I'm a night-owl. I like to stay up late. But I also like to sleep. The last time I fasted completely from sleep was eight years ago during a night of insomnia. Other than that I remember once when I was a kid I decided to stay up all night with a friend to see what it was like. I wasn't impressed.
But Friday night/Saturday morning became the third time in my life I went for 24 hours without sleep. It was my first real "on-call" experience in medicine, on my surgery rotation for my 3rd year of med school. The day started at 6AM Friday morning and ended at 10:30 AM Saturday morning, with 20 of those 28 hours spent working in the hospital. I spent the eventful evening running between the ER and the operating room as we saw a shreded leg from a motorcycle accident and point blank shotgun blast to an abdomen, among other things.
At around 4AM as I stood over an operating table, holding a retractor (a rather unimportant job), I was fading with my eyes attempting to force themselves closed. But I became aware of the importance of the circadian rhythm as 6AM rolled around and I began to feel as good and as wide awake as I do most mornings. This was a pleasant surprise. After rounding on our team's patients I headed back to Loma Linda for a much-needed nap.
You may have noticed fewer posts on this blog in the past week. It is likely to remain that way for the next five weeks as general surgery is a very busy rotation. I will put this teaser out there though... I'm thinking of writing a post entitled "Lapin Maija."