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Studying and Graduation Studying and Graduation

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Unread 03-09-2012, 06:11 PM
Studying and Graduation

Hi Ladies,

Is there anyone out there who had their hysterectomy during their honours year at university? I am trying to get as much done as I can before I go in because I am concerned about falling behind. Does anyone have advice on how they managed an honours study load?

Also, my graduation for my basic degree is 3 weeks after my op. The whole thing will go for around 4 hours and will involve standing, walking, and sitting for extended periods of time. Do you think this will be manageable at 3 weeks?

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Unread 03-09-2012, 06:52 PM
Re: Studying and Graduation

I can definately recommend doing as much study beforehand as possible, especially if you have any essays to write.

2 bits of advice - after the op you are likely to get what we called "sponge brain"! - probably related to the general anasthetic. Concentration and memory are shot to pieces. Typing errors, spelling mistakes and inability to think of the right word is common, and I am only now improving.
I had planned on a 3 months reading break, and couldn't even concentrate on day time TV!

second - you will be very tired, and afternoon naps are recommended for the first 3 weeks. I had naps for longer than that but I had a TAH.

3 weeks is still quite early days for a lot of standing and walking. The mornings aren't too bad but by afternoon the "swelly belly" gets hard, sore and uncomfortable.
It would be dreadful to miss graduation though as you only get one chance at that.
If you can try and fix something up with the organisers that you can sit at the end of a row, so you can stand up or even walk abou a bit, or have a chair to the side stage so you can rest while waiting, you stand a better chance of lasting out.
Unread 03-10-2012, 01:44 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

I had my hysto during week three of an eight week term with two grad level wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done but I've managed to stay in the game and finish with As in both class was easy,, one was really it can be two classes this term were online so it was a bit flexible when I could work although the load each week was pretty heavy...I worked ahead during my second week so I wouldn't have anything to do my third week (I had to get special permission to do this) so you may want to give your professors a courtesy heads-up, I found mine appreciated that and were willing to work with me when I needed it.

Foggy brain is a huge issue and I've had to work on concentration lol...I'm six weeks post op and just now beginning to see improvement although some days are still pretty bad...I have friends telling me it takes several months for that to go
It will be good if you can figure out what time of day your foggy brain is less and when you are better able to concentrate...for me it was early evening around 5-6pm or so, so I made sure to do a majority of my school work then.

I don't know what your graduation is three weeks post op I could not have participated in a ceremony like when I graduated with my bachelors degree, it was a ton of walking standing and hurrying and waiting, and I've had a great recovery...that being said, like suggested already maybe they will accommodate you if you work something out in advance...

Good luck to you and Congrats and remember that even though missing your ceremony will be bad, your health is MUCH more important so if you're honestlynot up to going don't force wont be worth prolonged healing, permanent damage or ending back up in the hospital for more surgery...
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Unread 03-10-2012, 04:13 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

Thank you for your advice mrslibrarylady and chkyplod. I am fortunate that my supervisor is caring and understanding and she will grant me extensions if I need them, but I was kind of hoping I could make it through without them.

The foggy brain thing doesn't sound like much fun. I hope it doesn't cause too many problems and I'll keep an eye out for the best times of day to study. I have planned around 2 weeks of brain down time, but that sounds as though I may have underestimated the brain fog.

I would really like to attend my grad in case everything falls apart this year. My family have sacrificed much of their time to see me through and I would hate to have any regrets, but you are right, my health is very important. I thought about bringing a wheel chair for the chair so I can rest if I have to.

It may look really dorky but I am determined to make it to the grad. Does anyone foresee any problems with a wheel chair (there is disabled access)?
Thanks for taking the time to help me
Unread 03-10-2012, 04:38 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

A wheelchair seems like a good option to may need to plan ahead to get any paperwork taken care of...and I understand not wanting to miss, trust me...I was 36 years old when I got my bachelors...I cried walking across that stage!

Not to discourage you but my 3rd and 4th weeks were my roughest (everyone is different) and that's when I found myself needing rest and pain meds the most...hopefully that won't be your case but be prepared, just in case.

If it means that much to you, you may consider looking into changing surgery dates too...just an idea, realizing I don't know your individual circumstance.
Unread 03-10-2012, 05:00 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

Good on you chkyplod it's a hard slog but very well worth it! That's why I'm so desperate to graduate, I am 32 this year and it has taken 6 years to get my degree. I never dreamed I'd be finishing let alone be invited to honours.

I think I'll go with the wheel chair option and will make some enquiries on Monday. Unfortunately I don't have the option of changing dates unless I'm willing to wait around 6 months, which I'm not. I just want to have my cake and eat it too, lol!

I will do my best to prepare for a rough couple of weeks around that time. I don't have to make any speeches, we get processed a bit like cattle..line up, accept paper, shake hands, smile for the camera, etc., lol, so I think it will be okay if I'm a little cross-eyed from pain killers.

Flexibility will have to be my approach and I should probably prepare myself for the possibility of not being able to attend. Thank you for your advice, it's nice to be able to talk to others that understand what it is all about.
Unread 03-11-2012, 04:13 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

ugh! Right now I am scheduled for TAH and am in the middle of a grad degree - Master of Arts in Communication - no shortage of irony there :/ But, I need to have surgery AND I need to continue school, SO...

As for walking 3 weeks post-op...yeah, get a wheelchair, for real. Ask a close friend to help you. Serious. I've had abdominal surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and at 3 weeks, I could make it an hour or so being active, but that was it. Maybe at 5-6 weeks you'd be okay to do it, but 3 weeks requires some support.

And hey! Congrats on graduating with honors!! Yay! Take care of yourself
Unread 03-11-2012, 06:57 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

Thanks pipermvh. I hope all goes well for your surgery and Masters. Your surgery is the day before mine, so we'll be in it together :-). I am studying Archaeology. Fortunately field school is not until around 3 months after surgery.

The more I think about a wheelchair the better it sounds. I had a quick look online and there seems to be a place in my town where I can hire one out for the day. I'll phone them tomorrow to see if I can get hold of one for grad day.

I went and bought a dress today too because nothing in my wardrobe will be appropriate for after surgery. I found a nice one with an empire line that comes to just below my knees and it has plenty of 'swell' room.

Unread 03-13-2012, 11:14 AM
Re: Studying and Graduation

Congrats on the degree! Wheelchair would probably make it bearable. It will also put you on the end of the row or somewhere like that. You may need to stand or walk a bit. I didn't have a TAH so I'm not sure if it is the same as lap but at 3 weeks I had a lot of problems sitting for long.

I had my surgery a week after the end of the quarter so I had about 3 weeks time before school started again. I only had one class on campus so while it was hard to sit for 3 hrs I was able to manage for that one class. My other 3 were online and I would do them lying in bed with a hospital table for my laptop.

In between general fatigue from surgery and brain fog, it was a little rough but doable. I know for certain week 1 would have been impossible. Week two would have been pretty bad too. I'm also a very slow healer so you might do better. Physically week 4 was a tough one for me.
Unread 03-13-2012, 04:16 PM
Re: Studying and Graduation

I am right here with you sister. I am graduating with honors in June and my trip the castle is tentatively scheduled for April 13th. That gives me two whole months to recover before I walk, but it also puts me smack in the middle of my last quarter of college. I have already looked up the syllabi for the classes I am taking next quarter and I know what the general course load will be so I can try and prepare for it as much as possible.

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