Sunday, January 18, 2009

Living the Vampire Life… minus the sucking blood part…

Okay so this reference is made to the old idea of vampires .. before the twilight saga came out and informed us that vampires don’t sleep at all. I sleep, it just seems that I do this during the time that 95% of the population is awake. Why you ask? Because I like being anti social and the one true way to do this is to reverse my sleep/wake cycle to be opposite of the general population. Or maybe it’s because I have a severe allergy to the sun and wish to only get my vitamin D through supplements. Haha I’m just playing – but it definitely seems that way!

My life can be summed up by one incident that seems to happen to me frequently. “Hi mom!” “Jenny, do you realize what time it is??” “Wow you really sound tired! Well I just had lunch… oh dang it… sorry didn’t realize it is 2 am… Go back to sleep mom.” “Thanks Jenny.” Click.

So what do I do? I am a night nurse… Not a like 3pm – 11pm night… but a true 6:45 pm – 7:15 am night… the time that any sane person would be winding down and then sleeping through. Oh but it is only three days a week! When people remind me of that, I just chuckle. Working nights - my choice? No.. but I do get paid for it despite the minor inconveniences. If you have never done it, I wouldn’t suggest it.

It seems that during this shift, people leading an ordinary life forget about those that must stay up. I call this the ostrich phenomenon. It occurs when those ordinary people go to sleep and thus don’t see you awake and working. This leads to a tiny slip of the mind and they forget that there might be a reason you sleep till after 2 p.m. When you do slumber till this time, people may think you are lazy, a partier, or even depressed. (Hey - they might be right about the depressed part!) Some people even get agitated or down right angry that noon might be too early for you. Please give us a little slack! I promise I am not trying to avoid you during the day, just catching up on those z’s that you got when you were sleeping in your warm comfortable bed the night before.

Not only is it hard to work nights… but it is darn right confusing. Have you ever asked a night shift person what days they have off? If they can successfully tell you the day it currently is, then they are off to a good start! “I remember coming into work on a Monday … slept .. then I went into work again for a few hours .. and now it is magically Wednesday! AHH!!! Where did the week go?!?” I love it when people ask me what days I have off… Let me try to explain. With just one day off, lets say Tuesday – night shift people still work that Tuesday morning - 7 hours of it… come home and sleep and then must go back into work Wednesday night. (I worked it out in my head and that is still every day!!) Yes it works out in the hours sense … but if you are trying to plan a shopping trip with someone, it doesn’t work out too well. “I’d love to go shopping for the day! … I will just meet you at the mall at say six and we can shop until three!” “Wait.. the mall closes at eight.. sadness.”

Oh and trying to switch to an ordinary person’s lifestyle is just lovely. If you were lucky to get a six or seven day stretch of days off, one might try to be a normal human being. This does require some dedication, and sometimes the body still wins. People say to me.. “Oh its easy! When you come home one morning just sleep until noon, then stay up until its time to go to bed!” – in reference to a normal night sleep schedule. Personally if I had to choose between two creatures of the night, it would be vampire over zombie. Zombies don’t interact with any type of human life very well… and this is what I resemble when I only get 3-4 hours of sleep.. that or a couch monster, spouting short tempered words at anyone who cross my path. Either way, sleep or no sleep, I do try to go to bed at 11p.m. Usually I can make myself feel tired reading or watching some boring tv show and then get excited for the night of sleep. I sleep for a full eight hours and wake up feeling rested in the morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Right?

Wrong! See, the brain plays an evil joke or maybe it is down right confused. I guess it is hard to be a brain! I informed it I was going to bed at 11pm… and it registers NAP TIME! Three hours of sleep if I am lucky. It is not like insomnia either, I am truly rested and ready to go at 2 in the morning. Unfortunately there is nothing to do at 2 besides watching about the next and best blanket that has sleeves. Oh and if you call in the next 5 minutes they will throw in another one with a light to read books in the dark - for those people that are vampires and watching the infomercial!

Yes… what a life it is to only work three days a week! If only it were that simple…

1 comment:

Meghan said...

Again - in full agreement!! I can't wait for more to come!!