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Mono, PE and Cornell Freshman

sandpitsandpit Posts: 158Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2007 in Cornell University
My daughter is a freshman and probably has mono. Her blood work came back as "inconclusive" which is not unusual in the first week of acute symptoms. The problem with "inconclusive" is with things such as cardio-kick boxing, which would be forbidden with mono but is a registered PE class with attendance rules. The clinic said "come back if not better or get worse, take Advil for swollen tonsils, throat and fever".

How does Cornell handle such things as mono? Hers is currently severe enough to be ruining her sleep and as bad as a bad flu for 4 days now. She has a math prelim next week as well.

Is it just bad luck or does she have flexibility in rescheduling prelims or excused absences from cardio kick boxing? If she isn't allowed to take more PE this semester, does she have to take two classes in spring?

She's the type of student that would need physical restraints to make her miss a class.

Advice? Thanks in advance.
Post edited by sandpit on

Replies to: Mono, PE and Cornell Freshman

  • FiggyFiggy Posts: 2,717Registered User Senior Member
    I can't tell u about gym but she should DEFINITELY email the professors...only an insane professor would say she would have to come into class w/ a high fever and no ability to study. I would defffinitely talk to the professors and call gannett as well if it gets worse. I hope she feels better! (Plus physical activity while u have mono can cause long term damage so I feel that there is hardly an issue if she gets diagnosed with it: she can't participate.) The teacher of the gym class will probably be able to tell her what to do once she gets better. My friend who has mono was told by a doctor she couldn't do any physical activity for a month so that definitely hurts the whole gym class plan. I'd talk to people directly and not rely on the internet except for general advice. Anyway, I hope she gets better!
  • hpmbshpmbs Posts: 291Registered User Junior Member
    As far as PE classes, she doesn't have to take 2 next semester, she can take them during any semester at cornell. I took one every semester freshman and sophomore years for the fun of it. So if she has to drop this one, she could take 2 next semester, or one next semester and 1 soph year.

    And for the math prelim: I'd recommend bringing a doctor's note to the professor. From what I've heard, professors will either allow a makeup exam (prob like a week later) or they will drop that exam for her and make her other prelims worth a higher percentage.

    For both situations she should talk to the instructors and bring a doctors note because they usually ask for one.
  • fedmom1080fedmom1080 Posts: 155Registered User Junior Member
    I would not allow your daughter to do major physical activity if she truly has mono since she could have an enlarged spleen (common with mono) and really hurt herself. Have her skip the gym class.
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,324Registered User Senior Member
    I don't think your daughter has to choose between participating in the gym class when she does not feel well enough and skipping it and therefore having to repeat gym another semester.

    There is undoubtedly a procedure for such situations. What she needs to do is to e-mail or call as many people as possible -- at Gannett, the PE department, maybe even the Tatkon Center (the counseling and referral center for freshmen) and explain her situation. Cornell does not want your daughter endangering herself by doing strenuous physical activity when it may be unsafe for her to participate. There is undoubtedly a way to handle this situation properly; she just needs to ask, and ask again, and keep asking until she finds out who has the answer.

    And she should definitely e-mail the math professor. It may be possible to postpone the prelim.

    The thing about Cornell (I am both an alumna and a Cornell parent) is that it's very large and decentralized. But it's not cruel. The faculty and staff at Cornell will often go out of their way to help out a student with a problem. But the student must take the initiative to let the faculty and staff know about the problem. Cornell isn't going to do it for her.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    Be sure she has an EBV IGG/IGM panel and NOT just a mono spot test. Nothing worse than thinking you have it and you don't. But in the meantime, if there is an inconclusive mono spot test, her spleen IS at risk if she does have it, and there HAS to be a mechanism for excused absences with make up for illness--unless the health care provider will not write one until a positive test is back.
  • 3togo3togo Posts: 5,231Registered User Senior Member
    edited October 2007
    Many moons ago when I was at Cornell they were very flexible about the gym requirements ... and I would have to think, if anything, they are more student friendly now. In my situation there was confusion about whether I should get gym credits for semesters I was on the cross country and track teams but injuried ... after a couple quick conversations the old "bad" grades were removed and I made up my gym requirement as a senior. No problem at all.
  • fedmom1080fedmom1080 Posts: 155Registered User Junior Member
    Depending on when she had the blood work done, her titer may not have been high enough to detect an Ig response. They can repeat the blood work in a couple of more days. Upon a physical exam a doctor should be able to tell if her spleen is enlarged.
  • seuferkseuferk Posts: 547Registered User Member
    what building does she live in? I hear mono is going around pretty bad right now. i'm a little bit scared.
  • sandpitsandpit Posts: 158Registered User Junior Member
    Thankfully, her diagnosis turned out to be bronchitis, not mono. Her swollen tonsils and exhaustion made mono a strong possibility, but when we requested her blood work, we noticed the white blood cell counts strongly suggested bacterial vs viral infection. We called up the doctor and he had her visit (third time!), diagnosed the bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics. Hopefully she's learned to ask questions, get the #s and push the doctors as needed. They should have been more proactive about her needing antibiotics. She had heard of one girl in the dorm who had to go home for semester due to mono, but that's the only one she heard about.
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