A piece of micro-fiction, about a nurse, by me.
I’m tired, too tired. Can’t remember the last time I slept. Maybe tonight. Take some Diazepam, should knock me out good and proper. Don’t care about tomorrow. Just hope I sleep and sleep. That’s all days off are for – running repairs for my failing immune system, for my arthritic knees, for my weak back, for my bloodshot eyes and my despondent mind and my broken heart.
I’m just patching myself up, and throwing myself down into the stresses of work. Twelve hour shifts working with the sick, patching them up, and throwing them back out. Back into a world where they can go and wreck themselves further, getting their fix of heroin, their stomach full of alcohol, and not taking their medication, and then come back to my ward for another quick, temporary fix. Cold turkey, stomach pumps, IV drips, counselling, sedation. It’s a vicious cycle. And it’s making me sick.
It’d be OK if, when walking down the high street on a blessed day off, I wasn’t confronted by the absolute futility of it all. It’s hard enough to be awake and to set aside my agoraphobia to go out and spend what’s left of my wages. In my Lorazepam-induced haze of calm, I’m walking through town and I watch the only vestiges of job satisfaction I have fade away. I see my former patients, clients: the junkies curled up in doorways; the winos drinking cans of Super T at half-past nine; the schizophrenics having episodes in the shopping centre; the severely depressed walking face down to the floor. I’ve bandaged them up before, I’ll sticking-plaster them again. But I’ve no time to really fix them, properly. I’ve no time to fix myself.
Prozac, Zoloft, Seroxat, Wellbutrin, Lustral, long walks, St. John’s Wort, keep fit, meeting new people and seeing the family, stroking the cat, doing good deeds, buying new clothes and eating too much. Done them all. Nothing works. All I feel is an aching heart, sore joints, and a head, empty and numb. I want to help, I live to help, but I just can’t help. Anyone. Anymore. I sleep.