Sometimes the days seem endless, the cases relentless. No sooner do you think you are finished for the day when the phone rings or the overhead alarm sounds the next code trauma. All you can do is laugh. The only other option is to fight against the inevitable.

Today I realized when I am on call I go through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of loss. Anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Here’s how that goes:

  • Check the board. See 50 scheduled cases. Learn that half the evening shift and half the night shift are sick or quit. Feel angry because the 10 hour shift has been increased to 16 hours.
  • Think, ‘No!!! I’ve worked too much this week!!! I can’t do this! Again!!!’
  • Think, ‘Why doesn’t Dr … do his case tomorrow? There’s only one case on the schedule for tomorrow.’
  • Feel waves of hopelessness wash over you because the day is. Never. Going. To. End.
  • Accept the fact that your day will be 16 hours long and move on.

What else can you do but laugh?

This is day 15 of 31 days of five minute free writes. Be sure to head over to Kate’s blog to participate or read along or both.

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