It's getting late in the year, so the nights are drawing in and I find myself driving to work in the dark and making it home again before the sun rises above the rooftops.
At 4 a.m. in the morning I feel like killing myself as my body just wants to shut down. Instead I find myself going to people who have called an ambulance because they have had a nightmare.
There are a few bright spots, an easy home delivery results in a happy baby and family. We save the life of a six year old and think that we've done something good.
But these are overshadowed by the sixty-five year old drunk woman who makes to hit me and tells me to “fuck off” as we pull her out of the freezing puddle. The patient who calls us 'just because' at five in the morning could do with a thump as well.
I'm not eating well, pasta for three days running in order to try and keep my energy levels up through the night, it's not the most interesting food.
The nights are wrecking havoc with my heart palpitations, I'm trying to keep off the caffeine, but I think that the missed beats are my bodies way of telling me that the job is slowly killing me. I'm getting more of them every night.
A station officer tells me that I could always swap to permanent day shifts – I ask myself how I am supposed to survive on a 25% paycut that coming of rotating shifts would mean. From £10 and hour to £7 an hour? For the same work – no thanks.
The job is going down the drain – we are pulled from one directive to another. I hear something that makes me angry – looks like the slow privatisation of the NHS has reached the ambulance service. I wonder how I'm going to write about it, to describe my utter disgust at the idea of 'private' FRU cars.
I waiting to make a mistake that'll cost me my job – will it be my 'attitude' to another wasted call that does for me? Will I be so tired that I miss a treatment or diagnosis? Will I cause a crash in my ambulance? Will it be something that I write on here?
I float around my flat, all enthusiasm drained from me by that 4 a.m black hole.
It's that time of the year again. Maybe I should start thinking about better living through chemistry.