A piece of my mind. The patient's patients
At first I remember a dark fog and an alarm that kept growing louder and louder. This is a dream, I thought, floating in that half-awake, half-asleep haze when you can't quite tell what is real and what is not. But then in a flash I knew and now I was wide-awake and panicking. The noise was my pager, and the sun that was never out in the morning when I left for the hospital was streaming in through my bedroom windows. I was sprawled on the hardwood floor, crumpled in a tangle of limbs halfway between my bed and the door with no idea how I got there. “No-no-no-no-no,” I muttered as I scrambled stiffly to my feet, noting with growing horror that I had been face down, half-on and half-off a pile of unfolded laundry and the sham pillows I always kick off in the middle of the night. The pager was still beeping as I raced out of my room and discovered it was 10:14 AM. I was late—very late—for clinic.