Feeling like I'm using RA as an excuse

Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 26. Mar 2014, 14:28 in Living with Arthritis archive
As most of you know, I'm very close to the end of my undergraduate social work degree. My RA has been up and down over the last 3 years and I've had some very rough months with side effects. However, I've been well enough to go to my placement and to university every day, except the odd one here and there. I've also met every deadline without needing extensions.

I'm struggling with motivation and my academic work is nowhere near as complete as I'd hoped. The (utterly wonderful) head of programme suggested that I defer submission from May until September. I felt uncomfortable with this, so have chosen to proceed by with a medical letter explaining my circumstances which will be taken into consideration if I'm borderline. As of the end of year 2, I was bordering two grades.

The reason why I'm feeling anxious is because I don't know the cause of my low motivation. Is is due to pain? Is it due to fatigue? Is it due to sheer exhaustion from nearly 6 months of vomiting and stomach pain - which has now stopped? I do recognise that I've been ill but I don't want to use it as an excuse if I only have writers block!


  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It most surely is not an excuse! You have struggled through against all the odds when I am sure many would have played the illness card. This is a debilitating and relentless illness and you have not let it defeat you, but it wears you down and this may well be the cause of your doubts now.

    You are a determined and talented lady who deserves all the credit coming your way. Don't give up now-the end is in sight-just keep plodding until you get that work in, then take a well earned break.

    Take care and keep your chin up-hope you get the results you deserve.

    Deb xx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sophie, Sophie, Sophie, what are we going to do with you :roll:
    Starburst wrote:
    I don't know the cause of my low motivation. Is is due to pain? Is it due to fatigue? Is it due to sheer exhaustion from nearly 6 months of vomiting and stomach pain

    I kmow the cause and the answers are YES, YES & YES. OK? You are not a shirker or a whinger. You have motivated yourself through situations where many a lesser person would have packed it all in. How I do not know but I do know that you are not one to play the RA card unless you are absolutely forced to.

    Give yourself a pat on the back for all your achievements both academic and arthritic and don't doubt yourself any more.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sophie, If I'd been what you have been through this year my motivation would be rock bottom. You are doing a huge undergraduate degree and living with Arther and having bad flares. Anyone else wouldn't be able to carry on doing the degree as well as living with Arther. I'm sure the low motivation is due to the pain and fatigue and exhaustion. You just need to take a deep breath and say to yourself I can do this! And remember we are all behind you 100%% cheering you on!
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Sophie, I am with the other two, look what you have achieved up until now, you are one of the most grounded youngsters I know and you will get through this with the same grit and determination as always, you know you also have us behind you rooting you on, you can do this kiddo you are nearly there (((())))................Marie xx
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your RA is not an excuse, it's a valid reason for things not going as smoothly as they do for those without. Don't doubt yourself - take the deferment and give your body and morale a chance to recover. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • As5567
    As5567 Member Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I often feel exactly how you describe with my university work, but I keep telling myself failure is not an option.

    It sounds like you have had a lot going on this year, and its very understandable the way you are feeling right now. The way I always motivate myself is by thinking about all of the assignments I have done over the last 3 years, the hours I have put into my work and then look at how many weeks I have left until the coursework side of things are done and dusted (2 weeks for me) there is light at the end of the very loooong tunnel, you just need to find it!

    As for deferring until sept, that is only a choice you can make. It wouldn't be end of the world and could come in helpful.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry for not coming back sooner; busy family event and placement draining me in every possible way.

    I must say I did wipe a stray tear away reading your replies, must be the start of hayfever. :wink: I have made myself a timetable and I do have 2 weeks study leave in April, so all is not lost. Finishing by 1st May is achievable which is reassuring. I got some good feedback on one of my essays yesterday which has boosted my confidence. The dissertation is the big one but I'm going to give it what I've got. What I've got is not as much as I would like right now but it is what it is.

    I have a rheumatologist appt tomorrow morning. I hope she can give me something to tide me over (increase metho and/or leflunomide) and then I can start the process of anti TNF number 2.

    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that jazz! x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds more like my girl - onwards and (in your case) upwards, Sophie, that is what you do and you do it very well. :) Good luck with it - none of us have what we would like but that is the nature of Living with Arthritis - and you do that very well indeed. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,131
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good for you Sophie , I was going to say we know you better than this...you are now fighting back ..good luck with everything and I for one cant wait for your results..xx
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sophie,

    I'm pleased ure feeling stronger mentally, it's comforting to read :D Such great news about the good feedback on ure essay, congrats.

    It amazes me & makes me so proud of those of you that battle SO hard to do wot you want, ure fab, you really are!! You need never doubt that.

    I do wonder, have you had a chat with ure Dr about how ure generally feeling? How we feel isn't always arthritis related. It could, for instance, be mild depression. Fatigue & lack of motivation are both symptoms of that too & with everything uve gone thru it would be no surprise at all. Please understand I'm not saying I think that's wot it is I'm just trying to open ure mind to looking at other possibilities. Another one could be glandular fever, the fatigue I had wen I got that a couple of years ago was ridiculous & so embarrassing to get it in my early 40's too :lol:

    I think a trip to the Drs wouldn't hurt at all just to get a MOT b4 cracking on with your dissertation :wink:

    How did ure Rheumy appointment go?


    Xxx xxX
    Healing Hugs
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you. You're all too kind. I think I'm blushing!

    Debbie - I do have a history of very severe clinical depression and OCD but I've recently been given a clean bill of mental health. I do still take my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds though. I am still prone to low mood but I do tend to bounce back, so I'm not too worried. My vitamin D is quite low which makes me miserable, so I'm trying to make sure I get some rays. 8) An MOT is a good idea, I'm seeing my GP in a couple of weeks. My thyroid has been borderline wonky and it's enlarged again, so bloods are a must.