Today, F was post-call. That means he went to work at the usual time of 5:30am yesterday morning and was on call last night. So instead of coming home last night, he was at the hospital all night — alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic — and working like a dog treating all of Santa Barbara’s “altered” frat kids with hematomas, 91-year-olds suffering from mechanical falls, and poorly stabbed gang members. He was awake and working for about 30 hours straight. He’s been doing this several times a week for the past 18 months. Talk about sleep deprived. Yikes!
Post call days are always amusing to me. F does a wonderful job of trying to balance his urge to spend time with the family with his extreme urge to go straight to bed. A typical day might look like this:
If we go anywhere, I get to add chauffeur to my slave-maid title. This is understable considering he’s had no sleep for the past year and a half. No operating heavy machinery for him. (Why he is trusted to operate on living humans with so little sleep is another story, but do trust your surgeons! They’re the only people who can do what they do!!!) In the car, I jabber away trying to recap the past 30 hours for him,”And then Tingting rolled over and Ayay did a perfect cartwheel and then she helped me decorate the house while Tingting was sitting up on her own for a whole 3 minutes…” Meanwhile Ayay is yelling from the backseat, “Daddy? Daddy I’m talking to you.”
Long pause. I glance over at F. His eyes are closed. I nudge him.
“Huh? Oh, what?” he says groggily.
We often go to one of the daily Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets. F wanders around with eyes at half-mast. He functions surprisingly well and is even able to get us free grapes by guessing the exact weight of the bunch he wants to purchase. This is proof that sleep-deprived residents really are capable of making sound decisions!
On the way home, F tries telling me about an interesting case he did.
“Yeah, and then we used…” he trails off.
I look over at him. Eyes are closed. Did he really fall asleep mid-sentence?
We get home and Ayay wants her Daddy to read a book. As I’m preparing lunch, I hear F reading from Curious George.
“This is George. He lives with his friend – the man with the…” he slurs.
“Daddy, read!” I hear Ayay say. Wow. He really did fall asleep reading a book out loud.
After lunch, it’s time for Ayay’s nap. She wants her daddy to sing and cuddle with her in her bedroom. As I’m sitting in the living room playing with Tingting, I look at my watch. F stumbles out with creases from his receding hair line down to his chin.
“Um, how long was I in there?” he asks, clearly in a fog.
“45 minutes,” I tell him. “I think it’s time for your nap.” Gotta clear that head of his so he’s ready to go back to work bright and early tomorrow morning!