Thursday, 3 June 2010

Long time, No See.

Wow, forgot about this. I'm a bit hopeless. Just read the last post - that SSC went fine actually. Handed it in on time, got an excellent and apparently the med school are putting it on display or something. Was a good SSC, basically me fiddling with fonts and colour in Adobe InDesign, with some vague medical knowledge thrown in!

Well, exams. I just.... don't know. I'd rate them as follows:
  • MEQ - Went average. It's hard to tell - I didn't struggle, but there were things I didn't know. Pretty certain it was a pass, but it may well not be a very high one.
  • Multi Station - Just tragic - I hated every second, I made everything up and felt like a total idiot afterwards. I think in all honesty I failed this paper. And if I fail overall this exam will be the reason why :(
  • EMQ - Amazing. Easy as hell - knew most answers and the ones I didn't I could make a very sound educated guess towards. Definate pass. I walked out of this exam geniunely happy, a nice ending.
Overall, I can't say I've passed. That multistation went so bad, I just don't know. It's hard to judge your own answers, I may well have got some right even though I wasn't sure. I hope I've passed. With the last exam going so well, I'm kinda hoping it went something like this:
  • MEQ = 50%
  • Multi = 30%
  • EMQ = 70%
  • AVERAGE = 50% PASS :D
If the last exam had gone badly I honestly would have just given up and cried, but with such a strong paper - it makes me think I'm more likely to have passed than failed. But it certainly doesn't rule failure out.

The worst thing was I didn't submit special circumstance - so if I fail I'm screwed. I had the worst few weeks as well. Sometimes the NHS worries me. First off I've had an apparent chest infection going since Easter. I was coughing like hell, saw my GP in April. Get to the GP - she looks at me, looks at my file. "I can't help you" she says. Well, that's great, thanks. My condition is so damn rare the women doesn't even know what it is, and says I have to go see my specialist at the hospital, ugh. So I call my nurse and get an appointment the next day, I make it clear I'm pretty damn ill. From where I live to the Hallamshire is about a mile, it took me 45 minutes to walk it. I had to sit down in the street - I wasn't exactly well. I had lots of tests, xrays, blah blah and a chest infection was decided upon. Now to the pharmacy which I just HATE. Theres normally an hours wait, but its right next to the Health Sciences library - but what's this? I've forgotten my student card. An hour sitting in the pharmacy then.

So I take the course, I get a bit better and then a week later I'm ill, repeat the previous visit, more drugs.

A few weeks later, I'm ill. Again. Call up my nurse. No answer. Call the hospital - my nurse is on holiday. Oh, okay, I'll wait a week. This is the week before the exams as well don't forget. So I wait - and I get sicker. I go to the GP - the GP once again says she can't treat me. I go to the hospital, they won't let me see a different nurse. "She's the only connective tissue nurse so you'll have to wait" T_T - I don't even HAVE a connective tissue disease! There is no special nurse for my condition, it will make no damn difference which nurse I see! The women at the desk remains adamant I can't see anyone - I give up.

So it's Monday, first exam day. I take my inhaler about 10 times in my exam - people stare. I pray for death. Afterwards I walk all the way to the hospital and beg to see someone, ANYONE with a prescription pad. I'm told my nurse is still on holiday- I will have to make an appointment for when she gets back. Okay then, when's the next one? July. IS THIS SOME KIND OF SICK JOKE?! I have to get a bus the one mile home because I'm too sick to walk it.

So basically the three days of my exams I was pretty much in the worst health ever. But I couldn't see a doctor and hence couldn't get a note so I'm pretty screwed. If I fail - I fail. But I don't think it's fair considering I've been seriously ill since I got here and the one time I really needed to see someone I couldn't.

I'm still ill. I'm taking my blue inhaler about 20 times a day, my heart is not happy about this. Currently I'm at home - and the irony is my own GP is on holiday. Every other GP at that surgery doesn't know me - they won't just take my word for it and give me the pills. They'll say they can't treat me, blah blah. So now I have to wait til I get back to Uni on Saturday and hopefully get an appointment on the Monday. God knows what kind of mess my lungs are in now - all I know is my peak flow is not looking good.

God, I hope I haven't failed. It's not been easy since I got to uni. I'd only been a month out of hospital when I started, with the months that followed being some of the worst of my life. I hate my medication and its stupid annoying side effects. I gained four STONE in weight in those 6 months. I had such bad insomnia that functioning in lectures was not something I was able to do. I eventually gave up on the 9am lectures. In all honesty, when you haven't slept in 30 hours - you don't take a lot in. So I was normally doing my Formatives at four in the morning and staying up all night writing notes to make up for the increasing number of lectures I was missing.

Then more health problems - more consultants and tests, ugh. In February everything went to hell - I just gave up. It was about the time of my ICE placement. It was good - don't get me wrong. But it wore me out. I had to go to Doncaster - so I spent about 4 hours a day travelling. I had to be up at 5:30am to be there for 8am, I didn't get home til 7pm. I have insomnia - I'd stay up all night and the next day I'd pray for death. The days my asthma was bad made it even worse. It just made me depressed about everything that was wrong with me - trust my luck to get the furthest placement away. So basically between then and Easter - I did in all honesty no work. I missed most lectures, I did everything compulsory but I did the minimum.

I didn't realise how much I'd missed or how little I'd done until I started revising the GI module - I knew NOTHING. CV/Respiratory in comparison I knew so much about, but GI was a complete blank. Had I really been so behind?

It really made me work, but by this point I was ill again. Theres nothing worse than severe asthma combined with insomnia - seriously. If you've ever experienced bad asthma, you'll know you actually cannot lie down or you will suffocate. So it's basically impossible to get any sleep, it makes doing any work such an enormous effort and so much harder! And have you seen how big medical textbooks are?! I pulled my Kumar and Clark off the shelf one day and I didn't even had the strength to lift it - I dropped it on my foot and just cried for an hour. I think once you've reached that point when you can't even carry your own textbooks - revision is pretty much next to impossible.

I think the worst thing for me if I fail is I could have worked harder. I left enough time for revision - how could I possibly know those last few weeks I would be so ill? But I can't possibly help but think "what if I'd started earlier?". If I'd got it out of the way before I'd become ill I'd've been fine. But I can't predict the future. I was just really, really unlucky I guess. I know I can pass - all the work is simple and I can do it. But the stuff I didn't know I simply hadn't learnt yet - I ran out of time for biochemistry. The irony being the station I started on was a biochem Q, and I had no idea. I just wanted to give up there and then. And what's up with an exam where you have to walk around, are they trying to kill me?! I nearly passed out about three times (I have hypotension) and I think the fact I wasn't eating or sleeping, and I could barely breath weren't helping things. And then that station when you had to talk... oh GOD. I was too busy concentrating on not breathing freakishly loudly to actually think about my answers.

The one thing I did love though was the Q before that - the one about the asthmatic. It asks why he was shaking more than usual and he mentions he's been taking his inhaler more. If the answer wasn't he taken too much salbutamol I'll be seriously pissed off. My own hands were shaking from the amount I'd taken when I was writing the answer - it was the first time I'd geniunly smilied in days!

At the end of the day all I can do is wait. If I do fail, my entire academic record will support that I'm not a terrible student. I recieved two excellents and two goods in my assessments, I've achieved above 70% in every formative and I've handed everything in on time - sick or not. I just don't want to do it again. I need to go to work so I can afford this damn degree! If I waste another month revising then that's at least £1000 in wages I've lost - I just can't afford it.

Hopefully this time next week, I'll have actually SEEN a doctor, be feeling better and will have actually passed my first year.


  1. Wowee, you poor thing! *hugs* I got asthma and aneamia for my last year of uni so I can totally empathise with just feeling pathetic, knowing you have to study but not having the strength to, not remembering anything and getting worked up because it's really important that you study. I'd walk to labs but then be too sleepy to do any research for my diss :-s It might not be too late to tell your personal tutor who might be able to get sickness dispensation put onto your exams results. I really hope you've passed and can get better in time to start second year with a clean slate. I've taken a year out and have my asthma and aneamia under control now, hopefully... Since you've finished exams... treat yourself to a steth! :) Mine keeps looking at me from inside it's box on my desk. It wants me to listen to everything :D
    Get better soon Krisblade!!!!

  2. I should be used to it by now! This isn't the first time I've been ill during exams, but normally I pass with flying colours anyway :P

    I can't get one til I decide on a colour! Every week it changes! First I wanted green, then raspberry and now I want purple. I'm too indecisive for these tough decisions :D