4 weeks in and I'm exhausted.
My body went from 8+ hours sleep a day to lucky-to-get-6 hours sleep a day. I come back from work tired, I wake up tired, I'm yawning whilst eating lunch. I'm just generally tired.
I think it's taking a while for my body to adjust to being a full time doctor. Or just being a full time anything. Before I started work I had a few months of taking it easy. Waking up when I wanted, sleeping when I wanted and not doing much in between. Now, most of my day is spent on my feet. I'm standing at the computer, at the bedside, running after consultants, the list goes on. The drive home is probably my first chance to actually sit down.
I'm hoping my body will get used to this and realise that this is the new normal. The good times are over. I need to be in bed by 11 and awake at 6. And if I'm not in bed by 11, tough, I still need to be up by 6.
I've started to depend on coffee now. I'm not a big coffee drinker but I've been hitting them pretty often nowadays. In the morning or at lunch time. Just something to stop me yawning whilst the nurse is trying to talk to me.
It's not just that the work is physically demanding; it's also mentally draining. Especially, when patients need to vent their frustration and you get the full brunt of it all. You have to answer for someone else's decisions or the NHS's shortcomings. It's not easy to shake that off when you get home. I know for me it spins round and round in my mind for hours, weighing me down and then I feel even more exhausted.
Social life is hovering at 0. If I'm lucky to get home at 6, I'm wiped out. Those few hours after work, I feel like a zombie. Barely any energy to actually feed myself. Anything that requires a good level of concentration I can't do. It's probably why I end up just laying on my bed scrolling through Facebook. Swiping down with my thumb requires very little brain power and I'm getting some social interaction from the comfort of my bed. It honestly feels like I step in at 6 and time starts to fast forward. Before I know it, it's 10 pm and I can't understand where the last 4 hours have gone. I blink, it's quarter to 11. I go to brush my teeth, I come back and it's 11:30. Sleep, wake up and it starts all over again.
It gets worse when there are long days and nights. Then there's only a couple days to recover and then back to the 9 to 5 grind.
Which reminds me, I have a set of nights coming up. Fantastic.