School Counselors Reveal What Their Jobs Are Really Like
Ever wondered what a school counselor really does?[rebelmouse-image 18359529 is_animated_gif=
We all walked by that office at some point during the school year. We wondered if one of the unfamiliar adults wandering the hallway was the fabled school counselor. So let's get an inside look at who they are and what they do:
u/GoldPastures posed the question: School counselors of Reddit, what is your job really like?
and here we got our inside look.
Overview[rebelmouse-image 18359530 is_animated_gif=
I am a school psychologist/counsellor at a fairly high end independent school in NSW Australia. I work in the prep campus (kindergarten to year 6).
I love my job! The day is a mix of individual counselling (for students with anxiety, depression, difficulties regulating emotions, engaging with peers, ASD), individual assessment (cognitive assessment and achievement testing) as well as running proactive and preventative mental health programs. There are also lots of meetings with parents and teachers to field referrals and consolidate interventions.
I am quite fortunate in my position to be able to work proactively, and just in the one location. Many school counsellors get stuck figuratively slapping on bandaids week to week, and are often spread throughout many schools. They also end up having to roll out assessments en masse in order to allow students to access funding support, which can be extremely monotonous.
Assistance[rebelmouse-image 18359531 is_animated_gif=
Emotional Band-Aids. Serious issues arrive and we either have to file a CPS report, refer to outside agency, or contact parents. Dealt with variety of things.... cutters in 5th grade, domestic abuse witnesses, suicide outcries.... these are not everyday occurrences, but frequent enough. For the most part, are not certified to deal with these hard core issue, so thus the referral out. Daily basis it's guidance lessons on bullying, self esteem, healthy living, respect, etc. Also students come in when they just need someone to talk to. A big part of my job is also identifying students who might need to be referred for special education or dyslexia assessments and processing the paperwork. Oh, and meeting wit parents and teachers.... that's a big part too. Helping teachers with discipline issues, talking to parents about how to better help their child at home. Love the job.
Other Types Of Counsel[rebelmouse-image 18359532 is_animated_gif=
College and career readiness vs emotional support counselor.
Making sure students are taking the courses they need to take, ensuring they are on track for graduation. Help them with the college application process.
Being there for the kids when they have questions about life or when things go wrong and they could use someone to talk to.
Lot of the replies here are sour but they need to understand it's a tough job, I don't envy the counselors at my school it's tough to develop that 1 on 1 relationship with 600 kids ( 5 counselors).
Mediation[rebelmouse-image 18354738 is_animated_gif=
Not me but one of my friends was a school social worker. Her job consists of mediating students who were not getting along, providing support to students that were struggling either academically /socially/ personally, and facilitating group bonding activities from students.
Nebulous[rebelmouse-image 18359533 is_animated_gif=
I'm currently in a masters program to become a school counselor. Your role in a school really depends on what age level you're working with. Elementary school counselors do much more classroom lessons where they can reach more students. High school counselors do more scheduling and college/career readiness. Across all grade levels though, school counselors are there to support students with academic or socioemotional issues.
There are many factors that hinder the effectiveness of a school counselor. Many schools give them additional tasks that are not in their job description like coordinating state standardized tests and having them discipline students which can destroy rapport. The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) recommends that the student to counselor ratio be 250:1 in order for the counselor to be most effective. Some schools have over 600 kids for one school counselor!
In short, school counselors are there to support students in any way that they can, but their job is not easy. If more people understood their role, maybe we could get more school counselors in schools.
Working Hard[rebelmouse-image 18359534 is_animated_gif=
I'm a little late to this thread, but my mom is a high school counselor and boy does she work. She spends a lot of her time at the end of each semester creating schedules for her student's next semester. She works at one of the smaller schools in our county, but she still has to create roughly 220 schedules a semester. She also spends a lot of time meeting with students having personal issues and doing what she can to help. She recently received a grant to train a therapy dog that she takes to school with her daily to help students who are having meltdowns in her office.
Aside from that, she runs a number of clubs such as NHS and for a while, the jazz band and teaches a "good beginnings" class. Good beginnings is a program that helps pregnant high school girls prepare for motherhood and provides them with a support community so they don't have to face the difficulties of teen pregnancy alone.
She helps plan and run a majority of the school's ceremonies and created a character development program that won her a few awards. She also runs a Facebook page that posts scholarship opportunities for high school seniors.
Outside of school, she will often take responsibility for struggling students. The amount of extra "siblings" she's brought home over the years to help out is incredible. We even fostered one of her students for six months when she fell on hard times.
I've been out of the house for a while now, so there are definitely things I'm missing here, but what she does for her students is incredible. School counselors often get a bad rap which is really quite sad. I've never met anyone who works as hard as my mom does for her students, so if you get the chance, thank you counselors for all the hard work they put in. Chances are, they don't hear it enough.
