I finally managed to drag myself out of bed after a long and really quiet night at the hospital...its really funny being on call because youre always alert and expecting something or the other to happen and sometimes it'll be one of those nights where nothing goes other than the occasional small happenings that as a physician you'll just have to face...I go to my room and pass out only to hear the phone shrill in my ear with the nurses' equally annoying high pitched voice telling me that a patient is having a tantrum and threatening to go downstairs to the ER if a doctor wont see him...his problem? Hes a minor surgical case with a psychiatric history and wants morphine..at 3:00 a.m
I refuse and tell her instead to give him a good shot of a painkiller and to encourage him to sleep.
4:30 a.m, the delightful phone shrieks again and the same patient insists the shot was useless. I up the dose with one more shot after sleepily considering his body weight and request her to tell him that maybe if he stopped pacing down the corridors and relaxed he could get some much needed shut eye.
5:15 a.m, I just managed to go into the begining of a dreamless sleep when I hear the phone once more ringing vibrating and blinking frantically lighting up the whole ceiling and in turn waking me...I pick up.."Doctor he wants morphine."
Honestly there was only one way to ease this guy out of his insistent mental state...medically and surgically he was perfectly stable...he'd been marching up and down the corridors all day for the past 14 hours with talk of being bored with nothing to do..."Nurse please give him some lexotanil 1.5mg and let him rest"
"We dont have that in stock here right now can you come down here and write an order for the inpatient pharmacist?"
I pause...the thought of getting up, changing back into my since-6:30 a.m-day-worn clothes and squeezing my aching feet back into my shoes to stumble halfway across the hospital, made me cringe...it didnt help as I suddenly recalled that Id have to get up earlier to run down to my car and pick up my change of clothes in the morning before the meeting.
I decided to forgo both.
"Sister what do you have?"
"I prefer xanax .25 or.5mg"
"Sorry doctor we dont have either"... No can do.
"Valium it is, Sister..2mg"
"Sorry again doctor we only have 5mg up here"
"God anything,anything Sister"...anything to knock him out and me out of my misery.
6:50 a.m, Im standing with the other residents in a total daze...racoon eyes...brain dead and feet in sheer agony from being in my flats all day...I dream of bubble baths and fresh sheets.
10:34 a.m, Im at home and I.just.cant.sleep...I resign myself to the fact that it'll happen tonight.
The bright side? Its gonna be a loong weekend...my face breaks into a smile and I ask for some coffee.
Might as well enjoy it from now.