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Hell or High Water

Thus far all field research has proved I am immortal. Well, at least more difficult to kill than anticipated. The side effects of the Benlysta lasted quite a bit longer than anticipated. The psychological impact was a surprise for all involved, luckily I’m doing better now. Through some act of god my teachers allowed me to finish my school work over winter break [well one JUST got finished]. In fact, upon receiving my email explaining the situation they had a group meeting and figured out what needed to be done in order for me to graduate on time and finish out the semester.  I realize I am incredibly lucky/blessed to have teachers who are so willing to go up to bat for me. Not a single one asked for a shred of evidence, they took me at my word. This is absolutely amazing considering the nature of my situation and how damn weird it is. Thanks to them I was able to keep my internship and am almost done with my student teaching. This is not to say there haven’t been issues.

For instance:

  • Right now I am having hip and shoulder issues and doubled up on my Celebrex.
  • I can’t feel my hands and feet intermittently due to peripheral neuropathy.
  • Steroid shots.
  • My rheumatologist wants me to seek treatment for my hands [who has time for that?]
  • I’m still getting headaches even though I just had my Botox treatment.
  • Fevers.
  • Intermittently needing my cane.

Despite this laundry list of grossness, I need to focus on my goals. My husband and I are buying a house [we move in 3 weeks, I have packed nothing], I graduate in a just over a month, and I am fielding multiple job offers. These are all things I had at one point or another seen as impossible. These are the things I strive for, this is what beating RA looks like. I know I will never be who I was before I was sick, just like I know there is no cure. My definition of beating RA has been altered, I once thought that meant a cure. I now know that beating RA is living your damn life.

Avoidance

13690794_1148383598543953_1490155084850391159_n

I haven’t been writing. Not here, and not at all. If/when I write about something it makes it more real to me. However I set out with the intention of full transparency when I started RA Supergirl years ago. So let’s get honest, things have been bad. I was in a fender bender over the summer and it kicked my RA up in a really weird way. Then I started the most difficult semester I will ever be in. People in my program tend to average 3-6 hours of sleep and are under immense stress. This has only made things worse on my end. I am failing a class despite making Dean’s List last semester. I’m so tired and my pain level so high that I can’t focus on my assignments. There are times when I become so anxious that I want to curl up under my desk and stay there. I’ve started to develop rheumatoid nodules on my hands, this indicates things may be worse than we thought. I feel like a failure as a wife, I have been too sick to grocery shop for 2 weeks [thank god for Blueapron]. I just started a month-long Prednisone treatment in an attempt to arrest what is going on.

All that aside there have been some positive developments in my world as well. I have an interview for an excellent opportunity in urban education next week. I finally went off the thyroid medication that was making me sick [more on that later]. My crazy supportive husband has been doing his best to help me despite being in grad student hell a the moment. Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner along with the other high holidays, I’m really excited for that. Finally, I started a job as an entomology lab technician, I really enjoy it! As a whole I’m trying to look at what could be rather than what currently is.

I’m sorry this was not an inspirational post, but it was an honest one.

 

Reckless Optimism

reckless optimism

Good morning everyone! So I have begun discussing my options with my professors, I will be finishing out my semester despite recent setbacks. Some of my instructors have granted me extensions on work and I will be discussing the possibility of an incomplete with another professor. It’s important to remember that ensuring you provide your best work is not a failure, something people in my position tend to forget this. To anyone who feels they are stuck and can’t make it through remember that you are worth quite a bit to those around you and that asking for help is not a failing of character. Some of you know this is something I have openly struggled with throughout my illness. I’ve had to adapt so that I would be able to continue to tread through the minefield that is chronic illness. It is all too easy to feel that you are asking for too many exceptions and that you are not worth the trouble, don’t. There is no correct way to handle chronic illness, there are no handbooks for how to handle chronic illness [well there are, but they are horrible].

I’m going in!

                                                         weirdness

Alright gang by the grace of one or more celestial beings I managed to not only attend my two summer school classes but I aced both! I must say I was just as surprised as y’all are, my own family was surprised! I feel more prepared than ever to return to school full-time. This past year I had taken 6 hours of classes and worked 29 a week. I am going in at 12 hours and work 15 a week this semester and things are beginning to look much more doable than before. My grades are recovering from the past 1.5 years of extra health adventures! I owe a lot of this improvement to my friends, family, and PRC family that have helped me along allowing me to start to get my life back, mind you not as it was but as it realistically can be. Knowing that I can function without my illness being the center of my universe has helped a lot.

I will keep y’all updated on how things go as I continue on the ‘abundant adventure’ that is my life.