Many, Many Hats[rebelmouse-image 18359535 is_animated_gif=
School counselor here! I work mostly on the college counseling side now with eleventh and twelfth graders but am trained as a school counselor. (I'm a little biased but,) school counselors are the superheroes of a school setting in many cases.
They take on many tasks both within and tangential to their job description, including: individual meetings with students to review and work on their academic goals, problem-solving skills, and social-emotional challenges; group facilitation for small groups that tackle common areas for improvement, including study skills, friendship, family problems, grief, anger management, etc; (on the high school side) many school counselors are responsible for all the logistical and non-logistical facilitation of the college process (applications, financial aid assistance, family meetings, college selection, post-secondary planning for students not attending college, emotional preparation for the college transition, etc.); advocating for students in IEP meetings, family meetings, meetings with DCF, etc; liaising with teachers and administrators to develop and implement academic plans for students struggling with their coursework; and many, many more responsibilities that make up their typical day-to-day.
School counselors also often serve students in crisis, but ideally if a school's social-emotional supports are functioning perfectly, this would be a small component of a school counselor's role. We are trained to serve students in a short-term capacity, and for students who are suffering severe mental health challenges or are facing social-emotional issues that require long-term care, we may refer out.
On top of all these things, school counselors are often tasked with many non-counseling related responsibilities, including organizing and proctoring standardized tests, lunch and transitional duty, afterschool coaching or program leadership, organizing field trips and college visits as well as in-school events, classroom teaching, literacy work, etc.
The reason I think they are superheroes is because they (attempt, at least) to execute all this work through a strengths-based lens that really lifts up the stories and voices of all of the young people with whom they work. We are so privileged to be able to observe first-hand the incredible growth that happens in schools, and if we do our job right, we are often people students remember throughout their post-secondary years and beyond.
A Bad Example[rebelmouse-image 18351481 is_animated_gif=
I hope they've improved since I was in school. Mine's response to me having a hard time in school due to my dad nearly dying from complications of a brain tumor was, "You walk around at school like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders and it's bringing other people down. Why don't you should join a sport to get your mind off it? You'd lose weight as a bonus."
Chameleon[rebelmouse-image 18359536 is_animated_gif=
Some great answers here already but from your typical American school....
Elementary school (if the school district is progressive enough to have counselors):
You are essentially an assistant principal, special education teacher, counselor, social worker, or any hat you need to wear that day. Running lunch groups, coordinating 504 plans, IEP's, preparing kids for middle school, working on social interactions, and really anything to fill in the gaps for what these children are not getting at home.
Middle school: 504's, IEP's, behavior interventions, peer mediations, planning for high school, college and career planning/exploration. Severe mental health concerns e.g. Cutting, depression, anxiety. Again, wearing whatever hat you need to that day.
High school (in most school districts): planning high school schedules, college planning, paperwork...... And more paperwork. Some schools are starting to take the scheduling aspect out of the job, but most are heavy in the standard guidance counselor job description.
School counselors are one of the most underutilized parts of a school and teachers/administraters misunderstand what they should be using them for.
The Dirty Details[rebelmouse-image 18350998 is_animated_gif=
As a school counselor I had a student come in crying because she was pregnant. When asked about birth control she said, "but I took the pill before AND after." Major facepalm, but hey, job security.....
4th grader and mom comes in for a meeting because he was below grade level in math. About 6 people siting in the meeting. Look at mom during the meeting to ask her a question, freaking chinchilla climbs out from her cleavage.
9th grade boy sculpted a dog out of his poop and brought it to my office as a gift. Sh-tty gift.
Kid squeezed superglue in another kids ear while he was asleep at his desk. The victim had bullied the kid earlier in the year, payback was earned.
Just a few of the stories. Being a school counselor is fun, because you never know what will happen at any moment. But counselors can not talk about the issues with other people so it is sometimes lonely if you are the only counselor in a school.
No Support[rebelmouse-image 18345404 is_animated_gif=
We had counselors in my high school, but I honestly didn't know they were also there to help you with your mental/emotional welfare until the end of my senior year when they had us rate them and their services. I thought they only processed transcripts and dealt with academic issues like setting you up for summer school if you failed a class or something.
Breakdown[rebelmouse-image 18359537 is_animated_gif=
Currently have one year left for my Masters of Ed psych degree (school counseling), but during our master program we also have to work in a practicum and an internship in the schools. As a school counselor, our main responsibilities are as follows:
Guidance Curriculum - This is where the counselors go around to each class and present a lesson plan to every student. Usually ranges from College and Career Readiness, bullying, navigating middle school, etc.
Individual Planning - Each student meets with their counselor over the course of the school year to discuss where they are academically and to plan ahead for the future
Responsive services - This is one of the more common responsibilities of a counselor. Here we are dealing with the everyday occurrences within the school (bullying, disruptive students, fights, etc.) essentially, we are there to put out fires.
System support - This is where we attending training seminars and PBIS meetings (positive behavioral intervention and support) to learn how we can better serve our teachers and our students.
The grade level you work with does determine what I would be doing more however. For example, at the high school level, my responsibilities consist more of making sure kids are on track for graduation and prepared for college where as in the middle school, we are more focused on getting kids on a good academic path.
Graduation[rebelmouse-image 18359538 is_animated_gif=
I'm a high school counselor. Definitely a big focus on making sure that students are on track for graduation requirements, but you need a counseling degree for the job, so it's nice to be able to use therapeutic skills when students need help getting through the day. People want to hear about the f-cked up stories, and they happen, but it doesn't define my job very well.
When I Actually Get To....[rebelmouse-image 18359539 is_animated_gif=
School counselor here!! When I actually get to be a school counselor it's great. I get to talk to students about a wide variety of issues they're having, help them resolve problems between themselves and with other adults and get to do class lessons on social and emotional issues. I also run small groups and do some school-wide PBIS things. I work at a very understaffed elementary school though so my ability to do my job is hindered by the many additional tasks I was assigned to do that take my time away from the students. I'm making the move to high school next year but will miss being an elementary counselor.
Infractions[rebelmouse-image 18359540 is_animated_gif=
I'm a school social worker in California. Went to grad school for my MSW with an emphasis in schools my last year of the program. Had to get a pupil personnel credential as well. My job is great, I love working with the population and each day is somewhat different. Some of my duties include individual and group counseling, leading class workshops and assemblies, parent workshops, linkages to resources for families in need. I also respond to crises and conduct threat assessments and make CPS reports on occasion. I work with admin and teachers and suggest specific behavior interventions that might work best with specific students. I also track infraction and behavior data throughout the year in order to follow trends in student behavior and see how to make things better at our school. So many different jobs in one which makes it so enjoyable.
So Many Side Jobs[rebelmouse-image 18346427 is_animated_gif=
Current senior and a counselors office aide. The main job of our counselors is academic planning, with a few frequent fliers that come in to talk to their counselor almost every day, always unscheduled. At our school you have to fill out a slip to see your counselor and it's eventually processed when they have time, and some kids just don't get this. They get really s****y with our lovely receptionist and my fellow office aides, so we have to push back another kid's appointment to appease them. It's really hard and our counselors do so much, especially recently since we had the death of some seniors and a sophomore, they've been working full steam ahead. They deal with a lot of kids with emotional problems as frequent fliers (anger issues, depression, classroom anxiety, etc.) but there's also a large majority who just like to come in for bullshit reasons. All in all it's not as high risk or glamorous as Hollywood would have you believe. These people work their ass off for you and you don't even know!! Show them thanks!!
A Netherlands View[rebelmouse-image 18359541 is_animated_gif=
I work as a student counselour in the Netherlands on a highschool for middleclass education. (Age 12-17) My work mainly consist of guiding student who struggle with behavioral problems, psychologic problems, drug abuse, child protection in some cases and basically annything you can think of that would be classified as a serious problem.
My office is situated as a time-out zone for children that get removed from the classroom by the teacher. They get a note written by the teacher that tells me the reason of their removal and they get work for the remainding time of the class in question. I usually talk about what happened and offer advice and issue the consequiences of their actions as forms of detention or extra assignments wich i then communicate to the classes' mentor. I also register the students who were absent without a proper reason during classes and call them out on why they were absent.
Lastly i just walk around the school in my downtime to speak to the students in a informal manner to ask them how they are doing at home or talk about their hobbys and such. Just making small talk to get a proper bond with the children so they know where to go when they are facing tougher times. As a counselour i really feel like you should make rounds outside of your office to get yourself know to the students.
I love my job and seeing my students develope is amazing in such a small amount of time. Even though the job can be pretty rough at times.
Every Day A New Day[rebelmouse-image 18345705 is_animated_gif=
I am a school counselor in a low income rural school. I do everything from wash students clothes and provide them with a place to take a shower to sitting with them while they are interviewed by law enforcement and CPS. There is no "average" day for me.
Some days I help groups of students figure out how to get along or how to just co-exist with people they don't like. Basic coping skills that they are missing from home.
Some days I am listening to a student tell me they are suicidal or harming themselves and have to make the calls to parents and other agencies to help them get the services they need. It can be an incredibly stressful and saddening job, but some days you get a win. No matter how small, it reminds you why you are there to begin with.
Assessments[rebelmouse-image 18359542 is_animated_gif=
I'm a school psychologist in the U.S. Depending on the school and district my position can overlap with school counselors. Unfortunately I do not in any significant way (unless I personally pursue it, which I've done on occasion). At least not in my current position. Like another user mentioned, some of us get stuck in a revolving door of assessment.
I primarily do psycho-educational assessments, which consists of cognitive/intelligence tests, academic achievement tests, and depending on the concerns social-emotinal tests. All these tests are based off of national norms, and require a lot of training to administer according to standards. I do more than just test for these assessments, like observations and interviews. It's sort of like being a detective! I investigate to find the source of a student's struggles. Typically I don't start testing students until special education is considered. Which is another topic for another day.
In all honesty, I am just finishing up my internship year. The schools I work with didn't really get the memo though, so I was treated as if I was fully credentialed. It is surprisingly hard to find school psyscholigists in the U.S. If anyone is curious about more, or how to become a school psych, drop me a PM. I would love to see more people interested in the field!
It's a teacher's job to leave a lasting impression and set a good example for their students.
With this in mind, particularly in this age of viral videos and social media, teachers have to be very careful of what they say during class hours.
Even so, there are very few teachers who haven't said something they've regretted when teaching a class.
Sometimes to control unruly students, other times when they've simply had enough.
Then too, sometimes teachers leave their students baffled and perplexed by what they say in their classroom, well aware of what they were saying.
Always making for a memorable story.
"What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard teacher say in class?"
And Anyone With Such Closed Minded Views Shouldn't Be Teaching...
"Had the Head of the Department in college claim in class that anyone who actually needs accommodations for mental health issues should not be in college to begin with."
"This was while we were discussing 'Death of a Salesman' and the discussion had veered over to unhealthy pressure and social standards for success."- RavensQueen502
"My very well-respected Biology teacher in college spent almost an entire lecture telling us that Jamie Lee Curtis was a hermaphrodite."
"It seemed oddly personal to him."- Urbane_Cowboy
Sad On So Many Levels
"Not heard but my freshmen year high school teacher once pulled a bottle of Jack out of his desk and took a shot during class."
"He was dying so towards the end I think he just stopped caring."- Mangothefello
Can't Take The Heat, Then Stay Out Of The Classroom...
"High school science teacher told my class that a kilometre was longer than a mile."
"Refused to budge when refuted and kicked out several students for doing so."- SupersonicDebris13
"5th grade teacher: 'Mount Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the world'."
"5th grade me blurts out: 'No it isn't, Mount Everest is."
"Whitney is not even the tallest mountain in the USA, which is Mount McKinley in Alaska'."
"I got in trouble for 'contradicting the teacher'."- gtmattzget out GIFGiphy
It's Not Just Students Who Are Bullies...
"I had a teacher ridicule a fat kid about his lunch choices in front of the whole class."
"He ran out crying as she was making fat guy blimp gestures and telling him he was going to be huge as an adult."- SnooOwls5859
Some Dramatic License It Seems...
"I had a literature teacher who told the class that he didn't believe in dinosaurs, because the universe is only a couple thousand years old."
"The bones were put there by Satan."
"Thank f*ck he wasn't a science or history teacher."- AllBadAnswersof montreal dancing GIF by Polyvinyl RecordsGiphy
Everyone Deserves Nice Acomodations...
"My English teacher told us that he genuinely believes that the Rothchilds own a hotel for aliens in the Bermuda triangle."- TroyLear77
"We had this kid in our 6th-grade class."
"Very dark skinned kid from Africa."
"His name was Tajak."
"Every now and then when we'd line up to go to another class or lunch and the lights would go out some of his friends would go 'where Tajak at?'"
"Anyway one day we had a sub and we we're lining up for lunch, the lights went out and there went the 'where Tajak at?' and the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER who was also black went 'Boy you darker than night'."
"6th grade was f*cking wild."- 11221mikew
"Psych teacher in high school told us that 1 in 10 of the people were friends with in high school would be dead within 5 years of graduating."
"At the time I thought it was hyperbole, but it turns out he was being conservative."
"3 of the people in my high school friend group were dead by the time I was 22."- Reddit
Do They Really Need A Reason?
"'Now girls, don't you let them boys touch your breasts'."
"'It'll give you cancer'."- jondru
Maybe Should Have Checked With The Geography Teacher?
"A teacher in Elementary school claimed during history class that the Colosseum was in Greece, as an Italian kid I was very confused, this was in Mexico."- Spascucci
So Much For Instilling Hope...
"Didn't hear this personally, but read in a book about a guy who recalled his teacher skipping chapters in a textbook and saying 'You will not need to know this when you are down in the mines'."- futanari_kaisa
The mark of a good teacher is that students will take everything they hear from them with them for the rest of their lives.
