HAHAHAHAHAHA No Iím not Asian. Iím about as white as you can get before you hit albino. Hard work and deference to your parents arenít virtues exclusive to Asians! :-p
I have found that almost all my classmates, white, brown, black, Asian, are very similar. Itís a personality thing.
Now I havenít replied to this for a while because I had to think.
When you described your sister as aggressive when you try and talk to herÖ. Well I know that feeling. That was me when I was 17. It was a mixture of being very unhappy, and believing that fury and determination would get me through my challenges. My self-esteem was centred in achieving well at school, and I was convinced that my life would be Ďmadeí by going to University. I was a real hissing, spitting tyrant if any well-meaning person tried to help me!
Well I didnít enjoy university. It wasnít everything I expected, my fairytales didnít come true. I really struggled academically, but my stubbornness meant that I never admitted anything was wrong. I was a very long way from home and I made few friends. My family were so worried about me but Iíd lash out if they tried to help.
My grades went down every year, As, then Bs, then Cs for my final year. I then went travelling for two years, and worked for two years. Now Iíve studied for two years and Iím 27 years old. But I remember being that 17 year old.
Your sister is trying to regain control over her life, and over lupus. But determination and bloody-mindedness doesnít work with lupus. Willpower will not conquer lupus.
I am worried. If this is her way of coping with this situation I think things will go badly.
It is hard enough shifting overseas from your family. It is hard enough starting at university. It is hard enough starting a degree like pharmacy. It is hard enough dealing with lupus.
All these things combinedÖ are really hard. Anyone would struggle. I didnít have lupus when I did my undergrad, but I certainly had some health problems and some mental health problems. And my way of dealing with it all (willpower and getting angry) just made things so much worse.
I see your sister setting herself up for failure. I know you want to protect her from this but if she is refusing the listen to reason there is little you can do. You cannot fix her lupus for her.
From all the wisdom Iíve read so far on this site, the best way to deal with lupus is to outsmart it. ie with fatigue, you canít Ďpush through ití, but you can sense a flare coming and preempt it with rest. I think if she wants to successfully go to Uni she needs to accept lupus and itís problems and get smart about how to get around them. That might mean changing goals.
If I had my time again, two years ago I wouldnít have started studying Medicine. I would have taken my Plan B, which would be doing my PhD in Public Health. At the end of the day, I would still be happy, in a great intellectual, important job etc etc.
You see, doing a Ďnormalí degree allows so much more flexibility. You can adjust the number of courses you do per semester, pick the ones with lectures and labs that suit, take breaks from study with no repercussions on your academic record. You donít get that with med/dent/pharmacy, there is a limit to how accommodating the course can be.
Has your sister considered doing a science undergrad, and then doing pharm/dent/med as a graduate student? Thatís what Iíve done.
She could do an undergrad in pharmacology, organic chemistry, cellular biology, human physiology etc. That way she could do it at her own pace, and get used to life in Australia and the demands of University life. And these are all very intellectual, stimulating, important degrees in their own right.
I think the best thing you could do for your sister is get her to read this thread and all of this board! You think she might cryÖ well nobody died of crying. And sometimes the right things to do are hard! And get her to join! Thereís a young persons thread here too. And a new member, RaoulDuke, has had lupus since he was 19 and has gone to uni successfully. He might have some better advice than me.
I know she will feel like lupus is robbing her of so many things Ė like partying all night long, socializing, her very high goalsÖ but she will only lose these things if she stays rigid. If she can be flexible and change her mindset, she can Ďoutsmartí the lupus and get the most out of what sheís got. But if she stays stubborn I can guarantee that things wonít go well.
You said sheís having a bad flareup at the moment. This might be because of stress, the idea of these upcoming years and challenges. She might be her own worst enemy, psychologically! Iím not currently on any meds, I see my rheumatologist for the first time next week, but I do see a psychologist. Getting your head right so you can deal with the lupus is just as important as meds.
This probably isnít what you wanted to hear, and certainly isnít what your sister wants to hear! But if you do love her and are concerned for her, get her to read all this, regardless of tears and tantrums. Sheíll probably be angry at you for talking about her Ďbehind her backí but I know you are acting out of love.
And this is all my opinions, of course. Tempered with some life experience. But because I'm flexible and smart, I know I can manage my lupus and still do medicine. It's just HOW to manage, and how far I can flex, is what I need to sort out. I'm lucky that I'm older, settled in Aussie, confident and now have a good sense of self and self-esteem. I have built up strong friendships in the past few years, which makes all these challenges easier. These are things that your sister doesn't have, through no fault of her own. And they are things she needs to accomplish herself.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a-holes.