I went to my first Anatomy class today. If we rewind things to two nights ago watching Gilmore Girls with my boyfriend, waiting for pizza for dinner, I ate about half a piece and ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up. I was panicking. Did I have food poisoning? I hate throwing up. I can’t even fart in front of the guy let alone vomit in front of him.
“Maybe I should go home,” I thought to myself, kneeling by the toilet, waiting, waiting, waiting, my head spinning from the nausea.
A appeared in the doorway, and he knelt beside me. “I’ll be right here. No matter what happens,” he said calmly, and I could hear the love in his voice, as cheesy as that sounds. That man is there for me no matter what. In good times and in bad times. He’s always there. Always supporting me, always loving me, always being my best friend. I consider myself very lucky. In that moment, however, I felt unlucky, as another wave of nausea passed over me, my mouth was watering, stomach churning, and I swallowed hard, as if that would prevent anything from coming up the direction it went down.
“I don’t know why I feel sick. I don’t feel like I have a stomach bug. When I got food poisoning over the summer during my CNA program, I felt nauseated, had abdominal cramping that was severe, and I almost welcomed throwing up at that point. Anything to make the cramping go away. I had a fever, and I was exhausted. This time I don’t feel any of that. Just unexplained nausea.”
He took a moment, thought, and then asked me, “Are you stressed about anything? Is there anything on your mind?”
I considered this and then replied, “Yes, actually…I am stressed. I’ve been worrying about Anatomy.”
He nodded, because he understood exactly. He’s been with me on this journey for three years now. He has heard every single time I’ve mentioned that somebody in one of my classes told me a nightmare story about the Anatomy class, instructor, or work load. He was there when one of the instructors wrote me a nasty email that put me in tears when I asked a question about my transcripts not allowing me to add the class. He was there each and every time (four semesters, actually) that I tried getting into this impacted class and failed. He was there. For all of it. So he knew. He knew that this was one of two final classes I needed before I could apply to a nursing program, he knew it had a reputation at my school, and he knew I was terrified of it.
I had been internalizing my anxiety about that class the entire week. I tossed and turned at night.
The day before my class, A (unknowingly) posted my favorite quote from Corrie Ten Boom on my Facebook wall, about how worrying about tomorrow robs today of its strength. It was exactly what I needed to still myself.
So that night in the bathroom, he asked me if I was stressed, and I told him I was, he sat with me, calmed me, and talked with me about the class, putting things into perspective for me. As he talked to me, the nausea eased up, and we ended up migrating to the floor of my office with his dog running in and out wondering why we weren’t watching our show anymore (and when that wondering became simply too dull for her, she went in and ate my uneaten pizza…naughty, naughty).
A reminded me of all the things I have accomplished in adverse circumstances. He reminded me of the internal drive I have that is hard to match. He reminded me of the compliments the academic counselors at the JC have given me upon seeing my transcripts. He brought up the fact that I had a great private school education that taught me superb study skills. He told me he’d be proud of me if I earned my first B in all of college in this class, because it is so hard, and he told me that he’d be supportive of me the entire semester.
I marched my little booty to class this morning feeling nervous, and when I arrived, I soon discovered I wasn’t alone.
In order to cope with the first day horrors I had heard awaited me, I planned to write a blog entry detailing all of the drama. I planned to make this post entertaining, bringing light to the dire situation which I was certain I’d find myself in after this morning, and I planned to use this post to lift my spirits.
To be honest though, I didn’t have a problem with the class or the instructors. “She has a dry, bitter sense of humor,” people told me. “It’s hard to get past sometimes. She’s the worst the first week of class.” I found her humor to be mild and entertaining. “She sets unreasonably high standards and she’s mean.” Other people told me. But I found that she set practical, entirely reasonable standards, and she was very polite about it. She treated each person in the class like adults and had professional expectations.
So, I walked out of the class this morning knowing this would be academically challenging in the sense that the class is fast-paced, but it is nothing I haven’t done before with my microbiology or chemistry classes, having no former exposure to the material. I’ll have to study a lot. A LOT. I’ll go to lots of the extra lab hours, I’ll read material, take notes, re-write those notes, study my flashcards, replay the lectures…I’ll aim for the A and if I end up with a B, I’ll try to be okay with that (I know, hard for my perfectionist self).
I’ll write another post as the semester moves forward to update you on my progress on the class.