Tuesday, October 23, 2007

deflating=aches, tired

For the first time in a long time, I was dizzy and lightheaded yesterday morning. It lasted a few hours, but waned in the afternoon. I used to faint with little to no warning in high school, which, after seeing many specialists, was diagnosed as a valve malfuntion or something I don't remember exactly, but was told I would grow out of. I did. With no reasonable explanation for this episode (no, I'm NOT pregnant, as many have suggested), I think my body is just mad at me.

I don't sleep enough; I don't relax enough; I stopped working out three times a week; I stopped attempting to eat healthier; and I am severely overworking my brain. According to my email records, I finalized my APP topic on September 15. I researched for three weeks. I began writing on October 9. In two weeks, I have written and revised two whole chapters, totaling 34 pages. I have three chapters left, and certainly not three weeks left (okay, technically, I do...but I don't want to bring it down to the wire even more than I already am). Meanwhile, I am working 40+ hours a week, and taking a night class for which I also have a few hours of homework each week.

I am not losing it. In fact, I will not allow myself to lose it. Finishing this paper and subsequently this semester will complete my four and a half year journey to Masterdom. I can't give up now. I'm worried, however, that my body is giving up without my mind's permission. In addition to the out-of-the-blue symptoms of dizziness, I'm in constant pain. I have always carried my stress in my shoulders and a whole heap of it is sitting heavily on my right one as we speak. It's been there for a while now. I am uncomfortable sitting at my desk, standing in any fashion, and even laying in bed at night. I have a massage appointment on Saturday, Nov. 3. Eleven days. I hope I'll make it.

Because I fear my body is giving up on me, I'm going to attempt treating it nicer this week. I will stay at work to focus on my paper (I work best in a silent room alone, an impossibility in a house with two dogs and a basement-finishing husband) tonight and Thursday until 5. But then I will go home and relax. Tonight, relax in public, as I am going to dinner and a movie with friends. This is a rest for my brain. Tomorrow, however, will be this week's crowning glory: yesterday after my episode, I decided I needed to sleep. To that end, I'm going to play hooky tomorrow. I will sleep until ten at the earliest and then go to the library to work. My students will survive one day without me.

I am only writing about my trials and suffering to inform you, and to remind myself when looking back how hard I worked. No pity necessary or wanted. In spite of all of this, I am very confident in both the quality of my work and the time I have left to complete it. As the kids would say, "I got this." And when I indeed do have it, you will know, and you will be invited to celebrate. Last class, Monday, December 10. Party, Saturday, December 15. See you then.


Molly said...

I can't imagine the stress you are under. I'll imagine it next semester when I'm finishing my Master's, but until then, I'm going to enjoy not being too... oh shit, who am I fooling? We're always taking on too much! Enjoy playing hooky. I haven't done it yet this year!! :)

Angie said...

You go girl.

... boy you make me feel like a lazy piece of shit! :)

AK said...

Hang in there babes...you can do it. :)

Anonymous said...

Heather promises:

...to make it on the 15th!