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Hey guys,
I haven’t posted in a while, but I am desperate for an advice.
So, I have been on the OMS program (truly dedicated) for three months now more or less. Some of you may have read my other posts but I will mention it anyway- I was hospitalized in October last year because I couldn’t feel my entire right side of the body. It was a really traumatizing experience and I am still recovering from that (mostly mentally). Since being on the OMS program, I had 2 little relapses- numbness (first time in fingers on one hand, second time on toes on one leg) that went away in a week or so. Also I get always painfull pins and needles in my left hand occasionally. For which I am not surprised, because doctors told me my MS is really active at this moment.
Anyway, I feel like get relapses or my symptoms worsen under stress (big time). I am currently in Uni in Germany and the stress is a little bit too much. The exams are starting in 2 weeks and here they kick you out if you don’t take your exam (on any subject) on you third try. And I am already taking exams for the 3rd time. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to concentrate, despite doing yoga and meditating. I feel like there is so much pressure especially from my family and I feel like if I quit or get kicked out, I will be the biggest disappointment. My boyfriend always supports me no matter what, but I just feel like crying all the time, I don’t really find any motivation to go to lectures anymore (And I really used to enjoy it at first). I always put my health first, but my family does not agree, I guess. I am just looking for an advise, I don’t know what to do.
Sorry for the long post,
Best wishes!
22 years old
First symptoms noticed 2010
Diagnosed 01/2011
OMS since 27 Sept 2017
Kira, well done for reaching out, that's very strong of you. We don't have to wear other people's views of us as our own even if they are family. Is the stress not because of the actual exam but because of thinking about other people's perceptions on your results after the exams. You might find you can take those exams if you look at them as just the thing you do at the end of covering that subject and don't look beyond. It's really good you're meditating it all helps with calmness. You can meditate in sound bites like short few minutes of sitting with your breath throughout the day too if that helps you. Does your uni offer any student counselling services that you might have access to.
Good luck Kira
Thank you for the response, veg!
The thing is that I am a foreigner in Germany. I don’t speak German very well (my studies are in English). And Germany is not a very foreigner- friendly country so you can imagine Me passing my exams is not the same as a German person passing.
And I am really scared of being kicked out because that would be a big shame for me and my family. When I took the exam for the second time, I spent the entire year studying really hard and to fail was one of the biggest disappointments. I spent the whole day crying. I lot all of my motivation since then. Also counseling is not an option because strange enough not many people speak English in Uni. :cry:
22 years old
First symptoms noticed 2010
Diagnosed 01/2011
OMS since 27 Sept 2017
I'm not sure anyone can give advice on quitting UNI, that's a very personal decision based on personal situation and choices. I don't know how much fight you have normally that is being buried bogged down worrying about other stuff.
You can only do what you can do, don't waste capacity on 'what if', look at what you can see right now which is the 'what is'. Being in Germany is giving you space to focus on what you are doing. If you enjoyed the lectures once then that spark is likely to still be in there.
Hi Kira,

I don't know if this would be an option - is there someone in uni you can talk to about this and find out what your options are? I don't know anything about the German university system, but if you were here (Ireland) I would be suggesting you find out if you could submit a mitigating circumstances form (sometimes called an extenuating circumstances form) which usually allows you to sit the exams and if you pass - great, but if you fail you can repeat it as if it is your first attempt. Alternatively you might be able to defer sitting your exams due to illness or even defer for the year, to give yourself a chance to recover a bit. That would take the pressure off for now and allow you to make the decision about what to do in your own time when you are under less stress. There might be information on the uni website about possible options?

