Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 2236: Stress and rising


Rising: Jesus, apparently. Happy Easter! No, nothing fun for me. I was invited to Danny's family's Easter celebration but I am perpetually stressed so I couldn't quell the never-ending possibilities of failure and stress and all its relatives muster up the wherewithal to go. 

I wish I had more to report. Nicki and I got to hang out again which was absolutely wonderful. It's so good to catch up with her, however few and far between it is for us. How crazy is it to think we've known each other almost eight years? And how ironic and funny is it that I have somehow taken on every aspect of her old life in Milwaukee? She's okay with it, so I am too.

I have been listening to "Clair de Lune" on repeat for the past few days. Easy listening and hopefully some brain cells are getting fired up and keeping some of this absurd amount of information in my head.

The weather has been picking up lately, hello high 40s/low 50s, so Danny and I have enjoyed some outdoor runs these past few days. It's amazing a) how fast that ex-fat-boy runs, and b) how much I hate running and I still do it, haha.

I have discovered the beauties of wine (aka merlot and pinor noir aka the chump/intro wines) and am somewhat obsessed. I drink 1 serving (5 ounces) a night and kind of not-so-secretly love it. I wonder if I am trying to dull my stress. (It isn't working.)

I have decided I actually want to participate in things so I ran for some student assembly positions (I assume I will not win) and I'm attending this delegates/Wisconsin Medical Society thing in a few weekends. It's been meetings galore lately which is good (I'm actually involved in something) and bad (I lose even more time that I could be studying).

I WANT THESE NEXT THREE MONTHS TO BE OVER. The stress is unbearable. I am interminably behind in every aspect of my life -- school, friends, family. I want to die. Writing out this stress has not alleviated it in any way and is actually reminding me how much I should be learning. Don't go to medical school. This is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. Second to almost-being-a-vegetarian-that-one-day, and even that was done in a day.

Sigh. It gets better right?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 2228: Back to reality

It has taken me a bit longer than I would have liked to get back in to school-mode, but here it is, in full force. One of the (delightful) reasons for the delay was that my dearest Nicki was in town! Danny and I took her out to lunch and it was a delicious (literally and figuratively) time.


As hinted to in the Spring Break post, the ever-impending boards draw nearer and nearer. At this point, all of us M2s are either talking about them or stressing about them or both. My game plan is doing questions. All day, every day. I do a block (46 questions in an hour) of questions every day. I learn from my mistakes. I learn for school. I am stressed. I lose focus. I get stressed about losing focus. Rinse. Repeat.

Speaking of boards, the more and more I speak to upperclassmen/M3s about it, I think my 5-week study period might be too long. My original thought process when selecting my exam date was, how the hell am I supposed to re-learn all of med school in five weeks??? After M3s broke it down for me -- when the true panic and fear of boards sets in after finals, I will (actually) study at least 8 hours per day, 7 days a week...over five weeks that amounts to at least 250 hours of studying -- that's a lot of time. My mother, I am sure, thinks that I need more time (thank you for the added stress Mother. I know you don't intend on adding stress to my life, but you somehow manage to provide it plentifully), but I am 10,000% sure that I will burn out. Way before then. So, the moral of this paragraph is, I am considering moving my date up one week to June 10th (versus my current date of June 17th). I'll know better in the next few weeks if that date is plausible. In three weeks or so, our school is giving us a NBME (aka practice boards) exam. That will be the deciding factor for me.

Thank goodness Nicki was in town to provide a fun picture for this post, right? Or else it would be about boring old stressful-as-hell boards. Thanks for the study/blogging break team. Now....break!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 2224: Let's hear it for New York

Here they are. The New York pictures. If you follow my Instagram, which most of you do, you will have seen a majority of these. Nevertheless...the pictures.

Work-for-hire picture by Jamey (Danny's brother)

Times Square, or as Danny calls it "people soup"

World Trade Center / Freedom Tower

The love of my life.

Manhattan Bridge

Central Park - Turtle Pond

Belvedere Castle, Central Park (with Danny and Jamey)

Me and my lovely ladies at Brooklyn Bowl

Talib Kweli at Brooklyn Bowl (a stupendous show!)

Talib sang "You Say He's Just A Friend," "Eleanor Rigby,"
and basically rocked the socks off everyone in the venue.

30 Rock

Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Danny wrote a little
farewell to Pope Benedict on behalf of his family.

Atlas, near Rockefeller Plaza

It's official -- Danny likes New York when it's warm.

Shutter-priority takes forever and makes for blurry photos.
This darling was the most amazing and accommodating host!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 2214: Spring Break

It's finally here!

Yesterday, Friday, I took the entire day off and it was glorious. I slept in. Danny and I went to meet Neehar for lunch at Milwaukee Ale House, where I ate a bacon-stuffed-bacon-cheeseburger and had a yummy stout beer to wash it down. Then, my burger was obviously too filling, so I came home and took a nap while Danny played Tomb Raider 4. I woke up, I watched some TV on my computer and Danny continued to play his video game. We went to a classmate's house around 8:30pm where they were having a little get-together. There were about 15 people there and it was a ton of fun. They had food and booze (a perfect combination for a good time) and it was all the classmates I like, so I couldn't have asked for anything better :)

Today, I slept in and finally cleaned my apartment (dirty dishes, the bathroom, my room, my closet, etc). How I love a clean living space. Then I went to the gym (my gym schedule has been extremely erratic lately) which I loved. And then I went to Target to run some errands. Then to the grocery store to buy some vegetables (since my life has consisted of eggs and pasta the past few days). Then home to make this. While chopping the vegetables for the quinoa salad, I watched some Global Health videos for an assignment. Now I have to write a one-page reflection on each video. Then, I will either do some Step 1 (that's what my upcoming boards) studying or learn more kidney stuff for this block of pathology.

I am taking a relaxed approach to spring break. I definitely plan on studying, but I am so happy that there is no new material for an entire week! This will let me solidify what we have learned so far in path and also start getting my Step 1 study schedule together.

For those of you I haven't told, unlike last year, where spring break was this wonderful time of going home and seeing my family, spring break this year is more like the mark of doom. Every M3 (third year medical student) I have spoken to says spring break (or right after) is when you begin actually studying for boards. Well, I have been studying every (few) days for it since late January. Even so, I don't feel terribly ahead of the game. Instead, I have a minor panic attack every day about how spring break is almost/now here and how I still feel like I don't know anything. Don't get me wrong, I know some things, but not everything. And that, my friends, freaks me the hell out.

So, the next five days will be filled with learning but at a less stressful and erratic pace.

Danny, his brother and I are off to New York on Thursday as my last hoorah of fun. (YAY!) I still plan on studying in New York because that's my life from here until June but so be it. As I was discussing with an M3 pal of mine, getting to and through boards is a rite of passage for every medical student. I plan on kicking this rite's butt and sealing my fate as a future urologist.

(Are these wordy posts getting annoying? My next post will have pictures, promise.)