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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Celebration: Doing it Wrong

Remember how when I resigned from my job I celebrated by enduring my annual gynecologist exam? This is like that. Only worse.

Yesterday, I took my final final. I freaked out twice before it started. Once because my ever-so-helpful GPS takes ten years to acquire satellites. Maybe quit trying to negotiate acquisition and just borrow them for positioning, okay? Because I was only going about 6 miles away, it never DID figure out where the hell I was until I was already there. And until I had already called Joe completely spazzed out that maybe I was going the wrong way and why hadn't I bothered to check the directions before I left because I thought it was safe to rely on the GPS YOU bought me so really it's all your fault if I miss my exam and fail and die. All this over a 6 mile trip that involved exactly 3 turns.

Freakout #2 occurred once I arrived successfully at the testing center. My exam was open book, open notes. This handy information was written all over the syllabus and course instructions. I even verified it with the exam proctor last Wednesday. So imagine my complete meltdown surprise when she told me that I wasn't allowed to have anything but a pencil in the testing room! Wait, umm, what? She showed me where it said exactly that. I insisted she go back to her desk and check because I had verified with her on Wednesday. She said she'd call the school. Brilliant, since it was 9am at my undisclosed east coast location and only 6am at my California-based university. In the five minutes it took her to find the cover sheet indicating that indeed my study materials were allowed, I was already figuring out how to deal with failure.

The exam itself wasn't too bad, though it was hella-long. There were 16 questions. 17 if you count the fact that there were 2 completely different questions that the genius professor numbered as 15. Each was an essay, usually with multiple parts. The final question had 10 parts to it! I finished and probably did just fine but I hate feeling so rushed.

The rest of the day was fine. I did some final online shopping for Joe. Invoiced a client. Watched a marathon of something on HGTV. Enjoyed a lovely celebration dinner cooked by my husband, read a book, and went to bed.

It was in bed that I had the worst panic attack I've experienced in approximately a year. I've had attacks that seemed horrible but this was completely back in the old territory. Immediate freakout with no clear trigger. Stomach in knots. Cold sweat. Shallow breathing. All of the intense physical reaction that comes over my body over the span of 30 seconds. The longest and shortest 30 seconds ever, as I feel what's happening and I try to fight it but it can't be stopped. Joe brought me a chill pill and I eventually settled down.

I'm fine this morning. In fact, I'm going shopping at a busy plaza as soon as I hit post. The type of shopping plaza that makes me uncomfortable with crowds and traffic and craziness. The kind that brings on anxious feelings. But today is the 21st and the crowds won't decrease between now and Saturday so it must be done.

So off I go, fingers crossed that last night was an anomaly. Terrified that it wasn't. Determined to keep going.

P.S. No idea when I'll have an actual grade on that exam or receive my actual program completion. And in the calmness of this morning, it's easier to recognize what I've achieved. And easier to be so glad that school is over!

6 comments:

Princess Andy said...

you shouldn't have ever doubted that you were right and she was wrong.

that never happens.

and it totally sucks nuts to not know why an anxiety attack triggers...this is why i keep my reeeeelax pills at hand.

i'm glad you feel better today:)

a<3'scate!

Juniper said...

Hope the exam results are good - I can imagine the blood draining when she said 'only a pencil' !!! and god, how long did it take you to write an essay to that many questions?!?

I've only ever had one panic attack, during a short spell of taking anti-depressants; I was in the middle of supermarket at the time. Pretty scary stuff. I take it from your comments that you've been prone to them before?

I hope you survived the shopping!

Jx

soulbrush said...

Popped in to wish you and yours a very merry Xmas and ahppy and healthy 2011. Miss my six word saturdays, but it's been good staying away from all blogging for about 4 months. may be back -who knows? lotsa hugs xxx

Kelly L said...

peace to you and here's to a great grade.

Merry Christmas!
Kelly
I've Become My Mother

Mim said...

I too have only had one panic attach but it was awful and confusing.

but happy holidays to you, and good luck on the exam

Toriz said...

At least it's over now!