I really learned about fatigue in residency. Residency is rough, 80 hour work weeks for much of the year. Stress. Trying to live a normal life. They make for a lot of fatigue. I found that after working for 30 hours straight I was actually better off staying awake through that next day and going to bed at basically a normal time. The times I did come home at 1-2 PM in the afternoon and got to sleep after being awake since 7 AM the day before I would inevitably wake up at 11 PM feeling terrible, have a bite to eat, go back to bed and wake up the next day feeling even worse. Better to feel moderately bad and tired all afternoon then that terrible feeling the next day. Not everyone did that, but it was what worked for me.

I raced bicycles through much of residency and the affects of fatigue were incredibly evident with that. There was a 4 week criterium series in Nampa at the parking lot at the convention center. That was on Wed nights and was tough for me to make it to because of trying to get out of work, etc. I did however make all 4 races my 3rd year of residency and 2 of the weeks I was relatively well rested and 2 of the weeks I was post-call. The two weeks I was rested I got top 5. The two weeks I was post-call I couldn’t even finish, I had to “sit up” meaning I didn’t have the strength to even stay in the main pack and draft off the leaders. Amazing difference.

I was starting to feel extreme fatigue earlier this week. I was on call this last week, which wasn’t terrible but I did get called a handful of times in the middle of night. Mix that in with a few diaper changes at 4 AM and a baby alarm clock at 6 AM and you start to feel tired. I had Monday off but a meeting at 6 PM, work Tuesday and another meeting Tuesday night. I hate meetings. By Tuesday with a full day of work and another meeting staring me in the face I was starting to melt down. Friday’s (today) schedule was light on Tuesday so I had “the girls” reschedule those appointments and I’m taking the day off. So today was going to be my big day of rest and I actually went to bed pretty early last night-10:30! Then diaper change at 5 AM and I’m wide awake. Six and a half hours of uninterrupted sleep isn’t terrible for me, I do ok with that, but 5:30 is still too early to be up.

I was partially thinking about a blog post that I’ve been working on for some time about some of the differences between men and women and as I was starting to type out the title of it my wife hands me our daughter (now 6 AM) and says “She’s awake”. We played for the last hour and now she’s asleep again (she almost rolled over again today= 10 weeks, wow!). Needless to say I’m feeling fatigued and have no energy to write about something heavy and insightful. Maybe tomorrow morning….

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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