Here's the situation:
I go to a good but not a T20 school. 1L I finished in the top 20% percent. 2L summer I worked at a DA office--this is the kind of work I'm most interested in, and in my locality it's very competitive.
Anyway, last summer I started to develop a movement disorder (neurological).I had to drop a summer class and received a W. Unfortunately my situation got worse--my mobility was extremely restricted, I had only limited use of my hands, and the medications were very fogging cognitively. I had to go on medical leave half way through fall 2007. I returned for spring 2008 but was only taking two classes and I didn't that well in them. On top of this, I got pretty depressed due to the situation.
Right now I'm back in a class, and I'm working for a professor, for a legal organization, and for a judge (all part time). I think I overcompensated this summer and I'm trying not to let it affect my work or my physical condition (which has largely improved after lengthy experimental treatment). I feel like I should get out of the research asst job w/the prof that I signed up for but I made a commitment to the professor and I would feel beyond lousy backing out. At the same time, I'm afraid the exertion I'm subjecting myself to on the heels of my recovery is stifling my continued recovery. Just tough it out and let the cards fall where they may?
Two: Because of my medical leave, I'm going to graduate a year later, unfortunately. Although I did well my first year, my record since then, as evidenced above, is spotty to say the least. Is this something I should address in my applications/interviews? How? I don't want to seem flaky, or seem like someone who would be unreliable, or just revealing too much personal info. Yet, I don't want to seem like I'm hiding a heroin addiction or something, either. What to do, what to do.
Needless to say, this entire experience has been extremely deflating, but I'm trying not to convey that feeling to my supervisors, etc. I feel like I've just screwed up all my career prospects.
Sorry for the long post, I'm really just hoping for some advice.