Three initials, ABD, mean much to someone who has been working toward a terminal degree. It does not mean the end (although I wish it did) but it means that a large part of the degree is finished. It is thrilling, exciting, and some what relieving! I know I was so excited to walk out of the doors of my classroom on Wednesday night. I was one of three students who worked enough this semester to do a “practice proposal.” While I still have about another 30 pages or so to added to my proposal, I am hopeful that by the beginning of September, the document will be ready to be reviewed. The term, ABD, definitely does not mean done, but it just means closer to being done. This fall, I will be taking six hours of dissertation with a goal of proposing by early/mid October. If I keep working hard I have a feeling it can happen.

That said, while I do want to work hard I am determined to make sure I am resting. Part of me feels as if I will never get on biologic meds (yes my pity party me). I have worked so hard these past few months jumping through all the hoops to get on a bio med and it seems like every time I jump there are three more holes to make it through. I am not going to know about a bio med until my September 3rd appointment. My rheumy has decided that even though he decided on Orencia, and even though his office manager was two months late in sending in my insurance paperwork (that I was told she submitted in June), that I still have to wait until my follow up appointment that I did not even know about. He is currently on vacation and no amount of pleading with his new office manager (yes his old one was fired….not surprised), she would not squeeze me in any earlier. It has been disappointment after disappointment with this rheaumatologist…and I’ve decided he has one more chance. If my Sept. 3rd appointment is another appointment where I have to do blood work, come back in three weeks, waiting for insurance for four weeks, and then do another test, and another test..then I will have to find another one. The downside is this rheumy is the closest one to my house…I would have to drive a ways to find another rheumy that my insurance covers. However, I would rather drive then spend months (I’ve been “trying” to get on a bio med since April….and I am NO closer) of my time with a rheumy who obviously does not make patients his priority.

I didn’t realize the battle others must have gone through to get on a bio med. I was told Orencia would be my first…then I find out I have to try and fail another one (Enbrel or Humira). However, I was also warned I might not be able to take too many bio meds because I also have Lupus, although I’m thinking (if I remember correctly) I can take Humira. Still…..to wait and wonder. On top of that, one reason I was hoping for Orencia is the possibility of children in the future…30’s are near and I want to know if kids might be in my future. From the research I have done…it is not with Humira or Enbrel. But I’m hoping maybe what I am finding online isn’t the most up to date.

The world of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia….it is cruel…painful…exhausting! I wish many days that I could wake up from an awful dream where the daily pain was just a really bad nightmare. The reality is that this painful life isn’t a nightmare…it is my life. While it has taken years to slowly come to grasp with the reality that yes…my hands are going to hurt, my hips are going to feel broken, my ankles and knees are going to hurt so pain it brings tears to my eyes almost all the time…..I’m still pushing through all this pain to find something good. I want to still have a career….now that my classes are over and I’m only working on a dissertation..I do need to start thinking of what next year…what job will I do? Where will I work? What profession will be my “grown up profession?” So many things to think about as I mature these next few months….so many thoughts to organize in my mind as I consider what will happen in the future….I just hope one of those things that will end soon is this rotten experience of trying to get on a bio med. I am praying already for this September 3rd appointment…I am praying it isn’t another waste of time appointment…I’m praying I walk out of that appointment with answers…and I’m praying that my discouragement ends soon. Because yes, I do know that there is a reason….God has a perfect wonderful reason for my not being on a bio med yet. I don’t know that reason, I wish I knew the reason, but to date I don’t know the reason.

Maybe it is to teach me patience…Lord knows I am not the most patient person…and this experience is certainly teaching me that I control NOTHING and it is OUT OF MY HANDS! Maybe that is my lesson…regardless of what I am supposed to learn….I do hope soon..I see a more positive picture!

At least now that I’m not doing homework I can spend more time writing my thoughts and writing on my dissertation 🙂

6 thoughts on “ABD

  1. Truer words have never been spoken! (re: being able to control nothing)

    I’ve never heard of ABD before, but it’s an incredible achievement that you should be very proud of!!

    I’m sorry to hear about your rheumatologist and their asshattery. It really does work like this: close ones suck, but the farther they are, the better they are.
    Mine is across the city from me and I don’t have a car.
    I hope this person smartens up!

    1. Thank you so much Celeste! I cannot believe the mess this rheumy is making. Makes me wonder if he is doing it for his other patients. In my area he is the only one approved by my major insurance company!! My last one I drove almost an hour and she was ok, not great but ok. We should not have to deal with such doctors when we are already on a painful journey. However I am happy that someone else out there knows this frustration…in that I hope one day we can all say “frustration over!” You are so kind! You were the words that touched my aching spirit tonight!

  2. More sympathetic I could not be! It took me years to finally get approval for a biologic, but luckily it finally came through just as I was facing the last 6 months of dissertation writing. You can do it! Have a schedule, but tackle things one day at a time. Give yourself rewards for hitting these grad school and dissertation milestones (and be patient with yourself when things take longer than you expect). Plenty of healthy, able-bodied people fail to even complete a master’s degree. You are extraordinary for doing what you’re doing.

      1. Thank you for sharing Leslie’s site! I am going to have to message her! I def want to advocate life as a student with these chronic illnesses. I found someone who helped me see back in my masters that I could do it. And even more so now, I don’t want anyone to feel they cannot achieve their academic dreams!

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