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I'm living with Hydrocephalus and my parents aren't allowing me to make my own decisions!

Tagged as: Family, Health, Teenage<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 May 2015) 5 Answers - (Newest, 1 June 2015)
A female United States age 18-21, anonymous writes:

Hello, I am a student who is looking to transfer from community college to WSU Vancouver next year but my parents won't let me move. The reason why is because I have a hydrocephalus VP shunt and they believe the school is too far from home when it is only two hours away. I am saving up money and have a car, but they are still afraid. I don't want to go to local universities such as UW or Seattle University because I have tried to applied after high school and they both denied me. I do not want to risk humiliation again and they also don't seem like schools I am comfortable with. Regarding my Hydrocephalus, I have had it since I was born and only had one complication. I understand that my parents fear about me dying one day but that doesn't mean I cannot make my own decisions. Does anyone here have hydrocephalus who have carried on in life without parent concerns? My parents thinking of my sudden death makes me depressed.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (1 June 2015):

Tisha-1 agony auntHave you actually been offered a spot in the WSU Vancouver class next year?

I was turned down by many universities when I applied. I didn't feel humiliated.... Could it be that you are ascribing a natural feeling of disappointment of not getting into the school of your dreams and making it more than it might need to be by using the word "humiliated"? Millions of high school graduates do not get into all the universities (and colleges, to be confusing to the aunts in the UK) that they wanted to; it's not a question of being humiliated....

You've had only one complication? That's great! What was it? Did it require someone there to recognize it? How does a hydrocephalous VP shunt work? Do you take meds?

You may well tell me to google it. Well, I could. But you could also take the time to explain your parents' point of view beyond this limited bit you provided to the aunts and what the care of this shunt you have entails.

Have you talked to your doctors about it? Can they transfer your care to a colleague where you want to attend school?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2015):

oh the joy of youth and the beauty of youth!You are at that stage where you feel totally invincible and just want to get out and live. well, i believe the decision is yours but i wouldnt recommend a two hor journey to anyone because it steals too much of your day and divides you from your potential university. I expect mum and dad dont really want you to go, they want you about every day.Are you ready for independent living?Maybe its time you got a flat or accomodation at your uni because thats the best way to get fully immersed in university life.Keep in touch with mum and dad though by phoning now and again.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (1 June 2015):

CindyCares agony aunt Then imagine how thinking of your sudden death makes THEM depressed !

OP, I think you need to be sensible and pragmatical.

While , on one hand, there's no reason why you could not live a LONG, happy, productive life- on the other hand you have to accept that you do have limitations. It sucks, it's unfair- life it's unfair, said that we can only try to make the best of the one we have.

Your condition, and device, needs to be regularly and frequently monitored by a specialist. One of the possible, and not crazily infrequent risks, is malfunction, occlusion or overdrainage- one of the first symptoms of which would be dizzyness, mental confusion and lethargy.

You would not want that to happen while you are living alone, out of your usual circle of friends and family, maybe while you get adjusted to new surroundings and build a new support system, without anybody there to notice your symptoms or to call for help in a pinch.

While the only one really qualified to give you a serious, sound advice is a medical professional, in fact THE medical professional who is following your case, I think that your parents' worries are legitimate , and that anyway you should not want to give them cause for more concern than they already have now.

Of course the simple fact of being alive is a risk, and I may be dropped dead before my answer reaches you, while you are in Vancouver having the time of your life. Life IMPLIES running risks. It depends though if there's a good enough reason, and, personally, I don't feel that

" possible humiliation " or " having to adjust to a less than ideal school " is a good enough reason. At least, that's my take as a PARENT.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2015):

I don't have it but I can understand where your parents are coming from. And 15 years from now you will probably understand as well.

Respect their wishes and attend a university there. If it is campus life you are looking for talk to your parents about staying on campus at the University closest to you. Same experience, just locally.

Since you are in community college now you can use these grades to boost your chances of being accepted into the university this time around. The fact that you are applying again shows dedication and determination and colleges like that.

Good luck

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2015):

I suspect your parents' over-protectiveness may in part stem from a feeling of guilt that they are somehow responsible for your having been born with hydrocephalus.

I'm sure they have the best of intentions, but unfortunately parents of children with medical issues sometimes allow their own emotions and fears to interfere with their children leading full lives.

I'm sure that as a public institution the University accommodates students with all types of medical conditions.

I suggest you contact the school's student health, disability services or other applicable departments to learn what specific supports they could offer. I'm guessing that they may even have resources to help students in your situation deal with over-protective parents.

Maybe if your parents have the assurance that you wouldn't be without support and assistance would be immediately available should you ever need it, then they'd be less reluctant to let you attend the college of your choice.

In any event, it is far more likely than not that you'll still be around long after your parents are gone and you'll need to be prepared for that eventuality. Hopefully your parents will begin to understand that at some point as well.

As someone old enough to be your grandfather I can tell you that your parents really do love you and only want what's best for you; unfortunately they're not necessarily clear-headed enough to understand what that really is.

Perhaps if you enlist some professional support on your side then they'll slowly come around.

Best of luck.

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