The Scamp is a Shitty Juggler

I’m tired.

Not the tired of going to bed too late and getting up too early. Not the tired of a good long workout, or the completion of a paper. No, this is the bone deep, weary tired of having too many balls in the air at one time.  It is the tired of someone who has every second of the day scheduled. I’m juggling two jobs (one of which I really like, and one that pays my bills), school, homework, and a paltry attempt at a social life. I’m not doing very well at any of. I’m distracted at work, distracted in class, and haven’t put in nearly enough effort into my homework or relationships. I have a student loan to sort out, and have yet to pay my tuition or register for next semester. I still do not have insurance. Lately the only thing that I am doing well is sleeping and putting off work.

The end of the semester cannot come soon enough. I have one final separating me from the completion of my first semester of the doctoral program. I’m not sure if I have learned a lot, and the final next week will certainly answer that question, but I am happy to be standing near the finish line.

I did not do nearly enough writing while I was in Scotland, and have yet to do any since I have been home. The trip was a good recharge, but coming home and then jumping right back in to school and work has left me with a cold (well, that could have come from the boy, who has been sick for a couple of weeks). The boy told me that I tend to be fatalistic about my disease, and while I don’t agree, he asked me what would happen if I spent one day not thinking about how tired I was, or how much pain I was in. In theory, that would be great. I would love it if I could find a way to shut off that part of my brain. I have decided that I will try that while I am tied up in study groups this weekend preparing for the final.

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Today though, I am just going to take some meds, go to bed early, and hope that I wake up tomorrow a little less tired.

The Scamp Learns Through Osmosis

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Let’s be honest, the best way to learn about American community colleges is put the book over my tired face and hope that the musty smell of old library book will help my brain absorb all I need. This picture was taken at 8:30…on a Thursday. There is no reason that I should be as tired as I am, and no reason why I couldn’t read the 36 pages assigned for next week.

This is my second attempt at doing homework. I spent a good three hours trying to code and synthesize books and journal articles for my research class, and after falling asleep twice in my office chair, I decided it was time to switch gears. The picture is proof of how well that worked. I’m only on page 11 (and I am pretty sure the first chapter started on page 10).

This week was hard for me. I’m exhausted. I would love to blame it on the 5 miles I did at the gym yesterday and today, but I know that isn’t the reason.

Stress is the reason. For the last year I have been unemployed. School was my only job. I was in Scotland walking everywhere, on a good sleep schedule, and getting enough fresh air to make me almost forget that I wasn’t seeing the sun. Now that I am home, I have something to do or somewhere to be almost every day of the week. Two days a week I am with my Dillybean, two days a week I am working as an AVID tutor, two days a week I do nothing but homework in order to be ready for my Monday study group. I also have the added bonus of a being completely twitterpaited with a boy I can only see on the weekends. All of this is good stress. I love my Dillybean, I love working with AVID, my study group is amazing, and I signed up for the degree, so the homework has to be done. The thing is, the stress hits me extra hard, and wreaks havoc on me. Thanks to my disease, my body goes into shutdown mode to deal with stress. Suddenly everything from focusing on my reading, to walking up stairs, to chewing food is hard for me. My life is very different than it was a year ago. Very very different.

To combat this, I am going to spend the weekend in my pjs, doing my reading and research, get some quality time with my yoga mat, and take a lot of naps.

Hopefully by Monday I will know a little bit more about American community colleges, and will feel a little less like I’ve been awake for 48 hours.

Wish me luck….I’m going to need it.

The Scamp Down For the Count

Right now I have about as much sex appeal as a camel….with gingivitis. My body hurts. The joints in my hands are so stiff and sore that I can’t make a fist, and I’m walking like an 80 year old woman.

I feel like an 80 year old woman. I’m not much of a complainer when it comes to my health, but today I am complaining. I have been feeling icky for a week, but it seems to be getting worse. Most days the pain doesn’t bother me too much, but the pain in my hands and wrists is making it hard for me to sit at the computer all day and work on my dissertation. I am still about 5,000 words from my goal, and I have a literature review to edit, and instead of working, I am laying in bed trying to both not move and get comfortable at the same time. I have about 10 days left until I would like to be done with the dissertation and into the final editing stage.

I just have to make it that far.

This time last year I would call the doctor and go see him to get some extra pain meds and to make sure that there isn’t something seriously wrong with me.

This time though, I am not really doing anything about it because I do not have insurance, and definitely don’t have the $300 just to see the doctor and then the $75 or more that it will take to fill the prescriptions. American is a scary place to be without health insurance. Everyone keeps going on and on about how great Obamacare is, but considering I can’t apply for it until October, and then I  might not get covered for another 6 months, I fail to see how great it is. Trying to figure out how to get my own insurance from a healthcare provider is proving equally as challenging. I require regularly scheduled maintenance, and most plans only offer a certain number of covered visits. The first three months of being covered would max me out. The plans that do offer more visits are a lot more expensive, and might not still be valid when Obamacare actually kicks in.

I may have hated being in San Diego, and I may not have always loved my job, but the insurance coverage I got was amazing. I could afford the payments, doctor visits were never a problem, and the price of meds was rarely over $10.  I wish I could have that kind of coverage for a price that didn’t make me want to cry.

This is another moment when I miss Scotland. I miss being able to see the doc and fill my prescriptions without having to spend a dollar and worry about my amount of coverage.

If only the doctors here would take my Scottish insurance.

In the meantime, I am going to guzzle Aleve like it is candy and try not to stress about the fact that I only have 4 pain pills left.