My Girl

not_my_circus_not_my_monkeys-474511In my literature class [which I absolutely love] we read Jamaica Kicaid’s Girl and were then instructed to write our own narrative of advice we had been given by an influential individual. One person instantly shot into my mind and I wanted to share what I came up with. We were instructed to write in the same style as is used in Girl, and include things both literally said and lessons learned, below is my version of it.

“Don’t slouch like that; stand up confidently; don’t let adults fool you or push you around; respect your teachers; got to college; do not be like the other girls; DO NOT BE LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS; do not allow for excuses; own your actions; this is how you file your paperwork; this is how you present to a superior officer; DO NOT let them belittle you because you are a woman; push through (what if I can’t); don’t let your illness own you (I won’t); always pin your hair under your garrison cap; Straighten up your ribbons; be a leader that I can be proud of; lead from the front; learn to actively follow; don’t be like the other girls; DO NOT BE LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS; don’t make the same mistake twice; be better (what if I can’t); I put you in this position for a reason; well done; I am proud of you”

I read mine aloud for the class and realized the person I wrote about really had made an impact on my life, he helped me when I first got sick, he helped pull me through all the difficult craap life threw at me in my highschool years and helped instill confidence in myself. For that I would like to thank LTC Bernard Aikens for having the patience to take an interest in the students in the Plano East Senior High JROTC battalion.

Here is the original for reference:

” Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don’t walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn’t have gum on it, because that way it won’t hold up well after a wash; soak salt fish overnight before you cook it; is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?; always eat your food in such a way that it won’t turn someone else’s stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don’t sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn’t speak to wharf–rat boys, not even to give directions; don’t eat fruits on the street—flies will follow you; but I don’t sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a button–hole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming; this is how you iron your father’s khaki shirt so that it doesn’t have a crease; this is how you iron your father’s khaki pants so that they don’t have a crease; this is how you grow okra—far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants; when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it; this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don’t like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely; this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit; don’t squat down to play marbles—you are not a boy, you know; don’t pick people’s flowers—you might catch something; don’t throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all; this is how to make a bread pudding; this is how to make doukona; this is how to make pepper pot; this is how to make a good medicine for a cold; this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child; this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don’t like, and that way something bad won’t fall on you; this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man; and if this doesn’t work there are other ways, and if they don’t work don’t feel too bad about giving up; this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn’t fall on you; this is how to make ends meet; always squeeze bread to make sure it’s fresh; but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?”

Sometimes I wish I was a lizard

julie andrews don't care

Ah, a new semester! The point at which you are absolutely positive that you can stay on top of your classes and get an A. My goal this semester [realistic or not] is to get an A and a B. I think I can make an A in English Literature due to the fact that English is kind of my jam and *gasp* I love to write! I am expecting a B in Cultural Geography, I am retaking it for a higher grade as I got a D the first time around [pre-Mayo clinic when my Fibro was unchecked and I missed three weeks of class], however the tests where surprisingly hard so I’m aiming for a B. In short I WILL BOOST MY GPA AND START SUCKING LESS AT SCHOOL/LIFE! Living. The. Dream.

The yoga adventure is to begin later today/tomorrow, I feel like I’m the only person stressed out about yoga, seems a bit counterproductive… Luckily one of my fabulous roommates has agreed to at home yoga and an awesome coworker volunteered to go to the free yoga classes offered by the university. Having people willing to help me get off my butt and make myself exercise [regardless of how  I am feeling, yes I mean it] really does help, I am actually insanely thankful for the amazing support system that the individuals close to me have formed. Even the other day my father planned a museum trip that I was excited about at a time that he knew my health was at it’s best and scheduled dinner for the time I usually need to sit. Little things like this in my Every time my health issues start to make me feel ‘small’, I remember all the little supportive things that those in my life provide and it helps me stay above water.

 

I’m a nimnu and let me tell you why…

your authority is not recognized in fort kick assLet this be a cautionary tale to boys and girls about procrastination. DON’T DO IT. I have had these assignments for literally 6 months [due to the incompletes received after my car accident last year]. And yet here I am 2 days before they are due writing these papers and studying for this final. It makes me think of how in ‘arrested development’ they always say “I’ve made a huge mistake.” well I have. But in the words of my friend Kaylie “It’s not a mistake if you learn from it”. BUT FEAR NOT I am more than halfway done with these things and will survive and pass [maybe I just like the thrill of cutting things close].

MORAL OF THIS POST: PROCRASTINATION. DON’T DO IT. REGRET, REGRET EVERYWHERE.

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