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High School Life/Tough Decisions


Hey Lailyn,
I have a really difficult decision at hand and I've tried everything I can think of to make it, talk to parents and elders, talk to friends, and weigh out the pros and cons but I'm still stuck.

Since winter break I have been really sick with really bad pains in my stomach but no doctor can come up with a diagnosis. I have seen dozens of doctors and been to many hospitals. The doctor working closest with me wants me to see a gastroenterologist but none in my area will see anyone under 18, I am currently 17 and won't be 18 until January and I can't wait that long to be fixed.
So we are currently waiting to find one specialist who will see me.

This pain has been preventing me from going to school, I am currently in grade 11. I've had to drop 3 out of 4 classes so far because of lack of attendance, and my fourth teacher was just approved by the board to teach me from my home. I'll already have to take summer school and night school both semesters next year to graduate on time.

Now my grandmother came up to where I live in Ontario from New Brunswick to help take care of me. My mom gave me the choice, I can either forfeit my home schooling credit and go back with my grandmother to see if doctors there will help me, or I can get my credit and wait for doctors here to help me. If I forfeit my credit I won't have a choice but to spend an extra year in high school and it's not guaranteed the doctors there will help me. Or, I could get my credit and make me wait even longer than the 4 months I've already waited. My mom told me that I am practically an adult and I need to make this decision on my own for myself because ultimately it's my life, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

I know my health should be important but I'm not sure if I should give up the chance for my credit all for a POSSIBILITY of being helped. What is your opinion on what might be the wisest choice?

Hi Katelyn,

It is indeed a tough decision. A dilemma of choosing between pain and being behind academically.
Have you done research regarding doctors there yet? I believe it would be very useful to make calls, do online research and nail down one or two specific gastroenterologists who would without doubt accept patients below 18. While it's not easy to get the answer by phone or research, I'm quite positive that you can get the answer. After you've found one, book an appointment with a doctor and suggest that they refer you to that specialist. If it's a specialist, then diagnosis shouldn't be hard and I think you'd get one.
This is really what I would do. If I find specialists and have guaranteed appointments all in place before I leave the province, I would go. Taking summer courses once you're back is a possibility also, isn't it? Some universities offer grade 12 courses and you can catch up that way.
However, if there is little confidence that any specialist will be able to help, I would personally stay and get my credits with the pain. It's a last resort. I would try and research on specialists in closer provinces like Quebec or Manitoba, or ask that the doctor does so.

Good luck on your decision! And remember, whatever decision you make will help you learn something you would not have learned otherwise. Learn and live more wisely.

If you'd like any clarification or to follow-up, don't hesitate.

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