Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why I Flatulate

Many of you have oft questioned my air passing ways. Now, thanks to my dear 2nd mom DA, you have an excellent, SCIENTIFIC explanation as to the reason. I expect that all of you will leave me alone after this. I thank you very much.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alleluia and AMEN!

I knew the day would have to arrive eventually - 9 hours at a testing center computer, walking around with my pockets turned out all day so no "banned items" were brought into the "Secure testing zone". They are hardcore about their "test security"! But, the day came (Wednesday) and here we are - it is now Thursday and I am still alive, albeit feeling much much much lighter and happier and unstressed! Alleluia and Amen!!

For those of you wondering what I'm talking about - I took the USMLE Step 2 CK yesterday. That's a mouthful and stands for United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 2 Clinical Knowledge. In July I took the USMLE Step 2 CS, which is Clinical Skills - 12 standardized patients (actors) act out symptoms and you have to demonstrate your knowledge of communication, history taking and physical exam techniques. That was about an 8 hour day as well. But yesterday's exam was my big hurdle due to my severe testing anxiety, and now it is done! Alleluia and Amen!!!

But by the grace of God, I was calm all day, even for the first block! The way the blocks are set-up are 44 questions for each one hour block - there are 8 of those. And there is a 9th one-hour block that you can split up however you want as break time. Since each block is 44 questions, in my mind I have set-up each block not to be an hour, which is totally unmanageable, but rather, as 15 minute, 11 question blocks. I can handle 15 minutes - in fact, I can manhandle it and wrestle it to the ground and stomp on it until it taps out. And that's exactly what I did yesterday. I was PUMPED. I did 2 blocks, then took a 10 minute break. Then another 2 blocks and a 20 minute break. Then another 2 blocks and a 10 minute break. By this time my brain was really showing wear and tear because when I started my 7th block, words were blurring on the screen and I was reading, but not comprehending a thing. The 7th block was a struggle and I only had about 5 minutes of break time left, but I used it all before starting the 8th and final block of the day.

Now the waiting game begins - I will HOPEFULLY find out within the next 3-4 weeks that I passed both CK and CS. That's right, even though I took CS in July, results don't come out until October for that one. For CK, results can be sent anywhere from 3-6 weeks after the test. It is a waiting game but nothing you can do about it, so no reason to stress about it, either. At least I can relax for a few weeks! And to that I say Alleluia and Amen!!!

Many thanks to my host family in La Habra!!! Auntie J packed me a HUGE lunch with all sorts of power brain food to nibble on during breaks. Got me through the day - so if you see her, give her a big hug and say thanks! And my lovely sister-like CY had decorated the bathroom mirror with all sorts of inspirational post-it notes so when I woke up before my test, my mind was set right to succeed. Give her a huge hug too!!! And thanks to any of you who have sent me encouraging texts and emails and prayers - while I won't blame anyone if I didn't pass, I DO want you to know that my success is interwoven with and dependent upon your support and love and encouragement. My success is due to the amazing family and friends I have. So, a big THANK YOU to all of you and a huge Alleluia and Amen!!!!