A Conspiracy Against Productivity

A Conspiracy Against Productivity

It hasn’t been the easiest few days for me, to the point where I’m beginning to think there’s a conspiracy in place to stop me ever beginning to catch up on work. I’ve resigned myself to being somewhat behind and the fact that I can’t change this, but I was hoping not to fall further behind. Sadly, it was not to be.

On Friday, I was collecting a book for my next Brittonic History essay when I tripped slightly on the library stairs and landed with my foot upside down underneath me. There was a nasty crunching snap noise, and I found I could no longer put any weight on it. I managed to stagger as far as the beanbags in the library and collapse, where I sat, trying not to cry, texting friends to see if anyone could come and rescue me.

My anxiety decided to make it extra difficult for me, as despite the various students around me working, I was unable to muster the courage to ask any of them for help, even though I was in excruciating pain. I swear, I would be the kind of person to bleed to death because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.

Thankfully, I was rescued by a few friends, two of whom are people I don’t know nearly as well as I wish I did. We lived on the same corridors in the past and have had a few conversations, but I’d say we’re more in the category of ‘acquaintances’ rather than friends because we really don’t know that much about each other. So I was extra touched when they came and helped me back to college, though it involved an undignified procession of me perched on a bicycle being wheeled by the others.

Some ice and elevation later it became apparent I’d sprained my ankle, so I spent the next two days on crutches just to be able to get anywhere. But of course with my dodgy shoulders I completely lack the upper body strength to support my own weight, and so this left me with serious muscle pain, leading me to abandon the crutches possibly sooner than was wise in favour of limping and trying to avoid stairs at all costs.

(Partly because stairs are painful, mostly because I’m now scared of falling again. Yay, new anxiety trigger.)

One ‘advantage’ of chronic pain is that I do own a lot of ice packs and so on.

Of course, the ankle pain and aching muscles made it very difficult to concentrate, not to mention the impact of the crutches on my wrists and my ability to use them, so I didn’t get any work done at all over the weekend. I feel like an injury is an acceptable excuse, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m even more behind than I already was.

I can now just about walk again, with a support bandage (I actually found cycling isn’t too bad, but I can imagine hills would be impossible because I wouldn’t be able to press down the left pedal enough). The trouble is that my left leg is my strong leg, and that’s the ankle I hurt. I walk with a slight limp all the time, which is sometimes more pronounced when my joints are having a bad day and I can’t bend my hip properly or whatever. My right leg drags a little, and as a result it’s considerably weaker. So, once the acute ankle pain faded, I was left with more pain in the other leg, as it struggled to take the strain of bearing my weight when it usually doesn’t even do its fair share.

On top of all this, this week sees the beginning of the Newnham room ballot, where people pick their rooms for next year. I’ve been assigned a room on health grounds, so I don’t have to worry about getting my choice in the ballot, but I do have to worry about flatmates. The block I’m going to live in is divided into four-person flats, so unlike the larger corridors, it matters more who your neighbours are. All my potential flatmates fell through, though, and I’ve been frantically trying to convince people to live with me so I don’t end up with total strangers who might (a) be loud and into partying or (b) gluten me all the time.

I’ve got a couple of people who’ve said it’s a possibility depending on variables like whether their first choice room gets taken in the ballot before they get there or what the situation is because they’re fourth years and right at the bottom of the ballot, so it looks like I probably won’t end up entirely alone but for freshers or something… but for a while it did, and as a result I’ve been extremely stressed and anxious.

I know it won’t make that much difference, and I also know that many people have worse accommodation situations than me when they’re students, so I shouldn’t worry so much. It’s also not today’s problem, because I won’t be living there until October. Still, I was tense enough that I struggled to fall asleep last night, and all the logic in the world won’t make me stop worrying about it.

My difficulty was that it’s college accommodation, so it’s only people in Newnham who live there. I have more friends in the ASNaC department than I do in college, probably, or at least, more friends who aren’t about to imminently graduate. Having taken time out means I’m a year behind my friends so they’re leaving and won’t be there to live with me — though of course, if I hadn’t taken time out, I’d be graduating and wouldn’t need to worry about accommodation anyway. I barely know anyone in my year in Newnham, which is why I’ve been struggling so much to find flatmates.

(Also I’m a loner. But I’m not as much of a loner as my lack of flatmates suggests.)

Reasons to live with me: I attract neighbourhood cats

Anyway, I don’t really know how all that’s going to pan out, so I’ll just have to wait and see. A lot of it’s outside of my control, which is why it’s making me so anxious. I should stop thinking about it and focus on catching up on work I didn’t do because of my ankle injury — but if it was as easy as that to put anxiety aside, it wouldn’t be an anxiety disorder, would it?

Sigh. What’s going on in your lives right now? Anyone got any tips or stories to share with regard to sprained ankles?

9 thoughts on “A Conspiracy Against Productivity

  1. No sprained ankles or room-mate anxiety here (one thing I DON’T miss about student life), just more adult duldrums – and unexpected costs. Nearly £50 down the drain between a missing railcard and getting locked out of my room. Nowhere near the amount I had to pay up for lockouts as a student, but still inconvenient. Sigh. Life’s a bit of a wee bugger, isn’t it?

    Sending you big hugs that your ankle and your room-mate solution is solved soon!

    1. One thing I’m grateful for about living in college is the ability to get a spare key from the porters when I inevitably lock myself out (even if they sometimes laugh at / lecture you depending on the reason for the lock out). That said, I would damn well hope that’d be covered in our extortionate rent…

      Yeah, I saw your railcard issues on Facebook. My mum always asks me if I’ve got my railcard before I travel anywhere for that very reason, although I keep it in my wallet so tbh if I’ve forgotten or lost it I have bigger problems, namely no money or way to get money. It’s sod’s law that the one time you’d forget it is the time they ask!

  2. Well I got attacked by a monkey on Monday and threw my notebook at it, psychology went everywhere and I strained my shoulder. I’ve sprained my ankle before, and yeah, hopping and patience is the answer. I’m slightly panicky because I have a statistices test tomorrow, am signed up to spend time doing things I don’t care about, need to write a 750 word essay which is currently 850 words, only on the first main paragraph, and it’s thesis has changed 3 times in the course of the writing, and I have WAY too many ideas, and on top of that I’m filled with the desire to write flash fiction and have a university interview this evening. But my order of books from amazon arrived and I’m spending the weekend hiking to a glacier (which is why my homework is so compressed) and my dad just got back from Afganistan and brought almonds, so everything is okay.

    1. Eesh, sounds like you have a lot to do. Short essays are so much harder than long ones — I’m lucky I mostly don’t have to worry too much about wordcount constraints except for major pieces of coursework. (Weekly supervision essays are meant to be around 2k-3k, but I’ve handed one in that was 4.5k before and didn’t get in trouble.) But yay books! A Conjuring Of Light arrived yesterday but I can’t read it until I reread A Gathering Of Shadows — my parents posted it to me and that arrived today so that’s a good thing, at least.

      Also… a monkey attacked you?

  3. I hate sprains. I got a concussion and a sprained wrist about two years ago, and after a while, it was the sprain that was more irritating. The only thing I can think to say is RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And also, wear the brace for as long as possible.

    1. Yeah, my dad told me the same acronym. Though I don’t have a brace as such, just generic support bandages I keep on hand (I have to hope they’re supporting the right things).

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