Writing a PhD and coping with PBC (and AIH!)

After my last post about getting back into it, I have managed to keep thinking about writing that’s for sure. And after a supervisor meeting regarding my methodology and me still not fully getting it I’ve been trying (and I think actually understanding) to rewrite and edit since (a week ago!).

I didn’t think it would be this tough, but I have a supportive team and my friends and family keep spurring me on. My goal is still to complete and submit by December 31st, however this last week has been crazy at work with all the differing planning and elements brought on by Coronavirus that this time I would normally have for planning is now not being used for PhD.

The other issue because of this is that I am having a bad patch of fatigue and brain fog which, unless you have experienced it, people don’t quite understand. Until I got auto immune hepatitis and primary biliary Cholangitis I would have said I had fatigue or was a little confused if I’d had a late night or was over tired. The problem is now that I actually have it I realise the difference.

Fatigue creeps up on me and then hits me hard. I can sleep an 8 hour night and still wake up feeing exhausted. I want to do things but my body physically and my brain mentally can’t. I even went back to bed at 9.30am today and slept till just after midday and still I never feel refreshed. The only relief is that for the moment, I seem to get fatigue in patches and then I feel better again. It’s weird I normally only seem to recognise it when I’m coming out the other side, but my skin has broken out everywhere on my face, my body is tired and skin is dry and I can’t even think about anything too challenging so I’ve realised earlier this time.

So why is this to do with my PhD? Well, on Friday I had a good go. I worked out what I needed to finish reading and writing about. I worked out how to do the structure and wrote myself a list of the things I wanted to do yesterday and today and then it didn’t happen. Then I panic that with 6 months remaining how will I get it done? I’m loathe for an extension because of my condition and still want to meet my deadline, however how I get there is another thing! I’ll see how things go. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get back into it and finish the methodology for the 4th time 😉.

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