Chronicles of Life with Multiple Sclerosis
As a former workaholic, this whole MS experience has really left me in a frequent state of stir crazy. The likelihood of going back to school and finishing my dissertation is getting slimmer and slimmer every day and I know I need to deal with that (contact the school and what not) but of all things thats one of the most painful to deal with. I keep thinking If I wait a little longer, figure a few more things out, I’ll be ready to make a decision and talk to them. I’m pretty sure its not going to “settle down” in the way I dream it will and also pretty sure that decision is going to be one of the hardest i’ll ever have to make. 8 years of sacrifice, of my blood sweat and tears and it may never come to fruition. Even received an email from my advisor wishing me a happy new year and wondering what was going on. I have managed to avoid her for almost a year now because I have no idea what to say. Thinking about this alone calls over the little rain cloud of depression so he can sit on my head (you know.. that creep one from the commercials that doesn’t really go away when you take your meds just stalks you and your family from behind while you have a picnic?)
Anyway, thats not the point of this post really, though its a topic I’ve started a post for and edited about 50 times but never thought it ready to post. The point of this one is that one of my plans for the new year, now that I have SSI, Food stamps, and a place to live, is to take the new found time (formerly spent on paper work and stressing over financies) to think about new directions my life could take. Exploring other ways of life, interests, etc that would ease the burden of giving up on my research should it come to that and occupy my time/mind in a way that doesn’t leave me incapacitated for months at a time.
If you read my other blogs, namely Tort-time, you might notice I have a pretty strong love of turtles and tortoises. Little brings me more joy that my little tortie Zoya pants. I love everything about her, and have thus spent hours and hours reading about her species of tortoises, care and feeding etc, and other turtles and tortoises as well. I frequently joke that I’m just gonna say screw academia, move to california and start a tortoise rescue. Still sounds like a pretty heavenly plan to me. Things are never that easy though, never could buy a house with enough space (or buy any house with no space), Don’t know how my benefits would transfer and if I could find a decent neurologist out there, and most importantly I don’t know how physically capable I’d need to be to truly run a rescue.
So today I was pursuing some volunteer positions in the area that deal with wildlife rehab and fell in love! A position as a marine mammal and sea turtle rescue volunteer.
How perfect would that be! Its not too far from my home, Its assists a large number of injured sea turtles, and other awesome marine mamals… yo get to interact with them during your work and its once a week. WIN.
So my bright and hopeful 2012 self got really excited about the idea of applying for this. I kept looking at, saw this pic of a rescued turtle and melted inside..
Heres the thing. The more I read the more I realized, can I actually do this volunteer job? Its one day a week, awesome, but from 8 to 6. Thats a long day for an MSer and is especially difficult when you can’t predict your days. Then it goes on to say this:
Qualifications: Previous (large) animal handling experience is recommended. Must be in good physical condition and able to lift 50 pounds. Must be able to perform significant cleaning tasks daily. Must be able to work independently and as part of a team. Must be at least 18 years of age.
So, I’ve dealt with large animals in the past, horses but still.. but then we come to the good ole “must be in good physical condition and able to life 50 pounds” blerg. I can probably lift 50 pounds if a turtles life depended on it and I had a few days to deal with the seering pain I’ll be experiencing after that. I’m not sure i’d be considered in good physical condition heh.. and I can barely clean my own studio apartment regularly heh…but I got the over 18 part!
So I sat here for a while thinking. Damn I’ll apply anyway! but then I imagined myself there under false pretenses, fucking things up, getting a bad rep at the clinic, not being helpful at all and it just made me so damn sad. I know this post is probably ridiculous sounding, but the idea that I can’t even have a volunteer position like this for fear of ramification for me and those I work with…it just depresses the hell out of me. And the saddest part? my sadness makes me want to snuggle a sea turtle for comfort. hah.