Am I Strong Enough?

I’m a little overwhelmed.

For nearly a year now I’ve pretty much had a break from the “patient world”. I went to doctor appointments but they were rare and only once every couple of months. Each appointment was an “ending” since I was moving. It was nice to be able to go to a doctor with the attitude that I wouldn’t see that doctor again. I almost felt like a normal healthy person who doesn’t have 5-10 different specialists and weird tests scheduled that most people haven’t heard of.

I felt healthy and normal.

So now that I’ve moved and entered into a huge medical hospital community for my health insurance and now that I have a diagnosis to give to the doctors everything has become so much more real. I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know how to join my two worlds into one. How do you bring the “weak vulnerable patient” world to the “confident hard-working PhD student” world? I don’t know..

Today, for example, I was studying and working on my research and I was freezing. So I took my temperature and it read 96:

I gotta admit though that it is nice to have validation of what I'm feeling..

I gotta admit though that it is nice to have validation of what I’m feeling..

Ok. So I have a reason to feel like I’m freezing. But it’s distracting and I need to take care of it and that’s going to interfere with my work. But whatever. It is what it is. I took a bath to warm up and that worked but way overshot the mark and my temperature went up to 99.4.

Woops

Whoops..

I felt like crap. The sudden change made me feel horrible but I ignored it and went on studying, trying to make up the time I lost with the bath.

But this is the thing that worries me the most: Am I actually really weak? I’m I just using this illness and how poorly I feel as an excuse? Does everyone feel this way and really they’re just so much stronger and better at getting through it and hiding it than I am?

So maybe that’s why I don’t want to combine my two worlds. I’m afraid of being looked at as weak. I’m afraid that people will automatically lower their expectations of me. Most of all, I’m afraid that I really am weak and that if anyone stepped in my shoes they would achieve so much more than I have and could, but with a lot less tears and pain and insecurity.

I think soon though, I won’t have a choice. I’ve entered back into the “patient” world. In less than two weeks I have three MRAs, one echocardiogram, and a cardiology appointment scheduled. After that I have a neurology and GI appointment. I am also supposed to schedule a glucose tolerance test at some point too. It’s a lot and a bit overwhelming with the work that I already have from my “PhD student” world.

At this point, I just really don’t know what to do or how to handle it. I’m taking it one day at a time and praying that everything works out.

I just really really want to be strong enough for everything.

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You Know You’re Cold When…

I always knew that I had trouble dealing with the cold. I’ve only recently begun to realize how much the cold truly does affect me.

Turns out when I'm cold...I'm COLD!

Turns out when I’m cold…I’m COLD!

Turns out I can’t go outside in winter for any length of time without my temperature severely dropping. The picture above was less than 15 minutes outside with a warm winter jacket. I’d been taking my temperature to see what the trend was. I drop down to 95 degrees Fahrenheit pretty frequently even when I’m in a heated environment. I had begun to think that maybe my thermometer was broken so I bought a new one (the white one in the bottom of the picture). I was really annoyed at first when my brand new thermometer read 92 degrees! I thought I bought a broken thermometer. So I tested it with the older one which read 93 degrees. I was shocked to see that my temperature truly was that low. Crazy.

My temperature also spikes up depending on what I’m doing. I’ve temped it as high as 101 before it dropped down to 97. I don’t think that is normal…

So now I have a new symptom to present to my doctor and a new thing to worry about. Guess I won’t be out playing for long periods of time in the snow huh?

Yup, I’m moving south…somewhere warmer..