A Fork in The Road

It was Thursday morning a week into nursing school, the sun was shining, and I got up bright and early to go study before class started. As I go through my notes my phone lights up with an email. It is from the director of nursing at STCC. The email is telling me she wants me to meet with her and the Dean of the Health Department to discuss my “situation” right now. Right off the bat this didn’t give me a very good feeling. I had contacted her earlier about any further steps I needed to take regarding my vaccinations. I am on medications for my Crohn’s that prevent me to receive live vaccines (which I’m sure many of you Crohnies are familiar with). Unfortunately when I got my titers done I had not converted over with almost all of my immunizations. I think the only thing I was immune to was Measles.

When I found out this information over the summer I contacted to school immediately and provided documentation for everything. They told me all I needed was a doctor’s note stating I cannot receive these immunizations. After I did this I didn’t hear from them so I assumed everything was fine. Well, needless to say they are now trying to kick me out of the program due to medications I’m on and not being able to receive my immunizations. They told me I am not health cleared because I have not received these shots. I do understand this is important and that they have to hold up to the contracts… Buttttt, what baffles me is anyone can refuse any vaccinations for religious reasons (they have forms for that to fill out) and still participate in the program and clinical. Discrimination? I think so.

When I was sat down with the Dean and director I was told I need to withdraw immediately to prevent losing money (by the way, this was the last day of the semester to withdraw without penalty, coincidence?). They did tell me I would have automatic readmission to the program but if I were to go back on all of these immune suppressing medications (I am on methotrexate, prednisone, and Uceris) I would then have to withdraw again. She proceeded to tell me, “I should really consider a new profession”. Rude. If this wasn’t a knife to my stomach I don’t know what would be. And also, am I the only sick person who wants to become a nurse? Like come on, let’s be realistic here this can’t be the first time this has happened.

I have worked so hard to get into this program, I lost it when they told me this. They let me sit there and cry in front of them while they just stared at me with blank faces. After leaving I thought about it more and was absolutely not withdrawing. This was not right and something about the whole situation had to be illegal. I called my mom and doctor and they were on it like flies on shit. They clearly did not know who they were messing with. To me it sounds like they just don’t want to be bothered filling out extra paper work and/or make special arrangements for me (find a place I can clinical at). Oh, and I didn’t even let them tell me I can’t attend lecture and labs. I was not going to fall behind while this gets figured out.

The past five years of my life I have struggled to stay in school due to health issues. I have had to withdraw twice due to hospitalizations and I’ve taken multiple semesters off because of it. When I finally am feeling good and am ready to go to school full time they just have to knock me down. I’m not an easy one to knock down though. My family and doctor have both worked really hard to keep my psyche in check because this disease is so wearing on the mind. When you’re not able to go to school or work you feel useless and like you’re not going anywhere in life. I’ve had this feeling many times during my life but it vanished when I got accepted into nursing school. I could finally see my future and what I was meant to do. This isn’t just school to me, this is the rest of my life. It is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Even if in the end I am not able to attend nursing school, they’re not going to get out of this one without a very big fight.

Life isn’t always fair, but in my head I keep saying over and over again: everything happens for a reason. And I truly believe that. Don’t just be a fighter against your disease, be a fighter in life.


4 thoughts on “A Fork in The Road

  1. Way to fight this! I completely support you on this and this is so unreasonable that the school is being unreasonable about this. Something is defy not right here! And the fact that they are creating more stress for you which could trigger a flare- is crappy too! Keep fighting for your dream and keep us posted!

  2. ‘And also, am I the only sick person who wants to become a nurse? Like come on, let’s be realistic here this can’t be the first time this has happened.’
    Nope! 🙂 I was a spoonie all through nursing school. I was blessed though to have a university that was understanding and wanted me to succeed. I missed a year, part of one semester etc but got support each time. Yes there were people who told me to quit and go into research but the number of patients who told me I HAD to be a nurse far outnumbered them. Being a spoonie nurse is a challenge but it is do-able. Same goes for all the health professions.

    Do you have a Disability Service Office at your school? I’d hit them up for advice and assistance with your placements. Also try speaking with someone higher up. Go as high as you have to. There are ways to accommodate you.

    I will tell you I have worked with nurses actively taking immuno-suppressants, chemo etc. They know what they can and cannot do. They know the risks. If they need time off the floor they get it. I don’t know their immunization status. When we have pregnant staff we keep them far away from infectious patients (especially shingles). I’m quite certain the same can be done for you.

    Go get them! 🙂

    • For some reason I get comments like a month later haha but Thank you! I went as far up as meeting with the president of the school. I also contacted our state representative. The school is making no exceptions or try even try to look more into it :/ But we were told to put in a claim to a board of discrimination at the state level by our state representative. It’s pretty sad when you have nurses not willing to try to help others succeed. But that’s awesome everyone around you is so supportive! Congrats on getting through nursing school too! 🙂

      • Hmmm. If your state doesn’t budge…if it is an option you could come to school here in Canada! 😀 It is a lot cheaper. Nurses write the same exam now so you can work in either country. I know A LOT of nurses who come to study here from all over the world.

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