This rotation I’m working 11 hour shifts. On your feet, no holds barred workworkwork 11 hour shifts. The boss cracks the whip, tells us to go faster, get people through, I swear some days I wonder if the apocalypse is here – it might as well be a scene from Outbreak out there.
It doesn’t leave much room for anything. Not much reading time, I don’t want to even contemplate exercise – just enough time to eat some food and collapse on the couch or bed, whatever’s closest. No one gives a crap about how healthy or unhealthy their doctor is. They just want to get fixed and go the hell home. Me too!
So you find small, stupid ways to live a life around it. You buy a gift box of chocolates and eat the whole box and it’s GREAT and you do so with no guilt because you’ve worked your ass off all day. And not at a computer, literally not sat all day, constantly moved around for 12. hours. Your feet feel like crazy angry people who scream at you and your back is like a prison.
Hot baths. A chocolate bar at lunch time. A roll of eyes shared between residents. The nurses finding a chair without you even asking and commanding you sit down or you’ll stuff up your back like they did theirs. You feel like a cross between a mechanic and a waitress. More chocolate. The boss saying good job. The Internet, bless the Internet which provides hours of immovable entertainment. The people on the Internet. Your blogs.
You stop sweating the small stuff. Daily slap becomes a bit of powder and a brow pencil. If you’re more awake maybe some gloss. Eating shit because the smallest of scrubs hide ALL sins. You stop worrying about being fat/thin/pretty/ugly/smart/stupid/too much/too little. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter when a crazy guy has just shit in the waiting room or someone has a cardiac arrest in the way back from the toilet. It really really doesn’t matter. You just want to eat the chocolate, read the Internet and hope you’re not too tired for a run on the weekend, you cross your fingers that you’re moving enough to counter the bad food behaviour. You don’t care about getting fat, you fear glycemic toxicity, cardiovascular disease, impaired immunity.
But mostly you appreciate the little things. Most people blur into one. The nice ones stick out. You forget about the rest. You love chocolate and baths and chairs and the Internet and a kind word. Your family, scented anything, acts of kindness from yourself or otherwise.
The rest just does not matter.