Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Morning, 5:51 a.m.

I suddenly sit bolt upright in bed. My 3rd year of medical school starts the Tuesday after Labor day, and I'm not even ready. A horrible feeling of dread comes over me.

It's a 2 day drive from my parents' house to my medical school. My roommate Enzyme is likely already back there, and wants to kill me (I've got the stereo with me). After I get there I have to buy one of those short white coats that the medical students are required to wear on rounds, and a boatload of clinical textbooks. The school bookstore isn't open on Sundays and holidays. So I'll have to leave here by Thursday at the latest.

I'm not even packed with all the clothes and crap I need for my 3rd year. I don't even own a tie. My car needs an oil change before the 1500 mile drive. I have no idea where the stethoscope I bought last month is.

I jump out of bed in a panic and cold sweat, and call to my Mom if she knows where my suitcase is. Mrs. Grumpy yells "What the hell are you doing?!?"

Suddenly I'm wide awake. The only drive I have to face is the 2 miles to my office on Monday. This isn't my parents' house. I've been an attending physician for 11 years. I've just woken up the dogs. Snowball starts barking his stupid head off, waking up the kids.

No more deep fried ice cream before bedtime for me.

24 comments:

Mary Anne Gruen said...

LOL Definitely. No more deep fried ice cream before bed.

PharmacyJim said...

LOL, yep the flashbacks seem SO real. It must have been the ice cream. I have awakened in panic very similar to that many times. My favorite is that I am going in to take my final in Pharmacology, and I have not even attended the class all semester. I had fun in pharmacy school, but I did show up for class MOST of the time. Anyway, that dream (nightmare) still happens occasionally, and it's been 30 years since I graduated.

Anonymous said...

yikes, you too?

i've been out in the so called real world as an architect since 1991, but i still wake up in a panic that i need to be in studio working on my semester's project. inevitable the critique is the next day and i haven't started my design.

yikes

Kim Kasch said...

At least you weren't sitting naked in the classroom, waiting to take your final exam. Oh wait, that sounds even worse than I meant it.

I once showed up for a class that I had skipped out of ten minutes early at the last class, little did I know the teacher had announced a quiz-which needed a Scantron. Was I so not prepared...at least I had clothes on :)

And deep fried ice cream - for a doctor - you should know better :(

thegooddrlaura said...

I had a panic dream last night,too, medically related. Can't remember the details but I'm sure it had to do with being prepared for school. In my case it's because I have to start teaching the new 2nd year students TOMORROW and I need to go over the material today. Ugh. Studying again. Never ends.

C. said...

Several reoccurring panic dreams 1. I lose my HS class schedule and have no clue where my classes are. 2. lose my college schedule, or I fail out of college and dont get into law law school. Meanwhile graduated in 1996.

Nurse K said...

I just took a nap and had a dream that one of the ex-restricted license alcoholic docs was making out with me in the parking ramp. This may keep me from sleeping ever again.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that those involved in long school situations end up with nightmare dreams about school.

I was sick in last year of high school a lot in and out of consciousness and hospital. My nightmare was that when I finally returned I'd forgotten my locker combination and it was between classes and I was too embarrassed to ask the principal, so fumbling with locker combinations continued on and on until I finally stumbled upon one that worked or that the halls were dark.

Many years after graduation I'd wake in at 3:30 AM in a panic (increased respirations and heart rate, choking on drool) thinking I had a major presentation on an original research project due in two days, worried that my good suit fit, without adequate foundation garments, nor matching shoes, but preliminary literature review hadn't been done, topic still not chosen, and concerns about how to do the research, and in the dream madly coming up with 5-6 possibilities, but stumped as to how to make the plan for the next 48 hours work as well as bake the two dozen cookies for my child's school party.

Resolution (hopefully) of this particular dream came about a few years ago, after transferring my anxiety to nightmare scenarios of plans to get my younger son into college.

Maybe, latter nightmare will go away after son graduates, or some other aspect of life resolves.

I gave up on certain foods before bedtime when consumption prevented sleep altogether.

DreamingTree said...

I've had the same type of dreams, but worse yet is when I sleepwalk. Except, instead of sleep"walking," I take care of "patients." My poor husband has had me searching for an IV on him, walking around the room looking for his chart, and trying to assess him. The worst is when it dawns on me that I'm in bed with a patient. I sit there staring at him until I realize who he is and where I am. Freaks him out...

crankygoddess said...

I love it when I am sleeping, wake in a panic certain that I have missed a page to come in and circulate a case. That sick, cold sweat, heart pounding uuugghhh.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Breathe. Breathe.

NorthernMedic said...

This article could not have came is such a coincidence as I am starting my third year of medical school in the next two weeks,in Scotland, and I have 'THE FEAR' big time.

I've woken up in the night sweating over what is to come,surgery and psychiatry.I've panicked that I know nothing and have not the means to learn anything, and I too have lost my stethoscope for the upteenth time (it is now securely fastened to my desk)

Thanks for writing youbeegrumpy because it lets me know that at the end it is worth it!
...the curises etc not the numpty patients.

NorthernMedic.

ps I'd love to read more about your years in medical school.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure your mind isn't trying
to tell you something? Like getting
away from all of your crazy patients!

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I am a nurse and I always have dreams that I forger the combination to the med room, or I dream that during the recent construction on our floor they change the entire layout of our floor and I keep getting lost walking down these long hallways.

I still have nightmares about school many years later too.

By the way a friend directed me to your blog and I love reading it, your posts make me laugh out loud all the time. I hope you keep writing for a long time!

Wunderwoman said...

Oh man I don't think I can handle the dreams along with all the other stress..please tell me it ain't so:)

the misunderstood profession said...

Mine is always a term paper that is due in a week that hasn't been started yet (and assigned at the beginning of the semester) or a final exam covering the contents of the entire book (fill in subject here) that hasn't been cracked open yet. Been 9 years since pharm school, too. Make it stop!

Helen said...

But when you realize it's not actually happening, it feels SO good.

Flavius said...

You're making me feel good about my coming years. I just starting my P1 year in pharmacy school, ugh... can you have flash forwards?

-Flavius

Anonymous said...

Haha, similarly, I finished school this past May, but I still recently had the nightmare where I fail a semester because I didn't attend a class a class I didn't know I had. Or where I am late for the first day. Or I show up for a final I never attended class too.

So, I have to look forward to this still years from now??

C. said...

Dream all the time i have lost my locker combination. Any psychiatrists reading who can explain why so many of us have that dream?

Anonymous said...

After particularly busy night shifts in the hospital pharmacy, my tech would dream about compounding drips that she couldn't find the additives, or after making them labels mysteriously disappeared. She'd end up making drips over and over again all dream long.

(I really was not trying to make it tough on my tech! She was one of the best people I could ever have to go through a long 10 hour shift.)

Anonymous said...

Used to dream that I was still somewhere being shot at when I was certain that I should have been home since my overseas tour was over, finally quit dreaming that after about 30 years.
I guess the stress stays for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Try to fill the same prescription over and over all night long and never finish the darn thing! Been out of pharm school for less then a year, but it's the job that keeps me awake!

Anonymous said...

I have a recurring dream that I am working 24/7 at my 24 hour pharmacy and everytime I try to lay down on the counter and put a blanket over me at 3am...someone walks up to the counter or the doorbell rings, and I cry out, "Can't you see I'm trying to sleep!?" Fun times.

 
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