“Doing” a Doctorate – week 28

Published on Friday 18th May 2018 by DJ Kirkby

Step into my febrile mind and let me tell you all about my week….make yourself comfortable….apologies if you find it a bit too warm, I’m struggling to get my internal thermostat to work properly. For assignment number one I was ill for two weeks during the holiday I had booked to write the final drafts. For the “Death by Meths” assignment I got ill two days after I submitted it. There’s a definite link, don’t try and tell me otherwise. Doctoral students should have a doctor on standby. Just saying, like.

So, what things have I learned from the “Death by Meths” assignment induced virus (a.k.a. snottemp)? Well now, I’m so glad you asked:

  1. A temp of 39 degrees and above (a.k.a. INFERNO) makes me feel like my core temp has been switched to iceberg setting.
    1. Despite the ‘berg effect, my eyeballs felt like they were on fire and I did spend a lot of time contemplating ways to remove them and put them in ice water (I may have been delirious by this point).
    2. My husband said I was hot stuff (but not in a good way) because even the soles of my feet were too hot to touch. Which was a shame as I kept trying to put them on him in a desperate attempt to warm them up. How he suffers….
  2. Walking to the bin every two mins to throw away tissues is way too much effort so I kept a plastic bag close by to put them in. So far I have filled six bags. Yes, I agree that’s gross. I do put them in the bin once they’re full, honest.
    1. My body can produce so much snot that it sounds as if I am gurgling instead of breathing when I am lying down. What is the actual point of so much snot? Yes, I’m aware that with my level of A&P knowledge I should actually be able to figure out the answer to this question but I’m too ill to think it through properly.
    2. Also it’s so not funny when I’m blowing my nose for the billionth time (that hour) and my husband says: “Did you hear that? The foghorn’s just replied to you!” Next time I have a pity party, he’s definitely not invited.
    3. Hey you, yeah you, I can see you laughing at the back of the class….you might think that’s funny but it’s snot” (that one was for you Uncle Phil, love you.)
  3. Every bit of my skin hurt which made it especially interesting when trying to get warm by wearing all of the clothes I own and covered by every blanket in the house.
  4. I can’t cough lying down.
  5. I can’t sleep sitting up.
  6. I can no longer function on almost zero sleep – that skill has gone down the same rabbit hole as my youth.
  7. I still have an appetite even with no sense of smell or taste. Ridiculous.
  8. It’s really difficult to make sense of what I read when I feel ill. Also, my Kindle felt too heavy.
  9. It is possible to have a temp for five days and not be burnt to a crisp.
  10. Trying to work while sick is possible (up to a certain point) thanks to flexible working.
  11. I still worry about looming deadlines even when too ill to work. I need therapy.
  12. On reflection number eight may have been the absolute worst thing of all about the snottemp virus. Not being able to make use of extra reading time? This is what the horror emoji was created for!

Week 28: read week 27 by clicking here
Publishable doctorate words written – NET article submission feedback still pending. FTC18 article needs to be revised by June 1st but I was too ill this week.
Doctorate assignment words written – None, waiting to hear if Death by Meths has passed
Cups of tea drunk – eleventymillion, let’s be honest, this number is never going to change….I think I’m an addict
Miles run – none, far too ill
Miles swam – none, see above
Miles cycled – Zero (can’t see well enough to cycle safely)
Cakes baked –  single layer chocolate and cayenne cake with chocolate frosting before being inflicted with the snottemp virus
Crafting  done- I’ve knit two cannula sleeves for dementia patients and started a third one. I also made four patio chair cushions by crocheting fabric (before I got ill).
Books read for pleasure  Thirteen (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – None actually, lalalalalaaaaa
Movies watched for doctorate – Kill Command
Articles read for doctorate -None actually, lalalalalaaaaa
Blogs read for doctorate -None actually, lalalalalaaaaa
Research undertaken -None actually, lalalalalaaaaa
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – none (not in a place where I have anything to show)
Meetings with ALN / LD support -None, that will happen when my draft of assignment three is ready
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – None actually as too ill to even consider it
Overall average stress level –  persistent, being ill doesn’t remove work deadlines
Average success rate – none

Plan for next week:

  • Get well
  • 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
  • Knit more cannula cover sleeves for dementia patients
  • Plot out assignment and transfer viva submission dates against workload pressure points to identify when I can book holiday time to write subsequent assignments
  • Edit FTC18 paper
  • 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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