As I write this, my body is suffering from a 9-hour jet lag
and 4P-4A shift in the ER. On Saturday, I returned to the States after an 8-day
trip to Uganda. Our purpose was to teach at a leadership conference in the
northern part of the country. We flew in
at 2:30 PM that day. On Sunday, my normal schedule resumed.
The shift was packed with the normal complaints of atypical
chest pain, febrile illnesses, and other vague concerns. My brain felt like it
was 100lbs. My body moved like a sloth. Why was I here? To make a living,
that's right. No rest for the weary.
Throughout the day/night, I kept missing the little things
that assist in diagnosing and treating due to my overall fatigue. Thankfully, I
work in an environment where everyone is looking out for everyone. The docs and
nurses saved me countless times, ultimately saving the patients. I was
incredibly humbled, yet grateful for their support. I apologized several times
for my sluggish nature and explained my travel fatigue. They kept assuring me
that I'm doing a great job and there are no problems.
The environment I work in is like this on a continual basis,
even when I'm at my best. We are a team and back each other up throughout the
day. It's comforting to know that I am a part of a team. And it's days like
yesterday that make me want to become better, push through the weariness, pay
attention to the details, and support others. Today will mark day two of three in a row for the 4P-4A. Wish
me luck and hope for an alert brain!