October 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
Four days, 60 hours of sleep, and some bottles of cold/flu medication later, I am more or less back on my feet. I’ve allowed myself to sleep in today (“sleep in” being until only 8:15) and am missing Hungarian. It feels horrible missing any classes at all, but this is not something I can drag with me. I have no idea what I caught, but think it was a common cold or flu coupled with exhaustion. I have never in my life slept so much in such a short amount of time. It’s honestly pretty surreal to think about. My only symptoms now are a headache, stuffy nose and heavy “cold-breathing” (you know when you are sick and breathing feels heavier? that). I’m hoping that, with some nose spray and ibuprofen, I will be able to make it through the day.
My first class of the day will be biochem lecture at 12:30. Then I will have 4 or so hours to study before our physio lecture from 17:20-19:05. 7 hours is a long enough day to spend at school on my first day back, so missing Hungarian to save myself from an 11 hour day is worth it.
Yesterday was the worst day for me because I was starting to feel better and have more energy, but was still too exhausted/sick to do anything. That left me bed-ridden, yet unable to sleep – torture! Skjalg ordered me over the phone to relax and watch movies, but after already missing 3 days of studying, I was too anxious to enjoy my time of “forced relaxation” (as my mom likes to call it).
In the afternoon, when I was feeling particularly bad for myself, Jannie called and said she was coming over with coffee and muffins. She stayed for a couple of hours, which was perfect to get me out of my funk. After she left, I had enough energy to sit and “study” for a little while. I say “study” because it was more of me looking at the paper and reminding myself that this is what I need to do when I get healthy. It might not have been the most effective use of my time, but lowered my anxiety a bit.
My blind-siding cold could not have come at a better time. Both Jannie and Skjalg have reassured me that no one they have talked to did anything this weekend. After a heavy week of both physio and anatomy exams, I think everyone was pretty much left for dead by the time the weekend came. First year was hard, but this is twice that – if not more. People walk around like zombies and no one seems to have any true grasp of the material we are covering.
Physio comes in first on the priority list for most people (which is natural since we have weekly quizzes) and anatomy takes a close second. Though, since the topics for this next anatomy midterm are quite obscure and really unlike anything we’ve studied before, I won’t be surprised if people start to draw away from anatomy more and more. Our first midterm was general macroscopic gross anatomy of the brain – surface features (what are all the bumps and grooves called) and internal structures (what’s that artery/dark spot/white band etc). Our next topic is “Neuronal Organization of the Central Nervous System”, which is pretty much how the neurons in our spinal cord and brain are organized and connected. We get to look at pictures like this all day:
As for the neglected child, biochem, I’m not sure much anyone is spending time on it. I’ve overheard people asking each other if they have studied anything for it and many saying that they haven’t even opened a biochem book yet this semester. It makes sense since it is definitely the least demanding of all our classes. Plus, our biochem professor is so relaxed that it makes it almost a given that it falls by the wayside. The attendance at the lectures says it all. This was last Thursday’s lecture. I didn’t count, but there couldn’t have been more than 20 people (out of 220 registered for the subject).
Uh oh, not feeling as good as I thought I was…might be time for bed again.
October 6, 2013 § 2 Comments
While following the news of the US’ approaching debt ceiling, I didn’t consider that my own debt ceiling was right in front of me. I’ve been struggling with sleep for the past 2 weeks, usually clocking in 5-6 each night – even on the weekends. It’s not that I don’t want to sleep, it’s just that I can’t get myself to stay in bed, no matter how tired I am.
I noticed that I was approaching a more dangerous level of exhaustion on Wednesday night, when I wrote my last post, and put aside studying for our weekly physiology exams to sleep. On Thursday, while at the library at school, I noticed that my throat was getting itchy. By the end of the day, after our two weekly exams, my whole throat felt swollen and it hurt whenever I swallowed. It’s pretty common for me to get sick immediately after a stressful day/event. I think I push myself so hard beforehand, that when I finally relax, whatever cold/virus I’ve caught takes over.
Even after sleeping 9 hours Thursday night, Friday morning found me completely demolished. I was feeling dizzy and foggy headed, with constant pain around my eyes and in my throat, and even still, I pushed myself to go to biochemistry lab. I sat through our teacher’s introduction to gene therapy, followed by a group mate’s presentation on the “suicide gene” technique for cancer therapy. Then, during the break, I admitted to myself that I could stay anymore and asked my teacher for permission to leave early.
Since then? I’ve been sleeping against my will (or so it feels). As soon as I got home at 13:00 on Friday afternoon, I slept for 3 hours. Then I slept 14 hours during the night, followed by a 3 hour nap and then a 2 hour nap, and finally slept another 12 hours last night. For the first 26 hours of the weekend, I didn’t even get out of bed except to use the restroom.
I’m still in disbelief that I’ve slept 34 hours in the same time period that I usually would have slept 14. The worst part is that I still don’t feel better. I’m at least well enough to get out of bed for a short while, but other than that, all I can do is sleep (which is not like me at all!). I’m having a hard time because there is so much I had planned to do this weekend. Skjalg keeps reassuring me that out of all the weekends, this is one of the best ones to take off. I’m still not entirely convinced, but I don’t have much of a choice.
Alright, been up for half an hour now…that means back to bed for me 😦