Though, the less-than-wonderful teachers may also say things their students will never forget.
People Who've Had A Serious Illness Describe The Exact Moment They Knew Something Was Really Wrong
As a kid, I never raised alarm bells even when I started to feel sick. My mom got stressed easily and was busy taking care of my younger brother, so I never wanted to be a burden by making her take me to the doctor only to find out nothing was wrong.
However, in fifth grade, my ears started to hurt and I knew something was wrong. I told my mom, she took me to the doctor, and I found out I had an ear infection.
Now, an ear infection isn't serious at all, and it was easily treatable. Still, I learned something from that experience: no one knows your body better than you. You know if and when you're sick and how serious it is, even if you don't now exactly what is wrong.
Redditors can corroborate this. Many of them have experienced symptoms that told them they were sick in some way -- usually with a very serious illness -- and are ready to share those experiences.
It all started when Redditor thelearner18 asked:
"People who have had a serious disease (cancer, MS, organ failure, etc) when did you realize something was really wrong?"
A Lesson Learned
"Hust found out i have rectal cancer. 42 yrs old. multiple stools per day, not fully emptying, thin poop. so got a colonoscopy. bam! cancer. starting chemo next week. lesson learned for everyone....if your stools or stool schedule changes, go see a doctor"
A Lucky Break
"I had been having a lot of pain in my midsection, and all around my torso for several weeks. I went to the doctor and it was dismissed as gynecological cramping (menopausal?). It remained. After several weeks (6-8) I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to emergency in the middle of the night. I got a CT scan that showed a large kidney stone. They also found a mass on my ovary. The kidney stone lead them to finding a rare ovarian cancer. If not for that stone, I wouldn’t have known about the cancer and might not have caught it in time. I have been in remission since September 2021."
Cause For Concern
"My kid, who was 14 at the time, kept throwing up in the morning and having weird headaches. Her doctor thought it was migraines. She went back a couple of times, but the doctor was not concerned. Then one day she complained of a whooshing noise in her ear. Went to the children’s hospital and found out it was a brain tumor near her cerabellum. She was in ICU for a month, but turned out it was non cancerous and it never grew back. She is doing great now."
"I heard a whooshing noise in my ear a few years ago I only really heard it at night when it was quiet it would sometimes switch ears now I basically never hear it. I'm pretty sure it was just pulsatile tinnitus but still scary."
It Was The Salt
"I have Cystic Fibrosis (terminal lung disease) and it was found out when I didn't sh*t for 3 days after I was born and then my mother gave me a kiss and said I tasted REALLY salty."
"Now I'm on a gene modification drug called Trikafta and this is some serious witch craft a** sh*t because I no longer feel sick to death and I basically feel like a normal person. It's f*cking wild!
"Went from 19% lung function to 87% in 3 months. I no longer cough my a** off or feel like I'm suffocating from mucus. Go science!"
A Funky Optic Nerve
"I was diagnosed with MS when I was 22 after having blurred vision in one eye after a ski trip. I went to the optometrist and they said I had a dry eye probably from not wearing goggles while snow boarding. So they gave me steroid drops. After a week it kept getting worse, so I went back and they told me my eye looked much better so they did a field of view test, which showed I couldn’t see anything out of the lower half of one eye. They sent me straight to the emergency room since nothing was wrong physically wrong with my eye. They did some tests and I was diagnosed with MS and ended up going completely blind in one eye. My vision eventually came back and I got on medication within a month so haven’t really had any symptoms or issues since thankfully. I’m only 29 now though."
Caught It In Time
"This isn't me, but this happened to my best friend VERY recently. Like in the last couple of months."
"Was perfectly fine and healthy one day. Then the next he started feeling a little bit of pain in his kidney. He'd had kidney stones before, so he figured it was that again. Then he started peeing blood. He thought it was still part of the kidney stone thing so let it go for a couple days, but he was still peeing blood and the pain was getting worse."
"That's when he decided to go to the doctor. They did an X-ray and found a mass in his kidney and told him that based on where it was located they can't remove the mass, and they can't do a partial kidney removal, and it's about a 90% chance it's cancerous, but they wouldn't be able to do a biopsy without removing the kidney first. They did the whole insurance dance, but it went fast and within two weeks he was in surgery having his kidney removed."
"He's still recovering at home right now, but they got the biopsy results last week. It was indeed cancerous, but they caught it before it spread."
Happily Ever After
"I couldn’t walk anymore with my crutch I had been using to get by. Had Been on Percocet for 8 months because of the extreme pain. Nobody was finding answers to my pain but I knew something was wrong, badly. After finally having an ultra sound on my hips at the age of 26 I found out I had to undergo a double hip replacement to walk again due to a serious rare disease. I was stage 4 Avascular Nercrosis. Took a year to recover from both. But Happier ending, I’m doing good now. However it was very very upsetting news to get over a phone call at 26."
