I will admit that men and women of all vocations work hard. Engineers sometimes work odd hours, IT folk may work horrible hours, investment bankers suffer from stress ulcers; even tax practitioners and auditors have their “times of the year” when the hours are irrelevant. All said, for most people “hours of work” is a reality, which is sometimes subject to exceptions and extraordinary circumstances. But for some segments of society, work has no relation to the concept of night and day, ‘work days’ and ‘off days’.
Ask a security guard, a nurse, or better still – ask a surgical resident.
You might have heard inpatient doctors complain about their hours ad nauseam. About how our responsibilities never cease, and about how our hours never end. I try and refrain from that kind of commentary on most occasions, but some days I just cannot seem to keep it in.
Of course, there is always a trigger that sets me off. The rant is almost always precluded by some event/ occurrence or change in surrounding mien, that brings forth the feeling of resentment and discontent.
Today, the trigger seems to be the rain.
I’m no foreigner to rain. I have mostly lived in places where the rain is a constant of life. Where the rain is seldom appreciated or cherished and is most often considered a nuisance to everyday life.But in these parched lands, the rains are always welcome in my books. It reminds me of lazy childhood days, and naughty teenage years. The rain makes me feel young, fresh and unbothered again.
On a day such as this, a weekend no less; I should be home, lounging on the couch. With crisps on hand, re- watching old, action/ suspense movies or fluffy reality shows while the Little One bounces off the living room walls as usual, and the husband lies semi- comatose a.k.a asleep and snoring away comfortingly beside me.
Here I am, sipping coffee and typing a quickie post, while I watch the rain from a tiny window in the on- call room, and wait for a call from the ER. It’s quite pathetic really. The window doesn’t open and I cannot hear the rain or smell the air; the coffee is tepid and poor and this post might yet be unfinished/ unpublished as I might get called any moment.
I have not seen the sunlight today nor have I have breathed in any “real” air (barring the conditioned variety). To make matters worse I have a pounding headache that seems mighty resistant to any analgesic that I can throw at it.
Most days, we wish for a “light- call”. A day/ night when we see few patients, stable patients, non- crazy patients, ‘classic- case’ patients, unsurprising patients…. You get the drift. Today though, I wish it were insanely, crazy busy (like some nights are) since it is the only way for the hours to whizz past, and not drag along painfully.
I love my job. On most days. But on days like this, I am forced to dwell upon the countless weekends and holidays I have missed. The innumerable hours of night sleep I have sacrificed at the alter of medicine and surgery, and the infinite hours of family time that I have relinquished in the path to be where I am today.
Hope the night is quiet folks. And hope some sleep is in store.
Till next time..
P.S. Above worlds were penned at different times during the day. In between the usual “business”. Quickly and without edits; on a handheld, mobile device.
*Disclaimer- No persons/ patients were neglected/ harmed during the making/ publishing of this post.There was no abdication of duty at any point of time.