Even though it’s technically summer break, here in Abigail’s world, it’s been anything but dull. Here’s the short story:

– an infection: it looks like I have an infection (or at least Dr. Mark and I are hoping against hope that it is merely an infection); I’m on antibiotics that are helping but working very slowly. In the mean time, I feel like a battleground between infection/inflammation and the antibiotics, which means that I’ve basically been living in bed.

– disability discrimination: I finally found someone at the university who is willing to advocate for me and help me face the ravenous lion. I would be more excited except that it’s been a long time in coming and I’m too exhausted.

– school bureaucracy: three separate issues
1) I can’t enroll in classes because they don’t have the official paperwork that I earned a degree prior to beginning studies at this university. Even though I overnighted the paperwork last week, the hold has not yet been lifted.
2) I’m not eligible for my fellowship unless I have one or fewer incompletes on my record. Because of the way in which schedules have worked out, my incomplete that has been almost completed can’t be graded until my adviser comes back from vacation, i.e. next week.
3) My health insurance policy expires on Tuesday, and I can’t get anyone to tell when it will actually be renewed. There could be a pretty significant gap in coverage, which given aforementioned might-be-more-than-an-infection is scary!!

All in all, I’m just unbelievably exhausted. I’m tired of being sick and tiptoeing around the limitations of infection and inflammation. Can’t I just have one day where I don’t have to schedule my life around naps and limited mobility? The legal aspects of staying in school have been so drawn out and involved so many people that are uncooperative that I had already given up by the time the discrimination office called me. When I showed up for my appointment and they told me that they lost my paperwork, somehow I didn’t feel surprised. I don’t even have the energy to be indignant or angry. And school bureaucracy? I don’t even want to think about it. Unless these things get cleared up ASAP, I’ll be out of a source of income and of health insurance. But no matter how much I protest and insist that things be done, no matter how many times I go in and talk to different people, nothing is going to make the clunky machine move any faster.

Yesterday, I felt really swollen lymph nodes under my jaw. I barely had the energy to pick up my phone to contact someone. When med student friend Gregory didn’t pick up his phone and Dr. Mark’s office answering machine answered my call, I decided I’d just text him. Then I could pretend that I was being responsible and taking care of myself. But I wasn’t going to run around trying to get someone to help me or even look things up. No energy. Too much stuff. Thankfully, Gregory did eventually text me back. And when he had the opportunity, I talked to him on the phone pretty briefly. By that time, the problem had gotten a lot better. I didn’t feel like I might not be able to breathe if it got any worse. But I remember thinking, I just don’t know if I have the willpower to fight any more.

And they wonder why I’m nervous about the new semester.

From my heart,
Abigail

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