Congratulations, this is yours.

The world is, quite tangibly, falling apart around us, while I’ve accidentally bluffed my way into a university. Please send help. Or request it, even? Whatever you’re comfortable with.

It’s been over 10 years since I’ve engaged with any sort of formal educational facility so I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed, but at least most people assume I’m about 10 years younger than my birth certificate would suggest, so I don’t look completely out of place.

Except 10 years ago I wasn’t so jaded to the detrimental effects of capitalism on my creative ideals. Without facing down severe nerve damage and the reality that I’m progressively losing motor function in one or both arm(s)? Maybe that dream could’ve actually amounted to something.

Or maybe I was simply never cut out for late-stage capitalism?

Instead I’m studying linguistics because I neither understand words nor what they mean, which seemed like as good a reason as any to load myself up with a lifetime of debt. RiP to everybody who ever has to deal with me again, but this is ultimately going to leave me with even more incomprehensibility than I already possess (and I certainly had quite a lot to begin with).

We’re nearing the end of 1st semester now and it still fells like a mistake on their part, like any second now somebody will let me know that I’m not supposed to be there and discreetly have me escorted off the premises (not that my employer and the Liberal-coalition government aren’t already doing their best to bar me from seeking education).

Unfortunately, with exams staring me down, I decided I was not putting myself under enough stress and finally made the mistake of following up the long overdue dental reminder that’s been pinned to my fridge since July 2020. Ordinarily I’m pretty good about getting a checkup every 6 months, but, you know, COVID-19.

Thing is, I was taking Pregabalin for much of that time, right? Casually experiencing some of the most catastrophic psychological side-effects I’ve ever encountered in my life and assuming it was just the normal fatigue of existing under capitalism. Well, turns out there’s another fun side effect of Pregabalin that hadn’t really been explained to me:
It fucks up your tooth enamel- and unlike the suicidal depression this one isn’t reversible!

So there I am, gently warning this man who I haven’t seen in nearly two years that I am fully prepared to have my entire jaw excavated and that he has full consent to do whatever needs to be done, only to find… my teeth are totally fine?! Like, yeah they needed a proper deep cleaning, and okay there’s a spot of demineralisation to keep an eye on, but nothing requiring immediate military intervention.

No, in a thrilling plot twist I genuinely did not see coming: he thinks I might have face-cancer instead?!
But like, I do enjoy having a cancer-scare every 3-5 years, so it checks out.

Got an appointment with a specialist surgeon at the end of the month (call it a gamble on not taking an earlier appointment, but I refuse to let a potential medical emergency prevent me from finishing out the semester), so they’ll get to decide whether or not a biopsy is warranted, which is about as much as can be done from my end.
At least after the thyroid and breast “cancer” incidents I can loosely gauge what the process will be like.

Tried checking the lesion in a mirror, but to me it doesn’t look any different from when I chew through the inside of my own face in a standard anxiety way. Looked up the symptoms online too, because that’s definitely a good idea; but fatigue, pain, and general malaise are all normal for me anyway, so it’s impossible to gauge anything meaningful without a qualified medical professional there to assess the situation.

Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion, I guess?