I can ‘survive’ the actual worked shift. I can pry my eyes to stay open after midnight. Especially when I’m busy at work.
I can even make a valiant attempt at ignoring the ‘low lights’ on the nursing units once the visiting hours are over.
What I have trouble is the aftermath. I finish my NOC shift (or my pseudo-NOC shift called the twilight shift) and I head home in the middle of night. I make a horrid attempt at catching some shut eye, but I toss and turn for hours on end.
I crawl out of bed and do my best to stay vertical. Try to be productive and ‘normal’. But by the end of the afternoon the fog creeps back in. That fog in my brain just starts to make things ‘fuzzy’ and slow. My skin sort of tingles and I start acting like a darn zombie.
I ache like I have the flu, my eyes start to itch, burn and get completely out of focus. And at some point the synapses in my brain start to fizzle.
I now have to make another pitiful attempt at sleeping. My body and it’s regimented schedule are already way off kilter. Now I spend a couple days finding some sense of balance.
Insomnia really does suck.