I would like to say I can do everything I think I can do but I cannot and I think it has come time that you guys deserve an explanation. I’ve mentioned in class that I am suffering from a muscle problem but haven’t specified what type, today I got my diagnosis confirmed by a second doctor as a rare condition called dermatomyositis. It is an autoimmune condition (meaning it is caused by my own immune system attacking me) that attacks my skin and muscle tissue. On the outside, if you look closely you will see a dull red rash across the back of my knuckles and on my face (the hallmark of the disease), but internally I am undergoing a slow destruction of my core muscle groups. As of right now the muscle damage is manageable and can be forestalled (though not cured), but it does make it more difficult for me to climb stairs and stand for long periods of time. The disease mechanism is such that it also makes me overly worn out (imagine how you feel after a long day at the gym, that is my normal state). Within the next month I will be starting a low dose immune suppressant to try and stop the progression of the disease, but that comes with its own side effects.
I am not telling you this for sympathy or as an excuse per se, but rather to make you aware why I might not be going the many extra miles I normally would like to. In a normal semester I would be reworking all my PowerPoints with new materials, making up pages of practice problems and working up new labs… this semester I just don’t have the energy. So this term I am relying on some older PowerPoints, maybe not making as many practice problems and such, but I will always get the core of the material across. I will always be in class unless I physically cannot be there and will always be available for questions. As much as I hoped to not have this influence my classes I know it has and thought you all deserved an explanation.