My own battle: PhD. vs Health

In English Yleinen
When we think of a person who wants to fulfill a scientific research career, this vocation causes us a certain admiration. Socially they are valued in a very positive way, and of course, we think about the difficulties that this career must entail and we attribute them a high capacity to make efforts and to sacrifice do sacrifices.

But, when WE are the doctoral student, we live the reality of facing a world of hard work, of reading without rest, of putting friends and family away because we lack of time and what is worse to face a number of diseases that can arise during the study period.

In August 2017, I started my journey in the path of being a scientific researcher, it has only been 8 months and I already feel like an eternity, because it has not been easy to think about subjects, it has not been easy to decide the line of research, when I have been in 3 different projects, and the latest one has nothing to research about.  It is even more difficult when we are away from our family, when we live in a country that is not ours, with different culture and languages and when we are literally ALONE.

The agony is just starting, I was last December at home, in Colombia, finally enjoying Christmas with my family, after 5 long Decembers in the cold Finland, and for reasons of living,  I had a hunch doing some medical checkups, obtaining not very convincing results.

I returned to Finland with the conviction to continue with my doctoral studies, to achieve one more goal in my life but with the anguish of reviewing those medical results.

I decided to go to the doctor in Finland, once again to make the same exams and exclude any doubts, but unfortunately the results were not positive, I have been struggling for almost two months with this anxiety, because even if I was expecting bad news and I have seen it in my family, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be worried.

As a woman, I accept this battle with all my strength, because I am neither the first nor the last one, and because I know that it is not a death sentence and probabilities of being victorious are many;

I am infinitely grateful to life for discovering on time this disease that affects thousands of women in the world, and I am grateful for being in a country that offers advanced treatments.

You might be asking yourselves … Does she plan to stop studying? Well the answer is “Definitely NOT”;  some studies reveal that doing a Ph.D. causes stresses and mental illnesses, but at this point, I consider it my weapon to fight my sickness, a way to have my mind occupied, to see life in another way and why not, to be able to make a small contribution to the scientific community. I will continue studying, I will continue reading, I will continue writing, I will continue working at the University of Vaasa as far as my energies allow it and like  this  proverb says ”God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers”, so I consider myself  a VERY STRONG SOLDIER!,

Lina Maria Fernández Gualdron
Doctoral Student
Telecommunication Engineering


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