We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 347: The precipice of … something


Today is a mash of things, because frankly I still am not feeling good. My the scaly bits on my hands, face, and apparently elbows (missed that one until last night) haven’t gotten worse (yay), but they haven’t gotten better either (boo). On one hand it’s a realization that whatever is wrong with me was worse than I had thought, on the other, the world still moves forward and unfortunately I have work to do, so what’s a guy to do?

I want to change the world. The idea of discovering something hidden, something new, it drives me. So much so that when I started my PhD I came up with something that I think could change a lot of things. The small pilot experiment I performed went well and after some time both of my PI’s are on board that this could work. Neither completely see the vision I have for this, but they are both looking at it through the lens of their own work.

Last December I used my pilot experiment data for my qualifying exam. It’s been over a year since I’ve collected that data and I’ve been dead in the water since. The pandemic hasn’t helped obviously, but now I’m close to starting again and I am extremely excited to dive into my research topic. It’s high risk, high reward, but it’s what I really want to do.

With the combined forces of my advisors, I’ve managed to redesign my experiments and I now have the materials to make the custom testing rig that I need. Like literally in my garage waiting for the some assembly required part to get done. My first experiment will be in two weeks and is a mix of methodologies from both labs that I’m a part of. If I didn’t feel like complete garbage, I would probably be celebrating and getting things ready for it. The test rig would be built, I would be getting my code ready to parse and analyse the data, things would be moving much faster on my end.

Basically I have a lot to do to prepare and not a lot of time to do it in. This next experiment will be a baby step to my ultimate goal, but the pilot was an n = 1 study and this will be an n = 5 (ish) study. Still small, but large enough that I can at least make the claim that what I am seeing is what I say it is, moreover it will give me a chance to compare between subjects. I wish I could talk more about it, but when it gets published we can dive into the details.

Anyway long story short, my flare-up couldn’t have picked a worse time to happen, but that’s how these things go. I’m hopeful that since it hasn’t been getting visibly worse that it will start getting better and the lethargic or exhaustion feeling I’m dealing with will fade away with it. I have a week and a few days before I get started with my experiments, so fingers crossed this all clears up soon. Until I can get a clear diagnosis and treatment, I’m stuck battling it as best as I can while I continue my education. Not ideal, but nothing in my life has been so far, so why start now I guess.


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