Sanity Break


Only one of these is from Starbucks. It’s the coffee.

Just kidding. Of course, it’s the cookie. My roommate gave it to me earlier as I was walking to school. She had woken up earlier than we did to study at Starbucks. Apparently, she bought two cookies and decided to give the other one to the first person she bumped into. It’s my lucky day. :)

Now, that coffee is making me look like I don’t have plans to sleep anymore forever. I just suck at mixing instant coffee with my usual ingredients. My coffee maker broke down. My printer is crying out to me. Everyone is on vacation mode except for me. I still have exams for around three more weeks. And it’s just starting now. Exams start tomorrow and here I am, having a sanity break. I have to stuff the contents of that stack of papers (pictured) in my head in a week’s time. My roommate is beside me, studying aloud. I’m thinking of just leeching by listening to her, but that’s not gonna work. I have yet to master all those viruses and drugs for microbiology and pharmacology but I’m not even panicking right now. A headache is also underway. Christmas is not yet around the corner. Failing grades are… if I don’t sign out right now.

Burnt out

I’m not studying anymore. It’s Sunday night, my exams are on Thursday. I have yet to really start on Neurology. At the moment, I’m not feeling any sense of urgency anymore. I have been studying (pulling all-day-ers) for the past few days and I guess it can be a bit draining. Either I need some real rest or I need a slap. I know how God values rest. I have been flooded with messages about the Sabbath back then, but I have just been ignoring it. I used to think it’s less stressing to study because it means I’m getting things done, but now I’m just… drained.

Chicken and Beer

I just had chicken and beer with my roommate. I’ve been dying to try this combination since I watched My Love From Another Star. In the show, it was her and her dad’s way to unwind, but she has been restricting herself because of the calories in fried chicken.

I don’t really drink beer. I used to prefer wine but I’m not much of an alcoholic drinker. I don’t seek to get wasted after a school year to celebrate either. I don’t want to spend the end of the year trying not to puke. But wine can be relaxing at times, just not in excessive amounts. Plus, when you feel like you want to role-play as adults, it’s a funny thing to do, especially with your mom.

It is a pretty good combination. We watched a few episodes of FRIENDS with it, and now I can’t get back to studying because the letters are blurring. Plus, I’ve been avoiding Neurology for the second day in a row now, successfully, too. I think I’m gonna call it a day. I was supposed to have training for swimming tomorrow early morning but it got cancelled because our coach was stranded somewhere with a bomb threat. I do hope she’s okay.

The beer is relaxing but when I think about exams, I’m still panicking. The good thing is that my body isn’t going with it, unlike when I drink coffee. I can kind of feel my blood flowing through my veins and I get conscious of my breathing. It’s not good, but I just have to deal with it when I cannot afford to sleep. Anyway, panic and coffee go together. They should get married.

My social life is in a state of necrosis. I’ve been studying all day. We have no classes, thanks to this one-week (we, unlike the rest of the students of this country, had classes for two days) holiday for APEC. I see a lot of my Facebook friends in different parts of the country or of the world, and for the first time, I find myself shocked that I didn’t envy them one bit. For some weird reason, not studying stresses me out. I’m glad about it because setting a schedule is actually effective for my productivity. Getting up, getting ready, and getting to work immediately first thing in the morning is the key to not let laziness follow you around all day.

Except I just watched Madagascar with my mom and now, I can’t seem to go back to my study materials again. Especially since the next subject on my schedule is Neurology. I don’t like Neurology because it doesn’t like me. I know my grades are in peril for that subject, but I can’t seem to be motivated by failure. I tend to shy away from it and hope the chips fall at the right place. It’s stupid. I should be working on Neuro right now. We also went out for dinner to support a friend’s newly-opened restaurant. My thoughts then veered to my social life, and that’s what I concluded it to be – in a state of necrosis.

That’s what’s hard about med school. My college friends went on a trip out of town today. I declined at the last minute because I wasn’t able to follow my schedule. I didn’t regret it and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m also broke, so I guess I don’t have a choice. If Christmas has a downside, it’s that I never spend wisely for it. Maybe I should allot a Christmas fund starting October next year. I like giving people gifts. I like looking around to buy stuff for my loved ones. It just sucks when I can’t afford them.

I might just be distracting myself by rambling. I wish I’d get sleepy soon so I’d have an excuse to call it a day. But no. I had a lot of sleep last night and I just had coffee. It’s working again because I withdrew from it for a few weeks (by drinking only twice a week). I didn’t know it’d be potent again.

I’m not crazy about the idea of having a month-long vacation, though, after the exams. I hate having nothing to do. I can’t really rest and enjoy my free time because my family makes me run around and do stuff for them. I may have my own plans for the break but the house need a helping hand. Hmm, maybe I should pray for that – for me to have an open helping hand, without hesitation, always happy to do it.

I should get back to Neurology. I can’t give it a reason to hate me.

I am scared of and for the world

I know I usually rant about petty things about med school, but this time, I’m thinking about the world. I have mixed thoughts about it. I don’t really know what to think. Despite the busyness, for the first time, scrolling Facebook has done some good because it has kept me informed about the world.

