The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Archive for the tag “hospital”

Ana Ayana – I am Tired

Ana Ayana – I am tired.

This is why.

Ten hour shift in A&E turned into a twelve hour shift.

12 hours of standing on my feet and chasing patients who don’t want to me to look after them.

3 hours of chasing a patient around the hospital, trying to get him to take his meds and persuade him not to go outside for a cigarette because he can barely breath and his oxygen levels are low.

3 hours of being abused by said patient for trying to stop him from getting so hypoxic and hypercapnic that he needs ITU. He was young but his judgement was so off, it was questionable if he had intact capacity. His hypercapnia (retaining carbon dioxide) was just over normal so I wasn’t thinking confusion at this stage.

2.5 hours over the time when I should have left to go home so that I could rest up ahead of my shift tomorrow morning.

But then I turned to the sister in charge and she saved the day. All is well. The patient is safe for now. Until he tries to get out of the ward again for another fag.

A long time since I have had such abuse for doing my job or experienced such disdain for my presence by a patient. In fact I think today was a first.

It was bizarre this morning – I bought a packet of chewing gum to get some change for the hospital car park but at the time had dismissed ever even opening the packet as it’s Ramadan and I am fasting. I had put them in my scrubs top pocket and forgotten about them. It was only as I was walking to my car, realising that the sun was setting and the fast was breaking did I realise that the small rectangular thing I was touching in my pocket was the packet of gum I thought I would never need. I thought to myself in that moment of fatigue and thankfulness that God knows the plan ahead of us, better than we do. I used the gum to break my fast as I had nothing else on me. I was not expecting to be so late getting home.

I had to go an sit in a coffee shop to decompress my brain before going home.

Home now and kind of floored. At least I know that I can fast a full day, be on my feet for most of it and deal with challenging patients – I have more of it for the rest of Ramadhan so it’s kind of confidence building.



Default fasters

Thing is when you are fasting and other’s around you are not, they end up fasting by proxy. That’s because in general people are considerate to those around them and on an individual basis have respect for one another. Take the fourth day of Ramadan for instance. I was filming with two crew from the BBC – neither are Muslim. Our filming day was quite long and just a little challenging because we were filming in a hospital. Filming in hospitals is always difficult because the parameters of what you can get and what you can’t are quite narrow – practically nothing or no-one can get into shot unless they have signed two pieces of consent. Even the shoes of patients. So yes a challenging day but nonetheless good for the perspectives we got. After trawling through the camera shy staff, we found some doctors who were fasting to tell us about what working in A&E and fasting is like. They smiled and said it was fine and that actually it makes the day go quicker. I can relate to that. Although I dread the thought of a busy A&E shift, when I am in the middle of one I have to admit that it does make the day go quicker and I can forget myself in amongst it. Sometimes the anticipation is worse than than the fasting day itself. It’s the fear element within it – no-one wants to fail at their work and no-one wants to crumble under the fast. It’s all about fighting the urge to give in on both accounts. It’s mind over matter.

What was interesting to get was the consideration other members of staff gave to their colleagues who were fasting. One nurse said that her team were trying to avoid eating and drinking in front of their fasting nursing colleague. A group of male doctors said that they felt as if they were pseudo-fasting with their Muslim colleague because whilst they were around him they didn’t eat or drink and then they would find themselves too busy to eat when away from him.

In fact the two BBC crew who were with me all day ended up not stopping for lunch or coffee because time was against us. There were things they needed and we had to keep shooting. It was a busy day and quite intense. For me, I was prepared mentally and physically. I had begun to acclimatise to the fasting day and had anticipated it before the day had even begun. The BBC crew hadn’t envisaged that they would not be stopping for food – we were so rushed with the filming that I think they had managed breakfast and a hobbit style- small second breakfast before the shoot began but that was it for them until 7pm that evening. They looked like they were flagging. Filming is an intense experience.

I was fine as my adrenalin of presenting was keeping me going. It was only when I climbed into the taxi home after the end of the shoot and instantly fell into the blissful sleep of the exhausted that I realised that fasting and presenting can be a challenge. I was that exhausted I couldn’t even write this blog piece yesterday. I also naughtily ordered take away protein and salad of lamb cutlets and a mediterranean salad. Then I fell asleep.


Post Navigation

The Imagining History Programme UK

Creative historical writing exploration for teenage fiction writers

The Ramadhan Diaries

Fasting in London and beyond

Overtime Cook

The Home of Real Life Kosher Cooking

White Elephant in the Room

random insight from an unwanted houseguest

Abby Has Issues

I have issues. So do you.

Mostly Bright Ideas

Some of these thoughts may make sense. But don't count on it.

Listful Thinking

Listless: Lacking zest or vivacity

Simon C. Holland

some things are awesome, some not so much.

%d bloggers like this: