Friday, April 4, 2014

Reflections from Night Float

Last night was the last night shift of my medical school years. I welcome the end to sleeping in this secluded, deserted at most times, yet noisy call room.  

Creepy is the best word I have for these rooms. 

I will not miss the lack of blankets and pillows, nor will I miss scavenging questionably clean pillows and sheets.  I will not miss the exhaustion or the emotions that come with combining sleep deprivation and missing my little family. Missing bath time and bed time. Missing snuggling with my husband in a real bed.  Instead, to sleep on a cast-off hospital bed circa 1960. To be woken up by street noises, a mysterious person coughing, my own discomfort, a confused sleep cycle, or the nightmarish sound of a beeper going off. 

A myriad of memories are swirling through my head. My husband and sister-in-law bringing my son to hang out with me on trauma call until I got the first page of the night. Eating dinner at this table with them a little less than a year ago. 

Breast feeding Liam and him dozing off in my arms that night. The joy I experienced as I felt his little warm body against mine and listened in awe to his deep breathing, marveling at this perfect creature that was my very own son. 

Pumping later during the night because my milk production was off from being up at night. Walking a quarter of a mile through a very deserted hospital to get to the appointed refrigerator to chill my milk. 

Stumbling about the same distance to get to the ER, after the beeper jarred me awake, sleep blurring my eyes as I willed my body to wake up. 

And finally, last night is now a memory too. My wonderful husband brought my son and Chick-fil-A to celebrate this, my very last night at the hospital.  I remember my feeling of triumph.  Much like that feeling of crossing the finish line in a long race that you weren't so sure you would make it through. I can't imagine how amazing it will feel to be completely done in three weeks! It's so strange how time flies when you look back but drags on in the moment. At any rate, my night shifts are over and Spring Break is upon us! 


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