Survival Mode

I have entered survival mode. I fear it is not working well – I feel the desire to cry, and also quit. 

I was on call last night. The only thing that makes my nausea worse is being overtired, so being on all right now is something I dread even more than normal. In survival mode, a call shift means “do the bare minimum, try not to puke, and maybe get a bit of sleep.”  I’ve been doin a pretty good job of all of that, but this afternoon my chief resident called me to give me some “feedback.”  

“They want to see you around the case room more often.  You aren’t around for as many opportunities, and I know they could call you, but they want to see more initiative.”  I know I’ve been slacking a little at work and that knowledge in itself has been making me feel bad about myself. But hearing this from someone else just made me cry. I have nothing left to give.

How do I know I have nothing left? I spenty entire day today laying around, quite literally. I went from my bed after waking up, to the couch where I dosed during a movie, to the basement spare bedroom while I listened to the kids play, back to the couch for another dosing movie, and now I’m back in bed. I have such little energy that I couldn’t even stay vertical to spend some quality time with my kids. Like I said, I have nothing left. I am even a crappy mom right now. 

All I want to do is cry.  

Quit and cry. 

How do I make survival mode more effective?

Combat Exhaustion

I am losing the battle against exhaustion.  It is now taking its hold over my mental skill and mood.  I am sure that I could sleep all day and never feel rested.  I can’t decide if this is a normal physiological change, combined with the medications I take for nausea, or if it is other, more worrisome factors.  You see, along with exhaustion comes a certain level of disinterest, irritability, grumpiness, and an all around dismal mood.

Today I have the day off to “study.”  I plan to do a little but of studying, but so far I have slept in, walked my older son to the bus stop, eaten breakfast, dropped my nanny and younger son at the grocery store, picked up a coffee and a muffin (which I didn’t really need, seeing as how I ate breakfast), and drove across the city to an appointment I made to talk about “options.”  It may sound like a productive morning, but what concerns me most about the whole morning is that I didn’t really feel inclined to spend time on my day off with my kids.  I was glad to bring one to the bus stop, and even though I am 45 min early for my meeting, I thought I would use this time to “study” instead of hanging out with my younger son.  Interesting, considering that my biggest complaint in life is that I don’t get to spend much time with my kids.

Even last night, for example, I had a very half-assed approach to the bedtime routine: I was half passed out on the bed while my husband got the boys ready and when they were tucked in I went and spent less than 5 min with each of them to say goodnight and give them kisses.  Dead-mom.  Totally.

I am worried that maybe my mood and my anxiety are taking over a little, but I don’t know where that leaves me right now.  The medications that I took before are not safe in pregnancy, and I have never really tolerated the ones that are safe in pregnancy.  And, if it isn’t my mood, then will all of this pass when I am feeling less exhausted?  And, when will that be, if ever?

I am feeling a little lost, guilty, and unsure of what to do.  This meeting I have coming up has everything do with “options” for my training program.  Do I continue doing what I’m doing or do I do something else.  I love what I do (except right now when all I care about doing is sleeping) but I don’t like doing it for 11 hours a day and two weekends a month… for the next 4 years.  But does that mean I find something else that I maybe don’t enjoy as much but will give me more time to spend with my kids (and to also sleep?).  I really don’t know the answer and that stresses me out.

How do I get more sleep?  How do I become a better mother when I’m this exhausted?  What do I give up?

Do you ever feel like your level of exhaustion gets in the way of your parenting?  What do you do about it?