Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Some Additions To My Last Post: Turn On, Tune In, DROP OUT!

I forgot to mention some things in my last post. Yes, score another point for absent-mindedness.

The chronic underachiever can overachieve, albeit perhaps sporadically? I don't know if I was slightly hypomanic or if I simply wanted to do well but seeing as I did end up in the hospital for psychiatric reasons after the Statistics class post Anatomy and Physiology, I guess it could be 50/50. Anyway, I did a couple of things that I find particularly humourous while taking the A&P course. You may or may not agree.

First, I created a "study guide" that I shared with a couple of women in the class that became friends. They took one look at it and were shocked. They told me I would have no problem with the course. It was pages and pages long in an Excel document of all the terms that we had learned with definitions, mnemonics, cross-references to applicable diagrams/appendices in our two inch text book/additional material plus some other pages for more complicated subjects/systems of the body that were a little trickier to learn.

Second, we had a group assignment that was worth 10% of our mark. For some reason, one member of our group really wanted to do Huntington's Disease. Since it had something to do with the brain, I was happy. That was all I wanted--just something neuro related. Since I had the best grasp of that, everyone "volunteered" me for that portion. So I set about my research (outside of our basic textbook, of course) and began mapping how Huntington's affects the brain.

I was a little nervous because I hate group assignments. I'm not a control freak and it's not that I don't like working with people but I don't like having my marks in the hands of others. So one night, I sat in a bar, downed a few pints and roughly sketched out my pictue of the brain with a pen on a sheet of looseleaf. I had all the anatomy down and all the neurotransmitters with proper voltage channels etc... I'm no artist so it really looked like shit but it was all there. I took it in to my next class to show my professor just to make sure I was on the right track.

Now my professor knew about me being bipolar (the seizures and ADD hadn't been diagnosed yet.) I don't know why I had told her. I guess because Patient Anonymous has a weakness for attractive, intelligent women with Doctorate Degrees. I know, awful, isn't it? Also, I speak freely about who I am and I find how the brain works interesting and how my brain works interesting and in the context of what we were studying, well I guess I just thought she would be interested too haha. Maybe I was hypomanic...shades of grandiose thinking anyone?

Nonetheless, she was and we had great discussions about it and pretty much anything and everything else in the course. She really was an excellent professor. But when I showed her my drawing she was somewhat taken aback. She told me that it was "a bit much" and at the level of a 2nd or 3rd year Neuroanatomy course. She just looked at me and said quietly, "So smart..." And then told me that I really needn't put that much work into the project. I took it as a complement but was kind of confused by the work I had done. Was it really too much?

So I prepared a much simpler drawing, condensed a much shorter speech (part of the project) and answered the random questions that were posed (also part of the project) and scored 100%.

And as far as nursing goes, I wanted to work in palliative care.

2 comments:

Sisiphus said...

What a shame that you couldn't manage to complete the course and become a nurse. Palliative care and gerontology were two of my favourite jobs post qualification as a doctor. I wish that I had had the choice to continue medicine, general practice and now psychiatry....but as you are well aware, stress and bipolar illness don't make for good bedfellows.

Fondly,
Sisiphus

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi Sis, yes, the stress and bipolar were factors and also another thing that I took into consideration: the fact that I took on the "caregiver role" since birth to both of my parents. It made me rethink things and wonder if nursing would really be a *good* career choice for me or if I was just following a pattern that might be ultimately more destructive in the long run.

Thank you therapy for that little insight.