Monday, September 1, 2008

I Now Return To My Regularly Scheduled Life?!?

Well, not exactly. But I’d like to think so. And with the schedule that I have carved out for myself this semester, you would think that I’m trying to achieve super human status. For example, thinking that I can be at two places at once. If only life were that easy, right?

I sent a frantic e-mail to my advisor a few weeks ago saying that I really needed advice, either that or mental help. Or maybe both… I had crammed way too much into an already overflowing schedule, but I couldn’t figure out what to drop. It’s pretty bad when you are shooting for 1000 points and your body is only capable of shooting for 700.

The school year hasn’t even started yet, and already, I’m feeling overwhelmed.

The family vacations, teacher trainings, and weddings are over. It’s back to the grind of taking classes, and for the first time, teaching.


My train, for the fourth time, was two hours late Friday night. Well, guess what? No more Miss Nice Girl. Amtrak is going to be getting a very strongly worded letter from me. I waited longer than the ride actually takes. And it’s really starting to bug me.

It’s frustrating because I end up getting home exhausted, feeling stiff and in pain, and pretty miffed at the ridiculousness of it all. Never in any of these situations has the station offered a refund or any accommodation.

Plus, they seem to have an issue, in general, with helping me. The last time I was on the train, there was a man in a wheelchair who missed his train stop because none of the train personnel remembered that he needed to get off at that stop. And there wasn’t really anywhere he could go without aid. The best they could do for him after they realized the mistake, was offer him a phone to call the person picking him up, to inform them that they should pick him up at the next station, nearly 20 miles away.

This time, I ended up talking to a woman who was blind, who told me that she had missed a stop because there was no one there to get her bag for her and help her off the train.

This is ridiculous, if you ask me, and just plain wrong. I don’t really know what else to say about it, but I think people need to be aware of such things.


My cousin’s wedding was beautiful. But I realized that unless it’s your wedding or you are a member of the bridal party, weddings are kind of overrated. It also made me wonder… How many people in my extended family know about my illness and didn’t say anything? How many don’t know? And how many just plain don’t care?

This morning, I woke up with a monster headache. I hadn’t bothered to set my alarm. When I’m alone in my apartment, I am hyper-vigilant about getting up at the time I supposed to, to take my meds. But at my parent’s house, the weekend before the start of school, I just didn’t feel like it. So, I slept in. But I couldn’t beat the system.

The thing that I’ve realized over the past week is that I haven’t learned to put my illness first. While I don’t want my illness to be life consuming, I also have to realize that decisions regarding my health have to come before just about all others.

Before I left for home on Friday, I had piles of stuff everywhere – piles of papers from training, piles to pack to take home with me, piles and piles of junk. And my first instinct was to get rid of it all. Even before school, I’ve become consumed with work and logistical issues, both illness and non-illness related. I’m trying to balance the e-mail flow from three separate addresses.

A large part of managing chronic illness is about simplifying your life. Clearly I have failed in this regard.

I’ll admit to the fact that I am a micro manager. Sometimes it is hard for me to look at the bigger picture. I get stuck on tiny details that seem way more important than in reality they are.

And as much as I would like to say that this is all going to be great and wonderful - school, teaching, all of it… I can’t. I have no idea how it is going to be teaching and balancing all of the responsibilities that go along with it with my own classes and everything else.

Well, I should probably unpack and get ready for bed. I have to be at an 8 a.m. meeting. Plus tomorrow I have a class from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Mondays, I have class from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. I’m not sure how those night classes are going to go.
But so begins the adventure…

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