“Doing” a Doctorate – week 27

Published on Friday 11th May 2018 by DJ Kirkby

We need to change our family surname to Lumpy McLump –  first my mom’s and my matching hand lumps last week, and then this week I spotted a lump in youngest’s neck lymph. Yes, I did immediately begin palpating his neck, skull and armpit lymphs, and yes we were in public at the time.

I’m sure you all feel his pain at how cringe worthy it is to have a midwife for a mom. In my defence I’d like to point out that I did have the self restraint to not insist on palpating his lymph nodes the extended below the armpits, and even allowed him to wait until we got home before I insisted he check those himself.

I may be feeling slightly guilty for doubting him when he’s complained of feeling tired for the past few months, but in all fairness these complaints did usually coincide with things he didn’t want to do. And, he’s managed to muster up the necessary energy to do fun things like going sailing for a week etc. Ahem, just saying, like.

In all seriousness, I do hope he’s just fighting off the tail end of a mononucleosis infection (though he’s shown no other signs of mono except for lumpy tiredness).  He’s off for his second set of blood tests this afternoon to hopefully find out for sure what’s causing his raised white blood cell count and the lymph lump. We’ve spent so much time with various doctors and phlebotomists this week that I’ve had to work at silly times of the day in order to make up lost hours at work. Thank goodness for flexible working!

Last, but not least (and definitely the most expensive of family lumps), our cat has a lump on her back which the vet says has to be removed.  My Hunk of husband drew the short straw of taking the cat to the vet to see about her lump.

Vet to Hunk:”£850 min to operate to remove lump and send it to the lab for diagnosis.”

Hunk phones insurance company to see if they’ll pay for it – minus the £150 excess plus 20% aged cat penalty, of course, FFS.

Pet insurance company to hunk: “What kind of cat is she?”

Hunk: “She’s just been to the vets, so a mostly angry kind!”

Insurance company: …

Now, I’ll admit to a certain amount of bias in thinking the Hunk is hilarious, but even if the insurance company didn’t think so, they should have faked mirth in exchange for the small fortune we give them each month (plus excess and cat age penalty).

Week 27: read week 26 by clicking here

Publishable doctorate words written – NET article submission feedback still pending. FTC18 conference funding application decision net Monday.
Doctorate assignment words written – 5003 (of 5000) on assignment no 2 about methodologies and methods (a.k.a. Death by Meths) which I submitted today.
Cups of tea drunk – eleventymillion, let’s be honest, this number is never going to change….I think I’m an addict
Miles run – 3.2 miles, too busy with work and son’s appointments to fit much exercise in!
Miles swam – 950m (only had a short amount of time to swim)
Miles cycled – Zero ( can’t see well enough to cycle safely)
Cakes baked –  a banana, date and walnut loaf, and I created a recipe for carrot hot dogs. See recipe page for various recipes.
Crafting  done- I’ve knit two cannula sleeves for dementia patients and started a third one. I also have begun making patio chair cushions by crocheting fabric. (Picture at end of post)
Books read for pleasure  The Darkness (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – None actually, lalalalalaaaaa
Movies watched for doctorate – None
Articles read for doctorate
Blogs read for doctorate – Demonstrating criticality, Universities and virtual reality, The power of learning with virtual reality, Ethical problems related to use of virtual reality,
Research undertaken – None this week
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – none (not in a place where I have anything to show)
Meetings with ALN / LD support -training on how to use ALN specific tech equipment.
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary –  quite high
Overall average stress level –  high
Average success rate – acceptable

Plan for next week:

  • Wait for eye op appointment to arrive (have had pre-op date but still waiting for op date)
  • Wait for husband’s referral date to new specialist to find out extent of damage caused by illness number two (he’s received a letter informing him there are currently NO appointments!)
  • Bake more
  • Continue knitting cannula arms sleeves for dementia patients and patio chair cushions
  • Plot out assignment and transfer viva submission dates against workload pressure points to identify when I can book holiday time to write assignments
  • Edit FTC18 paper if funding application approved
  • Draft second CILVRS article
  • Read more for fun
  • Allow myself to get distracted by all things shiny and appreciate that for the future creativity and benefit it may add to my doctorate


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