Over two years I have gone to the Stetson Law Career Services office about three times and attended at least 6-10 of the lunchtime sessions that they have hosted. I wish I could emphasize the importance of utilizing these services … Continue reading
First, I would like to thank my friend Jeremy for getting me started on this amazing journey. Without his suggestion and high recommendations for Crossfit StPete, I would still be sitting on my couch eat night stuffing my face with … Continue reading
I used to be able to re-write my notes by hand without any problem. Now, I can barely hold my pencil for an hour or two without my hands starting to shake like crazy. Even now, I am having trouble keeping my hands still long enough to press the keys to type. I have been trying to keep my mind off the possibility that my diagnosis was accurate, yet my ability to ignore the increase in symptoms is growing more difficult.
When I was 21 I started to notice that my hands were shaking more than the usual caffeine jitters. The breaking point was the moment that I was unable to hold a bowl in my hands because they were shaking too much. Also, I started to experience strange sensations in my arms and legs that would last for an hour or more. I decided that something was not right and went to the doctor. He asked me a few questions and did a couple of tests. Then, he suggested I go to a neurologist. The neurologist also performed a few tests and asked questions. As she scribbled in her manila envelope, she looked up briefly and stated in the coldest voice I’ve ever heard, “You have early onset-MS. I’ll schedule an MRI to check for lesions. I’m putting you on a dose of prednisone to stop the severity of the shaking.” I walked out of the examination room in a daze. I was by myself. Do I call home? What do I even say? Was it really even a diagnosis?
I did the MRI. Scheduled a follow-up with the neurologist. The neurologist canceled. I never heard the results.
I made the conscious decision that I did not want to know because it would control my life. To this point, I have been able to control my symptoms by using a nutritional shake; however, due to my schedule I have been unable to keep up with the three shakes a day it takes to maintain my health.
I do not know what to do. I am struggling each day to place my faith in God. He controls my path and only He knows what lies ahead. Nonetheless, I cannot help but be less than optimistic concerning my prognosis. I am 24 years old. I have my whole life ahead of me. How am I supposed to be okay with an uncertain future? How am I supposed to live each day not knowing what is going to happen to me– to my body? Will it progress? What if it isn’t even MS? What if it is something else, maybe something more manageable? Do I even want to know?
I have learned how to deal with my endometriosis. The constant pain has been manageable. I have learned how to tailor my activities and work around the issues that it causes; but, can I handle another health issue being added to the routine? My hands are uncontrollable… I want to be able to understand what is happening. I want to be able to control it. For now, though, I must turn to God. He has it under control.
Let it be.
This week is going to be hectic. The research plan for my final appellate brief is due Tuesday, the AAJ competition is this weekend, internship search is in full-force, and readings seem to be overwhelming me.
My desire to stay on top of everything is at an all-time high, which is encouraging, yet I need to make sure that desire sustains itself throughout the week. Outlines are coming along well, notes are being organized, and research is being done.
It seems this is the time that everyone starts floundering. Most of us are exhausted, wiped out, and feeling slightly defeated. Readings are not being done as thoroughly, notes are less in depth, and participation during lecture is at an all-time low. I’ve noticed an increase in the number of “I should just drop out” comments and the participation in organizations has decreased greatly.
Honestly, I am stressed. There is a lot going on in preparation of the end of the school year and even more to prepare for next year! I have finally started sending out resumes to law firms looking for internships, but I STILL haven’t decided where I want to be in the summer. I want to stay in Florida because I love the weather and feel settled here; however, I want to be in Pittsburgh because I do not want to be away from my boyfriend for the entire summer. The one hitch is my dog. I can keep him with me if I’m in St. Pete, but anywhere else I’ll have to make accommodations. Decisions, decisions, decisions!
The one bright note of this week is that I have a renewed hope in people. I was feeling discouraged after last week’s issue and unsure of how others were viewing my posts. Yesterday, I received so much support from classmates and readers that it was overwhelming! My efforts as I move forward will be placed on ensuring that I do not come off as arrogant and a know-it-all. If I do, please tell me (in a nice way).
This is something that I hope to continue throughout my years in law school and my career so I want to work out as many kinks as possible now instead of later when a law partner is calling me into his office.
