Sunday, November 18, 2007


Less than 12 hours from now, I will be taking yet another set of examinations. As usually, I am not concerned about the first, which focuses on diseases covered during small group discussions, but I am concerned about the second. The second exam tomorrow is another customized NBME exam. Though, I did well on the first customized NBME, I'm worried that the faculty "went easy" on us since it was the first one.

My gut is telling me that the faculty is going to go to the opposite extreme this time -- that they've selected the toughest questions from the available pool. My gut's telling me that I don't know the material well enough to execute another knock out performance. Then again, my lactose intolerant gut may just be cursing me for that scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream I just ate.

Why did I do that? Why??

But, I know I'm really stressed about this exam because my eyelids keep twitching. That's right, my left upper lid and, sometimes, my right lower lid have lost their mind. It's the most annoying thing I've ever experienced. Every now and then, I have to stop reading because the twitching is so out of control!

I decided to look further into this eye twitching, so I looked up "eyelid twitch" on the trusty MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia and discovered a great new medical term: blepharospasm. Blepharospasm is the repeated, rhythmic contraction of the eyelid muscles. It's most commonly caused by fatigue, stress and caffeine. Check, check, and check.

Apparently, it can get to the point where the eyelids actually close and then re-open, i.e., you blink. Let's hope it doesn't get to that point. I don't want the professors, or fellow classmates, thinking that I'm winking at them. Though, now I have a good excuse for when I'm in one of Dr. F's lectures. "No, I'm not winking at you. I have blepharospasm."


NotMySecondOpinion said...

I recently learned some cool things about your new favorite word Blepharospasm, so I thought I'd share the love :)
It's on the ddx for ptosis (though I imagine a drooping eyelid looks entirely different from a spasmed eyelid.)
The treatment? Botox. (It was one of the original indications for botox before the cosmetic industry found out about the antiwrinkling effects!)

stinky said...

so how did this round of tests go?

Anne said...

Well, we have both been MIA. I hope your exam went fabulously, and that your holidays were full of merry. Perhaps the extra sleep helped cure the blepharospasm.

DC Med Student said...


Yes, Botox is indicated for the treatment of all sorts of conditions including strabismus ("cross eyes"), vocal cord spasms, and excessive underarm sweating. What an amazing little toxoid!

DC Med Student said...


The last round of exams before the winter break went very well. I got my H!

DC Med Student said...


Yes, the exams went very well (see previous comment). Thanks for asking. And yes, the extra sleep over break put an end to the blepharospasm. :o)

Hope all is going well in the application process for you. I'll have to check out your blog soon.