journey. I have enjoyed what I have read so far of your blogs and look forward to watching them regularly.

    I wonder what your pain levels have been like over the last 5(?) years? Since being diagnosed, I have had no rest from the pain. The pain is constantly there. Yes, it is different every day but it is consistantly so painful that walking from A to B is a struggle. Have you found that you have had flares that come and go? Or has your been consistant too? I should admit that I am currently not on any medication as I am trying to get pregnant so that may be a big contributer to my pain.

    What annoys me most is that my bloods only show a slight inflammatory and RF elevation with a negative CCP and yet I have all this pain. I do not know if this is normal. My rheumy says mine is mild but every joint hurts consistantly every day and I can no longer work or do housework. If that’s mild, I don’t want to know what severe is.

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to keeping up with your posts

    Reply

    • Cari Elliott
      Mar 19, 2010 @ 14:03:48

      Hi Frankie! My pain levels vary, but I am able to go into remission. I had a lengthy remission last year from around March/April until around November/December. I don’t know what my lab results are off the top of my head, but I remember while reading through my rheumy’s notes (she sends me a copy of the notes she takes during the appt. for my records, I’m not sure if all rheumys do that) that I am classified as moderate-severe. I guess that means I’m in-between moderate and severe? Or that I possible go back and forth between the two? It could be either, I guess. lol

      I hate that your pain is constant, I have met many people with that kind of RA and it sickens me to know that there are so many of you out there going through flares without rest, and also that most of you (if not all) were not given a sufficient painkiller. Not being on any medication would definitely be a big contributor to your pain, although I hear that once you are pregnant the pain recedes. Also, have you talked to your rheumatologist about being on a biologic while expecting? I was under the impression that you could take something like Enbrel and there only be a 3-4% chance of it hurting the baby (but NOT methotrexate). A biologic has the potential to give you some major relief, and it can prevent further damage to your joints. I could be completely wrong, but it might be worth it to check with your doctor if this is a possibility.

      Also, you may be classified as “mild” simply based on your lab results, which is WRONG of doctors to do. He or she may also try to say that your “mild” case of RA does not require a biologic, but if it is safe to take while pregnant, I would definitely press the matter further. Biologics have done wonders for so many of us, and I would hate for you to miss out on that because you only have a “mild” case. *rolls eyes* 🙂

      Thanks for reading, I hope this helps!

      Reply

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