Monday, February 15, 2010

Facing reality

This is a kind of good news/ bad news post.

I've been keeping an exercise/ food chart for the last 2 months in an attempt to track my 'recovery' from the latest ME/CFS relapse. Basically it's not good. I have spent almost 50% of the time in bed since starting the diary.

I've sat down today and had a real hard look at what I need to do with my course as opposed to what I want to do.

I WANT to get my head down and plough away at this work and graduate with the rest of my year - preferably with a decent grade but, if I keep on like I am this has zero chance of happening.

I'd thought that by carefully timetable maintenance and pacing I could do the catch-up I needed on last semester while maintaining the work load for this semester but just a glance at the red crash dots on my chart shows me how sadly mistaken I was.

Looking at the crash chart, I've worked out that I can manage AT BEST 4 hours of solid work a day - so long as I also get in at least 2hrs of rest immediately afterwards, otherwise I'm comatose for the next 2 days, some days I can manage only a solid hour, especially if I have to look after Isabella/ clean/ cook/ travel etc.

..and this is just an estimate, it may be that I can't even manage that without triggering a crash.

When Sylvia (the support lass) first brought up the suggestion of deferring my project I immediately said NO! but that's now under the heading of want not need. It sucks. REALLY sucks.

I don't know if taking an extra year will be financially possible, I know I can't get funding from the SLC for another year (this is my 4th year of student loan) so that could cause problems, but.. i guess I'll have to cross that bridge if or when it happens.

Just by deferring the project as she initially suggested will remove not only a large amount of course stress but will allow me to schedule in proper rest breaks and allow me to recover from the daily exertion of thinking/ walking/ dealing with baby/ housework and numerous other things that people without my conditions can do without needing to think about how and when they can afford to do it:

This was the schedule I was trying and failing to keep, as you can see there's not a rest break in sight:

So, just by losing that one module, I get adequate rest, I can devote the full weekend to my family instead of using those days to do homework/catch up on work I've been too ill to do in the week and will be able to gain the grades I need for a decent degree instead of struggling just to scrape a pass.

The other plus side to deferring my project is that it is based upon elements i'm studying in the other modules this semester - deferring until they are complete will leave me in a position to create an even better web application than the basic one i'm currently looking at - hopefully.

so.. disregarding the finances, it's win-win and the decision is made. here's hoping the exam board see it the same way.