Saturday, June 1, 2013

Floating Thru Nights

Have you noticed the blog silence recently?  Two weeks have passed without a peep.  In typical fashion, my absence directly correlates with longer hours at the hospital.  For the past two weeks I'm been in vampire land - aka night float.  I've written about night float in the past, but essentially one junior resident is responsible for all of the inpatient ortho patients as well as seeing consults.  The last time I was that lucky person was in November, and overall it was a fairly quiet two weeks.  I spent the majority of the nights curled up in the fetal position feeling as though I was dying from the flu.  This time around summer weather has arrived, which translates to very busy nights.

I am  by far a day-time person.  Anyone who knows me well understands that I'm an early rising, 5am workout loving, seize the day, morning latte sipping, generally cheerful girl who isn't ashamed of her 9pm week night bedtimes.  It's pretty much a guarantee that I'm asleep within just a few minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  Night float, however, pretty much turns my world upside down.  Suddenly I'm working 15 hour stretches overnight and then trying to cram sleep and workouts into the remaining 9 hours of the day.

I've tried to remain committed to my workouts despite the flipped schedule and so far that's worked out pretty well - fitting in the swim/bike/run either immediately when I get off in the morning or mid-afternoon before I head to work.  Sleep on the other hand has been a struggle.  I have no trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep in the brightness of day is a challenge.  Despite "black out curtains" (a complete scam!), ear plugs, and an eye cover, there's no fooling this girl.  As week two of nights came to a close, I'm finally making progress - now sleeping until about 2:30ish rather than noon.  Maybe I'm capable of being a night owl after all . . . NO THANK YOU!

Enough rambling - my brain is too fuzzy for that.  Here are just a few thoughts I'll share from the past two weeks:

Owning a motorcycle is the equivalent of making a death wish.  I've seen farm too many life-altering traumas this week resulting from the two-wheeled machine.  Of course it doesn't help that people try to operate them either drunk or stoned out of their mind.

"Cool beans" is probably not the appropriate response when you page me at 3am to ask me if a patient can take their home multi-vitamin and I give you a frustrated response.  I'm pretty sure the patient is probably sound asleep and not too concerned about their recommended daily allowances of B12 and calcium right at that particular moment.

My normally ravenous hunger completely disappears when working nights.  I eat because I know I need to, but the stomach growling and love for my next meal just simply isn't there.  "Breakfast" when I wake up in the afternoons is usually a piece of peanut butter toast or smoothie which I force down.  "Lunch" is whatever the hospital specialty is at 1am (i.e. nothing good or worthy of consumption).  My second "breakfast" before heading home in the mornings is some cereal or yogurt and fruit.  Exciting, right?  My refrigerator is almost bare with the exception of some eggs, a couple apples, a bag of carrots, and some almond milk.

Boy am I glad the weekend has arrived!  Last Friday night I passed out at 10:30pm and didn't wake up until 11am Saturday.  This is coming from a girl who has probably never slept in later than 9:30am in my entire life!  Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on sleep, yet avoid sleeping the whole weekend away.  I've been planning some fun into the weekends, including a co-resident's wedding, a work party at Cantina 1511, and a baby shower.

Today and tomorrow I plan to soak up the early summer sunshine and find the motivation to power through some workouts.  My next race is just two weeks away - Tri Latta.  And then of course there is an essay I have to write about my individual ability to impact the financial conundrums facing the healthcare industry - a response to "The Bitter Pill" that Times Magazine published several months ago.  Sounds riveting, right?  Pretty sure that is a hopeless cause . . . both the paper and the healthcare crisis, that is.

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