Tag: chronic illness

The Memo

The chronic illness related pain failed to read and/or comprehend the memo which stated:

To Whom It May Concern:

The deadlines are fast approaching and must be met. There’s no acceptable excuses for said person to miss these deadlines. Reasonable accommodations were made and any extensions beyond those suggests that said person is unable to adequately perform the tasks.

Signed,

The Deadline Committee

Well, back to the chronic illness related pain that failed to read and/or comprehend the memo and decided instead to flare when I (aka said person) desperately needed to write in order to meet the deadline committee’s demands.

Clarity statement: NO committee or individual gave me such a deadline notice…IRL

Relax…how?

Not again…The reality of finding physicians

Since my childhood I’ve managed to have really good, attentive physicians…this was priceless since I had many mysterious and/or chronic ailments.

Even at birth, I required specialized medical care.

Well, I’m an adult now – my childhood and teenaged years , and twenties are things of the past now.

I’m in one of what will likely be many awkward transition phases of life. The place I’m at now is not my home and I’ll likely be somewhere else next year this time.

That brings me back to doctors! As I’ve expressed before I have endometriosis and several of its sister/cousin ailments…my body also possesses some unlikely ailments.

In the ideal world I would be managing these ailments under the care of a physician…but in my reality, I haven’t went to a physician in months

I spent a lot of time at doctors’ offices and in waiting rooms…so now I’m more hesitant about going and I’m more willing to suffer in silence.

Trust me I know this isn’t smart but I’m tired of doctors. I don’t want to build rapport with anyone, let alone another physician

Especially since this relationship will be short lived

The problem is that endometriosis and the various ailments are getting the best of me.

I don’t know how to start finding a good doctor…my last doctors just kind of feel into my lap and they were wonderful

Due to my latest relocation and insurance network – going to these physicians is impossible.

How do I motivate myself to find a doctor to treat the ailments I’ve been suffering unnecessarily with?

Is it even worth it to start another relationship with another doctor ?

Endometriosis complications 

If I had my way I wouldn’t have endometriosis, who would ever if given the choice? But I do have endometriosis and it has impacted every area of my life. I appreciate hearing about people who accomplished societal success, all while having endometriosis, but I’m also saddened by this news because I start judging myself harshly….what have I accomplished? How can I blame endometriosis for some of my success shortcomings when that individual I’m reading about has accomplished so much while having the same disease? 

So to get myself out of my conflicting thoughts I read about how endometriosis impacts everyone differently and blah, blah, blah. This works momentarily, until I read about someone with some other life altering illness who is successful according to society’s standards. Then the self judgment starts again – what is my excuse? I’m just a failing failure.

Ok so I know that this line of reasoning is unreasonable and utterly ridiculous but in that moment when I am judging myself so harshly for how I’m comparing my plight with someone else’s, this reasoning feels like the truest truth I’ve ever told myself.

I was diagnosed with endometriosis nearly two decades ago but it’s no easier to handle now than it was when I was a scared adolescent thinking I had some terminal illness in my stomach.

One thing I know for certain is that the quickest road to depression is to compare yourself to another. 

I’ll never be thankful for having endometriosis but I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned while dealing with this horrible disease. I believe I could’ve learned these lessons another less humiliatingly painful way but I didn’t choose the body I was born into or the diseases that occupied it

Illness and Doctoral Programs

Since I reached my adult years, I’ve had only one career goal in mind…I wanted to be a researcher. I wanted to research how diversity was included in helping professions, I see this as an important topic because helping professionals work with a diverse population. Technical skills and knowledge are not enough and it is my belief that curriculum in helping professions historically focused heavily on the techniques and a little on the people who will receive treatment.

I wanted to become¬†a researcher, so I pursued an advanced degree…in other words I am currently in a doctoral program.

This is great, the education level leads directly to the type of career that I have desired for years; however, I am also chronically ill.

This is problematic, very problematic. I am considered an enlightened thinker by many of my professors, peers, family and friends. It is not shocking for me to be told that my writing is superb and the way that I “think” is unique…it is thought that I would be a valuable asset to the research world.

But I am chronically ill…many of the illnesses that invade my body are exacerbated by stress. Remember I am in a doctoral program, and regardless of discipline, this level of education prides itself on being stressful. I am quite certain that many may disagree with me as to the stressfulness of doctoral programs. For a fact, there is likely some who feel that these programs are only stressful to those who are not quite cut out for it. Bear with me for a moment, I am not suggesting that doctoral programs are stress filled but trust me when I suggest that they are stressful.

Doctoral programs are stressful because they venture away from the normative education process that we grow up with. You reach a point in a doctoral program where you develop your research agenda by creating a project. This project should add to the existing literature in whatever your topical area may be. Additionally, you are supposed to use the knowledge acquired through coursework in this project.

There is nothing wrong with that…but I am chronically ill. Doctoral programs are difficult for individuals without illness, but I am chronically ill. Remember, I have the intellect, willingness, and the grit to complete the doctoral program and I am certain that anyone exposed to me would agree…but I am chronically ill.

My chronic illnesses makes my journey through the doctoral program difficult and makes me question what I want to do for a career. I have always wanted to be a researcher, one who researches how helping professions can improve services through education.

I am chronically ill; however, I am determined to find a way to have the career I dreamed of. My chronic illnesses teaches me adaptability daily…doctoral programs are not designed with me (and the many like me) in mind; however someone (why not me?) must make a path for those to come.

Soon I will finish my doctoral degree, but I will never forget the challenges caused by my chronic illness throughout this process. Now my research agenda has expanded to include ways to improve the process of receiving and utilizing doctoral degrees for those like myself who are otherwise qualified, but chronically ill, disabled.

I will likely always be chronically ill, since at this time there is no cure, but I am undefined by illness alone.