It Really Sneaks Around
"My wife started getting numbness in her right arm. The breast cancer had spread to her right shoulder and the tumor was crushing the nerves. She has stage four breast cancer in her bones."
A Turn For The Worse
"For me, it started May 14, 2014. I went to work and was having a good morning. Then, at about 9:00 in the morning or so, I started to feel some lower abdominal pain. Not to be crude, but it felt like that cramp you get when you really need to go to the bathroom. I did so, but the pain didn't go away. It got worse. I started to feel chills, was sweating, and felt nauseated. My employer has a clinic on site, so I went there. After some poking and prodding, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home or if I wanted to go to the emergency room. I decided to go home, and if the pain didn't subside, then I'd go to the emergency room. As I was saying that, though, I noticed that my pain had gotten a LOT worse. They always make you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. When I went into the clinic, I was mostly uncomfortable, maybe a high 2 going into a 3. On that very subjective scale, I was now a 6 or a 7."
"I changed my mind and decided to go straight to the nearest emergency room. My boss drove me, and by the time we got there about 15 minutes later, I was now a 10. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. My previous definition of the worst pain I'd ever felt was when I broke 7 bones in my wrist, it was misdiagnosed as a sprain, and I had to have them rebroken 2 weeks later. The pain in my abdomen was now worse than that. The emergency room admitted me and put me in a wheelchair. They wheeled me to a room, I curled up on the bed they put me in, and passed out."
"At some point, a nurse came in and gave me some morphine. Great stuff. No pain at all anymore. A doctor came in and told me they suspected a kidney stone. He wanted me to get a CT scan to confirm it, and I agreed. An orderly wheeled me off to imaging. I got scanned without contrast and was wheeled back to the room. My wife had arrived while I was getting scanned. Shortly later, the doctor who told me he thought it was a kidney stone came into the room. With another doctor. And two nurses. They all crowd around me with solemn looks on their faces."
"The first doctor told me it was a kidney stone. A 2 to 3 mm kidney stone had been lodged in the ureter of my left kidney. That's the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder. It passed into my bladder when they gave me the morphine, but they could see evidence of it on the CT scan. Then the other doctor said they were more concerned about the 6 cm mass they found on my right kidney. They had my attention."
"They did another CT scan, with contrast this time, and it was impossible to see anything but a tumor in the pictures they showed me. They made an appointment for me with a urologist for the next day, as well as an appointment in a few days time to get it biopsied. It was an after-hours appointment for the urologist, but he was nice enough to stay late to see me. He looked at the CT Scans and cancelled my appointment to get it biopsied. He said there was nothing else it could be but cancer, and the kidney would have to go."
"Two months later, I had the kidney and the tumor removed laparoscopically. I was incredibly lucky. They caught it in stage 1. The doctor said there were signs it was going to start moving soon. I have no idea how doctors can look at a softball sized lump of cancer and tell anything other than 'gross', but that's why they're the doctors and I'm not."
"My recovery was smooth, and I've been cancer-free for 9 years. I was incredibly blessed. I didn't have to deal with chemo, or radiation. While those can save your life, they are also horrible experiences with nasty side effects. I didn't have to deal with any of them. I was bracing myself to have to. They said it was a possibility. But I didn't. I have every respect for those not as fortunate as me, and wish them all the best in recovery."
Reason #5,622 To Start Exercising
"I started jogging again to try and get back into running shape. I kept noticing that just after a mile or so, I'd stop and get REALLY lightheaded. Kept thinking, "oh, I'm really out of shape" and kept going. Went in a few weeks later for my annual physical and doctor said "you ever been told you have a heart murmur?", no. Two months later I spent Christmas of 2017 in the ICU after having a section of my aorta cut out and a new valve put in. Surgeon said it was bad. Said it wouldn't have made it too much longer."
"Edit: for clarification, it was an aortic dissection."
Slow And Steady
"My dad's friend went on a hike with a doctor who knew him and he was winded not far from the car. The doctor clocked it right away and told him to get his heart checked. He had 98% blockage in his heart arteries."
"He tells my dad so my dad gets the test to see how his arteries are doing and they found a massive aneurism on his aorta. He is getting it removed tomorrow. He had no symptoms but the doctors said if he had overdone it he would be dead before anyone would even know what was going on. Crazy how a random friend's hike may have saved his life."
It Takes A Village
"I never did, my teacher and parents did."
"I was seven, usually an active kid and my first grade teacher noticed that rather than running around at recess I sat down and took a nap. It happened a couple more times and after I fell asleep in class (totally out of character), she gave my parents a call, we had been visiting the doc fairly regularly cause I was also complaining of joint pain and frequent ear infections combined with the new symptoms and a new doc at the practice I was finally diagnosed with leukemia."
