Sometimes I think to myself how easy graduate school might’ve been if I wasn’t sick. Or if I was diagnosed earlier.
I spent my post-bachelor years in college getting sicker. More chronic pain that I couldn’t figure out the cause of. More migraines. And as a result, more depression.
It made it unbelievably hard to get through graduate school, and although I am now in the process of finally getting diagnosed, I am still not done with graduate school. I am still trying to tread water. It feels like I’m running uphill during an avalanche.
I was tired of living in pain so I saw a doctor. It took multiple attempts, but I was finally diagnosed with hypermobility spectrum disorder, mitral valve prolapse, and severe venous insufficiency after 3 months. I was also ordered to go off my birth control (which I’ve been on for 7 years) and it’s throwing my body off whack. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and put on an antidepressant and beta blockers. I’m still trying to get diagnosed with what I think is worsening hEDS and untreated ADHD.
Remembering what I’m still trying to get diagnosed with reminds me of how hard it has been to keep up with the demands of graduate school, working 3 jobs to make ends meet, and trying to take care of myself, all while living with chronic pain.
I missed a deadline for my thesis and now I’m worried that they won’t let me graduate. That would result in another year of juggling 3 jobs, paying out of pocket for school, and having to pay back my loans. A healthy person couldn’t do this, so why would they expect it from a “sick” person?!
How much easier... would graduate school have been if I wasn’t “sick,” I think to myself. I might’ve graduated by now. I would be with my cohort/peers, already in their careers. I wouldn’t struggle with such guilt and imposter syndrome and struggle just to meet deadlines and ends meet.
How much easier would it have been?
But I’ve gotten this far. And that must count for something.
(Words of motivation are greatly appreciated right now since I am beating myself up over missing that deadline.)
#ADHD #HypermobileTypeEDS #JointHypermobilitySyndrome #HypermobilitySyndrome #AttentionDeficitHyperactivityDisorder #Mitralvalveprolapse #Depression #Anxiety #Fatigue #PTSD #Fibromyalgia #Migraine