Saturday, November 25, 2006


I cringed to the idea that I’m getting two patients at the beginning of the shift even though I was promised that if push comes to shove we would shift my other one to the ward. That means unless somebody pops in the Accident & Emergency after doing something silly like slashing his or her epiglottis in the middle of the night, I’m stuck looking after two babies weaned off from life support and milkshakes of various types of narcotic drugs. I’d rather have one proper ICU patient to be honest, especially at the end of my fourth night.

The unwritten definition of proper patient: attached to a breathing machine, a lot of wires and completely sedated or even paralyzed.

I don’t normally mind having a chatty whingeing patient, but after doing 34.5 of your 46 hours all night before the weekend, you’d wish for a really chilled, inanimate, unconscious patient to cap the end of your shift.

It doesn’t help that you only spent four hours on your bed Friday morning as you find your main electricity supply switch tripping off every time you turn the kettle on to boil water for your cup of tea. Thank heavens for! I felt all my muscles have wasted and found myself unable to lift our dog-eared cumbersome Yellow Pages book.

Certified electrician came after an hour and a half which I though was quite impressive considering that it takes an hour for the Pizza man to find our door on a clear day. That was 1.5 hours knocked off from my nine hours sleep day before I go back to work in the evening. Routine checks done by electrician in switch box took another 20 minutes plus 10 minutes to unplug all the various appliances stuck in all electrical sockets.

To tell you the truth, I have enough of them to suck out all the electric juices of an entire city and greenhouse gas emissions enough to eat away a big chunk of the ozone layer the size of an Alaskan village.

Electric power is revived after some tinkering but for some reason, every time kitchen power supply is switched on the whole thing trips off again. Fuses are checked and that sorted, the culprit was eventually found: hiding deep inside a socket box of the cooker was a loose wiring. Another 15 minutes spent fixing the problem and 15 minutes having that well deserved cup of tea until electrician left. Total time lost so far 3.5 hours.

Gave up another half an hour or so to watch day time television as brain still spinning around from all the adrenaline, never mind the biologic clock thrown completely off a maelstrom of bad work schedules and unpredictable eccentric English weather. Tired and sleep-deprived, I can’t help turning up at work feeling like a toilet roll.

To be continued...

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Blogger Vince said...

Palaging puyat?

9:39 PM  
Blogger Momel said...

Technical support is my bread and butter, and far be it to suggest a comparison between our completely different callings, allow me to feel for you.

I, for one, would love nothing more than a simple wireless configuration issue on an XP laptop computer than to dish out two hours explaining the fascinating machinations of IP addresses and IP tunneling to an aging DSL novice.
This, at the end of the abused day, would be exhaustion in all of its proper definitions

Forgive the technical jargon, but for some reason, I'm feeling a common ground. Really, I do.

And I appreciate the comment on my last post, too. Thanks.

Oh, by the way, Howling, maybe you can shed some light on this post:

I refer to it as "almost metaphors," but I know there's a better term out there. Probably from somebody in your specific field of interest.


12:30 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh, yeah vince ... sabi ga nila: there's no rest for the wicked.

I could eat a bowl of rice. Is that what you're holding??? LOL!

11:56 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Oh hi momel, it's lovely to know that you're not the only one... Don't we all feel tired?

Tell me about it. I know that your kind of work can also be really stressful. I presume that you work in the most unsocial hours as well, because of the different time zone. Your clients are mostly from the US right?

Re: my comment. LOL! I know that you were really cool about it, but I got just a wee bit carried away when I read the reviews. I felt that it wasn't very objective and I do get really protective with friends... even when they're just online friends. LOL! The bond is there. You probably know me better than my offline friends to be quite honest.

I think I really need to read more about the link you just sent me. Hmmm. Didn't we just have that with sasha? Bless her little heart. LOL! I feel glad she's feeling much better now that she has vented her feelings. It must be the cold weather... if it does get cold there. Oh, it's a sad, sad world.


12:34 PM  
Blogger Alternati said...

I need at least 8 hours to function normally. I could survive on 4 hours of sleep when I was younger. Now, 4 hours of sleep = a cranky zombie.

I never understood electrical wiring... and how a single faulty wiring could cause you the whole system.

LOL at a the definition of a "proper patient". I guess the worse one would be a loud, whiny, person with a shrieky voice suffering from a non-fatal injury with relatives (emphasis on a couple of children running about)

Translation please!
Amyotrophia? (sleepwalking? hehe... I think that's somnambulism)

Hope you get sleep soon! You can always doze off beside the Proper patient holding his chart... noone would know the better. :P

12:46 AM  
Blogger sasha said...

Know what, Howl, I had a really nice comment that I "supposedly" left here last night but well, the connection went haywire and obviously, it never got posted :(

Anyway, felt tired for a couple of weeks but thank God I'm now back in shape and ready to conquer the world! hahaha

Thanks for the really great comment you left on my post about my struggles in life. Still on a rollercoaster ride but hey, I've made peace with everything and everybody and I'm now okay.

Let's talk sometime. When you've had enough sleep :)

Take care!

7:00 AM  
Blogger howling said...

HAHAHA!!! alternati.. It's amazing how sleep patterns differ from one person to the next. I rarely do get a really long uninterrupted sleep these days... although I try to get a really good one when I'm working the next day or night. Usually when I'm off, I wake up early. I know, it's quite ironic. LOL! They say I'm getting old.I patter about in the house whilst everyone else is still asleep... And no, I'm not a sumnambulist! Thank you.

Amytrophia - is basically a progressive wasting of muscle tissues.

Epiglottis - that flap of cartilage on your neck that covers the windpipe when you swallow.

So there. Thanks for asking. Feel free to ask for translations kids!

I know, I'd do the same with your architecture geek-speak.


11:55 PM  
Blogger howling said...

That's marvellous, sash.. I don't know how I would cope if I were on your shoes. It's always easy to just lend your support - going through the whole crappy situation by yourself is another story, so no big deal from me really. I'm really happy that it/I made a difference.

Glad that you're back. Believe me, you'll be stronger than ever. I'm so proud of you.

Take care of yourself, always.

Cheers. Talk to you soon!!!


12:30 AM  
Blogger ie said...

oh, THAT talk about sleep. i work in an absolutely dynamic industry (especially when we're talking about shift schedules) so i think we're pretty much on the same page. those, i think, are the times when you realize how valuable priceless things like sleep really are.

3:03 AM  
Blogger howling said...

Hello, ie meelikes the crispy thin nick you got there... LOL!

Yep, sleep is like that Master Card commercial: 4 hours sleep - Priceless!

You tend to gravitate towards less sleep if you got card bills up to your neck.


5:44 AM  
Anonymous verns said...

hello Howl (commenters seem to call you that..join man ko eh hehe)

Firstly thanks for dropping by my blog...I hope you don't mind if I link you. Always nice to meet an Ilonggo in the blogosphere :)

Anyway regarding your entry...uhhhmmm if I may ask...are you a control freak? hehe you're very particular with the time hehe :) nwei hoope you'll get a good rest soon.

see you around!

4:24 PM  
Anonymous verns said...

errr I think I forgot to put the link...sorry :)

4:25 PM  
Blogger The Angry Medic said...

Awww...pop a couple of sleeping pills and take a rest, you workaholic you. A sleepless nurse is an angry nurse is a scary nurse. Especially for med students :)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Talamasca said...

Suffering from bloody amyotrophy, huh? That's life. Deal with it. ;-p

At least you're not shedding off some lovely lovely neurons. But if you are, then that's when life gets hairy and shitty. Tsk tsk. But from the looks of it, I guess you're not.

Gosh, that's why I wanna be a neurologist. I wanna achieve one of the most elusive goals in the world of medicine: regeneration of nerve tissue. Bring it on or dream on?

LOL @ this:
To tell you the truth, I have enough of them to suck out all the electric juices of an entire village and greenhouse gas emissions enough to eat away a big chunk of the ozone layer the size of an Alaskan village.

T out.

9:00 PM  
Blogger howling said...

Of course not, vern! I'm not a control freak... I'd like to toy with the idea, but uhmmm, I'd rather not. I'm quite laid back to be honest. And yesh! You can link me.

4:10 PM  
Blogger howling said...

HAHAHA!!! the angry medic I never get angry, really. Oh, rest? I can't believe that is coming from a cambridge medical student with 2 months worth of essays to do yet still manages to appear in a play involving generous amount of ******** overactivity.


4:24 PM  
Blogger howling said...

Bring it on! talamasca I wanna see you stretching the boundaries of embryonic stem cell research... which I suspect will actually be the topic on my next post. Why bloody not???

Nice to see you back! LOL! Where have you been?

4:43 PM  
Blogger vernaloo said...

hehe thats good to hear :)

6:59 PM  

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