Thank goodness for that teacher (and of course, the parents)!
When in the beginning stages of dating, it's important to know as much as humanly possible.
The element of surprise is no longer a fun aspect of romance.
Ask the small questions. Ask the hard questions.
Interrogate. Grill. Investigate.
Of course, you should do it with a subtle hand instead of an interrogation lamp.
The truth is all we have.
Redditor RedditPenguin02 wanted to make a list of the best inquiries to make when starting a relationship, so they asked:
"What is a good question to ask before you start dating someone?"
From what I've learned in my past, always ask... "Are you into Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The TV show."
If it's a no, then it's a dealbreaker.
I DoShocked Schitts Creek GIF by CBCGiphy
"Are you married?"
"I would ask that. If they said no, the next question was 'Would your wife agree?'"
"If they laughed, they were telling the truth. If they got indignant and pissed off that I thought they were lying…they were married."
"Worked every time."
"Do you clap when the plane lands?"
"I swear people used to do this all the time when I was a kid (early 2000’s), and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone do it in 5+ years. I guess 9/11 really made people afraid of flying for about 10 years and then most folks decided they didn’t need to applaud when the plane landed safely?"
"Do you want kids in the future? If one person wants kids and the other wants to stay child-free, then they are not compatible. And it is better to try dating someone else."
"It confuses me whenever some couples who disagree on this end up in a conundrum because one expected the other to change their mind. This is something I bring up early cause I see no future with someone who wants kids when I do not."
"You should always put childfree on your dating profile. It's not a small thing. Either you agree on it or not. If I had to date, I would put childfree on my profile too."
Carb it on...
"Do you like bread? That is the extent of my flirting skills."
"Being German, bread is like a frickin' cultural phenomenon here, we have around 300 kinds of bread, there's a bread museum, every time I go on vacation I'm like yeah it's nice here but the bread ain't it yall, never as good as home lol. So yeah, valid question and the only answer to this is an enthusiastic yes."
Room TemperatureFrosty The Snowman Winter GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"What temperature do you set the thermostat to throughout the year?"
"Haha this one always gets me as someone who needs low temps - you can always put on more clothes, I can't peel my skin off to get cooler."
The thermostat is a dealbreaker for me.
It's gonna be 60. Love it or move on.
DiscoveryBlown Away Wow GIF by AminéGiphy
"When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
"Opens a window to how they think."
"If that was really early on in the dating I’d think it was a bit of a head-f**k question. I’d probably find that question a red flag, tone dependent, although I agree with the sentiment."
"Aside from major differences about finances, kids, politics, or religion, a big one is; What are your hobbies? If they don’t really have any, you may be the next hobby, which isn’t going to work unless you’ve got that kind of time. If the hobbies are time-consuming ones generally done with a SO."
"But you have no interest in them, that could be an issue as well. If only one of you likes camping, wanted to spend vacation lounging instead of exploring, didn’t like sports, etc either that partner is annoyed or the other feels like they don’t get to enjoy what they love."
"Ask them about their exes. If they think every single one of them is an a**hole... they are likely the real a**hole."
"I have mixed feelings about that - I've been in three previous relationships and all three were emotionally abusive towards me (one wasn't nearly as bad as the other two, though) in various ways. I know this is a common sentiment and it always makes me afraid that people won't believe me or something.
"I mean, I realize in your comment you said 'likely' and not '100% sure' and there's plenty of room for nuance."
"I would try to take care of any dealbreakers. If I find out that she has different political values than I do, it's not going to work out in the long run, so I wouldn't bother. Same thing with other factors (religion, financial values, etc.). I would also ask how much cuddling she likes to engage in, as I prefer a lot."
EssentialsTell Me More To Do List GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"When I was dating my three essential questions were always kids, sex, and money. If you're not on the same wavelength for any of those three things, just don't even try."
"So, how much personal debt do you have?"
"Source: the guy who dated a woman with huge debts and was asked to pay for everything and then some".
"After that, I'd go with, 'Have you ever been diagnosed with borderline, narcissistic, or histrionic personality disorders?"
The questions are basic.
Just ask for the truth.
Do you have any good Qs to add to the queue? Let us know in the comments below.
As much as we always hop for our dating efforts to be worth it and for every relationship to work out, we all know that some relationships are not destined to work out.
But sometimes relationships end for totally valid reasons, and sometimes the reasons are painful, if not devastating.
Redditor overIorded asked:
"What went wrong with your last partner?"
History Repeating Itself
"He cheated on me. And I was glad because that was finally reason enough to allow myself to leave."
