Night Shift Nightmare

I stayed on the computer today to return emails,  comment on blogs and update my own blog.   But I wasn’t completely successful; I’m not too talkative now.  I am okay, mood wise.  It is stable, apart from irritability that is mostly due to sleep deprivation.

That is probably the only issue I’m facing right now.  Back then, everytime I had to pull an all nighter for some reason, the only way I got away with it was by having the whole day off afterwards.  On that day off I would die on my bed for nearly 20 hours and I would still remain sleepy during the week afterwards.

I was very scared of the internship because of the shifts.  How could I handle not sleeping for a night and keep working during the day? Impossible.   And here we’re talking about starting your day at 4:30 am on one day and ending it on the afternoon of the NEXT day.

It has probably been the worst of the internship.  But okay, you can get tired.   Later I had the horrible relapse of depression and the little energy I had stored was completely depleted, along with the sense of it being worth it at all.   It wasn’t worth it.  Neither was living really… it brought back all the mental garbage I had stored for years.   Triple team attack on my mind.

I am for the moment, stable in reference to depression, but the shifts are something I am dreading terribly.  Nobody likes night shifts, but when they’re working they seem to forget about it, sure they look tired, but they work anyway.  With me, I’m always having the urge of going out of the hospital and taking a taxi home and never returning… I’ve done it before, so I know it doesn’t end good.  I contain myself and go back.  The next day my brain is a completely useless piece of crap.    One day after a shift I was madly laughing for no reason, and throwing the paperwork on the floor and going away to eat not caring about anything and apparently I told people things I would not say normally.    But what happens more often is that I go into a mental state where I hear nothing, understand nothing and see nothing.

Lately that I don’t drink any alcohol at all, being sleep deprived is the most similar thing I have to being completely wasted.   And I feel guilty.  Everyone must feel bad and tired during the night shifts, but they work anyway, am I just weaker or lazier? They can’t possible feel the same I feel and keep on working, something must be different…

In my rational mind, I am aware that every human has different tolerance to sleep deprivation.   Some people need 8 hours of sleep a night to keep their mind healthy, some only need 5 or even less.   Some people see sleeping as a waste of time.   For some of us it is like breathing.   My brain has high requirements of sleep.  It always has, since I was a kid, and it never changed.  Only maybe got way worse when depression worsened, but I think the need for sleep has always been there anyway.  If someone came to me with this problem asking what is wrong with them, I would tell them that nothing is wrong, that they just have higher requirements of sleep and should figure a way to work and study adjusting to those requirements.   But what if you can’t?

On my last shift, at 9 am I fell asleep in the interns room and I didn’t even remember how I got there.  I remember I had to go back for another round of patients, but I didn’t.  I am avoiding the resident because I know she’s probably upset.  But people warned her already about the intern who is smart but not dependable… what a reputation.

I am a horrible person when I am sleep deprived.  I am irresponsible, immature, rude, don’t care about anything or anyone, make inappropriate comments, and SLEEPING goes on the top of the priorities list with nothing that can beat it.   I don’t like the person I am when I am sleep deprived and mostly that is why I absolutely dread being sleep deprived, and it sucks to feel so out of control.

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11 thoughts on “Night Shift Nightmare

  1. like you said, different people have different requirements. i know i’m quite grumpy when i’m hungry, and i’m very much a morning person. i don’t like to stay out very late at night because i feel like sleeping. so imagine if i have a night shift job; i think i’ll be quite bad at it too, just as you are with night shifts from sleep deprivation. you just have to go through it i’m afraid… just like me and macau. 😦

  2. Yes, I suppose I have to go through it. It should end eventually.

    Everyone I talk to about this only says “Well, what will you do when you graduate and have REAL lifechanghing responsibilities?”

    I can only say… “I have no clue. Wisest thing to do is to find another profession.”

  3. Couple of months? That’s insane and inhumane! Might as well stock up on chocolate-coated coffee beans, beans for the machine made espresso shots and No-Doze. Don’t forget the CD’s with the three songs of “Eye of the Tiger” “Survivor” and “I Will Survive” 😀 Now that’s what I call a survival kit 🙂

  4. I’m a night owl and have been since I was little. I want sleep, sometimes I don’t need it, sometimes I need it and can’t have it. I work on a 1-4 hour sleep depending on my mood. Or no sleep at all when I’m high.

    IV caffiene sounds good but I need IV sleepers x

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