I keep meaning to write, but I have so much to say that I can’t even start. So instead I let it keep building, making it all the more difficult to write. I’m sure most of you have been here at some point with some task. It’s a really great cycle to get into 🙂
Anyway, I have continued attending school since September and it has been shockingly not very dramatic. Well, let’s say in comparison to my past quarters. Definitely dramatic compared to the normals. Since I have too much to say and no way of organizing my thoughts, y’all are getting a list.
- My 3rd re-birthday: I wanted to write a post about all of the suffering this year involved, but I realized that I am not ready yet. Suffice to say I am deeply traumatized, have been diagnosed with PTSD, and will be working through this for the rest of my life.
- “The rest of my life” is a weird thing to think about. I have meds that I will be on for the rest of my life. I will be bald for the rest of my life. I will be a cancer survivor for the rest of my life. “Rest of my life” is a weird idea because it’s about as much as I know about these things. Will I be 50 and bald? If I make it to 50, then probably yes I will. Weird to imagine.
- I do not care about school. I am doing surprisingly well in school despite this. Last fall I summoned literally every ounce of energy in my body to make it to class. This fall I blinked and it is almost December. That is an exaggeration because I have been through a lot over the past few months but compared to last year everything is just so easy.
- I am kind of mad about how easy things are right now because when I think about things that I have had to do to survive over the past year and how unwilling so many people were to give me disability accommodations, I can’t BELIEVE the people denying me disability accommodations have it this easy. Like you want to walk somewhere and you just walk there without worrying about passing out? You want to go to sleep so you just lay in your bed and sleep? You want to eat so you just eat without worrying about hurting yourself or throwing up? And you wouldn’t help me with ADA parking or an assignment extension or a housing accommodation? I know that most people have no way of understanding, but having the emotional capacity to give people that benefit of the doubt is really difficult.
- Speaking of people not giving accommodations, I have had meetings with Stanford administrators to address the ridiculous lack of training about disability accommodations here. We should not have faculty saying “don’t take my class if you have a disability.” Some exciting things are happening here and hopefully in December after my next meeting with admin I will have some more updates. Also, the ADA parking at CHO (get some background here: Plastic Straws and Parking Spaces) is in process with the City of Oakland! The way I got that to happen is actually hilarious – I submitted a grievance about the Patient Advocate to…the Patient Advocate… She is the only patient advocate at CHO and I tried really hard to find someone else to complain to after she wouldn’t help me, but I couldn’t. Somehow, once a grievance was submitted she thought my problem was important! Shocking.
- Things that have happened: I turned 23 and had an incredible weekend in Napa with 4 of my favorite humans. I found out someone I care about a lot died on the way to my CS midterm but I did fine. I have been late on a lot of assignments because it just feels like nothing matters but I have been shown grace and support by all of my professors this quarter, which is not the norm – and for that I am grateful. I went to an amazing weekend retreat with Camp Koru (I went last year too – read here: Scary, Rapid Decline) and it was so crazy what a different place I am in this year compared to last. I had a nice Thanksgiving and was able to eat food and enjoy myself for the most part. My mom turned 50. I am down to 20 mg of prednisone again and will likely stay here until the beginning of January then taper 1 mg/week.
- I submitted my application to graduate today! I have my classes planned for the next two quarters and as long as I continue attending I will graduate in Spring.
- I have no idea what I am doing next year. I have deferred medical school to Fall 2020 so I can be fully prepared to start, but am still figuring out what I will do from Spring 2019 – Fall 2020. I have so many things in my head – freelance and write? get a job? do research in the same lab (which I love)? do I move somewhere? stay here? This is stressful, but a friend reminded me that these are normal worries that everyone my age is going through. Wow, something normal.
- MY HERO FUND (Hero Fund) HIT $10,000!!! There is still some matching/processing going on, so the fund currently says around $8400, but we are there! The actual hero fund page will created in the next month or two. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who donated. Of course, this is only the beginning!
The emotional components of this are the toughest right now – it is very hard to care about normal things right now. I feel detached and disheveled and not like myself at all. I keep hoping I will return, and I can tell it is happening. I can also tell that recovering my sense of security and normalcy will take a long, long time and I worry that I will have another catastrophic event before I get there. I also can’t even think about that right now. One foot in front of the other.
Top: Siblings and me at Thanksgiving, weekend retreat with Camp Koru, embarrassing my little sister at Anthropologie w my friend Tanya
Bottom: Pumpkin patch with the fam, weekend in Napa, reunion homecoming with my fave Robert!!