Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tuesday = the hits just keep coming.

Thanks to those of you who sent good wishes for the rest of the week. Unfortunately we'll need a few more donations to meet our goal.

Yesterday I went home feeling horribly ill with mystery pains. I took some Alka Seltzer (major dose of aspirin = yay!), drank some Aveda tea, and tried to rest up. I came in this morning feeling kind of fragile and oscillating between paying attention to see how I was feeling and trying not to think about it for fear that panicking would make it worse. I called my doctor- guess how soon she can see me? Say it with me, people: Today is October 25th, 2005. When can my doctor see me? February 2006. No kidding. I guess I will be going to the emergency room if the mystery pain does not continue to abate.

First thing this morning, my current advisor calls me into her office and tells me that my former advisor is very ill. I had heard rumors about this, but apparently it's really bad. She was obviously upset about it, and she barely knows the guy, but they're the same age, so I can see why. Meanwhile I've been feeling strangely empty about it. While I feel sorry for his family, I wasn't quite to the point of forgiving him yet, so I'm not sure how I feel about him being ill. Mostly I feel nothing (see the movie of the Broadway show A Chorus Line if you don't know what I mean). But I feel bad about it.

Then this afternoon I finally got up the energy to deal with my cells, and we found out there is a problem with the carbon dioxide supply, so we can't use the incubators until it gets fixed. If it doesn't get fixed, my cells are certainly going to die. If I don't deal with them today, they are likely to be very unhappy with me tomorrow, even if they do survive. Either way, it is very likely to set me back a week by the time I thaw new ones, etc. Assuming the incubators get fixed before next week.

No, I'm not annoyed. I'm to the point of assuming this is the status quo for me. As soon as my experiments get going with any kind of regularity, something will intervene to prevent me from doing them. Murphy's Law of the Lab. The perpetual doom of my career. Fortunately I'm more or less used to it. When I was in grad school, this would have sent me into a tantrum. The kind of tantrum that involves a large chocolate chip cookie, followed by guilt and depression about gaining weight. But now I am much better, I know that junk food will not help anything. Instead I will just sit here and meditate on better things...

In other news, another one of my recommendation letters went missing, according to an email I got this morning. So I had to send another email asking for it to be re-sent. I'm trying not to assume this was on purpose, but I'm worried there is something more going on here than just random, coincidental problems with the mail, since the two letters reported missing were from the same person. Hopefully it was just one batch that got lost! And I'm looking on the bright side: no rejection letters yet. I am going to assume for the moment that the emails I've gotten saying they will contact candidates early in 2006 are a good sign that I can hang on until at least after the holiday break.

One good thing happened today: I got my pipettes calibrated (yay!). I love pipettes. Not that I can use them right now (see above). I should probably sit here and do some more job applications while I am waiting for the stars to realign, or whatever has to happen to make this week get better.


At 5:52 PM, Blogger Ranger of the West said...

I hope you feel better. That's crazy your doctor can't see you till Feb!?

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Dr J. said...

Are you sure you aren´t in England? That sounds like a typical NHS story.

I´m with you on the pipette thing. Now that I´ve left the lab, I want a personal set at home, just so I can feel them in my hand every now and again. I thought I could get a new set and use them behind the bar to mix cocktails (and now 200µl Grenadine...).

Hope the week gets better!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger alamode said...

1) If it is critical, move your cells to a different incubator, in another lab. Use your charming personality and make new friends. If it isnt critical, toss them out today, with glee!

2) Absolutely send a "get well soon" card, and/or phone, or visit, your old advisor and wish him/her the best. Tell them that you are thinking of them, offer to help if they need it.

3) Get a new doctor, send a letter to your old Dr. and let them know that waiting 4 months for a visit is unacceptable.

4) Smile smile smile!

Just my 2cents, and thanks for the entertainment you provide, I appreciate it.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Truman said...

the whole Murphy's Law of the Lab is too true. too true.

you know, I LOVE my pippettes. I absolutely LOVE them. I thought I was the only one. thanks for sharing.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said...

I agree with alamode: get a new doctor. There must be someone decent in your town who can see you in less than 4 months.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

interesting point about the doctor... I tried that. With my insurance and the stipulation that I would prefer a female doctor, the wait is actually longer for a 'first appointment' with a new doctor than it is for an annual checkup with my old one.


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