Friday, August 10, 2012

Morning Routine and Applying for Colleges

Although I love getting out of the house and going places, being a quad on a vent paralyzed from the neck down does have its limitations. I start my cares around 5 AM and continue with them off and on until about 8 AM. Most mornings I have some sort of therapy in the eight o'clock hour unless it's a shower day (Wednesdays and Saturdays). By the time I get up in my wheelchair it's usually between 9 AM and 10 AM. If I'm going somewhere during the day, say to school or an appointment, I rarely leave before 11 AM.

It takes a lot to get ready in the morning, especially with all of the things I need to get done. I start early with my bowel program and then do range of motion. After that I usually fall back to sleep for about an hour. My nurse's change shifts every 12 hours, at 7 AM and 7 PM; they come in in the morning and wake me up again around 7:30 AM. That's the same time my PCA shows up (they work 4 hours in the morning). I eat breakfast, do a bed bath and then I get dressed. On shower days I transfer into my shower chair the same time of the day I would do a bed bath, only I wash my hair as well. On Mondays I do a bed bath then wash my hair in bed using a tray that goes under my head. They use a pitcher to wet my hair and the water drains off the bed into a big garbage can.

I receive therapy most morings after I get dressed. After therapy I get up in my wheelchair, which as I said before is usually between 9 AM and 10 AM. So as you can see my mornings consist of 4 to 5 hours of cares along with therapy before I'm even able to leave the house for anything. I can adjust the times I do things, the order and also skip some if need be. However, I don't really like doing that if I don't have to. I have a routine down and don't like to mess it up very often. It may seem like a lot and a lengthy amount of time spent, but one thing to remember is that my caregivers are doing everything for me so it takes quite a bit longer to do things. But, like anybody else I have a routine and ways that I like things done, I just do them differently.

When it comes to going to school, I like to choose classes that start around 12:30 PM or later to allow adequate time for me to get my cares done and get there on time using transportation services. Normandale Community College has been great for me because they have a bunch of different classes at all times of the day so it's been easy choosing classes to take at the time I want. However, not all colleges are like that and I'm figuring this out as I'm applying to schools for spring semester 2013.

I'm certain that after this fall semester I want to go on to get my bachelors in communications. About a month ago I applied to Metro State University in Minneapolis and got accepted within a day. I was all excited and ready to start next year, but then I began looking at the different classes offered. That's when I noticed that each one was three hours long and only once a week; the options for classes were 9 AM, 1 PM or 6 PM. Then I saw alongside of the page that it said that the school is designed for people working full-time and that's why the classes were like that.

Looking at the times I found that only a few classes were offered at the 1 PM timeslot, which would be ideal for me. If I were to attend Metro State, I'd be going only on the sure bet that all of the classes I need to take would be offered at that time and I can't be sure that would be the case. So after figuring this out I decided that I needed to look at other colleges with more class time options.

My criteria I had for colleges that would fit for me was that it needed to be semi-close to where I live, have multiple class times, offer online classes and have the bachelor degree program I was looking for (communications). Searching through the different colleges within the Twin Cities I realized that none of them had all of the things on my list. They were either too far away, only had a night and weekend program, no online classes or no communications degree. If I was going to eliminate one of my items on my criteria list it was going to have to be a school with no online classes.

The two colleges I chose to apply to were Augsburg in Minneapolis and St. Thomas University in St. Paul. They were the two that had three out of four things on my list. Neither have online classes, which is okay but the reason why I like to take classes online is so that I don't have to go there every single day of the week to get the credits needed. The reason I figured it's time that I start just taking classes at the school and not online is because I have to prepare myself for a full-time job after school. That's going to involve condensing my morning routine so I can leave earlier and also being able to adapt to getting out of the house every day.

I'm waiting to hear back from both colleges, but I'm leaning towards going to St. Thomas because I like their degree option better. I will definitely keep you updated on which one I end up choosing. I'm ready for a change of pace and I think that will happen coming soon. For now, I'll just have to wait for a response and prepare for my future further.


"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."
-Malcolm X

1 comment:

Tee said...

Oooh Good Luck with Colleges Jenni! It's really interesting to hear about your morning routine - what kind of things does it include?

I work with a child that is also a quadriplegic on a vent - though he has severe learning disabilities it'd be interesting to see the difference!