It's been about eight months since I stopped doing ER shifts. And I find that the change has had some interesting effects.
I usually sleep through the night now. Previously I would toss and turn, getting a few hours rest at a time. Evidently I had gotten used to brief cat naps on night shifts always hovering on the edge of REM sleep but ready to spring into sentient action -or something close to it - at a moment's notice. Blegh.
Perhaps on a related note I am drinking less coffee. The change has been gradual. For the first few months I still needed to slam down several cups of what I still call "The Hammer of Rationality" first thing in the morning. Failure to do so lead to a nagging headache and a general sense of mild impairment.
But last week I actually had a day where I woke up at 6am and said "I don't feel like making coffee". This concerns me for reasons I can't quite articulate.
Over these summer months I have been doing some clinic work. Mostly same day, acute care problems. A little like ER but without the drama, sleep deprivation and potential death.
Summer winds down.
Written on a morning when I have in my closet all the neatly ironed work shirts that I will ever need.....