Blood, Sweat And No Ideas

exam stressIn a little over two weeks, I’ll be sitting what I hope will be my final ever exam. A three hour written paper.

Having the attention span of a gnat is proving problematic though.

I’ve spent hours (days, weeks) creating the most fabulous study notes. Colour-coded, bullet-pointed, succinct. They really are quite lovely. I settle myself down, ready to commit some facts to memory. And that’s the problem. My memory has taken a long sabbatical and I’ve got no idea when it’s coming back.

I read a few study points and my brain is full. Maybe I’ll just rest my eyes for five minutes. An hour later, I wake up with a start, study notes still clutched in my hands. All hope of absorbing essential nuggets of knowledge by osmosis fades. I look over past exam papers with a growing sense of horror. What hope do I have of writing dazzling answers when I can’t even understand the questions?

I had such high hopes when I started the university course six years ago. I whizzed through the first four years, feeling smug when I achieved pretty decent essay and exam scores. This was part of my Plan – a new career path which would grow alongside The Teenager, so come graduation, I would be ready for the next stage, an MA. Then, when The Teenager reached 16, I would step in to a wonderful new job.

Thanks to MS, those dreams now lie in tatters, and my so-called career path has become overgrown and inaccessible. But, hey, I’ve never been one to give up that easily. I’ll do something completely different. Just not quite sure what yet. A non-stressful job that utilises all my talents? I’m thinking cake tester (nah, not enough chocolate in that one, I’ll try the other one, ta very much) or a flat shoe expert, where I can try out the very latest styles and give them a thumbs up or down and keep the ones I like.

In the meantime, exam day is fast approaching and my brain is melting under the pressure. I daydream about what life will be like after 1pm on October 9th. I will be free! I will ceremoniously burn all my study notes and raise a toast to the last six years. Despite everything, I will have made it through.

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12 thoughts on “Blood, Sweat And No Ideas

  1. David says:

    Morning, nice piece and so much to do, you have a few things going for you, your blond from your pic, you have MS your witty an intelligent female, that’s what I used to tell Vicki.I’ve been up since 4am woke up both arms and hands were numb and tingly, so went down stairs had a coffee switched on the pc and started MS search at Imperial college, where due you stop there’s so much to look at, from brain tissue brain cell stem cell bone marrow. then it’s drugs time, so many to choose from, then there is RRMS, PMS ,REMS SPMS and PPMS, so many to choose, which one shall I have!!
    Try and have a good day, x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Aw, thank you. Mind you, must update photo – I’ve since gone darker and my boss thinks I look tipsy in it, the cheeky monkey.
      Have had a very productive day helping the boss paint (you missed a bit). He kept on mentioning me putting the radio on but I was enjoying chattering away to him. Wonder what he was hinting at?
      p.s. good luck with the research!

  2. Don’t worry, you are not the only one. The MS dinosaur has rum rampant through my memory compartment and now my short term memory is a thing of the past. Now I’m surrounded by lists.

    Anyway good luck with the exams. Out of interest have you told anyone at the exam board that you have MS? Its a well known problem.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Oh I love my lists! I have them absolutely everywhere. But I sometimes forget where I put them, meh.
      I had to tell the exam board last year and my wonderful MS nurse wrote a letter of extenuating medical circumstances, which was excellent. They base your scores according to how well you did in the previous four years. I’ve had to do the same again this year which is why I spent so long getting my essays as perfect as possible. Must admit, the OU have been great. Very supportive.

  3. most college/uni places will give you extra time for exams if needed. might want to ask them?

    the MS cog fog and crappy memory make me glad i’m sticking with art, dont have to think :p

    good luck with the exam when you do write it 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Funnily enough, I was thinking about that as my handwriting is also shot to pieces! Last year I loaded myself up with painkillers and just went for it. After three hours, I had had enough, lol.
      MS fog is a nightmare. In a way, I just want the exam to come round as quickly as possible so I can put the last six years behind me! And any excuse for a celebration 🙂

      • DSA will pay for someone to be a scribe for you. i had to talk to learner support at my college and they knew what to do. might be too late tho to apply since your exams are soonish :/

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I did look in to that but you’re right, I think I’ve missed the deadline! So much I’ve found out, help-wise and now I’ve got two weeks left, lol.

      • david says:

        Hi again just read a reply 10 years ago Vicki had a problem with her hands she said bloody MS so she used to type everything, grant application forms, cheques, because she was company secretary for a charity she made sure that it was excepted, woe betide any one argue.
        So being a multi tasking woman you can do anything, it can take time, just think of the champagne afterwards,x

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Very true. The best thing I ever did (apart from having The Teenager of course) was to learn touch typing. Been an absolute godsend. Except when the speech part of my brain plays up. It was the very first proper relapse I had, and not only affected my speech but the way I wrote words too. A lot better now, but still use the backspace key a lot!
          p.s. the thought of champagne (or Cava on my student budget) is keeping me going!!

  4. Jadey Fung says:

    Can’t believe you got a letter written for you from a doctor!!! :-O OMG! I pleaded with my tutors at uni and STILL got nothing!!! BUT congrats all the same!! 😀 *sigh* STUPID ms, WOULD have to ruin my life! :-((( Meh we live to learn! 😀

    • stumbling in flats says:

      So sorry to hear that!
      I find it’s easier to get a letter from the MS nurses than from my neurologist. They’re brilliant. I had to get another one for uni to update my file (strange as MS is still not curable, lol), and they were as good as gold.

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