Thursday, August 4, 2011

the NCLEX and the center of the world: this much i know

i took my NCLEX on tuesday. i was more peaceful and calm going into it than i have EVER been taking any test, so i felt ready to conquer it. i had breakfast with my husband (btw, great harvest makes the most delicious european style hot chocolate!), and drove to the test center feeling really good about passing. i sat down to take the test, and got thru the first 75 questions no problem. i knew that if it shut off at 75, i had a 90 percent chance that i passed, so i was feeling great. i knew every question! so when it didn't stop at 75, i remained calm. i knew a friend had gotten 160-ish, so i was determined not to panic. I kept going thru the questions, which kept getting more and more difficult (a good sign on the nclex), certain it was going to stop any minute. at 100 questions, I was still going strong, taking my time, and for certain getting correct answers. Since the questions kept increasing in difficulty (i studied three hours a day for months, got great practice test grades, and was an excellent student, and I had not even heard of some of the things they were asking at this point), I began getting confused as to why it was not stopping.

at 150, I decided to stop watching the counter.

at 199, I began to panic. my horror increased with each question.

it was not stopping.

and by 205, I was full-on crying. My brain was so tired, and i knew the questions were not going to stop until i reached the full 265. I didn't know if they were getting harder or easier anymore, because they all seemed horribly confusing.

by 255, I barely made it to the end. barely made it out of the testing center to my car before i fell apart. i knew that when you get the full questions, they only look at the very end ones to decide your passing/failing, so all the ones I knew I did well on did not really count. i was getting tons of EKG strips and lung sounds on the last few, not my strongest points, and i was crying, so i knew it was not my finest moment. i had prayed right before i went in, "Lord whatever happens, please just don't make me get the long test!"

God said no.

I came home, cried for a really long time, watched three episodes of grey's anatomy, ate chocolate, and took a nap. I was devastated. but I have a husband and friends who don't let me wallow (I have great friends and the best husband in the whole world), and I got up. I kept moving, I went on a date with my sweet husband, and I moved forward with life. Life doesn't stop for disappointments. It keeps moving. Dishes still need to be done, groceries purchased, clothes put away, laundry done. and i realized that the nclex is not the center of the world. it seemed like it was for months. and to be sure, it was important. but its not the most important thing in the world. it's really not.

i have a friend whose sister had brain surgery this week, to remove a mass. she's 21 years old. the doctors were able to get the mass out, and she has only minor vision problems now.

family friends almost lost their 17 year old daughter on an O.R. table this month. she's alive today, and she looks more beautiful than ever.

another friend lost her infant daughter recently. she had to plan a funeral for a tiny person when she should have been planning a baby shower. they are grieving.

and one of our dearest friends was hit by a car this month. he is relearning how to do everything. his wife woke up on their 2 year anniversary knowing she may never have her husband back. he's learning to walk again.

Those are the important things.

this i know: i woke up this morning in the arms of my husband, under the roof of our cozy home, feeling our precious little one wiggling to tell me good morning. we are blessed beyond measure.

even when God says no. He is the center of my universe, and the nclex is a minor blip on the line of eternity. this i know is true. always.

1 comment:


Grace, this is wonderful! We do forget the important things many times and put other stuff in the middle of our circle that's way down on the importance list. Thank you for pointing this out and for sharing your heart. With God's help and timing you'll master that test.