Arthritis, ADD, or is it just me?

It’s nearly 1.30 AM right now and for the last 2.5 hours I’ve been glued to the computer, glassy-eyed and claustrophobic, trying to work on grad school applications (deadlines are coming up way too fast). I really do want to go back to school; I’ve wanted to go back for three years or so but haven’t been able to get my act together to actually do it. I applied to two programs at the University of Minnesota two years ago, in a huge messy rush, and got rejected. I also applied twice to a Master’s program in Berlin at Humboldt University; the most recent rejection happened just this May. Throw in an application for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship too, also denied. I did get accepted to a Master’s program at Queen’s University in Belfast in 2004, but I had to decline it because of a freak arthritis flare-up with my eyes.

Oh, pity pity woe is me, right? I know, stop being a baby. But as I sit here feeling like someone is digging sharp knives into both ankles and that maybe another evil person just finished smashing every inch of my body with a lead baseball bat – I do wonder sometimes if I would be having such trouble trying to move on with my life and getting my shit together if I were healthy and arthritis-free. Is the RA to blame for any of these frustrations and failures or is it all me?

I don’t know. I do know that especially since the situation with my ankles began in April 2005, energy and motivation have been on extra short supply. Today, to my dismay, I slept until noon and then I drove out to Maple Grove to do a few errands. On the way back home I tried doing some work and serving some legal papers, to no avail. When I returned home with throbbing feet, exhausted, I collapsed on my bed for a while. I did manage to change into my pajamas and then hobble back into the living room to watch Dancing With The Stars with my mother (how lame can this story get, you ask?). Ate dinner. Shuffled to bed and read for a bit, then creaked back downstairs to the computer room where I now sit. Good grief, old ladies are more productive in a day. I might as well be comatose.

While it’s not manual labor, of course, the admissions requirements and the paperwork and application procedures of these graduate applications are really overwhelming (not to mention the financial expense). The very thought of all of the crazy running around I’ll have to do to actually try to do this thing, merely applying, makes my bones ache. Today I could barely handle going to Ulta to exchange a hair straightener. How can I possibly do grad school? The thought of grad school excites me and makes me happy, but the mechanics of getting there and the reality of the work and stress it will have on my mental and physical health is worrying. I know I need to stop whining and just get on with it and do the best I can. Yet I can’t help it if I’m tired of the rejection and tired of putting my body and spirit through even more stress and pain. Keep trying is the clichéd, thumbs-up pep-talk thing to think and say, right? Yeah, yeah. I know. I will keep trying because I can’t stand the thought of the alternative.

Well, on that happy note – it’s time for bed…with dreams of the GRE floating through my head (I hope not). Good night!

5 thoughts on “Arthritis, ADD, or is it just me?

  1. I think you are justified in not being able to get the things done that you want/need to. Hell, I cannot get those things always done and I am not sick.

    I think you have a legitimate handicap and maybe it will help to see it that way when refocusing your goals.

    I know you are capable of overcoming these obstacles.


  2. Holy Cow! You are so determined and awesome and shouldn’t have to deal with this wretched, violent beast. i have it – i know. I’m going to start visiting your site and I’m also going to add you to my blogroll (I used to hate these silly words) Could you add mine?
    PS – you will keep trying – my motto – I never give up!

  3. I am trying to go back to school as well. I think your pain sounds worse than mine – I am having a terrible flare but usually medication controls my RA well (without meds I’m bedridden). When a hand or foot hurts really bad I feel like I want to cut it off, I read your post about the man with the amputated leg, I wonder if he lost a healthy leg and if it would be better to lose a painful, barely functioning one. Sort of like losing a chain around your ankle.

    Some days the pain is better when I’m too busy to stop and feel it – I don’t have a choice, the kids need me, I have to do this or that, so I just go even if it hurts. I think there is some emotional benefit to getting things done that has a physical benefit as well.

  4. About 2 yrs ago my life turn completely upside down. I had been a professional reaching for the stars so to speak. Then illness left me with several disabilities that brought my career to a screeching halt. You had mentioned grad school..I thought I would share some information I learned when I was no longer able to work …Trying to recover left me without my career and life I once known.
    I not only found myself in the midst of an economic downfall, but, newly added personal challenges as I sought employment. I wanted to let you know I found a company called J.Lodge out of Ft Meyer, Fl. I was so thankful I found this job working from home…so far I have been pretty happy. I am not sure you know about them.. so I wanted to let you know about this company. People can apply thru their website at I hope this never happens to you..but it’s good to know resources out there if needed. Best wishes!

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