April 26, 2007


I took a sample midterm today.

It was a strange feeling for me to totally bomb something like this. I'm glad that it doesn't count for anything, but I totally expected to flunk it anyway. I stopped studying for close to a month and I only started getting back into the groove of studying again about a week ago. My interest in the GI subunit was near zilch and even though I tried studying at school in the beginning, I didn't feel like I had the support of my fellow classmates. I started studying at home more often, which to be quite honest, was more like staying at home more often. I nearly doubled the amount of sleep I was getting a night, but I felt less rested than before. With my interest waning, my mood depressed and my short attention span, I found myself attracted to watching episodes of Scrubs on the internet. I would spend hours, watching episode after episode and pretend that it was somehow "helping me study."

Ha! I should have seen the warning signs earlier. I didn't turn to my friends at school for help. I had a difficult time even talking about it with my parents, who must have assumed that I was staying up late studying and that I must have been waking up in time for my classes.

In any case, I was not ready to take the anatomy and pathology exam today. I studied a little bit last night, which felt awfully productive to me at the time -- but I still got nearly all the questions wrong on the test. I felt like studying was just a waste of my time... which is a total shame. Yes, I felt ashamed for sure.


We have a second portion of our midterm online which we can take up until Friday. I wanted to study for that tonight, but my fellow classmate (and small group tutorial buddy) was celebrating his birthday. I carpooled with some people over to Mai Tais tonight and I planned to stay there for just a few hours, but that turned into a whole evening when a bomb threat canceled Sarah's other evening plans and I said "sure, we can hang out here longer." I wanted to be ready when I took the essay and multiple choice questions; everyone who had taken it said that it was a waste of time to study for it because it was just so weird and different from what they had expected.

I spent about half an hour fidgeting and wondering if I should just walk back to campus. I overheard Josh saying "I don't feel well, I think I'm going to go home soon." Kapua frowned playfully and called him a party-pooper. I kept an eye on him, wondering when he was planning on leaving... when he suddenly started falling down.

I grabbed him as his knees buckled and his eyes rolled up. "Josh, Josh, are you ok?" He said that he wasn't feeling well. That seemed pretty obvious to me when he had collapsed at a busy bar, nearly knocking a few people over. He stood up and promptly fainted again, this time, hitting his head on the side of the bar with a loud "THUNK."

He regained consciousness shortly after that and a bunch of us escorted him outside, where he was given water, juice, crackers and his vital signs were assessed. He was pale, sweaty and somewhat shaken.

He ended up leaving with a few people to go to the ER and get checked out.

Thinking back on the whole thing, I wonder if I could have done anything else for him at the time. I certainly wasn't the one to spring into action after he collapsed. Well, I caught him and recognized that he wasn't doing so hot, but that was about it. He's a bit larger than me, so I thought at the time it was reasonable to let bigger guys in to try and lift him up.

In any case, that was the most exciting part of the night. There we were, a bunch of med students surrounding our classmate running through our differential diagnoses of syncope ("sin-coh-pee"), asking him questions about how much alcohol he drank (just 3 beers), a history of diabetes (no, only thing he could think about in his family was hypercholesterolemia), and his last meal (onion rings about 2 hours ago.)

Even though I was bummed out about this morning, it was a swift kick in the arse to remind me to study harder so I can stay in medical school. My quick reaction to Josh fainting made me realize why I want to be a doctor so badly. I'd like to know how to spring into action and really help someone in these unexpected times.

I'd like to be ready.

[edit] Josh sent an email to our class thanking everyone for their concern. He's going to be okay, he just had a combination of locking his knees, sleep deprivation and low-intake hypoglycemia.

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