I'm currently on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and I just worked for 12 days straight.
I'm started this post yesterday from the post call brain haze.
Then I got distracted, lay down in my bed and woke up 3 hours later. Haha I guess. Post call is unpredictable.
For those of you who are new, I'm a medical student (hi classmates!) and that means that sometimes we have rotations where we take call every 4 nights. We come in at say, 6 in the AM and leave at 10 or 12 the next day - 28 or 30 hours later. If you're Katie you might be scrubbed into surgery that whole time, but she's crazy (I love you.) I sort of love call because I think we learn a lot in the middle of the night, but it's very confusing for my sleep cycles.
Usually I try to sleep either right when I get home or later in the afternoon. I recover from it a lot better if I sleep at least a little instead of staying up until it's time for sleep on a regular day.
I also have less energy for cooking when I'm post call, and my body craves quick-energy sugar. Frequently in the past the post call days are the days I eat far too many cookies or scoops of peanut butter.
Lately I've been working pretty hard on making better choices so I don't have to have that overeating guilty feeling.
I know I don't make the best choices when I'm tired, so it's helped a lot to decide an outline for what I'll eat before I get tired. What's been working for me lately is defining 3 meals a day with 1 afternoon snack, so that I don't snack just whenever it feels like a good idea because I know my signals aren't trustworthy. It also works pretty well for me to not eat during the middle of the night even if I'm up the whole time. My body's not used to meals then, and I don't get hungry. In the past I used all the running around as an excuse for sugar, but I feel much better now when I'm not eating that way. And I'm pretty steady on the coffee - I'm completely addicted (withdrawal headache, crankiness, the whole works) but it keeps me running through the night until I get the chance to sleep.
I wanted to have a real picture of my food for you, but I can't find it on my computer right now.
As an example though, yesterday I was post call and I had soup with quinoa for lunch, an apple for snack and pumpkin risotto from this great slow cooker book with spinach salad for dinner.
Sure it's 100% the opposite of my cravings, but it's been liberating to conclude that my cravings lie, and actually this is what I need.
So happy November. I'm trying really hard to post more, but if the PICU keeps me too post-call and tired, I'll see you in a couple weeks.