Finding My Niche Despite Chronic Illness

Reading this was exactly what I needed right now. I am currently on this very diagnostic path, with lupus strongly suspected by my doctors. Whatever the diagnosis and outcome is, I’m so happy to have a fantastic supervisor who is understanding and supportive of my current state of more-than-normal sleepiness, chronic pain, and for the fact that she is one of the few people in this place who NEVER asks me “why are you limping again?” when she sees me… I really am getting sick of that question, because for now I cannot answer it!

PhD(isabled)

Purple blue leaves grow from a niche between a grey concrete sidewalk and a beige wall

A few weeks into my first year as a Sociology PhD student, I started to notice intense pain after working out. I don’t know exactly when things changed, but I soon realized that I was in pain all the time.

With the pain came stiffness in my joints, mobility issues and generally feeling unwell, like I was always coming down with something. It seemed that the more time that passed, the more symptoms cropped up.

So began what my first doctor called the “fishing expedition”. Lab tests results were coming back abnormal all over the place, but no one could figure out why.

It was a difficult time for me. I couldn’t share what I was going through with my fellow students, not even with those I considered to be friends. Although I was somehow managing to keep up with my school work, I couldn’t say that I was going…

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