It reminded me of something my mom said which came from the Bible, from Matthew 24:

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

It’s not the first time something terrible has happened to the world. Terrible things happen every day. I live in a country where it’s not generally safe to walk outside at night. I’m not saying the end of the world is nearing (though it may be; I’m convinced it is nearing). Recent events merely reminded me of those verses.

Of course, my initial response was to get scared. I didn’t want to be blown up by terrorists (many of whom presumably live in my country), especially since I have yet to fulfill my dreams. But that reason kinda sucks. Everything that’s happening is beyond me. All I know is that I’m sad and scared of the world. I’m sad about how broken it is, and I’m scared to face it. Especially since the verses continue like this:

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I’ve always believed this world is broken, but God loves us despite it all. I experienced it. I know Him. I have a relationship with Him. I’ve come to realize I’m not perfect, but He is. Though I can never be perfect, His grace is everlasting. I can always ask for forgiveness, but of course, I also pray every day for me to change, to help me choose Him every day. What I’m saying may sound complex and broad at the same time, but really, it started with my approaching Him, talking to Him, making that extra effort to pray, and then, it just became effortless. He was a part of every minute of my life. It was not an obligation or a chore. I enjoyed talking to Him. I found inexplicable joy at the thought that He loved me. I discovered that one of the best reasons He is worthy to be praised is because He loves those who aren’t worthy of it, people like me. He loves when I simply can’t. He loves to the point that He gave His Son to die for us. Imagine if Jesus didn’t die on that cross. Imagine if He hadn’t conquered death. Imagine if He just told us He could do it because He’s God but He actually did not? My goodness, that was the greatest sacrifice ever. I remember that every time I am hostile towards someone – Jesus gave His life up for me, for people who didn’t love Him, for people who didn’t dare look at Him, or worst: for people who hated Him. All we really have to do is accept that love. I didn’t have anything to lose.

I just hope He helps me overcome my fears, especially those of this world, and that in everything I do, I will be reminded of Him, and that everything I do will actually be for Him and His glory.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Broke down again

What’s new? I’m getting used to this, I’m not even scared of having them anymore. It’s like they’re a normal part of my routine. Yup, that sounds redundant but it was necessary. Since I had put off work for the whole day, I might as well take a few minutes to organize my thoughts.

I always thought it was my fault I never get any work done when I go home. I usually stay in the condo with three roommates on weekdays. I do procrastinate on weekends, and I thought it was a bad habit I had to get rid of. That holds true, but now, I’m starting to think it’s not entirely my fault. I just told my mom I never get any work done at home because they treat me like an extra maid. I go home to do our family’s laundry, fold our clothes and do the ironing. I drive people around whenever they want, even in the wee hours of the morning. At home, I don’t get any rest because they don’t give me rest. I don’t even have my own room. My desk is filled with my mom’s papers scattered all around. I’ve asked for a working space, but no. Boxes and piles of trash occupy more than one room in our house (and my grandma even had a room built at the backyard for her stuff) but none for me. I like talking to them, but when they think I can concentrate on reading while they shoot me different questions or favors, they thought wrong. The worst part about it is I AM IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. ME-DI-CAL. SCHOOL.

I just realized I might have been procrastinating all along because I’m anticipating their barking orders at me. That’s exactly what happens. What’s even more bothering about it is that they barge in and make it seem urgent as if I’m really the only one they’ve got. I always thought med school was my Hogwarts. I love it but it’s so damn exhausting. Exams are our dementors. The only difference is that I’m not maltreated at home. Nope, nothing like that. I love my family. But the cupboard part? That’s almost accurate.

I’m both disappointed and proud of myself with how I reacted. Proud because I was silent the whole time about it. I kept my feelings and thoughts to myself. I feared that if I talked about it, I’d end up saying things I don’t mean. I’m disappointed because I believe mindsets can be changed. I wish I reacted to it differently. I know God is in control and that I should trust Him. I seriously don’t know what He’s trying to teach me here. Maybe it has something to do with the Sabbath, trusting Him, and resting on Sundays. It might just be that. Right now, I have two case analyses and a pedia paper for tomorrow, all have yet to be started.

No sense of urgency

Yup. That’s what I don’t have at the moment even though I still have a ton of stuff to do, I’m really behind on my drugs and viruses right now, and in a few days, exams will be in two weeks, followed by finals. I skipped swimming training because I’m sitting in the pool of my own blood, and I’m thinking of coping both by reading the Bible (which is always a must) and watching Jurassic Park. I just watched Jurassic World again last weekend while ironing clothes, and I loved it. I seriously still love dinosaurs.

I’m feeling a bit off at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m hormonal or I’m agitated because the coffee has yet to wear off. I’m surprised withdrawal still works for me. I used to drink it every day back then and then I stopped. I wanted it to be effective again when I needed it, and now, I seem to be successful. I’m literally agitated. Now I’m just thinking things and wondering why I hate cardiac markers.

A while ago, we had a small-group discussion for neurology, and for the first time, we were NOT fried alive by our preceptor. We, as a group, always seem to land the worst and strictest preceptors. Signs of trauma are evident, proven by how we don’t speak for the fear of being wrong. But this open-minded pediatric neurologist changed the game. It was fun to learn without being terrorized for a change.