"Now I know somebody who's in the same situation. They're trapped. And she's such a gentle and fun person who's afraid to leave him because 'well, it's always been like this, I'm used to it,' and 'I deserve it.'"
"She wants to leave him, she knows she should leave him, but it's so hard to do it, and I know that feeling."
"I'm thinking I should give her my phone number like when the day comes you've had enough, I'll gladly come to help you move out from that s**thole."
Mental Health Struggles
"I'm lost in my own trauma and mental illness and he deserves better than anything I have to offer right now."
"I’ve been on the receiving end of this, and mildly said, it absolutely ruined me. Her trauma and mental problems were BAD, but I still wanted to be with them. So if you ask me, as long as they can give you the space and support you need, and want to be with you, let them make the decision."
"It's also fair and mature to care very much about someone but realize that you only have the emotional bandwidth to take care of yourself right now."
"I'm sure it was very hard for both of you to come to terms with that decision. I don't think it's that he deserves better, I think it's that your attention needs to be on guiding yourself through this thicket of trauma and mental illness before you can be someone else's partner. You can love each other very much but also acknowledge that you don't have the tools to spare for a relationship right now."
"I'm proud of you for focusing on your own mental health and someday, when you have more emotional stability and energy, I hope you find a wonderful partner."
"We disagreed on how many women he was allowed to date. I’m very strong on monogamy and have no interest in someone (in a supposedly committed relationship) that isn’t."
At Least There's That
"Her psychotic brother tried to kill me. Thankfully he has a Stormtrooper's aim..."
"Hate the attempted murder, love the 'Star Wars' reference."
"He wanted a big family, like, six kids, all-natural. Obviously, he wouldn't be birthing them. This was very important to him while I was pretty ambivalent about kids, and the further into my adulthood I've gotten, the more I've realized I just don't want to be pregnant."
"I broke it off so we could both get the lives we wanted. He was also quite a bit more conservative than me, and at the time closeted pansexual person, and some stuff he believed just didn't line up with what I believed. It hurt, but it was amicable."
"Now he has a wife and kids like he wanted, and I am happily partnered and childfree. It worked out for the best."
"She hated that I had a healthy relationship with my family and was trying to find ways to sabotage it."
"Similar aspect to mine, she hated my sister and mother because she had a bad relationship with her sister and mother. She would get mad at me whenever I brought my family up."
"My last boyfriend dumped me because I got mad that he was coming to Dallas after I hadn't seen him for two months, but didn't want to see me."
"He was going to meet up with some friends of his he hadn't seen in a few months. I told him that was fine with me, but I felt he should make time to see me too since we hadn't seen each other in two months and we were supposed to be a couple."
"He responded to my anger by ghosting me. That was two years ago."
Distracted with a Punch
"A girl contacted me about him talking to her. I asked him what was going on, and he sucker-punched me in the face."
"He cheated on me for all six years we were together and then accused me of cheating on him, even though I wasn't allowed to leave the house."
"I'm also pretty sure he slept with my sister-in-law when my brother and I went to pick up dinner."
Children Come First
"He was and still is no father to his kids, has anger issues, and probably has other mental health issues. I tried for years to help him and help the relationship, but he wasn't having it. After seeing how my oldest suffered under him, I had to leave."
"I communicated how I felt about many things in the relationship. He never communicated about anything."
"Oh look, it's the last 14 years of my life..."
"I'm guilty of this, and boy, do I regret not being able to open up about my feelings. It cost me my marriage. But now I'm trying to be more open and share my thoughts and feelings. Just wished I could've done this earlier than later."
"I started drinking again and became a miserable a**hole due to my own depression and my s**tty job. As such, she didn't get the attention she deserved, and had to put up with my s**tty mood all the time... so she left. I don't blame her."
"So, it was me. I don't know if I trust myself with a relationship again, but aside from the shame of knowing I hurt someone who I loved, and loved me back, but I was too self-absorbed and selfish, I am trying to be a better human to everyone."
"And to my ex: You'll find someone again... someone better."
"He wanted to move to Alaska to be with some girl he was 'friends' with before me."
"My ex's early-onset Alzheimers (at the age of 50) and the resulting violence, paranoia, and irrational thinking. I tried to honor my vows, but he was so far out there, I feared for my life."
Different Definitions of Marriage
"She cheated on me after five years total together, the last one of which was while we were engaged. She cheated on me for months, all while I was planning the wedding, working part-time, and going to graduate school so I can support us comfortably in the future."
"I planned on giving her everything I could and sharing the rest of my life with her, and apparently she didn’t care."
This conversation just goes to show that relationships can end for all kinds of reasons. Even in relationships where there is still a lot of love and committment, the relationship can still end, just like how the relationship can end suddenly because of a surprising and devastating realization.