Today wasn’t technically rock-bottom – but it was definitely the kind of sharp granite ledge that you hypothetically would hit on your way to the actual rock-bottom.
Today I fell asleep:
- At least 10 times
- While sitting straight up in a chair
- Listening to a powerpoint lecture my preceptor was giving to me and only me
- While only a couple feet away from him.
I felt guilty, but I couldn’t stop. I was falling asleep in microbursts every 30 seconds – literally nodding my head, saying “Uh-huh, yes, okay” and then briefly losing consciousness.
I’d vaguely become aware of his voice, and I’d start instinctively nodding while I mustered up the strenuous levels of muscle-power needed to open my eyes and keep them open for at least 10 seconds.
… Unfortunately, all that effort to keep the eyes open left no musculoskeletal power left for focusing my eyes. So I kept losing focus and doing the half-lidded, eyes-halfway-rolled-back-in-the-head thing before I’d jerk my eyes back to where they were supposed to be (which I’m pretty sure just made me look like I was having a seizure).
I swear to god I fell asleep with my eyes open at one point – because instead of spacing out for 2 seconds with my eyes closed, I just spaced out on what he was saying – and then the outline of his body gradually un-fuzzied itself.
(… The terrible thing was, it wasn’t even like I pulled an all-nighter last night. I have no excuse. I had a solid 6 hours of sleep – so I don’t even know, guys. No clue.)
“Horrifying” would be a good word for my guilt level. The only thing holding my body and mind together was the fact that I knew I had a 2 hour break between 4pm and 6pm, and it was going to be a nap, goddamnit. I just needed to make it to 4pm.
TIME JUST NEEDED TO MOVE FASTER.
But, no such luck. My hormones had bravely gathered their forces and successfully overcompensated for my sleepiness (Activate: Hyper Overdrive!), so by the time I actually got out of work and was crawling into bed, my mind was actually totally awake.
(In fact, after that powerpoint lecture I somehow managed to navigate my way through a new patient intake H&P. And my preceptor even gave me a hypothetical “Honors” on it – albeit probably because I managed to avoid collapsing on the patient.)
By the time I got home and crawled into bed, I couldn’t actually fall asleep – but my muscles were literally too tired to move. Damn near unresponsive. So I was just lying there on my bed like a lump for at least an hour, totally awake and dead inside.
Two hours later I realized my body was aching all over, I had a headache, my alarm was ringing (possibly causing said headache), and I was – inexplicably – absolutely drenched in sweat, and it was 6pm, so I had to run out the door to attend 3 hours of mandatory Pediatrics lectures.
… I’m half-convinced I didn’t even fall asleep, because it sure didn’t feel like I did. It felt like I just passed out.
And hit a rock.
Med school! *jazz hands*