The Chronically Brain Fogged Law Student
I was a fourth year law student when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, due to brain fog, fatigue, joint pains and other symptoms, these illnesses slowly robbed me of the life that I used to enjoy. Now, I fear that it might rob me of my dream of becoming a lawyer, too.
Hard work and the hustle
Since I was young, I've always thought of myself as an achiever. In college, I received academic awards and certificates even just by doing the bare minimum. I also participated in various extracurricular activities and school publications. I graduated as a Magna Cum Laude and went straight into law school.
Looking back, I can say that my study habits may be inconsistent but I enjoyed working hard. I loved the hustle, the adrenaline rush and caffeine running through my body. I enjoyed the lack of sleep, and basically everything that comes with the grind to achieve my dreams. See, when I fix my eyes to a particular goal, I would push myself to do whatever it takes to attain it.
I have always been ambitious and competitive. I try my best to excel and I put my heart in everything that I do. But after I got sick, even existing and doing the bare minimum requires so much work.
Brain fog, psoriatic arthritis, and the struggle
As a law student, I read hundreds of pages each day, memorize provisions of the law, make case briefs, and recite when the professor called my name. You can imagine my anxiety when I noticed how brain fog has affected my studies and how drastic the changes were in my cognition and thought process. It was like my brain was slowly shrinking, and I could not do anything to stop it.
Due to brain fog from psoriatic arthritis, I had difficulty concentrating and I could not comprehend what I was reading. I could not read at least 30 pages without getting a migraine, too. Even worse, it is hard for me to construct basic sentences, and I tend to commit more grammatical errors than I did in the past.
Furthermore, I forget the simplest words. I would lose my train of thought mid-sentence. There are days where I feel like my mind cannot seem to function at all. It was also a struggle for me to do the simplest chores and follow basic instructions.
Grit and willpower
Sometimes, I wonder if these illnesses are going to haunt me and chase me down forever.
Like a thief, it might have robbed me today of the things that I have been passionate about in just one swoop. It might take away so many traits that I used to possess as well. However, I refuse to let it rob me of my grit, my will-power and whatever it takes for me to become a lawyer.
Being a chronically brain fogged law student with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia might slow me down, but it could not stop me from reaching my dreams--no matter how long it takes.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?