Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Hazards of a Narrow Focus

Insomnia isn't a normal part of my daily routine. In fact, I've been augmenting a typical seven+ hours of sleep at night with a twenty-something minute nap in the afternoon (I'm fairly certain that I have med school-induced Mono). When the thought of running face first into a wall crossed my mind for a fraction of a second, I knew my week had caught up with me.

Last Monday was a brutal exam, one for which one of our professors apologized in advance. After three exams in two weeks, we had an almost unreasonable amount of information to put down in an almost unreasonably short period of time. As a result, I spent the majority of my waking hours over a five-day period cramming biochemistry into my brain. Saturday night I had dreams about biochemistry. During a study break with some football on Sunday, a Lipitor commercial I was not paying attention to caused me to actually say "HMG CoA reductase!" out loud in a sort of Pavlovian response. That's probably not normal.

I can't really complain about the amount of work I've had to (and will continue to) put in. That's what med school is all about, after all. So while the percentage of my time taken by school doesn't really bother me, it's the occasional theft of my sanity that does. Since my primary interactions are with stressed-out med students, I rarely get a change of scenery. During the week, I have enough variation between class, lab, and a smattering of subjects that I can keep it in check. Weekends are for exam preparation and that generally means subject matter from one or two classes, no distractions, and some added time pressure. It's little wonder that I can't get my brain to shut up on Sunday nights.