Monday, August 14, 2006

On The Horizon

I start my first rotation 3 weeks from tomorrow. I have a list of things that I need to do before then. I have piles of notes stacked up in my room that need to be filed. It's about 3 feet tall! I have some books that I should read and I have to check out the apartment that I'm going to be living in. Yeah, I haven't seen it yet!

So, I think I'll procrastinate a little bit more and go away for the next few days and deal with that stuff next week. I'm not ready to face reality yet. It's that plain and simple. So I'm going to one of my most favorite spots in the world. Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains. My grandparents built a cabin in the late 60's and after they passed away their children have kept the place running. It's my happy place. I have so many fond memories...swimming in the lake, catching salamanders, getting lost in the woods, playing board games, lounging around without a care in the world. I haven't been there in a few years, so I'm really looking forward to it.

A couple of days in the mountains does wonders for my soul.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wrap Up

I had two exams on Thursday. I averaged about 4 hours of sleep every night that week and by Thursday I was shot. The first exam was Pharmacology and an hour later I had to perform a full physical exam on a "patient" (student) in front of a proctor. I was so exhausted by the time I did the physical exam that I forgot to perform some very basic, very important, very obvious physical exam maneuvers.


Yup, I totally forgot to take my patient's blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate. I knew I had forgotten something as I went along with my exam. About halfway through I realized it, so I started laughing and luckily the proctor did too. My brain was my fried and I apologized, luckily I've worked with this proctor before and she knows my capabilities...but it took me a few hours to get over that blunder. The funniest part of this whole story is the fact that I take my personal training client's blood pressure and pulse every few months! I use this as a way to monitor their progress...oops!

That will never happen again!

I left there and stopped off at a bar to meet up with some classmates. We were all a bit shell shocked and unconvinced that we actually finished didactic year. There was a lot of laughter but a couple of hours later when we all went our separate ways...there were tears. There is a definite sense of separation anxiety. These people did become my second family and I'm grateful for having such a good class. I looked forward to seeing them everyday...and that made all the difference in the world. I never thought I'd laugh so much in PA school. And that is what got us through.


I crashed for 3 hours when I got home. I woke up and wasn't sure if it was the next morning! I felt like I had been hit by a bus. It was only 6pm though and my family took me out for a ride on the boat to celebrate. Everything felt surreal, I still felt like I had to get home to study for something.

When I woke up Friday and realized I didn't have to be anywhere...I was able to exhale for the first time in weeks and relax. Well, try to relax. I packed up my stuff and headed for the beach. I stopped off at a drug store and picked up a PEOPLE magazine. That was a first for me...I was just desperate to read something mindless! I soaked up some rays, napped and swam for several hours. Came home and got ready for a party. A party with my classmates!

The party was a lot of fun. It's always fun to meet up outside of the classroom and meet everyone's significant others/friends. By the end of the night, we sat around an open fire and listened to music. And every few minutes someone would remark, "it feels so good to do nothing." We would all smile and then drift back off...

I spent the rest of the weekend over at Fire Island. I partied with my sister and some old friends from High School. I'm proud to say that I was at the bar for "last call!" I partied more this weekend than I have all year! It felt good...I needed it.

I deserved it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The End...Is Just The Beginning

I did it. It's done. It's over.

I rocked it.

Yes. what?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sleep Deprived

I can honestly say that this is the HARDEST I've ever had to work...EVER. It's about making the impossible, possible. And I'm 3 exams away from achieving that goal.


6 hours of sleep over the last two nights.

2 exams done, 3 more exams in the next 2 days.

And then I can sleep.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


School ends Thursday!!!

Only 5 exams, 2 workshops and a psych FOUR DAYS!

The amount of work still shocks me.

It always seems like it's an impossible feat.

Seriously. Shocking.

And then it's all done...and the real learning begins.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Picking the right PDA is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time to research the products and then get up enough nerve to plop down several hundred more dollars on a device that everyone says you HAVE TO HAVE. Up until now, it's been books and study we're going high tech.

So, I did my research and opted for the Palm Treo 700W. Here's the link: It's got more features than I'll probably ever use, but it's a phone and computer device all wrapped into one. The less I have to carry...the better.

I started to download some software onto the device and I have to say it's pretty cool. It takes pictures, videos, and I can download music onto it. I can also surf the internet with it and write email. It'll probably take me months to figure out how to do all that stuff...but, it's pretty cool!

Heat Wave!

They say timing is everything and this week, timing was not on my side.

The night before the Emergency Medicine final exam, our house lost electricity. Since this rarely ever happens, I figured that it would be back on within the hour so I decided that I'd go for a run to pass the time.

When I returned home and found that the power was not restored and the sun was quickly setting, I started to panic. During my run, I realized that it was only a small section of the neighborhood that lost power and not the entire county. So that meant that the rest of the class was most likely studying in their air conditioned rooms while I was slowly losing daylight and rushing around to find all my notes.

I retreated to my best friend's house. Yes, my best friend that had a baby 3 months ago. I tried my best to stay focused on studying, but who can resist a beautiful 3 month old baby that looks at you and smiles!?!?! My friend and her husband recently built a brand new house, so her husband set up a table for me in the baby's room to study. It was a really nice gesture but after 2 hours I was back on the couch with my girlfriend and the baby!

The power company told my family that the electricity would be back on by 12:30am. So, I left my girlfriend's house around that time and arrived home to total darkness. It was hot...really hot. No lights, no air conditioning, no fan...nothing.

I lit a few candles but that made it hotter, so I studied with a flashlight before passing out from the heat. It was an awkward, broken up sleep. The power came back on at 4am. I woke up at 8am and felt like I had been hit by a train. I was exhausted. I had 4 hours to cram Emergency Medicine into my head. I tried my best. was one of "those" exams. One of those exams that makes you feel like you haven't learned a thing since starting the program. One of those exams with innane, obscure questions that have little to do with real world medicine. One of those exams that when you go back to your notes, you realize that the answer is NOT even in your notes. It was just one of "those" exams.

It kicked my butt.

I came home afterwards and the power went out again! And then it came back on again and a few hours went out again! I sat in the dark with an ice pack on my head with my new PDA/phone combo and "studied" using the Epocrates software I downloaded. Luckily, the power came back on by midnight and I was able to get some sleep.

It's been so hot that the NYS governor opened the state beaches for free today. The heat wave is supposed to break tomorrow...down to a more bearable 90 degrees?!!?

Preparing for 5 exams and a psych presentation next week will keep me busy indoors this weekend.

And right now...that ain't a bad thing!