A Day in the Life of an Arthritic Graduate Student: Rheumatism Style

In honor of World Arthritis Day, I wanted to write a post about how a relatively normal day in my life goes. I didn’t have to work my hotel job today, thankfully, so it made things a little less busy… But not much.

I woke up way later this morning than I normally do, because I was having trouble sleeping last night. I should have gone to bed right when I was tired enough to, but I still had homework. Stupid school. I have class at 8:50 in the morning. The bus (when I take it) stops near my apartment at about 7:40 – which coincidentally is right when I woke up this morning. I had laid out my blue outfit for today, because I was pretty sure I’d wake up later than I wanted anyway, so I didn’t go through the half hour ordeal of deciding what to wear. I take a quick bathroom break, brush the teeth, and make sure I have my medicine before scurrying out the door.

My car does this funny thing with the security system where sometimes it won’t start for ten minutes (long story short: the system got screwed up when we had a family friend put a tow hitch on the car in 2006). It doesn’t happen that often, but of course I was already running later than I cared to be, so guess what? 🙂

After finally hitting the road, I had an easy drive to school. I used to park in a garage, but that ends up costing at least $6 a day, depending how long you’re there. Using my handy dandy disabled hanger-thinger (that’s the technical name, see), I park one street down by a meter. Having my hanger-thinger means that, as long as the meter is for 30 minutes or more, I don’t have to pay the meter for parking. What a lifesaver!

Where I park is at the bottom of a HUGE hill. Luckily, there’s a free bus that runs between where I park and where my classes are… which, since I was running late, I missed. So I got to hike up Bascom Hill, which normally seems to take people five minutes. It takes me at least ten, and I have to stop for breaks because my knees are so tired already… at 8:35 in the morning.

I get to my classroom about ten minutes before Arabic starts. We had some homework last night, and we always like to compare beforehand, so I like to get there a little earlier. Oh well. Class goes well, and I’m off back down the hill to Starbucks for my pumpkin fix and some food so I can take my Plaquenil around 10am.

At 10:30, I head over to my work study job at the Wisconsin Historical Society. It’s pretty awesome… Except when I have to search books (i.e., compare books we’ve received as gifts to copies we own to determine which copy is better) and I have to go up and down a ton of stairs.

Or I can take the elevator that’s super old and one of those pull-the-metal-hole-filled-door-across kinds. But usually there are enough people using carts to reshelve books that it’s in use a lot. It’s definitely a work out, but a fun job nonetheless.

I then leave either an hour or half an hour before I go to my Islamic studies class. I left an hour early today, because I wasn’t feeling too great, and I took the opportunity to grab lunch real quick. I also registered to vote! I caught the bus this time, but I still had a ton of stairs to navigate – unless I wanted to endure more hill. Not good options to choose from. An hour and fifteen minutes of class with my advisor, and I’m home free.

Then comes my walk down the hill, again. It’s about half a mile from the buildings I have classes in to my parking spot. Downhill, it’s so much easier – though, there are a lot of people who want to go faster than I can.

I use my time not at my other job to run around and get some things done. I run to Walgreens to refill my Plaquenil, before heading to the grocery store for, well, groceries. I get it all upstairs, in just two trips, and put away. And then I decide I’m going to clean, vacuum, and do laundry. Speaking of which, my clothes should be dry! Going up and down the two flights of stairs for the laundry doesn’t help me being tired, haha. But my cow is happy that I cleaned.

But now I’m settling down with a delicious Hungry Man dinner (there’s no way I was cooking tonight!) and watching Hot Fuzz while getting some homework done. Reading, reading, reading! Oh, and Arabic writing too. I really do like Arabic, even if I feel like I’m catching on slowly. At nine tonight, it’ll be snack/Plaquenil time. Hopefully, I’ll get homework done quickly and can get to bed a little early.

I’m definitely ready for the semester to be over… I hate being so tired, but I do really love school and learning.

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1 Comment

  1. Phew, girl! I am exhausted just reading this. You do know that you are the most amazing older daughter I have, right? I am very proud of you and love and miss you very much. I hope that you continue to do well on these meds and to inspire those who read your blog – I know that you inspire me! MWAH!

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