[Editor's note: this was written more than a year ago, and was recently unearthed from the dusty archives of my "Drafts" folder. History does not relate the ultimate destiny of the young poet who scribed it to his beloved, so many moons ago blah blah blah but I forgot to hit the "Publish" button. Enjoy.]
Man, the last hour of work is always a real struggle. Yesterday I powered through the first 11 hours of my shift with (relative) ease. I was an admitting machine. Ask ask ask. Talk talk talk. Examine examine examine. Write write write write write write write write write write WRIIIIITE!!! It's a doctor's life. But the last hour, from 11 to midnight, was a killer.
In all honesty, it was not a killer. Nobody died. I've had many many worse hours of work. But it just sapped my energy and enthusiasm. Lately I've really been struggling with my response to people who've had lifelong illness or disability. I think my parental paranoia gets hyperstimulated by it and I start to dwell on the difficulties that these people and their families must have faced.
Then I get all shirty about how objectively wonderful my life is and why I'm not subjectively more over the moon about it all. But that's not important right now. What I'm talking about is how if I'd had that same patient earlier in the day I'd probably not have been so bothered about him. But by the time I was tired and looking forward to going home, I was all fragile, like a beautiful butterfly or a little crispy cookie.
I think to address this, all my shifts should be one hour shorter. Of course, it's possible that the same situation would recur, and I would once again become all dysphoric and whiny in the 11th hour of work rather than the 12th. In which case I submit to you that the best thing would be to shorten my shifts again by another hour.
Eventually I hope to be working 1 hour days.