February 8, 2010

Three weeks

When I broke my foot, I bought a calendar. It was mostly to save time. I kept counting and re-counting the days to figure out how many days it had been, how many weeks, and when it would be 6 weeks. I figured it would be faster if I could just glance at something and know.

At first I used the calendar to keep track of my symptoms -- where it hurt and how bad -- in case this became important. But after two weeks, the inflammation cooled and my sore muscles started to relax. Now I just feel weak and tired, the same every day. So I've started crossing off each day with an X.

The quarter is not going well. First, I didn't have any time because I was on crutches, and just getting to campus took two hours. Buying groceries took two hours. Every little thing was difficult and slow. Then I would get home and just lie here feeling sad about everything I was missing -- soccer, hockey, running, parties, friends.

Now, I'm getting around in my walking cast, but I've lost the momentum. It feels like work is something that drags me away from my primary purpose, which is to not have a broken foot anymore. Like I just want to sit here and stare at my calendar until it's over. I'm cranky when I have to do anything else.

I have done some work on my dissertation, but not enough. I'm worried that my advisors will be disappointed that I haven't done more. They might understand that it's been a difficult month, but at the same time, I feel like they won't. I've found that even when professors say they understand, they judge me for making excuses. You know? Grad students don't get the benefit of the doubt.

But even I think I shouldn't be making excuses... like, it's not that bad. This is not a tragedy. My body feels terrible, but my brain should be able to snap out of it and function. I don't know why I can't.

Anyway, tomorrow is Tuesday, which means it has been three weeks. You don't count from the day of the injury -- you count from the first day in the cast. So that's good. Every Tuesday gets a circle on the calendar, then it's easy when I want to count the weeks again.


  • Grad students DO get the benefit of the doubt, honest! Especially when they have a really nice obvious cast on their foot... hope the time starts to pass more quickly and your brain finds its focus soon.

    By Blogger JaneB, at 2/9/10, 5:40 AM  

  • I agree with you and disagree with JaneB (sorry JaneB) - I never got the benefit of the doubt as a graduate student. Without giving out identifying details, I had two major illnesses in 5 years - and I got all kinds of lectures on missed time and not working hard enough while I was sick.

    I hate when profs tell you to look after yourself and then basically get you in shit for not working while you are laid up with something!

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 2/9/10, 8:59 AM  

  • My experience is similar to Psycgirl's but, JaneB, I believe that you give your grad students the benefit of the doubt. I just wish more professors were like you!

    By Blogger Di Di, at 2/9/10, 11:46 PM  

  • I agree, some profs do, but many don't. I especially agree w/ Psychfirl's second comment. My entire school core faculty was HUGE on talking up self-care, but TERRIBLE about allowing for it in any way.

    By Blogger Mamabeek, at 2/10/10, 12:52 AM  

  • Mamabeek, you summed it up well. Everyone says they want us to take care of ourselves, but I've learned not to trust it.

    By Blogger Di Di, at 2/10/10, 3:45 PM  

  • I agree with Di Di on this. I had foot surgery, was on crutches, in a cast, in a snow storm. And I had bronchitis. When I e-mailed my professor, she told me she expected to see me in class. (In her defense, she did drive me home....)

    By Blogger Inksster, at 2/10/10, 8:54 PM  

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