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Can I go back to school? Can I go back to school?

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Unread 05-07-2010, 09:41 PM
Can I go back to school?

I'm scheduled to have an abdominal hysterectomy June 8th. I am also a full time nursing student as well. While I can't attend my next set of classes because i will not be cleared for duty for my clinicals i do have to take my pharmacology classs for 8 weeks. Because classses start the day after my surgery, I obviously won't be in class that day. The classes are only once a week for 8 weeks. I have plenty of help and support from friends and classmates as well. My question, will I be ok to take these classes? I feel that I can handle this because it is the only class I have, and I don't have to worry about leaving the house any other day of the week. I don't know what to do, so I'm hoping you lovely women out there can give me some feedback.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 11:07 PM
Re: Can I go back to school?

It might work but it depends on a lot of things mainly in the 1st couple wks. Will you be off narcs enough to drive and take class? How much pain will you have? And how wiped out will you feel? Can you catch up if you miss both the 1st 2 wks? If you can then I think you can do it. I'd go for it if you need it to stay in the program. Good luck.
Unread 05-08-2010, 03:47 AM
Re: Can I go back to school?

Have you spoken with your instructor? Maybe you can ask to have the first class or two taped or all of them. I have not had my surgery yet, but I have been to nursing school -24 years ago - but I imagine it is still tough :-) Especially pharmocology and especially since you may be needing a little pharmocological help for a week or so. From what I read here on this site, some women report some short term memory issues for awhile after surgery. So taped lectures and good notes will help. Best of luck with your surgery and with nursing school.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:44 AM
Re: Can I go back to school?

I think going back that soon is gonna be real hard. I am 7 1/2 weeks out and a fast healer. The first 2 weeks you are gonna sleep A LOT! And will having trouble sitting up for any lenth of time. Your concentration will likely be. Shot for first 2-3 weeks. I was not cleared to drive for 4 weeks. I had not been on any narcotics since the day I came home just motrin with a Tylenol chaser.
By week 4 I was able to sit upright for about 2 hrs at a time. By week 5 it was like a switch went off and I felt mentally normal again. Now I feel great. Now I am 51 so if u are younger you might do better? I was up and walking 4 times day of surgery and healed fast and I still was down the first 3 weeks for sure. Wishing you well. Every case is different.
Unread 05-08-2010, 08:01 AM
Re: Can I go back to school?

Definitely talk to your instructor. I had a miscarriage in nursing school. I missed a Friday class and a Monday class. I had a medical excuse, but I missed two classes of the same course. I was given a disciplinary warning. Shocked and still numb from the grief, I didn't fight it, although I should have. Communication could have made a very difficult time less so.

I encourage you to let them know what's going on because they can offer you the options available.

Good luck, God bless.
Unread 05-08-2010, 01:39 PM
Re: Can I go back to school?

I am a student also. I think it depends on your recovery, but if you have a strong support system (it sounds like you do) I would think that you would be okay to go back if it is just one day a week. Find someone to drive you if needed, tape the lecture or get another set of notes from a classmate, and invite a classmate over to go over the notes and study when you feel up to it.
Unread 05-08-2010, 02:31 PM
Re: Can I go back to school?

I had my TVH in December and had 4 weeks off before having to return to class, and even though I had a very easy recovery period, I was still exhausted when I got home from class for the first 2 weeks. My gyn suggested taking 6 weeks off (I'm in medical school, 2nd year, still just taking classes) and in some respects I wish I would have.

The narcotics do interfere with short-term memory, and I had a difficult time focusing, especially in my Physics class where I really needed to think. I just felt fuzzy, and I couldn't just "recall" information like I normally could. I don't think my brain was truly back to itself until March, 3 months after my surgery.

Pharm is not an easy class...I am not saying that it can't be done, just know that it is difficult enough to take a class when you are able to give 100% of yourself to it, trying to heal from a major surgery is also going to take a lot from you.

Just giving you one side of it. You know yourself better than anyone, but realize that you will need time to heal, and school (even just one class) is a stressor.
Unread 05-08-2010, 06:37 PM
Re: Can I go back to school?

Hi Busybee72

If the course is going to be offered again in the fall, you might be better off waiting. As a college professor, I went back at four weeks post-op to teach courses that I had taught for years. Even being off the pain medications by then and being very familiar with the course material, it was very, very hard. My body still had so much internal healing to do that it was hard for me to concentrate and think. And physically, it was still uncomfortable for me to sit for more than about 20 minutes.

To me, the best thing to do at this point is to talk with your instructor. Explain the surgery and your concerns about being able to sit through class, move around (and in and out) if needed, and do the out-of-class projects and reading that will be necessary--and ask for the instructor's recommendation about what you should do. I know the kinds of work and cognitive requirements for my classes, and I would be able to have a sense of how I've seen other students do when dealing with surgeries and pain. Also, the instructor would be able to let you know of any policies about absences, late assignments, and the like.

If you do decide to take the class now, is it possible to tackle some of the coursework in advance to help you when you return? Also, be sure your friends are in place to help you. You won't be able to carry a laptop or a textbook, and even walking from the parking lot to the classroom might be a challenge. Have people in place to help you with every part of it in order to make it as do-able as possible for yourself.

Unread 05-08-2010, 10:06 PM
Re: Can I go back to school?

Thank you so much for your suggestions! I had not planned on going to class for the first 2 weeks. I still don't know what I'm going to do, I'm going to talk with my instructor next week and find out what I can do. This whole process is just really overwhelming. I never thought I would have to face having an hysterectomy. I'm really apprehensive about what is going to happen to me after this is done. I am really thankful that I found this site.

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