Monday, December 12, 2011


I can't help but worry--as I study--about my anxiety. After the kids were in bed Saturday night I took a break for two hours to watch a movie with my husband, and the whole time I kept wondering how impacted I would be during the test. It seeps into my dreams.

Dullest manifesto ever
I wrote out notes, pages and pages of handwritten notes on 11 x 14 inch paper. My husband said they looked like a crazy person's manifesto. I re-watched lectures, I consolidated the notes group notes into handy references for each lecture. I read the instructor's notes that turned a 50 minute lecture into a 19 page document. And the entire time I'm doing this and studying and learning and relearning I'm completely cognizant of the fact that none of it may end up mattering because of the anxiety*.

The medication helps, it helps a lot, but things still come through. One of the instructors came into our room after the test started and wanted to look at my exam (the PAs have paper exams). My first thought was, OMG, he's looking at how wrong I am. My second thought was, what did I do? Did I do something wrong? I'd only answered a few questions by that point. He said he was just checking because another student seemed to be missing a question (I think it is more that one of the questions was at the bottom of a page and the table with the answer was on another page, we had a couple questions like that). Still, it was unsettling.

Even with that today wasn't horrible. My reaction was pretty normal, I think. There were things that didn't dawn on me that I knew until after I turned the test in but it felt like normal human fallacy and not the elevated, escalated mind going completely blank reaction of a panic attack.

No one really feels good about today. Favorite status from FB from a med student: On the bright side, I learned today that on a multiple choice exam, having no idea what's the right answer means click randomly and then leave early.

I miss working. I've never felt any anxiety with that in the slightest. I only get it with tests and not even every test. It would ironically be easier if this program mattered to me less.

*Alternately because the questions asked will inevitably not be the stuff I studied. Which, from the comments after today's test, seems to have been the case for everyone.


  1. Wow, those are your notes??? Wouldn't it be a little easier for you to write it in shorthand or something? Just seeing those pages would make me anxious! A 50 minute lecture into a 19-page document just doesn't make sense lol

  2. It is the act of writing that helps me, so I've never bothered with shorthand. I do have some nicely organized outlines of the material I type, and some flashcards I've written out.

    The lecturers put more background information into their class notes, which is why some of them end up being epically long.

  3. Hmm, and I'm assuming the background information is also being tested on?

    I've found out that writing many abbreviations for various words helps with studying. Doing it that way would make a 19-page manifesto look like 3 pages, but that's just me. Everyone's note-taking skills and study habits are different, of course.