Catching Up On Sleep… On Call
I somehow (accidentally) arranged to be on call for our practice the week we got back from vacation. Now, we don’t have alot of call, compared to other primary care practices like ours, that don’t use hospitalists. We have about 1 week of solid call every 3 months or so. We rotate holidays and school vacations pretty well. But call weeks can be really tough- We cover admissions to our service, consults for our patients who are on other services, phone calls, and at least one afternoon of urgent visits. How busy you are depends how many docs are out and who you’re covering, how many patients we have in, and how the moon and starts are aligned with Venus….
So, it was a potentially bad call on my part to put this call right at getting back from Central America with the kids. We never anticipated being so exhausted from the trip. It was wonderful to be a part of my brother’s wedding, but it was at an expense. Babyboy is still off his schedule, and waking up once or twice a night, which is NOT his norm.
But, 6 days into call, I can say it’s worked out pretty well. I enjoyed a very, very rare event: We had no inpatients from our practice on our service for the whole weekend. So, for 15 docs, at a major medical center, we had no one admitted to us. That really, truly almost never happens. As a matter of fact, the acute visits were very light, so I wasn’t booked up in the afternoon clinics, which is also odd. And the calls, the pages for everything from urinary symptoms to sinus infections to narcotics prescriptions, were few and far between.
What is so odd about this is that the previous week call was so heavy, the doc on call describes that she almost had a nervous breakdown. Mostly she just got really pissed off.
So this week I have enjoyed only being woken up by our kids, who are still not sleeping through the night, rather than the pager. And I haven’t had to go in very early in the mornings, so I’ve had a bit of a sleep-in, to 7 a.m. (or whenever our cats will let us sleep) which is glorious.
And day by day I can feel myself getting caught up with sleep. Man, that vacation almost did me in! Thank god for call week.