Friday, January 27, 2006

That feeling of shame

That feeling of shame…..

What should I call it? Shame? I cannot find another word.

Are you familiar with the feeling that you wish you were a tortoise and you can just duck your head back into your shell when you see your thesis supervisor? Yeah.. it is that feeling. Feeling of letting them down again by your lack of progress? Many people that I know with avoid their thesis committee or supervisor at all cost, because of this. Whatever you reasons (for me it is usually my arthirtis, again), you will probabaly hate to retell it again and again. But this is not what we are supposed to be doing!

A friend of mine who is an asst professor told me that this is the type of students that cause the supervisors the most agony and they will really curse you! Ouch. Ouch. Ouch!! I shall try by best not to be one, despite all the stress.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Rheumatoid arthritis affect young people too.

affects young people too, do you know that?

affects young, positive people with a great future too, do you know that?

Yes, not only old people are affected or negative depressive wimps. But how many people really “know”, let alone undertand and emphatise with you? Even health care professionals choose to ignore these facts sometimes, and fail to recognise that it is different to get a chronic pain when you are old, and retired and when you get one when you at in the twenties. And it is more difficult when the pain comes and goes at with no apparent trends.

Why is it so difficult for them to know more? Just check on the internet and you see lots of examples. No, not those support groups that are sometimes overdoing the “misery” part. What is mean is if you open your eyes, ears and hearts to what others are saying, you will be able to see.

To find out more about : A brief guide from the Fibro Association of UK
To find out more about arthirtis: a list of different type of association

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Adverts in a PhD blog- what they say about us

There seems to be another advantage of blogging.

You can monetize it. I am copying these little buttons from Google to my page.

Hope it works.Yeah ABDs tend to have their funds at the lowest level, and any extra cents of income generated somewhere would help.    

p/s : I took a good look at the types of advertisements generated. Interesting. They tell a lot about our life as a PhD student.
The types of adverts are (generally)
  1. Services offering to write your dissertation/proposal for you… hmmm $17/page.. that is an awful lot of money. I wonder if they are as good as they claim. If they are so good, why writing for others? Should have been in some academic/research/industry position- all of which are in credibly busy.

  2. Services to help you write something so that you get into a grad school!! I wonder what they are offering; to bad I cannot click these ads. But I should say if you need help to get in, you should probably check out service no 1) (the 17 bucks/page service)- you are gonna need help to get out.

  3. Financial help ..Geez….. PhD students= brokes

  4. Some anti-depression help.. PhD students easily depressed?? Why would they tag such a keyword to their product? We need them?

  5. Some blogging sites, offering free blogs.

breaking the negative impact of rhematoid arthritis

I must stop procrastinating

I know that I must start procrastinating and really immerse myself in my work. However, I spot a terrible trend here, one vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again.

I now develop and anxiety just at the thought of doing my thesis writing. All the positive vision of me completing me dissertation and become “Dr” gave way to the typical cycle of pain. Yes, pain.

For the past one year, I have succumbed to attacks of fibromyalgia(?) Arthritis(?) that left me weak, aching all over and remain in bed for weeks. Yes- weeks. My last “attack” was before Christmas and I only got better last week. Just as I pick myself up and start “work again”, the symptoms came back after a few days. I spent another few days in bed.  I really hate my health, and sometimes I would like to cry really hard about it, but just told me self to not be a wimp. This illness has not only taken away all my physical energy to write my dissertation, it also took away all the mental and emotional strength. It crumbled me- reduced the young woman who was known as “iron lady” by her classmates because of her strong will to just a pile of shit. Yeah- that is how I feel about myself.  
People just do not understand the degree of psychological damage these repeated attacks have done to me. I feel ruined by it.

Luckily I still have not lost my weird sense of optimism and ability to see the silver lining. (Actually, it is my unwillingness to let myself go through so much without feeling that I have gained something from it- that will be too unfair to myself) The silver lining in this case is my ability to fully empathise now with people with mental illness. I was not particularly emphatatic (note- it is not sympathetic) about people who let themselves delve into depressing and painful past, and let the emotional and mental pain last longer that the physical ones. To me, (and to most of the “intelligent, high EQ” people I know), one must will oneself to get out of the rut and soldier on. Stoicism is the order of the day. There was not much space for wimps.

Now that I fully understand the impact on a person’s psychology, let me put this new insight into good use. People like me will be shy to relate this anguish that I feel to anyone, and sad to say- even my beloved other half. Yes, it is that lonely, that sad. I do not expect to be understood. All the man on the street- including my family and friends who are medical professionals -only have this broad “depression” and “mental illness” concept that is widely championed by the mass media in the past couple of years. For them to think that I have “depression” will break their heart.

I know that I have. It is not depression, for I am an otherwise happy and optimistic person.  I have negative reinforcement for a particular course of action for the past 5 years, so much so that I do not dare to work on my papers, and subconsciously delaying a return to work after an attack.

Work hard on thesis( arthritis and fibromyalgia attacks ( widespread pain/ loss of energy( further delay on writing

I am sure even as I am writing this, many people would be suffering to different degrees of this negative reinforcement, and this is not just arthritis. I remember my grandma stopped exercising and brisk walking after a few falls- even when she was still physically able to. Lots of other diseases will also impact on the patient this way.

This understanding that I get must be voiced out, so that people do not need to suffer in silence anymore.  For the sake of advancement of understanding of people who are chronically ill, I must complete my PhD and continue to make contribution to the advancement of this area. Yes, I must soldier on.