Sarah Blake LaRose (3kitties) wrote,
Sarah Blake LaRose

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on research papers and my health

I have been agonizing all weekend over a theology paper that is due a week from Thursday. I started working on it a couple of weeks ago, scanned six books in addition to the four I already had that I could use as sources. I haven't had much luck finding journal articles until yesterday, and Dad and I will be doing a library run this evening. Note the time of this entry and the fact that I will be on campus all day working on papers before he arrives for the beginning of this task at 6:00 P.M. Right now, blindness is absolutely no picnic.

On top of all of this blindness stuff, I just don't feel cut out for theological study. Part of the problem is the terms. I hate big words. I always have and always will. I am a technical writer of a certain variety. I put things in plain English for the average reader. I can string all kinds of complex sentences together; but I cannot write using big words. It feels lofty and impersonal to me; and I can't understand my own writing easily when I do it. I said to someone yesterday, "I'd like to be able to understand my own aper when I'm done." I understand the concept of stretching myself; but I don't want to stretch so far that I become something other than what I am.

I think that another part of the problem is that I keep thinking that research papers must have some purpose other than to make me produce lofty language and talk like an official theologian. I think the real object is for me to learn something in the process, to take something home with me at the end of the project. If that is true, then I should be able to understand my own paper when I'm done, and I do need to retain my own writing style while making sense of all these big words.

But all weekend, I've just felt like banging my head against the wall and screaming, "I CAN'T DO THIS! I'M NOT SMART ENOUGH!" But I have to do it if I want this degree, and I need this degree in order to do what God is asking of me...

So the logical thing to do is to ask God to enable me to do what I cannot do. If He requires this of me, then He must be willing to enable me to do it.

So I prayed, and I went to bed--because I couldn't do any more without sleep.

And here I am with a bit of a "lightbulb" moment. I woke up writing the paper and couldn't go back to sleep. So now I need to put what's in my head in real writing--and remember that ctrl+s is my friend! I hope it's on track for what he's looking for. I hope I can find a way to make use of this material I've been scanning. I feel like so much of it is just restatement and expansion of the obvious; and maybe that's a mental block that is keeping me from opening up and enjoying the process.

And this paper is only supposed to be 1,000 words! I haven't even begun reading for the 12 to 15-page paper that's due Nov. 14, and I really want to do well on that one! I need time, and I don't have time! And I am suffering massive amounts of fatigue thanks to all these nose meds. I wouldn't mind God doing something about that either--doesn't matter whether it's the fatigue or the nose.

I did some reading about turbinate dysfunction the other day. The article was a chance discovery. I never would have thought to look it up, but it was linked to an article on sinusitis that I was reading. It happened to mention that two causes of turbinate dysfunction (enlarged turbinates) other than allergies were non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug intolerance and progesterone therapy. I took a big bold note of both of these. There are two additional factors about my life now that are different from my life in 2004 (when I first moved back here). I am on NSAIDs twice taily since 04/06, and I am on an eye drop that is a form of progesterone to help prevent rejection of my artificial cornea. I have been on this since 03/05. The illnesses began 10/05. So I am inclined to pin the blame on the MPG.

I've considered talking with my doctors regarding this to see if there are other anti-rejection meds I can take. Unfortunately, the Alphacor is new, and there probably aren't other options that aren't experimental. I've found it somewhat easier to accept the need for all the extra nose meds knowing that there are reasons why my nose is not behaving. I felt so out of control when the doctor kept talking about my allergies because there had been no change in my lifestyle and I cleaned like a maniac until grad school started. Ironically, I'm healthier in a messy house than in a clean one!

So I don't really care what the solution is. I just need to stay healthy, and I need more energy than I have right now. I can't keep wiping out in classes and during my reading. I hope that part of this is due to having been low on my Topamax dosage for a few days and that it will get better as I get back on the normal dosage. But the reality is that I've been experiencing fatigue for quite a while, and coffee is not a pleasure anymore but a dire necessity.

Xposted to sjbtheology


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