Monday, January 30, 2012

Random Law School Update 31

Current Location: Washington, DC
Arrival Date: January 08, 2011
Departure Date: Undetermined

I have set myself against doing any more schoolwork tonight so I may as well write. The topic of this email is something that makes me unhappy and so I will start by talking about the things I most like about my life.

It has occurred to me that life is wonderful by default. That is, if I just lay quietly somewhere with your eyes closed and endeavor to think about nothing in particular, or about some simple thing, like the color white for example, that sensation is marvelous. Since traveling, I have developed a profound appreciation for just sitting in my temperature controlled room, or any temperature controlled and mosquito-free area really. It is truly incredible to sit somewhere for as long as you care to without being too hot or too cold or constantly bitten by small animals. I really love it. When nothing else is going particularly well, I bask in how happy it makes me. I even giggle to myself when I go to sleep at night when I remember how outrageously lucky it is that there are institutions out there willing to loan me enough money that I can afford to live and go to school in such comfort.

On top of that, there are probably far too many good things to mention. I have very good parents. Much better parents I think than most people have. Then again, I don’t know most people’s parents. But I suspect that not all of them are as good. Mine care about me a lot and they never fail to show it. It is very lucky. I also have an amazing best friend. He has good parents too. I miss them.

The last many days have been difficult. I am upset with my hematologist. My anger is magnified by a bunch of steroids that she had me taking in promise that it would bring my platelets high enough to undergo a procedure to stop my over-abundant bleeding. Five days into the steroids, when my platelets were high enough to perform the procedure, she refused to write a note of approval, stating that it was perfectly okay with her that the procedure be performed but that it was up to the other doctor to decide whether to perform it despite the fact that my counts, though five times as high as normal for me are still less than a quarter as high as normal for someone else. The other doctor, not knowing anything about ITP, hematology, or my specific situation, demanded affirmative approval from my hematologist. I had spent over 20 hours and a lot of emotional energy making and preparing for the necessary appointments, five in total, and the disappointment of being denied care was devastating.

The worst part of the whole experience by far though is the withdrawal. The steroids themselves make me feel awful; they fill me with the sensation of anger and make me prone to outbursts of emotional irrationality and unkindness. They caused me incredible problems my 1L year and I have nothing but sincere hatred for them. Steroids are also one of a few truly physically addictive substances and the process of weaning off of them is incredibly painful. The symptoms are like that of a flu or cold—chills, body aches, congestion, headaches—combined with random outbursts of hellish emotion that leave me shaking and gasping for breath. I have to take sleeping pills to make it go away at night and even then, I do not sleep well. Today is the 10th day since I started them. It feels like it has been forever. I keep hoping that today is the last day of withdrawal. Maybe tomorrow.



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