What an incredibly shitty week this is

Fair warning: this is going to all be whining about stuff in my personal life that no one else will care about. If you don’t like that sort of thing, don’t bother with this thread.

I’m having one of those weeks where the hits just don’t stop coming. Every time I think I’ve found my limit, something else whacks me a few more feet down.

Firstly, in 25 hours, I will be standing in front of my entire graduate program and giving a presentation on everything I’ve done in the past year, what I’ve discovered, and where I hope to go next with it all. Fine, no big deal. Except that this mandatory review of my life has forced me bluntly to face the fact that I have accomplished next to nothing this last year. Just about everything I’ve done in the lab has failed, and I’ve barely budged past the point I was at a year ago, last time I did this presentation. I’m stressed out about this presentation, about the fact that I’m making no progress, about the fact that we’re gleefully freefalling into debt with no end in sight, about the fact that I’m older than everyone else in the program by a long shot, and about the fact that there’s no guarantee that this time in grad school will be worth it in the end. All that was keeping me up at night to begin with, even before everything else.

Secondly, there’s a family we’re friendly with. My wife and I have been friends with the parents, and my teenage stepson has been friends with their teenage boys. We’ve known each other for a few years now, and we’ve occasionally gotten together for cookouts or whatnot. Well, word got back to us recently about a conversation this other family had about us, and it wasn’t nice at all. Some very very hurtful things were reportedly said about us behind our backs. We’re well aware of the dangers of listening to thirdhand gossip, and we’ve started to talk it out with them, yadda yadda. The details don’t matter. The point is, there are some seriously hurt feelings in my house, and even though we’re working to get over them, they’re there, and not fun.

Then, my wife’s head developed a couple of huge blisters out of absolutely nowhere, which began to ooze copious amounts of fluid. No idea what caused it. She went to the doctor’s office. The nurse looked at it, said she had no idea what it was, and ended up calling in a doctor. Who called in another doctor. Who called in another. None of them had a clue what it was. As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “You never want to be the patient that causes your doctor to say, ‘Hang on! I’ve got to get some more people in here! They won’t believe this!’” In the end, they essentially shrugged, gave her some prescription cream, and told her to call back if it didn’t get better in a few days. It is, luckily, looking much better now. One tiny spot of light.

Oh, and I had a huge blowup at my stepson in the car the other day. I had been building frustration with him for several weeks, and it all came out at once. Again, the details don’t matter. He was absolutely in the wrong, and had no defense, but I know I handled it badly, and somehow all the guilt seems to end up on my shoulders.

And then, just to fucking top things off, last night my wife saw some blood when she wiped after going to the bathroom. Normally not a big deal for a woman - quite normal, in fact. Except that she was six weeks pregnant. The miscarriage completed this morning. It’s our third.

So here I am. I got hardly any sleep last night, because I couldn’t fall asleep due to stress and worry, and woke up an hour earlier than I needed to this morning with one of my patented skull-splitting headaches, for which the only treatment is Excedrin. I spent the morning at home watching the baby while my wife went through what she had to go through. Now my head is still pounding from the headache, I’m dizzy from the Excedrin caffeine and lack of sleep, I’m exhausted, and I’m staring at this half-finished presentation I have to give tomorrow and I just don’t give a crap about it. I don’t even care about this research any more - how am I supposed to convince everyone else it’s interesting? I know - welcome to grad school.

I just want this week to end. And it’s only Wednesday.

I don’t really know why I’m posting this. I’m not really looking for sympathy. I’m definitely not looking for advice. I just need to unload, and apart from my wife, who’s having a rougher time right now than I am, there’s no one nearby on whom I can. Family is far away, and apart from my immediate family, I seem to be surrounded by people who generally don’t really care if I live or die. We don’t have a lot of friends here, and some of those we do have seem to think we’re horrible parents. Bah, enough. Anyway. There. It’s off my chest. I’m sure I’ll be feeling much better tomorrow. I better go finish this presentation, because I just can’t stop wondering about the details of how this fruit fly gene is regulated!!

Man – sorry to hear about your woes, especially about the miscarriage.

But if I read you correctly, at least you have one kid that you can have a fresh start with… It’s always tough to be a step parent.

Well, like you said, you got it off your chest at least.

And If I remember correctly, I once heard a saying that went something like “It can’t rain everyday”.

Hang in there man.

My sympthies to you for the troubles you’re having, but I think this thread is more appropriate for MPSIMS.

Hang in there Smeghead. It sounds awful, and you have my sympathies.

Would it make you feel any better if I told you that reading that made my shitty week look a hell of a lot better all of a sudden?

No?

Sorry, I hope it gets better.

Yeah, that pretty much sounds like a shitty week. I hope it gets better.

Sorry you’re going through all that, Smeghead.

Your grad school presentation sounds like the least of your troubles, but might hold the key to your general attitude. Give a very frank account of what you did in the lab, what worked, what didn’t, why it didn’t work, and *what you learned from it. *It sounds trite and hokey, but we do learn and grow through our hardships.

I hope things start getting better for you soon.

Any one of those would have been enough to mess you up, let alone all together. I sure hope things start turning around for you quickly.

Positive aspect of all this: The process of dealing with this truly awful week will make you a stronger person that is better-equipped to deal with problems in the future. There will be a time in the future when you look back and say “Man, that was a terrible time in my life.” followed shortly thereafter by “I’m glad I was able to get through it.”

Dude, I know it’s short notice, but “My wife miscarried this morning” is considered by one and all to be a perfectly legitimate reason to cancel a seminar. If you really don’t feel like you can hack it, don’t. You will get nothing but sympathy.

I assure you, as someone with experience in the matter, that no one else is feeling a deep need to immediately learn more about fruit fly gene regulation.

That all totally sucks and I am so sorry, especially about your wife’s miscarriage.

That’s a lot of stuff dumped on you, all at once. I hope things look up from here on in. It sounds like a lot of it can get better at some point. In the meantime, we’re here.

My sympathy. Been there. Sometimes everything happens at once. Nothing to do but try to muddle through it, and someday it will be a distant, bad memory. My sympathy to you and your wife.

Rough week indeed :(.

Re blowing up at the stepson: could you sit down with him and apologize for the poor handling of the situation, and discuss the issue in a more calm voice? Hopefully he’ll respond well to that.

Wife’s head: any chance it might be hidradenitis suppuritiva? That was featured on one of those “guess the illness” shows a while back and came to mind when you mentioned it.

I am so sorry your life is so full of suck, at them moment. I’ll light a candle for your family at the Buddhist temple, and send you good vibes!

I’m with mischievous, cancel the presentation, or delay it, at least.

Consider a sleep aid, it won’t make your troubles disappear, but a good night’s sleep, is all to the good when life is laying you low. Don’t miss any meals, take a vitamin. Easily overlooked, but vitally important if you’re going to slay a dragon.

I wish you nothing but luck and better days!

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. As predicted, now it’s tomorrow, and things are somewhat better. The presentation is over (postponing it wasn’t really an option - long story). It wasn’t great, but it’s done. There’s the beginning of an open dialogue with our friends. The miscarriage is done, and it’s our third time, so we’re getting used to dealing with it. All in all, the stress and difficulty isn’t gone, but it’s receded to normally manageable levels. Thanks for letting me vent and for not being dicks about it. That’s getting increasingly hard to find online.

Hugs, I’m glad things are starting to get better.

If you and wife are trying to have another baby, could she be prescribed bedrest the whole time? I believe that’s pretty common with serial miscarriages.

I do. <3