I am taking my first planned day off in some time tomorrow, and I should be really happy about it. Unfortunately, things are turning more craptastic by the minute.
First, I have a thesis committee meeting in a little over two weeks. I don't have my draft of my paper finished, my luciferase assays are totally inconsistent, and I am still having huge Western blot issues. So basically, I have very little useful data from my last meeting three months ago. And that sucks. And I know it is going to be an extremely unpleasant meeting.
Second, I just got an email from the secretary that my training grant appointment expires at the end of this month. I was under the impression that it ran until September. The issue is: I make 200/month less when I am not on the training grant; they withhold taxes, which lowers the take home pay; and I know my boss doesn't have a grant of his own, so there's the issue of just being paid, period. I emailed the secretary to ask if she knows anything, but I haven't heard back. And of course, Dr. B left for his conference today, so I can't ask him.
Third, I've got to come into work on my day off, at least for a little while. And I also have to come in both days this weekend. I need to get usable data, but I know that there is little chance these experiments I am doing over the weekend will work. My boss says just keep trying. I know they aren't magically going to start working. But I am out of other ideas.
I am really starting to panic about lab. It's been almost six months since I returned from maternity leave, and I've got very little to show for it. Things were working miraculously well before I left, and they have totally crapped out since. I can't do any of the experiments I need to do without a working antibody. There is only one that works even a little, and our hybridoma apparently isn't making any. I'm trying everything I can think of, but without that antibody, I'm screwed.
I already asked to meet with one of my committee members. She was a post-doc in the lab I first did undergraduate research in nearly eight years ago, so she knows me pretty well. I am just going to beg for help in any way she can. We'll hopefully meet next week, and maybe something good will happen.
I'm just freaking out because I wanted to go back to med school in six months. If none of my experiments have worked in the last six months, what will make them work (and allow me to finish) in the next six? And if I don't go back this November, that pushes graduation back a year, in addition to causing all sorts of funding issues.
I'm trying not to lose it just yet. But at the one time when I want to get away from lab more than anything, it looks like I'm going to be spending more time there.