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Thread: Should my sister study oversea in Australia and is she suitable to be a dentist?

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    Question Should my sister study oversea in Australia and is she suitable to be a dentist?

    Hello people!! =) I hope u guys are all doing well. Well.. Im here just to ask for my only sister and shes currently doing her Alvls and wanting to get into dental school or pharmacy school (very much depends on her grades). As our parents had always planned to send me and my sister to study abroad in Australia, unfortunately for her disease, we all know that changes has to be made and fear of letting her be alone is worse. Nevertheless she still wants to do it though and we will have to find a way to make it happen for her. =( The question here is whether people with lupus are genrally 'OKAY' to study abroad? and is she suitable to be a health care worker (dentist, pharmacist) with this disease. I would really appreciate some honest and sincere answers from someone who has past experience or are thorough in this regard. Thanks!

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    HI and welcome to WHL! It is so wonderful that you are concerned about your sister. As for the question about her studying overseas, that really isn't one we can answer. Although there are many things Lupus patients have in common we are all very different. What I can tell you is that we have people on here that travel all the time.

    "Is it suitable to be a healthcare worker" is another question that only she can answer. Lupus is not contagious or anything that would inhibit her doing it but she will need to see how she feels and see if that is the best road for her to go down. For some of us here the answer would be "yes", we are still up to it. For others of us, our plans had to change due to the disease. It doesn't mean there are no plans I am just saying that plans change because of what this disease does to us.

    I hope this helps answer your question. Welcome again to WHL and I look forward to getting to know you
    Mari

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    ~Winston Churchill~







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    hi welcome whl i agree with mari it is really up to the individual lots of us still travel and some of us find it harder i live in australia and i have travelled all over australia camping and 4wd driving with my husband and daughter. i would suggest she brings letter from her doctor and list of meds so if she does need to be treated it makes it easier. ultimitely the decision is hers but just know there is a number of members here from australia and if she ever needs to talk we will be here for her if needs us .

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    hello lupiebro.

    i noticed you are from malaysia.
    this means tthat your sister is used to high levels of ultra violet rays.
    the higher levels of uv rays in australia, is one of the main problems overseas people face.

    i know of quite a few other australians who have lupus and work.
    i also know a few international visitors in australia who have lupus.
    lupus is well recognised in australia.
    lupus medication is easy to obtain in australia.

    there is no physical reason your sister cannot follow her dream.
    only she will know if she is capable of handling the stress, and fatigue.

    i would like to thank you for caring enough to look out for this forum.
    it is far too common that family members do not understand what someone with lupus goes through.

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    Hey Guys thanks so much for the answers and stuffs u guys are really awesome! This makes me appreciate this kind of online lupus community more and I really thank the person for creating the world wide web so that we can all share our stories and doubts here, just like this. thanks so much steve, tgal, kim. I know that my questions are really subjective and as a pharmacy student I do understand alot about the disease, and the one and only thing i care for in life right now would be to make sure my sister to have a good life. Kim advice is pretty good and Ill make sure my parents will try to make sure they get to visit one of the rheumatologist in Australia and get him/her to take care of my sister's disease progress. Also would make sure the current rheumy to write a letter so that my sister can always use that letter if anything happens. Yea steve you are exactly on point with what Im scared of, the uv in australia. I sometimes thought would be better for my sister to be studying in the UK. However no one in the family knows much about UK, just sort of understand there's not much sun over there. Actually the reason why I'm worry about whether my sister would be suitable to pursue a health care career such as dentist/pharmacist is not because Im sked she will be too stress to handle the studies, is more like I fear with her weaken immune system by steroids she would not be able to handle the bacteria and viruses that are obviously present in hospital settings and eventually get infected easily. Also, there's a few types of screenings that a health care worker will go through before he/she actually gets to work in health venues, and I fear my sister will fail those screenings since she's basically has a weakened immune system. SORRY FOR ALL THE RANTING GUYS!! Im just typing out whats in my head after reading all your posts without really thinking how to shorten it.

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    my aunty works as the head nurse in a busy sydney emergancy unit.
    she has had lupus for many years.

    lupus does not stop you from working in the medical field in australia.

    if your sister is lucky, she may not have to use steroids.
    the basic treatment for a balanced lupus patient in australia usually consists of methotrexate and plaquenil.
    when the lupus is out of control or attacking organs then other medication is required.

    everyone is different - - each person may required different medication.

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    i know a nurse that works in our local hospital and she is emergency nurse and she has lupus.

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    Hey lupiebro,

    I'm from overseas, currently studying medicine in Australia.

    Many people say that working in a medical field with Lupus isn't impossible - but there's a few issues before you get qualified that I'm currently dealing with.

    Dent and Pharm are extremely intense courses. A big symptom of Lupus is fatigue and brain fog.

    If she comes to Aussie, get her to register with the Student Disability Services at her Uni straight away. They can help with all sorts of little things, whether it be a parking space close to lectures, or just smoothing the way for applying for special exams, a writer for exams, changing labs due to fluroescent lighting etc.

    Make sure the Uni records the lectures, and streams them on the net. That way if she has fatigue, she can watch them over and over whenever she wants when she is better. This really worked well for me.

    Will she be eligible for Medicare in Australia? If not, she'll have to go privately for every GPs visit, blood tests, specialists etc.

    If she does have a bad flareup and can't continue with the semester, or fails a course, will that affect her Visa? How will she and your family cope if she does take longer to finish her course?

    Is there a direct flight between her uni and your home? So if things do go bad, she can easily get home or you can come see her. The idea of having stopovers or changing flights when you have fatigue is too horrible to contemplate.

    Is there a large community of your people around her Uni? Even better, extended family? When you are so fatigued you can't even wash or feed yourself you need people to be there for you. Housemates in a share house shouldn't take on that burden.

