So why am I doing it? After three college degrees completed without student loans, why am I taking on student debt to go to an Ivy League school for one more degree? Why am I (yet again) moving to a place where I know very few people, leaving my friends, church and everything I know behind to go to school again? Simple. Because I a) have been extraordinarily blessed in my life thus far and b) I know that most lupus patients haven't been. I've managed to work my way through grad school, teaching and researching, to the point where I have a solid grasp of the science behind my disease, the drugs used to treat it, the tests used to diagnose it, etc. Most patients don't have that luxury.
I am a religious woman (Episcopalian, and proud of it, if you're curious), much to the puzzlement of many around me. I do believe in God, and I do believe He has reasons for what He does. Maybe the reason I have lupus is so that I can use my education to help other patients. Or maybe not, I really don't know. But I do know that I am uniquely placed in that I have lupus, so I know what the disease really is, and I am a scientist. An MPH will allow me to take the science I've learned, and use it to impact policy, patient education, health management, etc. It will put me, a lupus patient, in a position to bring to the attention of policy makers, etc. just how awful this disease is, and how low little information most patients have available to them.
This blog has been a starting ground for my public health work, as has my work as Resident Geek at LH/LV. I want to thank all of the other lupus patients who patiently waited as I relearned how to write in English after having written in Science for so long. I want to thank you for your questions, your kind comments, and your encouragements. Why am I going to yet another year of school? For you, for me, and for a better future for us all.