Continuing college?

Hey everyone. For those of you who have had your surgery already - how did you feel mentally and cognitively in the first 3-6 weeks after your surgery?

I am a full time college student (online only) as well as full time employee. I don't want to withdraw just yet for medical issues - I am having hopes my cognitive and mental capacities will be ok to continue (they currently are NOT sharp right now, so college is a bit on hold). In order to not get all Fs on my transcript, I would have to withdraw officially, but that's not something I want to do since there are only a few weeks left and I have worked so hard to get to this point. I don't want to lose all that work and have to start over.

But, with that said, I have to make a decision as to withdrawing to not mess up my GPA or continuing on with my extension and hoping to finish off the semester properly.

So, again, were you able to read and concentrate enough a couple of weeks after your surgery that you could have done class assignments from your desk at home?

Thanks! (This is another one of the seriously important decisions I have to make within the next 12 days.)



I've been in College Administration for a number of yrs. I hope I can give a little advice from both the patient side as well as the college admin side.

I was diagnosed with Chiari about 3 months ago. It started with the horrible headaches and I also had other cognitive issues (I have very few "serious" symptoms before that) I had decompression surgery on Oct 24.

I have given up EVERY possible responsibility except pastoring my local church but they have been extremely supportive of means family during this time.

If i can give you any advice, I would withdraw as soon as you can without hurting your GPA, you are going to go through a lot of life changes and studying is the last thing you are you are going to want to do! and if you

Just this week I found out I was dehydrated and was effecting my recovery, I was acting and saying some kind of goofy stuff- the worst was when when my wife read me some of the simple e-mails I had written her - I sounded like a "imbecile" LOL! (I re-read some of this and laughed - hope I find all my mistakes in this post !)

So take some time off concentrate on getting healthy on getting the rest you need! When your all better hit the books hard and heavy and concentrate on your future!

I hope this helps !

If you have any more question feel free to ask!

Thank you Kenny!! My GPA is of most importance to me. I have been in contact with my professors since I had my appt scheduled with my NS in the event I would end up needing surgery. They have been most helpful and have all told me they would give me incompletes until I finished the assignments as long as I did it within the allotted time.

I stopped doing school work at that time (3 weeks ago) because everything I touched was horrible - my cognitive issues are very bad at the moment too, and I was afraid of my GPA going lower (I currently have a 4.0 and nothing lower than that is acceptable to me. haha)

Weirdly, though, my NS did not seem to think my cognitive issues were related to chiari so I am happy (well, not REALLY happy, you know what I mean, I hope? lol) to hear I am not alone in that issue. Yeah - haha, I know the exact things you are speaking of when you say you sounded like an imbecile. haha. I deal with that every day. My friends and I made a drinking game out of it - every time I stumble on a word or can't think of a word or say something totally out there, they have to drink. They definitely caught a buzz quickly :P haha.

Ii didn’t expect the cognitive challenges when I was diagnosed, I found more info on this site than anywhere else. The folk i work with laughed at me too! I could remember an internet password that I’ve used for years but could rember the date or day of week.

Since your school is being generous take them up on their offer.

lol, I call everything by a different name or use the wrong word completely and make up new words all the time and have to describe what I am talking about because I can't think of the word.

Examples: I keep asking my friend to rub my ankles, but I mean calves.

I was talking about high winds one day and I told my friend it sounded like a hurrnado out there. I was thinking hurricane, but my brain was also associating a tornado with high winds, so it put the words together.

The cognitive issues have been a source of amusement for my friends and I :)

My personal experience was that I felt like someone was back at home in my head within days of my surgery. My family and coworkers could tell a total difference after surgery. I had to beg but I was released back to work at 4 weeks. I am a Director of Accounting so I do need to be able to think.

Good Luck! I'm sure you will make the right decision.

Many Blessings!


I would say to drop the classes now…I am 8 weeks post op and although this past week has been a little better, I still can’t concentrate on more than a magazine article.

I have some “go to” bible passages that I use when feeling off, and Wednesday I had to go on line and ask my friends which ones I should look up because I couldn’t remember them at all!

The memory is slowly improving, but I still won’t make an important decision without talking to my husband first because I still don’t trust my own judgement

College can wait... You should listen to the words of those above, and take some time for yourself. You need to heal. I took one month off of everything. I did not go back to work until I hit the two month mark. By the way, I regret going back to work full time, and I still feel like I should be home taking care of myself. I am 1 year post-op.

I am sending you positive thoughts, and wish you them best. You will be the best judge of your decisions, but you are free to contact anyone in this community for support and advice.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences!