I’ve been trying and trying to think of how to phrase this post for a while now. It’s been nearly a month since my last post and I do apologize for that. I know it’s advised not to apologize to your readers, but I feel that it’s required this time. I’ve been on summer break the last two weeks. Fall starts on Monday and I haven’t even ordered my books yet lol. So I’m already failing haha.
But that’s not the reason why I haven’t posted. Okay, summer break kind of is, but the real reason is that I’ve been going through some health problems that decided to creep back up on me at the end of the semester.
I apparently have an anxiety issue.
In 2011, I had my first panic attack right before I was going to move back down to SoCal and attend Mt. SAC. I had zero idea what I was going to do with my life except go back to school and I just realized that my original plan of getting into the histotech program wasn’t going to happen no matter how I sliced it. Cue panic attack. It happened while I was watching Cowboys & Aliens in the movie theater with my brother. The movie wasn’t scary at all, I was having a good time, but apparently my body decided to hit me right then. He drove me to the ER and they took great care of me. I got some awesome drugs that I took for a couple days afterwards and then I was fine. Didn’t have another attack for three years.
Until the week before finals.
I guess I should be happy it didn’t hit during finals. But I still had to battle with those attacks during finals week regardless. I’m still battling it now. It’s been a few weeks, but I won’t lie, it’s been a huge struggle. Up until the attacks hit, I honestly thought I was doing fine. Maybe it’s a combination of the heat in Sacramento (which is hotter than hell, let me tell you — constantly in 90s-100s, 80s at night), the stress of the program, living in a new area and in a new apartment where I don’t really have friends or family that live 5-10 min away, and my poor college diet. My doctor and I can’t really figure it out (because my blood tests all came back normal besides some low Vitamin D levels). But I do have meds that help me in case another one hits.
I must say that I’ve been blessed with great parents and family. My aunt and cousin in SoCal have talked me through some attacks over the phone. My dad actually came to stay with me for the entire week of finals to drive me to and from school so I wouldn’t have the stress of driving or have an attack while driving. He pretty much took care of everything so I could focus on studying.
Also, the ward I’m in for church is amazing. The bishop’s wife took me to the ER when the first attack hit and stayed until I was released. By then my parents had driven from the Bay in 1.5 hrs to make sure I was okay. I’m learning my church has an amazing system set up to really help anyone in need. It’s fantastic.
I’m not saying this to gain sympathy or say that I’m unfit for the program. I still want to do this more than anything. I just want to be real and honest about my struggles in this journey. If anyone else out there is suffering from them, I want them to know they’re not alone. It’s so easy to feel alone and isolated and that you’re weak and crazy for succumbing to anxiety like this. It’s never fun to have your heart race for no good reason, like you can’t get enough oxygen into those lungs despite the fact you know you’re breathing or getting a tingling feeling in the tips of your fingers and wondering whether sensation will stay or leave forever.
It sucks having to almost readjust everything because of this. That entire week before finals I literally didn’t do a thing. I was so behind on studying and finishing up everything, I literally just kept everything to a minimum and tried to calm myself down enough to function. I only drove to and from school and drove like a grandma staying on the right lane the entire time to be safe. I always have my meds on me in case a random attack decides to hit me out of nowhere. It’s terrible. I hate it. But now I have to learn to live with it and find better coping mechanisms.
Despite all of that, I still managed to get a 4.0 this past semester. I scraped by with As in a couple classes (cough cough embryology and histology cough cough), but I’ll take an A in whatever form it comes. I’m about 99.99% positive that I got the highest grade in Gross Anatomy. I still haven’t asked for my final scores, but I had 100.5 going into the final, so there was no way I wasn’t walking out with an A. I just want the highest score in one class. This was my chance and I think I did it. I’ll have to email my professor to make sure, but I don’t think anyone scored higher than 106 (out of 108 which pisses me off because I missed another two easy ones but they were pinned horribly) on the lab final, which pretty much secures my grade, even if someone scored higher than me in lecture.
I am definitely pleased with the outcome in terms of grades. Somehow that worked since I literally had to cram everything. It definitely helped that they weren’t cumulative except for medical terminology. I’m just glad that these panic attacks didn’t completely ruin all my chances at getting good grades.
Now, the question is can I handle an 18 week semester with harder courses? I do have meds that can help, but I’m trying to minimize the usage since they do make me drowsy after a few hours. I guess we’ll find out starting Monday. This will definitely be a challenge. I just hope it starts to cool down in Sacramento soon or else I’ll die.