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hashslingingslasher

Feeling Guilty About Missing School? Teachers Please!

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I miss a lot of school because of my celiac disease. I was just recently diagnosed and for the last three years I have had horrible diarrhea and nausea, and paralyzing cramping that lasts all day. I am starting the gluten free journey, but I haven't seen a nutritionist yet and the cramping/diarrhea/nausea remains.. My teachers and principle are all aware of the condition, as well as my parents, but I still feel guilty about missing school. Sometimes my dad gives me grief if I'm in the bathroom all night/morning, and I can tell my teachers are annoyed that they have to grade make up work. However, I get all of my work done and manage to stay on the honor roll even if I miss 2 days of school a week. How do I stop feeling so guilty about this? Is there anyone else out there who often misses work/school because of celiac? I want to know I'm not the only person so I can show my dad that other people go through this, too. And, if any teachers happen to look at this, is it difficult having a student who often misses school (even if they make up the work on time)?

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Welcome to the forum hashslingingslasher.

Are you a spongebob fan? :)

Have you taken dairy out of you diet yet? If not you might want to do that for a few months. Do you have you own new cookware, pasta strainer, toaster, etc. If you do not you need to. You can get cross contaimination (CC) from scratched cookware, wooden cutting boards and crumbs in the toaster. If you are taking any medications or suppliments those need to be checked for gluten as well.

Other people go through this too, so no, you are not alone. Keep reading here, there are many stories here that you will be able to relate to.

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As a college student, I can sympathize. I have these "episodes" of inflammation, severe D, nausea/vomiting, etc., and have missed at least 1 day-- sometimes as many as 5-- days of class each month. Last semester I missed a full week right before midterms. All of my profs knew what was going on and were very helpful. I would have meetings with them after class occasionally to fill them in on the latest test results; the more I told them, the more understanding they were. It helps that I am at a very small liberal arts school with a student population of 600; it's a family atmosphere. If I went to the state school on the other side of town this experience would be much more difficult.

I have one of those profs for a class this semester and after he went through the syllabus ("After x many absences your grade will drop by x number of points"-- He gave me an A last semester for effort of reading the assignments even though I missed the necessary literary discussions) I pulled him aside to fill him in on what I learned from the tests over winter break. We still haven't figured out what causes the flare-ups so I warned him that I may miss a day here and there.

Bringing your teachers into the discussion goes a long way... It shows that you are proactive and will still make whatever effort possible. They're busy people, but knowing that you are not enjoying the catch-up work or scheduling make-up tests either. Separate yourself from the lazy students who skip because they didn't feel like getting out of bed.

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Hopefully now that you have a diagnosis and are gluten free you will be feeling a lot better. I know for us my dd misses a lot less school now that she is gluten free. I certainly think if you explain to your teachers and keep up with your late assignments they will understand.

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Before I started the diet I missed tons of work and before that tons of school. I'm sure all my teachers and my bosses thought I was a hypochondriac. Now that I am doing well on the diet I don't miss anymore days than the average person! It's a great relief.

Will your doctor write a letter explaining your condition and letting the school faculty know why you may have frequent absences? Maybe if they have an explaination of what is going on they'd be more understanding. I'm pretty sure if they were having constant diahrrea they would be staying home too!

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I am a high school English teacher and I can totally relate to you! I miss school very often because of my Celiac and I feel terrible. Especially since I get along with my students so well and they work really hard for me. It is not the same when there is a substitute! They always ask why I am sick so much. I've only known I have Celiac for about 2 months now (after being sick for 4 years), so I am not comfortable discussing it yet. I am still trying to figure it out. I'm not sure it is appropriate to tell my students. It's not their problem and I don't want them to worry.

In your case, I think communication is really important. If a student came to me and shared that he/she were having a medical problem and that was why this student was missing school often, I would do everything I could to help. Nothing in life is easy(especially for teachers), so don't worry about making your teacher grade late work. We are here to help students no matter what their situation happens to be. It might help if you set up a system, like a special folder or a special place you turn in your late work so it stays organized and doesn't get lost. Other than that, just keep communicating and working hard. I can tell when a student is working their butt off and when they are trying to get extra time and get away with stuff. In my classroom, when a student is absent, I have a more advanced student take an extra set of notes and I put the absent student's name on any worksheets or handouts and stick them up on the bulletin board behind my desk. A student can see it right away and grab it without asking. A system like this may be helpful for you too.

Please, please keep focused on your school work and don't let anything get in the way of your education! Wishing you good health!

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I just wanted to let Hashslinger know that I understand. I am an occupational therapist who works with school-aged special needs kids. I luckily was sickest over the summer, though I have missed my fair share of days this school year. I do admit that I often go to work not feeling my best and not putting in my best effort, because it's just not physically possible. I'm not a slacker, but I rarely get to put the effort forth that I'd like because of my celiac disease complications.

The hardest part for me is that I feel guilty for being sick. Weird I know, but I think I should have been more careful about what I ate, so I wouldn't get sick....crazy psycho circle of nutty thinking.

I can understand your dad's concern with school. Real life doesn't always make concessions for circumstances, you have been lucky with your teachers being so understanding. I hope that continues throughout your academic career.

The bottom line is that if you are doing the best you can; no regrets.

If you don't mind I'd like to share a quote my father gave to me when I went off to college. I think it's so inspiring for a young dreamer like yourself...

"If you haven't sacrificed to make your dream come true,

then just let it go,

your dream was only a day dream." :)

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Wow posting at 4am I can tell it really bothers you a lot, but unfortunately to live comfortably with Celiac you must not allows others to make you feel guilty. It is healthy to want our loved ones and those you respect to not be irritated with you, but the sooner you adapt a "this is my burden to bare, I'm the one in pain, not you, just be happy you can still eat good pizza!" attitude the easier it will be on you. It was hard for me to maintain this aura of "take me as I am" about myself, but it has put my family and I in a great place.

Now, as for missing school, you NEEEEED to get to your local health food store and purchase some enzymes and herbs to help you when you are suffering. I take Glutenzyme (can be taken regularly or after symptoms arise) and bromelain (pineapple enzyme) and I take Arsenicum Album in the form of small lozenges in case of emergency. The arsenicum album is made by a company called Boiron and is AMAZING. It tastes like candy and truly STOPS my diarrhea and vomiting. It is packaged in a small blue tube and can be somewhat expensive, but when used for emergencies it is truly worth the purchase.

Don't forget when you are suffering to drink a lot of extra water, sleep as much as possible, and eat as much pineapple and/or mango as you can stomach - they help you heal. Some say benadryl help your body not react as much, some say no. But you really need to purchase enzymes to help your body destroy remaining gluten in your body.

Good luck to you and please don't feel guilty for allowing your body to heal!!!!

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wow, thank you for the wonderful answers. i don't feel so bad now for missing school because i always get my work turned in and i keep my grades up (i was just recently accepted to upenn!) i didn't expect such quick responses, but it is greatly appreciated (:

p.s. - i am a huge spongebob fan... and i just thought it would make for a silly name. :D

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