Good luck with your decision :)
Dear Kira,
what a stressful situation that you are in!
I would like to suggest three things to make your life a little easier:
1) seek out the “psychologische Beratung” of your university as soon as possible. They are supposed to help students with problems of exams fright, procrastination, depression ... everything! If the university offers programs in English in order to attract international non-German speaking students, it should offer these psychological services also in English. I would contact them with an English e-mail and expect them to find you someone of their staff who can help you in English. In Magdeburg it’s the Studentenwerk, which offers psychological help, see: https://www.studentenwerk-magdeburg.de/soziales/psb/ . Write to the “Ansprechpartnerinnen” who share the same contact e-mail-address [email protected] and trust that at least one of them is English spoken. If this is not the case (hopefully not!), ask them to please organize some help especially for you (either by referring you to someone who speaks English or be providing you with someone who can serve you as an interpreter). Helping in situations like yours is what this service exists for!
2) Buy yourself some time! As far as I remember, medical reasons allow you to withdraw your exams registration, as long as you present an “ärztliches Attest” stating that you are too ill at the time being to take the exams. You could then postpone your exams for another semester or another year. But you have to do this, before the exams start. When I was at university (more than 20 years ago), quite a number of students used this way to escape the “third and final failure” by postponing an exam — myself included. I postponed one of my oral exams (not the third attempt, but the first, but nevertheless) that way — and I was not really physically ill at that time, only very stressed and scared. An acquaintance of mine saved his “erstes juristisches Staatsexamen” that way, after he had already failed two times. A year later he passed successfully at his 3rd and final chance. Don’t feel ashamed of using this option! Don’t be afraid of asking your neurologist for the required “ärztliches Attest”. You are ill! Not yet recovered from your relapses! You missed several months of preparation due to your relapses! You are still dealing with the immense blow of diagnosis! You are probably being depressed because of the diagnosis, the relapses and the stress ... These are medical reasons more than legitimate, and no doctor should deny you the required statement! (In case, things have changed within the past 20 years, please ask the people of the university’s psychological (and social) services! They must know the details of how it works nowadays!)
3) Address (in due time) the question of whose expectations you have to meet in your life. I would say: only your own, not your family’s. You can only do your best, and if that should not make you pass the exams successfully, then this is not your fault! You are not letting anyone down, even if your family has gone to great lengths in order to finance your studies (or the like). Fate threw some really big obstacles in your way! You are giving your best, but this is all you can do! So-called “failure” is not the end of the world! You will not be a disappointment to anyone! Successful exams do not define the worth of a person! Don’t be afraid!
If there is something, I could do for you (e. g. do a telephone call in German for you), please write me a private message!
Don’t quit university, because your situation is feeling so unbearable to you at the moment! First check out all the options that you have!
I wish you with all my heart that you can find some solace and help and solve your dilemma!
Best wishes
Zoë
Thank you so much for your replies!
Dear hfox, I have heard about this in my Uni as well but I beard it from a student from another faculty. She told me you don’t need this form but after your grades come out you can go and say (didn’t quite understand where and to whom, probably the professor) that you don’t want this exam to count and you can retake it (and you can do this maximum three times to the course of your study). I am not 100% sure about that because I don’t know of anyone who has done it. Also, no official figure from the uni has said anything (what a shock right :lol: ).
Zoe, you are always so kind, thank you very much for taking the time to find this information. Unfortunately I am pretty sure nobody speaks English there. I have went to many places in uni and I assure you nobody speaks English. I am studying the only thing that is taught in English, so I guess it’s understandable. I have also reached out to Studentenwerk for some kind of Financial help because I wanted to move there (I am till this day living in Halberstadt and I drive 60km one way just to go to lectures) and I told them about my MS and they wouldn’t help me (I had to talk to them in German, because nobody speaks English). I even pay for parking every day because they won’t give me Parkausweis to park inside uni. So you can see I am not the biggest priority around here.
And about the postponing of the exam- I don’t want to do that unless I really have to because In summer term for some reason it is way harder to pass (out of 29 people, 18 failed and the rest passed barely with a 4). I cancelled most of my exams for this term and I have only 4 (except for the German one, which is actually 4 different exams).
Thank you both for your suggestions, on 18th I have to be in the hospital for a check-up and I guess I can also ask my doctor for my possibilities.
22 years old
First symptoms noticed 2010
Diagnosed 01/2011
OMS since 27 Sept 2017
Hi Kira!
I just saw your post and felt really connected to it. I live in Austria and have been studying economics in Uni for 3 years now and I'm also a foreigner, so I can understand the isolation you feel for not speaking the language. I've had almost the same situation as you. I found out in the summer of 2016 that I have MS and going back to Uni after that was hard. I didn't have motivation, I was flunking my classes and I didn't manage to take a lot of exams. Fortunately for me, the system in Austria allows you to write as many exams as you want and you are totally in control of the situation. I found OMS in January 2017 but I ignored the lifestyle for a while because I wanted to take my exams and keep on being successful in Uni. However, this didn't work out, I was stressed all the time, I didn't eat the right foods. I completely ignored meditation, sports or eating well. At the end of the summer semester, I suffered a mild relapse, which left me thinking about what I am doing with my life.
What helped me out in the end was to realize that OMS is the way to go and one of the most important things in life is your mental and physical health. I decided to buy myself some time, I didn't take as much exams as I would use to do and I started getting into the OMS lifestyle 110%. My parents were sceptical, even my friends didn't support me, however I knew what I had to do and that my health was the most important thing right now. There will always be a time to take exams and to concentrate on career and studies! I'm not saying you should quit Uni but I'm advising you to figure out a way to postpone those stressful events in your life and manage to find some time for YOURSELF. None of the other things matter! The only person you can disappoint is yourself when you're not thinking about calming your situation and creating a positive atmosphere in your life! We always tend to rush things in life like getting a degree, finding a career, building a family... But what I've learned on this journey to recovery is that things in life are not always the way we want them to be, sometimes not everything is perfect and we have to accept it the way it is and move on!
I hope you find a way to deal with this stress and Uni and you're always welcome to share with any of us about your experiences!

Best regards,
Nick
Dear Kira,
I am very sorry to learn that you have already exhausted the option of requesting help from the university’s psychological services and have found them so indifferent and even somewhat callous! How disappointing! A university vying for international students ought to care better for their wellbeing and success!
I nevertheless hope that you will find a way to take some of that terrible stress out of your life!
I loved veg’s, hfox‘ and Nikmil’s posts.
All the best for your appointment at the clinic! Tell the doctors about your social situation and your exams situation, to see what ideas they will come up with (if they are not indifferent as well, what their profession’s ethics ought to preclude)!
I will be thinking of you!
Zoë
Thank you all for your kind responses,
A little update on my situation:
I was admitted yesterday in the hospital for a „check up“, but on the MRI they found new lesions and even a few active ones (still not a surprise since my knees have been numb for 2 weeks now). And now I am staying in for 5 days for treatment. I am stopping Gilenya and switching to something else (still not sure what).
Now I made the sudden decision to drop out of Uni and focus on my health. After all, I don’t want to graduate in a wheel chair.
To be honest I am a little disappointed since I have been following the diet as if it was the Bible and yet doctors told me I am not even slightly better than three months ago. Maybe someone can help me understand that better and maybe share an experience- how long does it take to actually stabilize?
22 years old
First symptoms noticed 2010
Diagnosed 01/2011
OMS since 27 Sept 2017
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