May 10, 2007


I know; I know; no updates in forever... I promise I'll bring full up to speed soon, and someday finish the Adventures of the Ishie et al (sorry guys, but it is my blog, afterall) trip to Venezuela over Easter, but for the time being, I've been busy having a bloody awful week punctuated by goodness but not greatness.

So I've been neglecting histology and anatomy to get all ready for my biochem exam, which was Monday. Let me rephrase that. I was getting all ready for everyone ELSE'S biochem exam, which was Monday. I'll be taking the exam in August. Sigh.

See, at midterms, if you read back through my ramblings that far, you'd notice that I had a freakout insomnia attack and kind of blew through biochem, which apparently set me up for a rip-roaring insomnia-phobia to add to my phobia of cockroaches which was oh so crystallized the last time I went diving and found THREE of the evil little bastards in my dive bootie by unsuspectingly sticking my foot onto them (cockroaches, not insomnia).

So FULLY prepared for the biochem exam, I realized that while I would LIKE to study everything again that weekend, I didn't NEED to, thus could focus that entire weekend on simply getting some sleep so I'd be well rested for the exam.

Hey, whoda thought anyone could stay up for 72 hours??? That's gotta be some kind of record! With about 40 of those staggered between various dorm rooms lying still in the dark, going "you've gotta be freaking kidding me; I'm exhausted. How can I not be asleep yet?"

This was punctuated by finally making an emergency call to the clinic for sleep aids, which they dispensed, which did... nothing. Well, that's not true. It spaced me nicely so I wandered around in a mindless haze jabbering nonsense at people, but could I sleep? No. Which is good to know. If ever I am jumped in a dark alley by spies looking to drug me with ether or whatever to get me to betray my country, apparently I'm impossible to put out if my mind's against it.

On the final night of Hell, Emma lent me her single room, made me some rice and warm milk because I hadn't eaten anything in some time (I lost five pounds in 8 days folks; you think Atkins is bad for you; try the med school stress diet-- look thin, die young).

So I spent part of the night throwing up, which was a variation on a theme for the last few nights when I tried to eat things (Hey, involuntary bulemia, wahoo!) before trying to go to sleep. When Emma checked on me, I had psychosomaticized sleep crazed myself into sleeping for five minute segments, stopping breathing, convulsing, rinsing and repeating.

Which for some strange reason upset her. Largely because I couldn't stop spasming and kept forgetting to breathe.

So she called the ambulance to take me to the clinic, and the funny thing is, as they were checking my blood sugar, I was prepared enough for the biochem exam that I was muttering "I can't be hypoglycemic because my liver is replenishing my blood glucose with gluconeogenesis by breaking down my proteins". I can even name which amino acids it's doing and that it's using fatty acids grabbed from triacylglycerol from adipose tissue for fuel. If I starved myself for long enough, I'd start converting to ketone bodies (which can be used by the brain), and I can even tell you which hormones were at skewed levels and when they would stabilize to account for starvation.

Which turned out to be moot, because I was hypoglycemic AND dehydrated. And twitching a lot. This was the morning of the day I was supposed to take the exam.

The clinic and EMTs stuffed me full of glucose and valium, the latter of which is not surprisingly, less than conducive to taking exams. What it did NOT do, in me at least, was put me to sleep. Still feeling like I might, in some reality, be able to sit the exam, I wandered over to Dr. Martin who strongly advised me that if I wasn't in top shape (who me?), I REALLY needed to go back to the clinic, get my medical leave, and take the exam in August. Sigh. So that's what I'll be doing this summer. Studying for biochem. Again.

So at least with that behind me, I could sleep, right?

Wrong. That was a job for ambien, which I had to go back up to the clinic to get a prescription for and down to the pharmacy, accompanied by Laila, who for some strange reason thought I shouldn't make that trip alone. FINALLY, with enough prescription sedatives in me to euthanize a rhino and David sitting in my room to make sure I was still breathing (after he supplied me with Gatorade, which I apparently needed because electrolyte imbalance is the only time the stuff doesn't taste like crayola-colored sweat), I SLEPT.

DAMN. So what I'll be doing this summer besides studying for biochem again (dammit dammit dammit dammit) is figuring out what exactly the hell happened, and fixing it.

One interesting thing about Ambien (at least with me) is that it makes you feel like absolute HELL the next day, and I needed it both Monday night AND Tuesday night (before the histo exam). Tuesday night, I was treated to DREAMS about histology, which is not fun when you're trying to get a brief respite from school. Particularly when the dream is that you're trying to cross the street and blood cells keep nearly running you over.

Which makes me proud because earlier 'today' (Wednesday), I walked into that histology exam nauseated, still short-slept (but slept), still low on calories, and dulled from the Ambien, and STILL managed to keep my overall grade borderline A/B. I figured out that if St. Paparo throws out just FOUR questions, I get to keep my A, and if he doesn't, I still frigging passed.

This was followed the by celebratory gobbling of the Glover's cheese fries with Grr and David as my stomach remembered that I'm actually capable of consuming food that isn't consistant of crackers and digestive biscuits.

So this probably seems like completely personal information that I probably shouldn't be sharing with the internet at large and will probably one day cost me a good residency and provide amusement to those who hate me, but it's nice to know for potential or current students that things can suck a LOT and you can still get through it, even if it means taking an exam late.

It also is a good testament to friends who, despite their own issues including facing the same exams that I was, took care of me in my dumbass panic attacks and overall were exceptionally awesome through this entire thing. Thank you to all of you. As Morbo says, may death come swiftly to your enemies.

So not a funny entry, and a pretty personal one, but there ya have it, and there ya have why I haven't updated.

To anatomy and beyond!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ooh, i've grown up huh...when did i get promoted to full Grrr? (Baby tigers are cute, but atleast now my claws/teeth will be a bit more useful, hehe)