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Too Disabled For School

Today I was told “maybe I’m too sick to get an education” by someone in the disabilities services center at my college. Half of me wanted to start crying in her office, because secretly, I fear this too. The other half of me was outraged. Here I am, actively fighting to better myself and get an education while I’m too sick to work, and an able bodied person who is supposed to understand disabilities tells me that perhaps I should give up?

How dare she? She has no idea the strength it takes to be me. How hard I fight, every day as a chronic migraineur, just to exist. How hard it is just to clean my house and get groceries, to do the everyday, little things that she takes for granted.

I finally have the courage to do something selfish, just for me: To pursue my Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing. All of the counselors and advisors have gone out of their way to help me come up with a game plan to get my degree, and we’ve had to get quite creative because of my limitations.

I never thought it would be the lady in disabilities services, accusing me of inconveniencing teachers with my medical absences while I’m in the hospital. Telling me that she couldn’t accommodate my type of disability— which I believe is discrimination.

No one should be told they’re an inconvenience.

No one should be told they’re too broken for an education.

The entire purpose of disabilities services is to work with you and your professors to find a way to get you your education.

Just because I get migraines doesn’t mean I am less smart, less hardworking, or less deserving of a college education.

If anything, I am more hardworking and deserving. The pain that I have to deal with on a daily basis would make many people give up and sit on their couches, watching TV in the dark for the rest of their lives. But I’m out here fighting.

So, don’t you dare call me too broken for an education. I’m a fighter and I will get my degree.
I’m just shocked that I had to attempt to educate you that migraine is a real disability, and disgusted by the way you disregarded my disability and turned me out as a faker. The only thing I’m faking is my smile, as I leave your office.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Rosemary
    3 years ago

    Britt, my suggestion would be to report the person from the disabilities office to their supervisor. You are correct, their job is to help you succeed, not to tell you you can’t. I applaud you for going to school and wish you all the best.

  • sams
    3 years ago

    I was able to finish my undergraduate degree (with chronic migraine), but I had to quit my masters degree due to my chronic migraine, it controlled my life. I was mostly bedridden. I never went to disability services at the school (I assume they had it). My advisor was very understanding about the situation, but I knew it was best for me to stop, as I was not getting anything done. I tried so unbelievably hard but it didnt seem to matter how hard I tried and how much I forced myself to do. I was not me anymore the migraine controlled every aspect of my life.
    It is sad how many people out there still think migraine is just a headache and people are faking an illness. When we would never fake a bad day because good days are to hard to come by.
    I hope you are able to finish your degree and find a plan that works for you. And find some relief along the way.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 years ago

    Thank you for taking the time to share your inspirational story on receiving your bachelors degree. You have certainly had quite a journey and are proving that you WILL PERSEVERE despite living with migraine. Kudos to you for working so hard and never giving up! Know you are not alone in this struggle and that you have a voice here to share your experiences. Please be sure to keep us posted on how you are doing. Wishing you all the best & good luck! Joanna ( Team)

  • britt author
    3 years ago

    Thank you. I’m planning it out for online classes and so I only go part time to allow time for all my Dr’s appointments and sick days that will invariably strike. But I’m very excited. It’s good to hear I’m not alone. This disease is so isolating, it’s hard to not feel alone in it sometimes. Thank you for that.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 years ago

    Great decision deciding to go the online route and to go PT! We sincerely hope it will be a manageable schedule for you and that those sick days are few, far & in-between! Additionally, I wanted to share a few articles that deal with the topic of isolation as it is widely discussed and is a feeling shared by so many within this community. I hope you find them helpful. and Again, wishing you all the best! Joanna ( Team)

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