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Monday, July 26, 2004

On Call

I never realized how soundly I can sleep until I got jarred out of it last night by my pager.  I think I was in the middle of the dream, when my nightstand started to buzz and vibrate (I leave it on vibrate so as not to wake up the whole house).  I don't remember what the dream was about, but whatever it was it ended with a sensation of somebody trying to shock me into consciousness.  Then I bolted upright, completely disoriented.  "Wha...where...whats going ON???"
You have to understand that I probably got back to sleep maybe 20 minutes earlier, since I have a tendency to get paged every hour or more when I'm on call.  At first you don't sleep at all between pages, but usually by around 3am you're so exhausted that sleep overwhelms you.
Still not completely with the program, I reached out for the offending device and pressed the button, annoyed that it was the ER, AGAIN.  Then I tried to find the phone, remembering after a while that I couldn't find it the first few times I got paged and finally going to my wife's desk and using the corded phone there.  Of course, the buttons don't light up on that one so I kept dialing wrong numbers in the dark until I finally just turned on the light. 
By the dim light of the desk lamp I could make out that my wife had the other phone on her night stand for some reason.  Man, I wish I had known that 4 hours ago. 
Anyway, the ER just wanted to let me know about a patient of my partner's that they were sending home.  Would I mind letting him know about her?  Yeah, I'll get right on it.
5 am it's time to get up and head to the hospital to make rounds.  People ask, "How are you today, Doc?"

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