For about two weeks I am working on and off nights and days. I did nights at the weekend, I did a day yesterday, I’ve got a night tonight, I’m doing a day on Sunday and then nights on Monday, Thursday and Friday. After that lot I’ve got some days off and a couple of study days, before another day and 3 more nights. A lot of people recently have commented that they don’t know how I do it. Constantly switching from days to nights – your sleeping and eating pattern is all over the place. I’ve never been jetlagged, but I believe it is a similiar feeling. To be honest, I don’t know how I do it. But I think of it like a camel.
A camel has those huge humps so that it can drink lots when it gets a chance, and store up water for when it can’t get any drink. Thats kinda like me, with my eating and sleeping pattern at the moment. Last night I slept for about 12 hours straight. But apart from possibly a brief nap this afternoon, I won’t sleep now until 9am tomorrow morning. And somehow I keep going. Work tends to keep me busy, and yeah, I feel tired, but I can keep going. Its similiar with my diet – often when I’m on nights I live off snacks – fruit, geobars and sandwiches. But just before going on a night shift, I usually eat a main meal, and if I haven’t eaten a big meal for a while, then it’ll be a really big meal. And then that’ll keep me going for a while.
I think the key to doing nights, especially when you’re on and off them all the time, is to be flexible in your approach to sleeping and eating. I do try to establish a routine with when I sleep and eat, because that is the healthy way to do it, but when I’m on and off nights all the time, and sometimes I just *cannot* sleep after a night, then allowing times like this morning when I slept all morning, is crucial.
I’ve just done two out of three nights. And I can’t sleep. I slept till 12 (3 hours), and then rolled over, into the wall, banging my head which woke me up significantly. And I haven’t been able to get back to sleep since. I can’t complain too much though, yesterday I slept from 8.30am till 5.30pm!
Its just complicated. Tonight will be my 5th shift this week, and I’ve got the joys of an appointment at the hospital 1 hour after I finish work tomorrow morning. Given how calm (not saying the Q word!) work was last night, I figured I might have a chance of getting annual leave tonight. But I was the 3rd person to request it and I can’t find out if I’ve got it until late afternoon. Hmm. If I get it then I don’t want to be asleep now because I won’t sleep tonight, and then I’ll have to get up early tomorrow morning to get to my appointment. If I don’t get annual leave, then I do want to be asleep now so that I can last the night, and the extra time in the morning.
Hmm, I don’t know… Think I’m going to put on a DVD and see if I dose off.
Its strange, isn’t it, that even after years of being grown up, old favourite childhood toys can still bring some comfort. I’m currently sat on my bed at home with Red Ted, Pink Ted, two other teds (that I can’t remember the names of but they both squeak), a pink rabbit, Kanga and Roo (named after Kanga and Roo, but not actually them) and Little Bear (actually Little Bear). And Nicola, my favourite doll, is sat on my chair, fully dressed and presentable, looking at me intently.
Every so often I enjoy getting all my old toys out of the cupboard and remembering the happy times we spent together when I was little. To be fair though, most of the teddybears I listed above were Rachel’s, except for Little Bear, who was very definitely mine. Along with the extra sets of clothes, made specially for him, after I told my Gran how sad it was that he only had one pair of trousers.
So what is it about these toys which still, after all these years, provide comfort? Is it the sentimental value? The memories? The need to hang onto the innocence of childhood when life isn’t amazingly great? Is it just me who enjoys a good old play every now and then? One things for certain – I’m not going to get rid of these toys for a Very Long Time.
When you’ve had a past experience, which was emotionally draining and painful, it tends to make you very aware of the possibility of it re-occurring or developing into something worse. The specific example I am referring to, I’d prefer not to go into the details here, but many readers who know me will be able to identify what I’m talking about.
It is a bit like when I was 6 and I burnt my hand quite badly on an iron. The pain was so bad, I can remember screaming the house down – I didn’t have much basic first aid knowledge then, so I didn’t have the sense to stick it under cold water. All I could do was scream until my Mum came. And ever since I have been incredibly careful around irons. For a while afterwards, I wouldn’t walk past my mum when she was ironing – I’d go around the long way. Now I am obviously better than that, I iron for myself, but I am always very aware of where the iron is, and where I am placing my hands.
Since a medical experience last year (and others within my family) I have been very aware of the possibility of it happening again. I keep asking, ‘so what about that?’ over and over. And each time I worry about it to varying degrees. It doesn’t help that because Swansea NHS have been rubbish at transferring me to my new NHS trust, I’ve missed 2 check up appointments. Most of the time, the doctors are open to my enquires, and ensure me that it is the sensible thing to do. But I can’t help feeling a bit paranoid about it all. I think when I do eventually get to see the specialist again, I’m going to ask them to check everywhere. Then I’ll know whether its ok, or not. And if its not, then I’ll be in the right place to get it sorted.
I had the pleasure of going back to Swansea for new year, and after going to two new years eve parties (2 minutes walk from each other), I impressively managed to get up in time to head down to Rhosilli with friends. So I thought I’d share a few pics: