I have made at least three different attempts at going back to school. They were mostly unsuccessful for one reason or another. The previous problems I had with staying in school were because of money or because of personal problems I had been having at the time. One program was for becoming a psychiatric technician; I did very poorly in the classes and was having many problems getting along with my fellow students. The second program I entered was for criminal investigations, which was a fascinating program I did very well in, but I realized that I was not suited for any of the careers involved with or related to the program.
My most recent school experience began in April of 2009, when I was laid off from work, on the anniversary of my initial hire date. After a great deal of panic and frantic editing of my resume and applying everywhere but not getting any interviews, I decided to go back to school, figuring that the worst had all ready happened, so I might as well do something insane. I entered a web graphic design program; design was something I had become interested in, and I wanted to learn how to make my various art projects look better and more professional.
Then a couple weeks after registering, I lost vision in my right eye. I had been having some problems with focusing, usually early in the morning when I had just woken up. The day before, I had a momentary flash while walking out side, but it had faded after a few hours. Then in the next morning, I woke up with a headache–and a bright haze over my right eye. I blinked a few times, but it did not go away. When I opened the curtain in the living room, the haze was even brighter.
I was understandably in a panic, but reluctant to go to a doctor since I did not yet have medical insurance and vision was not covered by the state medical plan. I went to school anyway and usually spent a great deal of time with my face very close to the screen as I did the assignments for my math class and my class for learning the Microsoft Office Suite. It was a little embarrassing, because I had so much trouble, and occasionally tripped over things I could not see. The teachers however seemed to be very understanding
I did go to the doctor eventually when I got my state medical card. The doctor examined me, and then sent to the emergency room. They were not able to find anything and recommended an MRI. I was not able to get the MRI because the eye surgeon I went to see was not able to find anything wrong with my eyes except for the problems I already had. I had more glaucoma tests in those weeks than any person should reasonably expect to have. I wasn’t even able to get the neurologist I went to examine me: he wanted a complete report on everything all the other doctors had told me, which I wasn’t able to give him because the eye doctor and the emergency room doctors hadn’t been able to find anything.
Having all of this happen on top of starting school and having lost my job was extremely stressful for me. However, I kept going to class, even if I had trouble seeing the computer screen. The first classes I took were math classes, and since I generally do not do very well in math, not being able to see made the class even more difficult.
Eventually, the bright glare in my right eye faded, and I was able to see normally. I still have slight sparkles and haze when I am out in bright sunlight, but other than that, I have completely recovered. I decided to look upon this as a sort of “test of commitment.” However, I probably should not have thought of it that way, because the universe in general decided to hand me a second “test.”
For some reason I am not too clear on, a few months after my vision returned, my back decided to go out. This was even more ridiculous, painful and annoying than losing the vision in my eye. For the next few weeks, I could not stand straight from the pain, or worse, my legs would collapse from under me at the worst possible moments, and I would just drop to the floor. To make matters worse, all of the classes I needed to go to were on the second floor.
I did not go to the doctor about the back problems because no one was able to find anything out about the vision loss, and because I apparently no longer qualified for medical assistance. Walking to school and to the store suddenly became an adventure. I never knew how long I would be able to stay on my feet before suddenly finding myself on the ground, and I was strongly tempted to buy a cane or a walker so I could get around. This was also extremely stressful, though the teachers and the occasional fellow student were very helpful to me during this time. A couple times when this happened at the story I would end up with helpful strangers offering to give me rides home–or to the hospital.
Eventually the pain faded, and I was able to stand and walk normally again. Despite these two incidents, I was able to get good grades for all of my classes, and was on the Dean’s List.