Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not so much.

I'm struggling with this postdoc thing.

I love it.  People listen to me.  The work is new and interesting.  I'm making slow but steady progress with my projects.  Some of the projects I'm working on are nearly done (!), so soon I'll get to work on some brand-new questions.  The group is great; they have a lot of expertise and like to talk about work.  I feel like my work matters.

I also sometimes feel really worried I'll be fired.  Is my supervisor happy with the work I'm doing?  Am I making rapid enough progress?  Am I a good postdoc?  Am I doing enough real science?  Am I a good worker?  Is my ADHD spilling over in ways I need to address?  Does my shirt smell too noticeably?

I don't expect to be ecstatic all the time, but I'd like to have more control over my anxiety.

Something I've been trying has been writing at the end of the day: summarizing the work I did, and then pointing out something that I did particularly well and also something I feel I'd do differently in the future.  Me, I love concreteness.


Uh, writing doesn't usually happen at the end of the day.  So I'm thinking I need to change this plan up so it's a little easier for me.  I'm thinking I'll try to write something that's less free-form and more form-like.  I can easily make a table of my current goals, and then each day put a check mark on the goals I've worked on.  And then add one sentence re: awesomeness and one sentence re: not the best.

Now I just need to figure out formatting ...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

All better.

In case you were wondering, the sertraline made by generic drug manufacturer Lupin may not be gluten free.  I haven't gone through the work to calculate a confidence interval on this statement, so, you know, take this pronouncement with a grain of salt.

But still.

I had been taking Greenstone's sertraline and all was well.  When I switched pharmacies, the pills I picked up didn't have the nice little G marks, so I started making some calls.  Lupin was able to tell me that their sertraline contained no gluten ingredients, but they (as is typical) couldn't guarantee the final product was gluten free.

So when I switched to the Lupin's pills, I was careful not to introduce any new foods.  And I got sick.  First a little sick, and then worse, and then the migraine started, and then I went all whoop-ass on the situation and got a new prescription filled, this time Greenstone.

And now I'm all better.  Correlation?  For sure.  Causation?  Mmmm.

But this is definitely a data point, and for some it might be useful, so I'll put it out there.

Also, how would I calculate the confidence interval in this case?  I can probably estimate the probability I'd feel ill on any given day.  If I pay attention, I could also estimate the duration of illness typically associated with low-level gluten ingestion.  I feel like this should let me calculate ... something quantitative.

Dunno.  I'll get back to you on that.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baby Steps?

So my potatoes are cooking away in my super fancy new pan, and I don't want to write anything.

This is, tragically, rather ideal since I'm trying to practice doing things I'd rather avoid.

So instead of not writing, I will write about something that is very exciting to me.  (Likely not many other people, but hey.)

Finishing projects is typically difficult for me, and I've been working on a paper with my peeps from my graduate institution for a long, long while.  Like, it could have been finished partway through graduate school.  I mean, if I were someone else.

But I am not someone else, and here's this paper, languishing.  My peeps and I had become discouraged, and every week we'd be all, "we'll get a lot done!" and every week we would get very, very little done.


I was feeling stressed out about this.  I was feeling particularly stressed out about this because I had lots of work to do for my current job.  My current, awesome, amazing job which I love and would like to keep.  And I really just didn't see how I'd get anything done on the paper without being someone else.

Side note: my potatoes burned a little.  The new pan is awesome, but does not have magical anti-burn properties.

Anyway, the point is, I'm not someone else and I don't like feeling crazy, so I didn't work on the paper for a month and it was awesome.  For the past week and a half, my peeps and I have been churning away at the paper for about an hour each day, and I'm relinquishing control of it at the end of the week.  It's cut into my work time a little bit, but I knew it was for a finite time and I got to pick that time.  And I kept saying, "I'll get to it, I'll get to it," and I did.


I read in a book that ADHD folk often need to build the sense that their future can be different from their past, and I feel like this paper-writing experience has been an example of this.  I'd very much like to know someone in the sciences who struggled with ADHD, but knows how to manage herself to a tee and has a satisfying and in-control work and home life.  Also, I want a pony.  And an oscilloscope and a standing end mill.

So, right.  This paper-writing has been overwhelming at a few points and tiring at all points, but it's been something really positive.  And I'm really proud of myself.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Oh, dear.

I'm ... starting a blog?

This is embarrassing primarily because the likelihood of continued posting seems horribly small.

But no one uses LiveJournal any more, and I dislike the short-statement format of Facebook, so ...

Anyway, I'm off to the grocery store.

See ya'll later!