I had a rough first night followed by a totally eternal, yet easy, second night. I'm so tired I can barely keep focused enough to type right now. I want to sleep for about 12 hours, but I will probably settle for 4 or 5 so I can spend time with the fambly, then sleep more like a normal human tonight. That is the flip-flop that I normally do after working my nights so I'm back on the family's schedule. Then, when I'm going back to work (like this Tuesday), I will nap for 3 to 5 hours in the afternoon then do my 12 hour night. That's how I get back onto a night schedule. It takes its toll, and that's why nights pays a shift differential of $4/hour more.
Still, I really like and prefer nights, as I'm not a morning/day person. If it wasn't for my children, I would stay on a night schedule pretty much all the time, probably. Allie likes nights too, so we have to fight the urge to do this in the summer when the boys are out of school. They also like being up late and sleeping in.
In addition to the assorted "routine" MVAs (Motor Vehicle Accidents, aka MVCs [collisions]) we had a GSW (Gunshot wound) to the chest, a worker who had a piece of wood kick back from a chipper and pierce his liver and kidney, and a drunk guy who put his arm through a plate glass window and nearly bled to death. People apparently believe that glass breaks like it does in the movies, where a huge window shatters and no one gets cut. This is fiction. Usually, when someone intentionally breaks glass with their bare hand/arm, they severely cut themselves which results in massive blood loss and extensive tissue and permanent nerve damage. Alchohol is frequently involved.
Believe me, working in a trauma unit, especially an ICU, is enough to drive nearly anyone NOT to drink. Fortunately, I made that decision several years back. I don't understand "social" drinking. When I did drink, it was for the feeling that came with it, and I never wanted to stop with a "beer or two." I frequently had black outs where I couldn't remember where I had been or how I had gotten home. At the time I didn't see this as a drinking "problem" because it was common among my friends. I decided that it wasn't worth dragging into my relationship with my girlfriend, who was later my wife, and who was very intolerant of alcohol because of her father's drinking when she was growing up. I gave it up, which was one of my smarter decisions. I still "want" to drink, and I still "miss" drinking. This reaffirms that I have a real good reason not to do so. I'm not sure why I wrote all that, but there it is.
14 year old Hispanic girl is walking with her 5 year old brother to the store. A car pulls up with one of her 13 year old friends and, I think, another kid "joy riding" in their parents' car. They get in, wreck, and the driver is killed. The girl is in my unit with a fairly severe head injury. The 5 year old walked away uninjured. I was so relieved when I heard that, you know? I mean, he was probably just doing what his idiot older sister told him to when he got in. He wasn't old enough to weigh the risks and consequences of his actions before riding in that car. He was just an innocent little kid. I'm sorry the whole thing happened, but I'm especially glad he wasn't hurt. It's too early to tell how she will do, but things look favorable right now.
I hope that someday I have a job that doesn't bring me in close contact with large numbers of really stupid people. I still have that hope, though all the jobs I've had to this point have done just that. If I didn't know better, and maybe I don't, I would think that the world is virtually full of stupid people. That can really steal your joy, if you let it!
I told you I was tired, but let me illustrate further what I mean by that.
Several times I have pulled up in front of my house after the 10 minute, mile and a half drive from work and leaned my head against the window and fallen asleep. Once I was awakened about an hour after I got home by the gas meter man rapping sharply on the window. I jumped up and he yelled, "Are you okay?" Apparently, I looked like I might have had a heart attack, or like I might be dead! I was too tired to be embarrassed. Some mornings, I come in here and open up LJ to see what happened since the day before, and I lean over on my hand and fall asleep in my chair. I'm talking about extreme fatigue. Then, I go sleep for 8 hours or so and go back to work to do it again. That's the reason I try NOT to work 3 or more nights in a row. Breaking it up into 2 night stints helps me not get so broken down. At least, not as often. Nodding, time to go. </useless post-work drivel>