Night call when there is no night

I went on call for the night

But it never stopped being light

     As things came around

     The sun almost went down

And I didn’t stop being polite.

I have just finished the first and only night call of my stay in Barrow

One of our docs prefers to work nights, and when in town does almost all the night shifts.  I thanked him two days ago and he just shrugged, saying that if the sun is up for 24 hours a day it’s not such a big deal.  I said it was a big deal to me, and thanked him again.

I did, however, get assigned one night shift, from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM, and that was last night.   I called in x-ray twice and ultrasound once.  I saw two drunks, three people with abdominal pain, and two lacerations.  Half of the patients were children

Some general information without information regarding anyone specific.

A toddler, given an object, will find a way to insert that object into an orifice.   

A cut needing stitches raises suspicions of a family under stress.

 People who don’t sleep well get sick.

You can’t know what you can’t know.

Stress and alcohol make things worse which makes drinking under stress a bad idea.

A thin young drunk runs faster than an aging, overweight, well equipped cop in Kevlar, but doesn’t get far because the cop can run in a straight line.

If you’ve seen more than three doctors for the same problem, the chances that I’m going to make you better tonight are not good.

No one can count anything after two drinks, especially not the number of drinks consumed.

Every day I see patients I will see at least one thing I’ve never seen before.

Most lifelong scars are acquired under or near the influence of alcohol, before the age of 10 or between puberty and 25.

I’m still seeing whaling injuries.

Things that seem like a good idea at the time turn out to be a really bad idea when alcohol is included.

The sun won’t set here till August 2. When I walked down the hallway to ER at 2:30 this morning, there was a bright blob on the western horizon and cars had headlights on.


This is as close to a sunset as I’ve seen in seven weeks.


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