    As far as entry goes, Lupus can trigger a false positive for Syphilis, but she should pass all the other necessary screenings ie TB, HIV. If she can't get vaccinated against other required things, she just needs to provide good evidence of why and it won't be a problem.

    My Uni has been WONDERFUL with my hideous health last year, I contacted them very early on and had lots of meetings with the head of disciplines. I gave them copies of my medical records, and pretty much whatever I needed they'd arrange. They discounted my abysmal attendance record, arranged extra tutes when I was well, deferred my exams till when I was better, and gave me lots of moral support. However they will not change the passing mark required - I still had to get the same results as everyone else.
    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a-holes.

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    Hi Brandywine, Thanks so much for the infos. May I know which home country are you from? Now its a bit early to look into that matter I'm just getting a bit earlier on worrying about her Australia studies bcuz that's something she will face soon. How long have you been dealing with lupus in your University and do you find it hard to cope with your med studies? Because as a pharmacy student myself I find myself pretty much occupied with studies so just wondering is someone actually coping with it along with lupus. My sister has always wanting to be a dentist/pharmacist just hoping her dreams wont be ruined by this. =( And her condition is quite stable taking predisone and plaquenil atm. With some chest pains and plenty of arthritic issues. She's having her blood test today and I hope all is well for her kidney and organs. And finally, do you think working in a hospital setting will make you feel even tired because you are always dealing with patients and are at a higher risk due to weakened immune system? This actually comes from my sister's rheumatologist as he warned my parents about the negatives or being a health practitioner when a person has lupus is the exposure. Just want to know your opinion on it.

    PLease do reply to my msg I would really love to keep in touch with you as you are the person I'm looking for to learn from you so I can help my sister in the future.
    THANKYOU SO MUCH!

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    Well I’m a newbie, just got diagnosed with lupus last week. But I’ve had poor health for a while now.

    I’m from NZ, so I get access to Medicare in Aussie, and my family are a direct flight away. I do have some extended family who live interstate, and I’m incredibly lucky to have some amazing, understanding and generous friends here. However I do feel very alone here, and I have a lot of responsibility to manage myself and not be a burden on those around me. It is hard.

    I’m halfway through my medical training so I’m gonna keep going – not only because I think I can make it and I love the field, but because my parents remortgaged their house to pay for me to go here. I need to pay them back.

    Also I am lucky in that when I do graduate, I’ll be in a profession with a shortage. Working part-time is encouraged, and there is a huge need for locums and short contracts. Therefore even if my lupus does get bad, I know that I can tailor my work and training around it.

    I want to be a GP so I am worried about the exposure to bugs, too. But if I had children they’d be coughing and spluttering over me, and I’d have to go near daycare centres…. There are bugs everywhere in the world and I can’t hide from them! I think while I’m training I will explain about the lupus and obviously infectious patients can be seen by others. And I’ll be meticulous about handwashing etc.
    I guess your sister can do the same in pharm or dent.

    Getting through this degree is going to be hard work – but I did get through the last two years, so I’m confident that I can do the same now. In saying that, I have already talked to the faculty, if I have a really bad flareup or am struggling so much with a module that it looks like I’ll fail, I am just going to withdraw from that module, spend a few weeks in bed recovering, and do the module again later. This will mean that I will take longer to complete the course and won’t graduate with the rest of my class… but I’m 100% okay with that.

    Would your sister be okay with that??? Or will she beat herself up and get depressed about it?


    You said that doing pharm or dent was your sister’s dream. While I used to believe that being a doctor was my dream, I now challenge anyone who says that a job or career is their ‘dream’. Life is more than working.

    I want to have a challenging, intellectual, busy job. I love science, I love medicine, I love people. I want job security, a good pay packet, I want to be able to live anywhere in the world and work. I want to be respected by the community, I want to make a difference. So I want to be a doctor.

    But my dream is to have a pony. Specifically, I want to do dressage sidesaddle (long story). I’m gonna get involved in Riding for the Disabled again, have an amazing house, (with a library!) and read books, cook, dote on my niece and nephew, and travel more of the world. I also dream of having company for all of this – a partner, or some really awesome friends. Now that’s a dream. Being a doctor will help me achieve these dreams, and I won’t be unhappy while at work.

    At school we are under a lot of pressure to choose a career, and this idea that our dreams should be work is marketed. If you are asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ it is unacceptable to say ‘I don’t know’, or ‘a mother’ etc. People want to hear you profess your dreams of becoming a lawyer, doctor, pilot, CEO etc DESPITE the fact that people in these professions are some of the unhappiest among us.

    The correct answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” is to simply say “I want to be happy”. And at 17 or 18 we really don’t know what makes us happy. Some people never find out.

    Your sister is yet to start her training. While the advice on this forum is not to let the lupus get in the way of your dreams, I think your sister needs to think about what her dreams are, and what would actually make her happy. And to think about her expectations of life and her career. There are so many other jobs out there than the classic lawyer/doctor/pilot, lots that involve aspects of medicine or science. Has she thought about any of those?

    If she’s looking at dent or pharm, she’s probably a straight-A student, with a type A personality. We aren’t used to failing, being ‘average’ or unreliable. I think these factors, more than the germs, are things she needs to consider. A career in pharm or dent is possible, but she won’t be top of the class. She might fail some courses. And when she graduates, she won’t be the hardest working, most reliable staff member. Is she going to be okay with that??? Really?
    Does she have a plan B? Or plan C?

    On the positive side, her symptoms are stable, she’s well educated about the disease, already on treatment, and she has YOU for support. She should know how much work pharmacy is from talking to you, so she’ll be better prepared than others.
    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a-holes.

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