03 September 2007

...Entertain Us

Dear Friends,
Please update your blogs, help me stay awake, and save me from bad television.

I have one more night before my 10 work day marathon ends, and I'm off until Sunday. In other words I will have worked 7 out of 10 days, 7 pm to 7 am. That's lots of overtime, lots of late nights, and occasional periods of sleep deprivation. I really love my job, and I'm clocking in 20 hours overtime, plus holiday pay tomorrow, plus my usual weekend shift differential, so the crazy schedule is easier to do. On the other hand I miss my kids, my husband, my bed. One more night.

Tonight I'm doing sleep studies in a hotel. I love the hotel shifts. I have internet and cable and my own hotel room. When I work at the main clinic I don't have cable tv, but high speed intenet, and as luck generally has it, my favorite co-worker. I got to watch a little of Big Love before I did a patient set up. My second patient got a little freaked out and left early (like 7 hours early), so take down will be easy in the morning. Idlewild came around the time he left, so I got to watch great dancing and Andre 3000. Then there was the CSI marathon on Spike TV, and now Purple Rain is on VH1. I haven't seen Purple Rain since I was in high school. I started watching House of Wax, but even though it's a bad horror movie, I scare easily, and hotels already give me the creeps. I don't watch scary movies at work.

And then there's the surfing. I check my regular fora, my blog stats, my email, and then my friends' blogs. Not much in the way of new stuff there. And I do all these things to stay awake. I can only drink so much Coke Zero and Red Bull without getting ill. I need brain stimulation.

I could work on game notes, but it's hard to look at paper while I'm monitoring sleep studies, and that's why I'm here. Yes, I do work at work. I don't mean to make it sound like I just surf and watch tv all night. I monitor my patients' brain waves, EKG, muscle movements, respiration, pulse, what position they're sleeping in. If they have a certain number of "events" (apnea and hypopnea) after at least 2 hours of sleep, I hook them up to a CPAP machine. In some studies patients actually begin the study with CPAP. And some people wake up frequently and require assistance to the bathroom. Sometimes electrodes fall off, and I have to replace them if the patient is awake. There's lots to do. Some nights, like tonight, are a little slow. My remaining patient hasn't stirred since I left her room at 9:20, and she didn't meet the split night with CPAP criteria.

I have 40 minutes before I wake my patient, take off the electrodes, do my paperwork and go home. This is where I get to the worst part of my job: my patients' morning breath. If you ever have a sleep study done, do the tech a favor and don't say anything in the morning. Don't share your funky yuck mouth.

So friends, please update your blogs, send me some email, post on a forum. Think of me, staying up all night with bad tv, scary movies, and no updates on your lives.

Nighty night,


lumpley said...

I posted at the Forge about our GenCon Poison'd game. That should be good for a few minutes' fun. Am I too late?

Parthenia said...

Dude, now that's what I'm talking about! That thread totally made my night. I wanted to add a response after John's, but one of my patients was having a tough night, and I couldn't be much more than audience to the thread. When I'm a little more awake I'll post, too.

Thanks, Vincent!

joshua said...

Oh, hey, are you *sleeping* tonight? I was expecting to see you up.

Parthenia said...

I fell asleep at 9 pm. I never really caught up on sleep after that last shift.