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Just a Stressful Wednesday Morning

This past Wednesday morning I woke up at 8:10 am, which is unfortunate because my Anesthesia lab started at 8:00.  But let's back up a bit.  To understand the circumstances that turned a simple instance of over-sleeping into full-out, blinding panic, you need to know two things: this past week was already extremely stressful, and I love goats. 

For second year students, this week was our first of three rounds (better words might include storm, blitz or barrage) of tests this semester.  Now, I've been in school for a while, so I've got the strategy down: hunkering down in the trenches, turning from one subject to the next, taking enough breaks to stay sane.  At the beginning, it's not so bad; you feel good.  But towards the middle (for me Tuesday night) it starts to take a turn.  The second test of the week was on Wednesday in Pathology, the study of disease and disease processes, a class that always provides pretty difficult exams for us to throw ourselves against.  Not to mention that this test would include reproductive, cardiovascular and kidney pathology, three of the most complex and intricate systems of the body.  So Tuesday was a pretty long night, but in the face of a difficult test, I was actually still looking forward to Wednesday because I would get to play with goats.

I don't exactly know why I like goats so much.  Not many people get it, but I've been their biggest fan since I raised two in high school for FFA.  And in Anesthesia lab this week we were going to get the chance to perform an epidural on a goat.  No, these goats were not about to give birth.  An epidural is when you inject analgesic (pain-killer) into the space around the spinal cord to prevent feeling when performing surgery.  So not only was I going to get the chance to do a really cool, exciting procedure, I was going to get to perform it on my favorite animal.

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what happened to my alarm that morning.  I know for a fact that I set it.  But that's all I've got.  Did the power go out?  Did I turn it off in a session of stress-induced sleepwalking?  Did gremlins sneak into my room to sabotage me?  Anyways, all that matters is that my alarm didn't go off, and I not only woke up late, but woke up 10 minutes after the lab had started.  To say I rushed would be an understatement.  I'm not sure how I did it, but I was in the lab ready to go at 8:25.  That's fifteen minutes in which I realized I was late, threw on a pair of scrubs (which must have been invented for just such an emergency), brushed my teeth (because no matter how late I am, I cannot leave the house with my breath smelling like that), drove to the school (which in all normal circumstances takes a minimum of 10 minutes) and ran completely across the vet school to the basement of the Small Animal Hospital where our lab was. 

The true miracle of it all is that I hadn't even missed anything yet.  My group members hadn't even gotten the goat out yet.  And that is the story of how I almost didn't get to give an epidural to a goat.  (I should take this moment to thank the Powers That Be that my test wasn't until 11:00 and not at 8:00.  Otherwise this would have been a much less fun story to tell….)