Our new normal

Which is still rather abnormal to us.

I got married in July, started my doctorate in August, and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in September. That's a lot of new beginnnings, I guess. And really, there's just something beautifully ironic about being diagnosed with a chronic disease that is aggravated by stress and causes fatigue at the start of a demanding doctoral program. Well done universe!

I'm adjusting....or not, depending on the day. First bit of  good news in a while came yesterday- the contrast CT I had to undergo Tuesday (when I learned to NEVER go in for unfamiliar medical procedures alone- ugh) came back clean, which means the disease is just in my colon (Crohn's colitis) .  It's hard to know what this means moving forward. In the words of one person I've talked to this week "We never manage to balance. Life is always a juggling act, and we have all these balls - our career, our relationship with our partner, our kids, everything. And occasionally, it's time to let one of them come down. But the ball you absolutely must keep in the air is your health- because that's the glass ball, and if you let it drop, you don't get it back."

That said, I'm grateful to be here. And it's when things are craziest and worst that I realize that there are people committed to fighting for me and for my wellbeing. Thank heaven my department is an example of academia at its best.

It is what it is. Yes, there are some pretty hideous possible complications. Yes, I could be in really big trouble if healthcare and insurance reform in this country is not implemented. No, it won't kill me, and if I can figure out how to manage this, it shouldn't slow me down too much (heck, Dwight Eisenhower had Crohn's disease and he managed to run a country). No, I'm not alone in this- thank heaven for my wonderful husband, and for mentors who care about *me* more than my work.


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