For the second part of this semester, my goals are to write helpful and insightful posts about my increased schedule. Hopefully some of you will be able to help me figure out how to ease the stress! I will be working on time management and will actually LOOK at my schedule each day!
Oh, and to raise $1,000 for the Relay for Life-Gulfport event for the American Cancer Society~ You can click below to donate, or if you want more information about the event!
What goals have you set for yourself for the second half of the spring semester?
What goals have you set for yourself for the second half of the spring semester?
I have had to work hard to get where I am. I have done whatever it takes to keep myself on track with my future goals regardless of what that has meant. I gave up a lot along the way, but I have no regrets. In high school, I worked 30-40 hours each week to help pay for tuition, car payments, and my own phone bill. When the money was not there for college, I found another job and worked 40 hours a week in the last few months of my senior year. I have worked all through college to continue to support myself. I do stretch myself thin, I realize that, but only out of necessity.
I appear to not have to worry about money at times because I do not like to broadcast my lack of financial security. I am not looking for a hand out, and I will not take one. Yet, it frustrates me when others criticize me for what I do. Yes, having three jobs and being a student is not ideal… it is not even practical at times… but I have no choice. My mother works an average of 60 hours a week at a high-stress, mentally draining, low paying job in order to pay for insurance, food, and household expenses and she has a hard enough time making ends meet that I will not ask her for money. I do not want to work as much as I do, heck, I would love to not have to work. I have to work.
So, yes, being a full-time college student and working about 50 hours a week I do need to take time for myself whenever I can. Once a week I attend a group fitness class in order to de-stress and refocus my mind. Once a week. That is what I have, one day a week that I use for me. Call me selfish all you want, but two hours once a week that I use for myself is anything but that. I do struggle with balancing everything, I try my best. And, I feel that I am doing a good job. I can do better, everyone can always do better. Is better feasible, though? I do not know that answer. In an ideal world, I would be able to apply for a scholarship or financial aid and find a way to live off of that income in order to eliminate one job; however, again, that is not an option. I now have to prepare myself for the monstrous expense of law school and I need to take advantage of the work that is available while I can.
I struggle with whether or not I should eliminate a job. Yet, as I mentioned, if I do then I will have to reconsider law school or face repaying loans in excess of $100,000. I do want to give my best at everything I do because I do realize the importance of my positions, and until the other day I thought that I was presenting my best. Should I always be available? Should I respond to emails/texts/calls at all times? Honestly, I do not think I should. I have tried. I have done it, and it has only lead to bitterness and burn-out.
I feel like everyone forgets that I am a student, too. I need to study. I need to take breaks. I need to have a social life. I want to be respected. I want to do my best. And, the other day just made me want to crumble. I have never felt more hurt, more disrespected, more insulted in a long time. It hurt and I wanted to lash back and hurt the other person, at first, but I did not. I stated my case and made an opportunity to be available. I still felt that maybe this person was right and that I had no right to put myself before my position–my job–so I went to my supervisor with my concern. My supervisor helped. This person stated that I need to take time to recharge and that it I should not be available 24/7 or else I will burn-out. I was reassured by this encounter and actually left feeling better. Nonetheless, the relationship with the aforementioned person is still up in airs. I am hoping that time away will allow me to forgive what was said; however, I feel that this experience has taught me that I cannot put so much faith and trust into someone who I do not fully know.
I was searching for someone to fill the spot that had been left by a good friend and I thought that I had found another. Maybe I did. Right now, as I mentioned before, I need a friend vacation. I am too stressed and anxious to be dealing with difficult situations and my immediate thought is to simply run away. Yet, I do not want to do that. Last night, I opened my Bible and tried to find solace in the words written. I did. This experience may allow me to take a step back from my relationships and work on my relationship with God more. My effort to this point has been rather passive and because of the past nine months I have realized that my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. My relationship with Him is the one and only relationship that I know will always be there in some capacity. I may have moments when my faith is tested, but I know now that I have surrounded myself with people who will support my journey and help lead me closer to Him.
All that said. I will be taking my “friend vacation” and working on myself and my relationship with God. Through this work I hope that I can reconcile my relationships, but at this point in the journey I am not prepared to handle it. In my heart, I know that God will show me the next step and one day I will have peace in myself.