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The title of this post does not report any facts. It's just a line that came from a series of bizarre, vivid dreams I had the last night of Finals Week.  I didn't get much sleep and woke up every hour and a half or so. I have to admit that I am feeling a lot better than I was. There's still a small level of background pain, but I'm not too stressed.  I'm certain I've passed all my classes and I received the lowest grade in quantitative reasoning.

It's also been a difficult month or so to get through. I knew going back to school would be tough, but I also know if I can't handle a full time work load, returning to the work force is out, if that is my goal. The difficulties of this month caused me to engage in introspection and reflection. It also reaffirmed why I don't like the OSI networking model or computer networking much in general.  At least computer networking is related to my career field.

First, I can be reasonably certain I do not have dyslexia.  I did wonder about this, but the errors I make are errors common in many first drafts. This is why editing and revision are so important.  It's also why I'm not big on freelancing for a penny a word any more. If someone wants me to waste my time and limited energy doing something that is not an unskilled task for low pay, they better have a reason beyond wanting to make a profit.  As for dysgraphia, it remains a possibility given some of the mistakes I've made on the quantitative reasoning tests, it remains a possibility. Dyscalculia remains on the table despite my roommate's disbelief in it.  (And to be fair, missing the first 7 homework assignments in quantitative reasoning did not help. This, at least, was purely my fault for not reading the syllabus.  I had to work damn hard to get a C after that.) I consider these blog posts to be a free writing exercise. Free writing involves no revision or error correction. Even if I do have dyslexia, it would not prevent me from writing professionally again. It just means I'd have to work harder. (Piers Anthony is dyslexic.)

The end of the semester is not the only stressor removed from my life. I also had Nelnet discharge my student loads because I am, according to their ruling, "totally and permanently disabled."  It still seems weird to me to be celebrating getting that news, but it's something I knew a couple of years ago.  It's silly that I have to have the government continually affirm what I already know.  However, I'm more happy that the student loans were discharged than I am  about the Department of Education agreeing I am disabled.

Also, I finally heard from the person who will be representing me at my hearing. I have slightly more confidence in the firm now, but I still keep hearing they have a reputation for screwing up what should be easily won cases. I have no idea if my case is easily won or not. I know that my comparatively young age works against me, but the lawyer was surprised that the social security doctors had limited me to sedentary work.  I also hope he gets my point about the treatment being ongoing physical therapy taking time out of the work day frequently for my EDS. (Now, if he can get the paperwork that confirms the EDS diagnosis.)  The only thing I worry about is the constant nagging from my lawyer's office may become a source of stress in the days leading up to my hearing.

On a final note, this Sunday is Mother's Day.  My mother and I had a distant relationship at times. I had a completely different worldview and she was a very hands-off parent even during her lucid moments. The greeting card industry's insistence on celebrating this holiday will make the next few days a bit harder than they need to be. During the last year of her life, my mother spent the entire month of May in a psychiatric ward at Geisinger Hospital in Danville. She became even more distant after that, and was placed on partial hospitalization by court order.  I didn't know what else to do other than try to force her to get help at that time.  I'm not going to question the actions I took  I'm not sure I would have acted differently now, although I might not have involved the police to deal with someone suffering from a mental illness. I realized that even though it seemed unfair at the time, it was a problem I had to deal with.  My mother didn't know who was really on her side and who was not.  

I suppose this is why I still occasionally wonder about schiozphernia or schizoaffective disorder, but so far, I don't show many of the symptoms. (Other than a history of raging asexuality, which as my readers should know, is more about pathologizing asexuality than it is about being a sign of a mental illness.)

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 I feel tired right now, but that’s not uncommon after the Hardware/Software Support Class. I’m taking a break right now in the commons area of campus, and taking some time out to write this. Even though there have been some difficulties this semester, I’m actually glad I did get the chance to go back. These classes have allowed me to rediscover my love of computers and possibly change my direction back to what it should have been.

When it comes down to it, I’m not at all sure Server Administration is the right choice for my major. I was thinking that it would be somewhat more portable than computer programming, but I’ve not heard good things about some of the later classes. I will not spend much time worrying about this. There have been a lot of fun things this semester, and I have the opportunity – if I’m lucky – to get the old student loans I’d forgotten discharged. (I’m trying to look on the bright side here. It’s not generally easy for me. Even though I am tired right now, I am in a good mood.)

I’m wondering if my decision to pursue a writing career was the wrong path for me, or if I simply became burn out on it after working for content mills for years. Either way, it doesn’t matter at this point. It’s also not worth dwelling on it. I’ve chosen something that fits within my current physical limitations, and it’s something I find enjoyable and challenging.

I do think that I need to go back over last week, even though it’s probably a bad idea. In some ways, getting the Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis was a great relief. It explains a lot that’s gone on with my body for a long time. Including the few nights where I stayed up crying all night that weren’t caused by my peers. I had blamed those nights on shin splints from soccer. It explains the clumsiness, the problems with my ankles, and some of my mother’s stories. (It also makes me wonder how much worse things might have been if I’d not gone through puberty for the wrong gender, but the Discworld’s Granny Weatherwax would soon set that kind of thinking straight. It doesn’t matter what might have happened because it didn’t happen.) It also explains why I have supernumerary teeth and accessory ossicles or whatever that podiatrist called them.

Right now, I’m trying to sort out good advice from bad advice, and I’ve been handed a list that includes Dr. Collins’s “ideal” diet for EDS. At least from her talks on YouTube, I’ve found out that there isn’t much research for what she recommends. These are just things she’s tried with her patients with good success. (From what I can tell, her advice would be more accurate if the patient figures out what items work for them rather than going on her list all at once. I’m planning on cutting out dairy, increasing salt intake, and I see no harm in eating fewer processed foods. I know from my own experience to avoid MSG, Caffeine, and Aspartame in large quantities.) 

I’m still in limbo as far as my disability claim goes. I know the hearing will not take place this year. There are only two more months left in this year. I do not know if having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome on my records will help or not. It will be a ‘rare’ disorder if so. I’m also hoping I didn’t upset my rheumatologist by seeking out a second opinion. After awhile, I realized she was just being cautious and trying not to increase my anxiety levels. While it was frustrating, it’s something I cam to appreciate.


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