I've been on the night shift for the first time since 2010. I wasn't looking forwards to it but it wasn't that bad. I don't sleep much after night shifts though and I notice some marked mental changes. Running around Arthur's Seat in the rain yesterday to shake off that blurry feeling that goes with staying up all night and not getting much sleep, these were the thoughts running through my head.
After night shifts I feel like someone's filled my brain with black ink. I'm sure there's a biochemical basis for it and I ignorantly imagine that it's something to do with the hormone melatonin. Now I don't know much about melatonin but I imagine it's just like the ink that comes out of a squid. It makes your brain murky.
Night shift also has an affect on your gut. Mine swelled up on the first night like a medicine ball. Do you remember medicine balls? We had to use them to practice our netball passes in gym in primary school. I liked them, I now realise, because of an association with "Medicine Bowl" which is where Trampus and the Virginian lived.
My vocabulary has dried up too. I was trying to explain to Peter what the weather forecast is saying. "No sun this weekend" I was telling him, "none until Tuesday, and then just peeping from behind a cloud, not violent." He looked at me. I knew what I meant. I was trying to sketch out the landscape with only four felt-pens, you just have to get as near as you can.
As ever, I can't say much about work, but I noticed a marked trend from Wednesday night to Thursday night. On Wednesday night it seemed like the world had been out, got drunk and then got maudlin, feeling there was no point in anything and they might as well die. Last night, however, things took a swing into madness proper, which actually felt invigorating and a bit of a relief. I had to suppress a smile as someone described their psychiatrist as a "space cockroach". I'm sure that wasn't quite what he meant but you have to work with the felt tips you have.
Sometime this weekend I need to squeeze out a 20 miler, no excuses, but at the moment I can't decide what kind of long rainy run I would rather opt for.