The semester is almost over, and I am immensely grateful for that. The last few months have been incredibly hard and I will be glad for a rest.
I found my clinical shifts to be the hardest part. Week after week, I was placed in situations that reminded me of the weeks I spent with Dad in the hospital, watching him fade. I almost left my ICU shift shortly after I walked in, I simply wasn't prepared for the onslaught of emotions that washed over me. I was close to tears, and it was sheer stubbornness that carried me through. After every shift I would spend the evening in tears, then fall into a restless, nightmare filled sleep. Getting up in the morning was nearly impossible.
The week after I returned to class, we began a lecture on multi system organ failure. For the next 4 hours, I sat in turbulent silence as my professor described, in minute, physiological detail, how and why Dad eventually died. Although a few tears escaped, I would not leave the classroom. I was too stubborn to admit that it was affecting me so badly, and too proud to ask for any allowances. I regret that now. I should have let myself go home to grieve in peace.
The semester will be over soon, I will have passed everything. My background in life sciences and as a first responder has allowed me to move through the term on autopilot, which I am eternally thankful for. Next year, I will be back to my normal self, and will not only pass everything, but once more, excel in everything. Dad would have been proud.