I don’t like working three days in a row, let alone three, one off, then two more. For anyone not in healthcare that makes no sense at all. All they see is that I worked three days, worked two days, had a day off in the middle of my workdays, or a combination of these. They may also think that they work five days a week, so what am I complaining about. Or my favorite, they may do the math and see that I have four days off! As I said, for anyone not in healthcare my statement makes no sense, but anyone in healthcare sees the schedule I mentioned in the first sentence and they cringe.

Working five days out of the last six, each shift around twelve-and-a-half hours, is exhausting both physically and mentally. Usually, by day three I’m, at most, at eighty percent, eighty-five after a triple-shot espresso. By the end of day five, even though I’m joking with my coworkers and smiling as I clock out, I am barely keeping it together. All my joints creak, my back hurts, and I can’t even think.

So here I am, having finished five days of work, and utterly exhausted. I managed to get in some good playtime with my daughter when I got home, then hobbled over to the kitchen after she was in bed to pop 800mg of ibuprofen. I stayed up after everyone had gone to sleep so as to have some creative project time for myself, but my mind is mush and I’m unable to do more than browse a few things online that don’t require much thinking. Trying to work on my short story, or even maybe playing a video game, all fall by the wayside very quick because I simply don’t have the mental capacity at the moment.

The worst part is that I need that creative project time, especially after working so much. It helps me refresh my mind, center myself. Instead of being able to write a few more hundred words in my story, edit another chapter of my novel, or write one of the various more structured blog posts I have plans for, all I can muster is a confessional post like this as I fall asleep at the keyboard repeatedly.

I’ll be okay after I get some rest. Usually the first day after a long work stint I am little more than a blob that runs errands, but if I’m lucky I might get in a good afternoon nap and feel much better.

I still don’t like working three days in a row. I’m too old for that.