Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two AM Insomniac


I just got off of a pediatric emergency department rotation that ended with a week of night shifts ranging from 5am-2am, 2pm-2am and 7pm-7am. As a result, for the past few days, I have been very awake at 2am and 3am. Yesterday, I was only able to get back to sleep at 3am. This is also fueled by the expectation I have for a patient who is in early latent labor right now and could go into labor at any minute...or in several days. Also fueled by being very worried about a patient that I picked up and hoping she survives the night...for several reasons.

So now I'm awake. And I could have just sat in bed and reflected and tried to go back to sleep for hours, but I guess I've already slept four hours and I have until 8am to get up, so what better to do when having insomnia than to get up in front of a screen for a few minutes?

...actually, no, bad. Screen time is not the way to go back to sleep, and this doctor knows that. The fact that I do most of my major activities in this bed these days (including working, eating some meals, leisure time, practicing my clarinet and sleeping) also doesn't help.

The bed is very comfortable, though.

I had a fitful time getting to sleep, too, with all sorts of pre-sleep hallucinations about being awaken shortly after taking melatonin to go attend to a delivery. If it weren't for the whole continuity delivery thing, second year would be easier than first year. I'm going to have to find a way to deal with that.

That, and my plans for an elective are currently up in the air because I've just been so busy with inpatient rotations I haven't had time to adequately prepare and plan. That, and it is so hard to get to faculty to help me out in the matter.

The past few weeks have been filled with a mix of excitement, sadness and challenges. There have been bachelorette parties and weddings, conferences and night floats, a very isolated Ramadan again without being able to attend Eid prayer because of work, Trayvon Martin and The New Jim Crow. It has been an emotional roller coaster and the fact that I'm waking up afraid for my patient's life, unsure about this rotation and, indeed, unsure about my future, make the perfect recipe for my insomnia.

I just lay on my stomach and prayed desperately for a while. The place of prayer in my life has morphed over the last several months.

I also wonder about this relationship I'm in, with a man that I'm pretty sure no person whose ever known me would imagine for me or may not even want for me. I made the decision a while ago that this didn't matter. However, it does make certain aspects of life more isolating.

I think this is a road, no matter what the outcome, that I must travel, though. It is a lesson for me and it will inspire humility. After years of being disappointed that MTQ couldn't see past our racial and ethnic differences to try to make something out of our mutual attraction--I now see how hard that is when you face your loving family's disapproval.

I don't have the strength right now to deal with the "you could do better" and "what's wrong with black men?"

In all, life is really hard, it's an uphill battle and a slippery slope. The feeling of God wavers from familiar to distant and more things are subjective than I'm comfortable with. So boo.

Friday, August 2, 2013



Today, I am sad. I sat before an old friend of mine and I became sad. I feel like I've finally come to terms with so many things that I've given up on that maybe I shouldn't have, so many ways that I've lost faith in things that maybe I shouldn't have, at least not this early.

The world for me became a much more jagged, ugly place for me more rapidly than it ever has been before. The fact that I could read The New Jim Crow and not become enraged tells me that I am disaffected. It could be worse. I could want to do nothing about it.

But it's not as bad as it could be. It's more like the opposite. I want to do everything about it.

But I don't know where to begin.