'the three colours of tired'
by Pete Smith, 2014
Who cares who I am.
I could be any one of thousands
On any one day
Any one night
Working through the clock
12 mid day passes sight unseen
6 PM, At least I know where I've been
22:00 I'm ramping it up
Cardiac case. Just my luck!
2 AM and the blood's running fast
Checking the numbers as the units fly past
At 4 on the dot my brain's winding down
Home time approaching as ICU comes around.
I look at the people
In the room we have shared
These past few fast hours, and i want to declare:
We are all in it together, but we are also very much on our own
We work as a team, but we suffer our pain alone.
The nurses, the doctors, perfusionist too:
We do what we do because that's what we do
I limp out the door with my cabcharge in hand
I get in the taxi and settle in for the ride The driver looks shattered, rubs his temples to keep the fog from descending on his brain. I chatter to keep HIM awake. Oh, the irony of the situation! If I no longer make sense and I seem to be rambling its because that is how my brain is functioning. The neurons seem scrambled as though I am drunk, but I haven't drunken a sozzling thing! I settle into a fitful sleep, not restful at all because I am STILL on-call, and my body is screaming a pain of its own, a fatigue that is aching from my neck to my back to my legs to the very core of my being!
I am crushed.
I am smashed.
I am so tired that I can no longer rest.
And though I am not alone,
Those who watch over me from a dispersonified distance cannot understand
I must suffer my pain in the here and now,
And among the dull ensuing formless tasteless days:
Pete Smith, 2014