i am so lost — Scope | Disability forum
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i am so lost

iammisunderstood Community member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi Guys, i'm new here, I don't know if this is the right catagory

so I have a condition called klippel-trenaunay syndrome (KTS for short) it causes my chronic pain in my left leg, and this condition has been getting a lot worse over the last couple of years (im 27), so when I was growing up I have had an unstoppable love for science and specifically chemistry, I studied really hard and obtained a masters degree in it, I loved working in a lab and I loved it so much that I did a PhD, a few years into it my health got worse and I was really struggling to complete the lab work (there is a lot of standing and walking involved) this seriously affected my mental health. My PhD funding has now completed and I am coming to the end of my write-up period, I am well behind and I am worrying I will not be able to submit my thesis. I have also started a new job that requires me to work in a lab (i haden't realised how bad my condition actually is as its variable) I am struggling with that too as I am in so much pain. now I am now at a point where I don't even really want to do chemistry anymore, but it's the only thing I am qualified in. I am now really in the pits of despair about what to do with my life now. I fear whats going to haappen is I quit my job and fail my PhD, and i'm really scared of what my future holds. Has anyone else been in a similar situation to me?


  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 43,768 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Misunderstood welcome to the forum it might be worth discussing it with your employer so you can both find ways to make it easier for you to do your work. Highlight what is causing your problems and see if you can both come up with a solution.
    Also with your PhD speak to someone there and highlight the problems you are having and see if they can help you too. 
  • C_J
    C_J Community member Posts: 715 Pioneering
    Hi and welcome to forum I fully agree with what @Sandy_123 has said communication is important as if they are unaware then they can't help or support you. I hope you can get this sorted and gain your PhD.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,061 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to add I think you need to be aware you are not alone and there is support available whether it's from your university or other professionals.

    I would also say worst case scenario, you fail the PhD, you still already have a fantastic qualification in the Master's, and are already extremely employable.

    I can imagine employers would headhunt you down, rather than you have to look for the work!!!!!
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 360 Pioneering

    Hello iammisunderstood 

    I'm sorry to hear about the challenges you're facing with your KTS and its impact on your career and overall well-being. Dealing with chronic pain can be incredibly difficult, and it's understandable that you're feeling uncertain about your future. 

    Regarding your current situation, it might be worth considering alternative career paths that leverage your scientific background but don't require as much physical strain. There are various roles related to chemistry that involve less lab work, such as research and development, scientific writing, consulting, or teaching. By exploring these options, you may discover new avenues that align with your interests and qualifications. 

    You are at a stage in your life where you have the opportunity to make a change and explore different paths.  Although it may feel daunting, taking steps towards a career that accommodates your health needs and aligns with your evolving interests can lead to a more fulfilling and sustainable future. Take the time to reflect on your passions and explore alternative options that could provide you with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. 

    You have already demonstrated your strength and determination by pursuing a Ph.D., and those qualities will continue to serve you well in finding a path that suits your needs. Best of luck, and remember to take care of yourself along the way.

  • iammisunderstood
    iammisunderstood Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    the thing is, I have spoken to everyone i can, my employer wants me to tell him what they can do, but i have no idea myself, there is just way too much walking, standing, carrying heavy things and bending down i just cant manage it 
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 7,126 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @iammisunderstood

    Welcome to the community! :) 

    I echo what everyone has said about speaking with your employer and asking your professor for an extension. I am so sorry to hear you are in pain. Can I ask, do you update your GP or specialist about this? I would encourage you to speak to them, to try and ease that pain for you. 

    I understand when an illness makes you not want to be, what you've worked so hard for. I've been there. Many in the community have been there. Have you looked at what equipment or support you can use/get to help aid you in chemistry? Maybe knowing what is available will help mentally get that passion back in doing what you love?

    I hope the community can be a support for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you feel we can help you in any way.
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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