For the first time in a long time I woke up this morning with absolutely zero looming-exam anxiety. Constant examinations were so common to me that the lack of them is now what feels strange. I am coming down from my high–all of the endorphins and hormones that are released in the days leading up to and in the process of taking multiple three hour exams are slowly metabolizing away. My stress cleanse.

Speaking of hormones, I recently met with what I thought was supposed to be an introduction to alternative medicine techniques that might be able to complement my POTS treatment. However, as I began explaining my symptoms to a world renowned electrophysiology cardiologist MD/PhD-turned-alternative medicine expert who also happens to work at my medical school — he asked if I had ever been checked for a pheochromocytoma. A pheo!? We just learned about this in our endocrine section. This type of adrenal medulla tumor is highly unlikely (we are talking one in a million here) but I agreed to indulge him and check for it. It is a simple 24-hour urine test. Except you have to do a 3 day caffeine cleanse. I am barely on day two and already having withdrawals! I would kill for a cup of coffee or a soda right now. Heck, I’ll even settle for some hot tea, but no, that is banned as well. Interestingly, my do not eat list also includes avocados, tomatoes, eggplant, bananas, walnuts and plums. There goes my typical daily meal!

I think I’ll use my required cleanse as a jumping off point to just re-group this week. When we get back from spring break the only thing remaining between me and the end of first year is a neuroscience course and the rest of anatomy and genetics. I want to finish out strong! This week is all about rest and relaxation–since hanging out at the hospital is relaxing and fun–I am throwing that into the mix. Spending Tuesday night with a shift in the Emergency Department is the best R&R I could think of.


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