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the post-call hangover

Post call.  The day after your night of being on-call at the hospital.  You usually get out early (anywhere between 8am and 12pm in my experience so far) and then you go home and sleep. 

When I get home, I’m usually okay.  I’m wired from being awake for that long and I’m usually hungry so I’ll get something to eat.  I’ll get home and plop down on my couch, unwind with a little tv.  Usually it’s just the notion that I need to sleep that makes me go to bed rather than passing out.  That’s a little weird but I think I get pretty wired when I’m on overnight call.  Anyway, as soon as my head hits the pillow that’s when I realize how tired I am.  And then I’ll sleep for 3-5 hours before I’ll get up and take care of a few errands with the remaining hours in the day. 



This is when the hangover hits you hard.  After the post-call nap or snooze.  You’re tired but you know you have to get up and do something.  Errands, go to the gym, goof off, whatever.  But you have to take advantage of being home early.  You’re a little anorexic from your internal clock getting thrown off and food doesn’t taste quite as good.  You’re just–off.  But for me, the most troubling part of the post-call hangover is what I call donkey dick breath.  It’s a bit of a misnomer in that it’s not really my breath but more a nasty taste in my mouth.  As though during the period that I was asleep, there was a donkey dick in my mouth the whole time.  (I will stipulate at this point that I don’t actually know what a donkey dick tastes like but I would imagine that it tastes something like this.)  Anyway, I’m not sure where the donkey dick breath comes from because I brush my teeth before and after sleeping and strangely it only happens after my post-call naps (or short naps after geing awake for a long time).  Someone has to know what I’m talking about.   It usually takes all day to shake.  I’m post call now and I’m still trying to shake it.  Yuck.   

So I write this post for two reasons.  1) To see if anyone has any advice regarding the donkey dick breath.  2) To empower others who also suffer from post-call donkey dick breath.  You are not alone.


2 Responses to “the post-call hangover”

  1. 1

    priceless. for everything else, there’s martercard.

  2. 2
    vandy medicine:

    interesting. your dilemma may stem from a finding presented in a 1956 study performed by E. Furchgott and W. W. Willingham that was published in the American Journal of Psychology: sleep deprived participants’ sensitivity to sour tastes was significantly dampened. but, as one who has spent countless sleepless nights wondering how much longer till the psychosis kicks in, i too remember bizarre tastes. maybe we should rehash Furchgott and Willingham’s legacy, eh? :-) (their institution credit was listed as UT, oddly enough.)

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