Monday, December 10, 2012

(Not quite) the end of the semester

Serenity, a grey chubby tabby, laying next to Bela, an orange thinner tabby, on a light blue blanket
Serenity & Bela, my fur kids
It's been a heck of a couple weeks, which is why I haven't posted for a while (believe me, I have six unfinished blog posts sitting in BlogSpot!).  Bela, my cat that was seriously ill, spent a week in the veterinary ICU but has been back home since the Monday after Thanksgiving.  We're still fundraising to help with his veterinary bill (as it ate my surgery & endocrinology savings), but it looks like the little guy is going to pull through just fine.

Right before his illness, I found out that I need to go through with the spinal fusion surgery as I've exhausted all my options.  In the meantime, I've been doing physical therapy to try to get as strong as possible (although there's a huge difference between what I can physically do because of muscle strength & flexibility and what I ought to do because of pain & nerve ramifications).  I'm pushing to get the surgery done over winter break to hopefully not derail my doctoral program.  It's scary, and I don't even know what kind of fight I'm going to have with my insurance company because the orthopedic clinic won't get preauthorization before I have a pre-op physical (but the general practice clinic didn't want to schedule a pre-op before the surgery was scheduled *facepalm*).  I also had another unsuccessful appointment with a pain management medical professional, with the doctor interpreting "I'm doing so poorly that I'm taking incompletes in my classes" as "I'm working on my doctorate and must be doing FANTASTIC."  So, I'm left with the same pain management regime that's not working and trying to get surgery done as soon as possible.

In the midst of all the medical & veterinary issues, I've been trying to keep on with school.  It's been hard as I've been in too much pain to be able to drive to my research site (a 40 minute drive), so I'm taking an incomplete in that class.  My other class has been difficult, but I'm one 5-page paper away from being done with it.  It's been extremely difficult to think through the combined haze of pain and medication, and thinking from a sociological lens is even more difficult.  I know I'm not doing my best work, but right now I'm just hoping for sufficiently finished.

I've been trying to give myself some room to heal while still getting through my work, but I have to be careful because my job and health insurance are dependent on my student status....if I don't have the right percentage of completed credits, everything could come crashing down on me.  I'm hoping that getting my masters at the same institution as my doctorate may help, especially since I'm pulling nine credits from last year into my PhD plan of study, but only time will tell.

Thank you all for your support during this extremely difficult time in my life.  I'll try to get some unfinished posts put up in the next couple weeks as I work to get surgery scheduled and my classes finished up!