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Hello everyone. My name is Melissa and I have been lurking around the forums for awhile but have been too shy to post. I appreciate all the work that the moderators do on this forum, because it is truly helpful to know I am not alone. I am in my senior year of college and have been dealing with the symptoms of POTS since my freshman year of university.

I am just trying to get through my last year of school, but I have fainting without warning most of the time, so it puts me in a rather akward postition in some classes. It always seems to occur at the worst possible time (like in the middle of the street) and most attempts by doctors to control them have been unsuccessful thus far. There are periods of lessening of spells when they start a new med, but usually it fizzles out after a while.

I am majoring in education hoping to teach middle school science. I am doing a practicum this semester and have not had any problems with symptoms in the practicum or in any of my education classes. However, I met with the dean of the college today and he is trying to get me to change my major when I am one semester from graduation. I have worked extremely hard to get where I am currently and this statement was a major blow to me. I have no trouble completing the classwork and have very good grades, but the college still feels that this may not be the right career choice. However, when I had this discussion with the college when I first started college, they felt that it was a good choice and that they would be willing to work with me to the end.

I am registered with the disabilities office at school and have accommodations for medically necessary absences, etc. I am sorry this post is so long. I am just trying to vent my frustrations at possibly wasting three years of my life, not to mention lots of money. I am now at a loss of what to do because I really would just like to get a degree. They are trying to offer me the option of completing a bachelor's in individualized studies but it would take several more years and I have no idea what kind of job I can get with it. I know there are many others on the board who attend school, so I am interested to hear what you think, because I know you guys understand what this is like.

Thanks for listening.

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Welcome to the forum.

I would complete the degree has was originally planned because this is what you want to do and so far you are able to deal with it. If ever you need to change career you can always take some more courses.

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I agree- I don't think it's fair of them to suggest that you've chosen the wrong career path when they agreed to help you work through it. It's especially not fair for them to ask you to change majors.

If they're trying to put you into some bogus cookie-cutter idea of what a disabled student should be able or allowed to do then they really aren't doing their jobs at all. What about empowerment? I think it's really cool that you want to teach middle school science. Heck, I'll applaud anyone who wants to teach middle school- middle schoolers are worse than high schoolers!! :blink: Just kidding.. (maybe.)

There are a lot of us on this board (myself included) who are still in school and trying to figure out how to make a career happen afterwards. I don't know about you, but the only thing that keeps me motivated is that some day, somehow, I will feel better. And when that time comes I'll be ready. I may not be at 100%, but I fully intend to make things happen, and while it may not be exactly what I envisioned before getting sick, it'll be as important to me. (Long story short I was majoring in Italian and International Affairs, and working toward extragovernmental organization... now I'm just doing the Italian and applying to law school in the fall and hoping to study international law.)

Anyway- I'm not sure what exact steps you can take if going immediately into a full-time teaching position isn't an option, but what about subbing or part-time? Do you have good doctors who are exhausting every treatment option? Have they given you any sort of long-term prognosis? I just feel like if you're likely to improve dramatically in the next few years, it seems like it'd be a waste to stop now. Also- I don't mean to sound completely banal but how are you sitting? There's no rule that says teachers have to stand. If fainting is your major symptom, and if you're relatively OK sitting otherwise, then maybe not pushing yourself physically will help. If other symptoms have you worried that aren't relieved by sitting or lying down, like extreme fatigue, pain, etc, then I"m not sure. But it's your decision, and I hope they're not bullying you or pressuring you to change.

OK gotta stop- too much brain fog.. sorry. Maybe there are a few teachers on here? Good luck!! PM me if you ever want to talk or anything!!

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Hi Melissa and welcome :blink:

I am in my 2nd year of university and frankly my uni has no say what degree i get as long as i pass the requirements. Are they doing this as they acutally think it may be bad for your health to become a teacher? Or do they think you wont pass? It seems strange to me (i go to a huge public university though so it may be a completely different deal).

Do they have the power to not let you finish?

Yeh sitting may be a good idea! i have considerd teaching if i am unable to get my masters/phd so let me know if sitting is a possibililty :)

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Hi Melissa,

Welcome to the forum! My daughter is also going to college for an education degree, only her's is for elementary ed. We have also tossed her decision around--wonering whether she should pursue early ed or not. She has also had some difficulties with the school, but they have been more with teachers that just don't understand (or care to) the illness. You must be very frustrated with the school pulling something like this on you.

I'll tell you what I've told my daughter. Follow your dream. She knows it could be a rough road ahead, but she's always wanted to be a 2nd grade teacher, so I think she should go for it. She is presently a juinor and so far the school has been accomodating as far as her observations and such. They even told her she could take one whole year for student teaching, rather than getting it done in a semester. Unfortunately, she would be unable to go to class in the mornings.

I applaud you for working so hard and getting good grades, I'm sure it's not easy at times.

I've told Chrissy (my daughter) that even if she's not able to have a class of her own, having an education degree can still be used in so many ways. Private tutors get paid a great amount in our area, you could possibly sub, as lucky charm said. Also, we've heard that there is a great demand for teachers in a hospital setting for children who have to be there long term.

Go for it Melissa, finish your degree, and shame on that Dean for trying to have you switch majors when you're to graduate this year!

Good Luck,


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Hi Melissa

Welcome aboard. Shame on that person for trying to dampen your dream and your effort. Don't let someone else determine what you want to accomplish only you know what is best for yourself. Both my daughters are in full time college with many health issues. My oldest is also near completion of her degree for teaching and was told my her advisor to just quit school that she was too unhealthy to complete her degree to teach. My daughter informed her that she would indeed finish and it was quite frankly not her place (the advisors) to determine what is best for her.

It made my daughter very upset that this statement was made to her as well. Don't give up, if you have to take time out when needed, ours had to take a break due to health and hospitalization and recuperating. It has taken her longer than the normal person.

What medications have you tried to help you for the blood pressure issues? Hang in there and don't let the negative statements of others dampen your spirit. Good luck to you and congrats on achieving what you have so far and what you will accomplish in the future.

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