Like the weird confessional mood that strikes patients at four o'clock in the morning. I've had conversations with patients before that have gotten pretty deep, but it's different during the day: there's always a pager going off or a doctor that needs you. In the middle of the night, or near the beginning of the morning, people enter a mental space where reflection and expression meet.
I'll miss Bejweled and Bubbleshooter. I've actually gotten fairly good at them.
I'll miss the exhausted, underslept resident who comes in at three ack emma to admit a late transfer from Nowheresville, and the expression her face when I slip her a slice of home-made chocolate cake.
I'll miss Karen's coffee.
I'll miss the strange productivity of the hours between one and five. That's when everything happens in our CCU--labs get drawn, CTs and MRIs happen, baths get finished up. Even if eating steamed cauliflower at two makes my skin crawl, it's nice to know that my late lunch tops off a whole mess of work done early.
I'll miss the strange productivity of those hours at home, too. I have a load of laundry going, food for the week cooked and packaged up, and am blogging--at 3:10 a.m. No interruptions and no sunlight means your activity is concentrated.
I'll miss the feeling of being on call, yet not being called in. There's something satisfying about getting all ready for work save your scrubs and makeup, lying down on the couch, and waking up at four in the morning, knowing that nobody is going to call you in for the last three hours of the shift.
I'll also miss the on-call money. Holy crap, do they ever pay a lot for on-call. There were some nights I went in at the beginning of the shift and worked my ever-loving, rapidly-widening ass off, but other nights when I went in at nine p.m. and sat, earning nearly sixty bucks an hour, for eleven and a half hours, then handed off nothing to the oncoming nurse.
I'll miss Totti's delicious Filipino noodle dish, the name of which I cannot for the life of me remember, though I asked her to make it for our going-away party this week.
I'll miss the plummy accents of the BBC radio announcers I listen to on nights off. Nigel Astley-Astley-Nottingh'm announcing that it's twenty minutes past seven, GMT, and following with the shocking corker of the Chestwicksh'r cricket side in its match with Brustm'nsw'll always makes me giggle.
I'll miss the time. There was time to sit on nights, to hold the hand of somebody who needed their hand held, or to damn regulations and give a skin-to-skin touch to somebody who hadn't had one in months, and for whom it wouldn't hurt. There was time for the confessional mood to strike my colleagues. There was time to grill more-experienced nurses about the likely outcomes for our more complex patients, and thus be prepared for what would happen.
I will not miss the intestinal disturbances, the blood pressure that became labile enough to finally require a beta-blocker, the feeling that my life was just barely under control most of the time, the dirty car, the lonely dog who celebrates when I'm actually awake under the sun. I won't miss the difficulty of having a remotely normal life. I won't miss feeling like I'm walking into an alternate reality where weather and climate don't happen. I won't miss sleeping during the day, pillows covering my eyes. I won't miss most of the people. The two I'd miss most, Cheryl and Nurse Ames, are coming with me to days. So that's okay.
Only three more shifts. Only thirty-six hours. I can hold my breath, my urine, and my temper that long. By this time next week, I will be a day shift worker.