I have finally adjusted to working nights, well at least as best I can. However, I think my body still gets a little confused. I try really hard and hold it together for the patient's and their families sake. I speak coherent sentences, I avoid yawning when talking to them, I write down what I want to tell the docs before I page them to avoid the dreaded,
"Oh yes, hi Dr. X. I'm calling about, umm, patient, in room.......oh, room.....X. "
Over the last few hours the trends have been X, do you think we should try X?
Well, their labs have been....one second please, they have been.....uhh, shoot, I need to pull them up...
You get the picture. So I get my job done, but when it comes to taking care of myself, I'm a bit of a train wreck.
I still haven't trained my body to eat at 3 or 4 a.m. breakfast? dinner?; I’m back on the caffeine wagon (coffee and tea, still NO SODA!); and my bladder gets neglected.
Take, for example, Wednesday night.
→Upon arriving at work, I was sipping a large coffee from Dunkin Donuts (7:30pm).
→My stomach is growling (midnight), but I'm in the middle of burn care.
→I want to eat something, but realized I forgot my food at home, all hospital food areas are closed, and I can't go outside because I'm in my scrubs (certain units wear hospital issued scrubs for infection control and cannot go outside in them, or else they have to change...and who has time for that?!?! (1:30 am)
→I scrounge $1 in change for the vending machine, and stand there aimlessly looking, seeing NOTHING appealing. I don't usually eat this prepacked heart attack in a package crap, and I don't intend to start now (at almost 2am)
→I notice some sunflower seeds (hey, protein and a little bit of health oils). I hit F6. Cha Ching! Food. I open the bag and pop the seeds in my mouth. They feel a little odd, and kind of gritty in my teeth, but I just figure it's been a while since I ate sunflower seeds, but I’m ravaged and the salt tastes so good. However, the seeds do seem rather large in size. I wolf down a palm full of seeds and head back to my patients, just in time for 2am vitals.
I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, when all of a sudden I am hit with these awful stomach pains. My stomach feels so bloated, and the pains are radiating to my sides. WEIRD. I run to the bathroom, nothing. I go back to work, moving slowly because I feel like I'm going to pop. I grab some TUMS, they DON'T help!
At this point it's 4:30 am and I'm riding the nausea wave. Not being able to hold out any longer, I bolt to the bathroom and heave....and out it comes! (sorry, TMI). So what do I see? Hmm, interesting...seeds, lots and lots of seeds, and these woody looking things, ick!
I go to my locker to get my toothbrush and see the rest of the seeds in my bag. Clearly, I won't be eating these, so I pick up the package to toss them. Just out of curiousity, I look to see the expiration date. Maybe they were bad? Nope, they were good, at least until 9/2008. But wait! What does the package say? Oh yes people, "To eat, simply crack open the shells, remove seeds and enjoy!"
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!?!? Well, mystery solved, I ate the shells.
So now, just like I always check meds before giving them to my patients, I'll check my food before I eat it.
So folks, that's my sotry.