When Your Body Puts the Brakes On

February 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

It seems my body is somewhat falling apart. Started feeling weird last Saturday (didn’t finish my beer or my pizza on Saturday and Sunday — that’s how you know Alexa is feeling badly) and woke up at 5am sick on Monday. Went straight to the doctor instead of going to work, was diagnosed with a bacterial infection (strep test came back negative, as usual), and they sent me home with antibiotics. Woke up the next day feeling 10x worse, did not go to work, did not go to class, did not pass Go, did not collect $100.  Wednesday morning woke up with a fever and felt even worse. Discontinued antibiotics, figured out it was a virus, most likely the flu.

No big deal. It’s just the flu. Normally when I get sick, I’m down about two days and back to normal by day three. It’s now Saturday and I’m still not back to normal. I hate this.

Went to the ENT to talk to a doctor about my recurring tonsillitis  *not* to talk to them about the flu. That was a hard concept for the nurses to grasp, even though my appointment was scheduled before I got sick with the flu. Saw the doctor, his solution was to take my tonsils out. No surprise there, we knew our options for the most part. So that’s that — gotta get them out. Recovery time is 10-12 days. Scheduling will be difficult.

Also received the results of my GYN visit this week. My results were abnormal; they found LSIL cells. My doctor said not to be overly concerned as it may be little more than an infection that will go away on its own, but that it could also indicate that I have precancerous cells present. I’m going back for more testing, including a biopsy. So I have to schedule that sometime soon as well.

Let’s just hope insurance will cover these procedures since they’re not exactly optional. I still have $300 worth of unpaid medical bills at home. Sigh. Could be worse. I could have cancer.

Anyway, it’s just a lot of extra worry and stress. I’ve been so preoccupied mentally that I haven’t even noticed if my heart palpitations are still occurring  I think yes, but I can’t remember how recent my last episode was. My brain can really only juggle so much, and I’m past capacity as it is.

My thesis proposal is due tonight, but with all the health stuff going on, I completely forgot. I also have to do research in preparation for my presentation at the museum on Tuesday, and I have to finalize my script for my presentation in a competition at UAB immediately following my presentation at the museum. In theory, after Tuesday, I’ll be able to breath a bit more. Getting those two things out of the way will be a relief, but that still leaves:


– get biopsy done

– prepare 20 min presentation for symposium in Tuscaloosa

– learn to read German; take German language exam at the end of the month

– read all of Gardner’s Art Through the Ages (1,000 pages) in preparation for my comprehensive exams

– continue to work on thesis, primarily research

– apply for jobs/internships/fellowships


– retake German exam if necessary (please god let me pass)

– memorize every slide in Gardner (no really) and reacquaint myself with the major scholars of nineteenth and twentieth century art in preparation for my comprehensive exams

– begin writing thesis

– get tonsils removed

– apply for jobs/internships/fellowships


– take comprehensive exams — 2 hours: ID 20 slides, 6 min short essays on each slide; break; 2 hours: single essay in major field (nineteenth century for me); 1 hour: single essay in minor field (twentieth century for me)

– job ends at the BMA

– write thesis

– find a new job


– finish my thesis

– submit my thesis to my committee


– defend thesis

– graduate


Just keep taking deep breaths, right? I’ve done crazy shit like this before and come out okay. Let’s hope I can do it one more time…


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