I’m drunk all the time.
I’m drunk all day long.
I’ve been drunk for weeks now.
Not really. I’m just sleep deprived, but if feels the same.
I was born an hypersommniac. I doubt that word exists for real but it’s what describes me. I love to sleep, it’s the ultimate pleasure for me. I love the feeling of slowly falling asleep and never knowing exactly when you fall, I love my vivid, colourful long dreams, I love my comfy bed. And although right now I said that with a somewhat nostalgic tone, I remember myself thinking this even when I’ve been in vacations and do nothing all day. Even when not tired at all, I could put my head on a pillow and fall fast asleep within minutes at almost any hour. I’m borderline narcoleptic. I’m able to sleep over 17 hours in a row if I get the chance. My mom says she never slept more as when she was pregnant with me. I was born to sleep. I believe insomnia is the worst torture ever.
Still, I would conform with the regular 6 – 7 hours a night sleep time. But ironically I ended up choosing things that go against my nature. Like being a medical intern.
I’m currently doing 36 hour shifts every third day, and still working 16 hours a day when there’s no shift. That’s over 120 hours a week. That’s an average of 3 – 4 hours of sleep when there’s no shift, and ZERO on the shift. There’s no more monday, tuesday, wednesday. Now there’s only Pre-shift day, shift day, post-shift day. I swear today I thought it was thursday.
It’s not even the fact that I’m not sleeping. If I could still lie on bed during the hours I’m not sleeping, it wouldn’t be that bad. But the physical exhaustion is a big problem. My muscles hurt from head to toe. I have cramps on my legs. My nutritional requirements have increased amazingly because of this. Since the internship started I’ve been eating twice as normal, sometimes lunch two times, I carry all kind of food to eat at any time, I’m ALWAYS hungry in an abnormal way. But I have not increased a single kg, so I don’t know where all that is going.
I don’t know if I’ve suffered so much through this rotation because 1) my sleep addiction, and 2) because I freak out pretty easily. But when I look at this routine from outside, it seems like hell for any person, and even thought nobody has had a public freak out like I did one sunny day, I’ve seen my internship mates slowly fall apart. I’m not going to say exactly what they do, but, lets say that if my way to deal with something like this is to have a panic attack and lose control of my self, they have their own ways, but in the end it’s all the same. Near the end of the shift, I can also see my fellow interns speaking incoherently and with a scary look.
Wow, this is the people who’ll get to treat you. You patients, are screwed up. Look what I found:
After 24 hours of wakefulness, cognitive function deteriorates to a level equivalent to having a 0.1% blood alcohol level. These doctors would be considered too unsafe to drive; yet they could still treat patients for 12 more hours.
What kind of job is this I ask? Suffering the mental torture of not being able to sleep, while having this enormous responsibility and then get sued because they screwed up.
I just can’t understand why people keep doing it and don’t say anything to change it.
I try to fight and yell but it seems like everybody else, although suffering, doesn’t want it to change. Apparently I’m alone on this.