So, that whole "sleep in spurts" thing kind of became the norm for me up til about two days ago. And that, coupled with a high ops tempo (read: lots of self-induced pressure on myself), makes for an unhealthy me. I made it to the gym pretty much every day of my first week; on my day off in my second week; and not all since then. The lack of sleep was really not good. I'd get off shift between midnight and 1:30am, hit the hay some time between 2 and 3am, and then my roommate would get up at 4:30am for her 6am shift. I'd hear her when she got up then fall back asleep for a minute or two. Then I'd hear her when she left the room to go take her shower and then fall asleep until she came back. Then I'd hear her when she left at 5:30am. I'd get up for my day around 9:30 or 10am. Rinse, repeat, til a day off.
Since my last day off (I'm off today) I've had an incessant headache and, up til two days ago, soreness in my back, shoulders, and neck. Every time I stood, I would give it ten seconds and lean on something when the throbbing started across my forehead until it stopped...another ten seconds or so. Same thing if I went from a dark room to a bright room (i.e. every time I left the room where the TV is at work).
The good news is: my roommate discovered a way to help fix this issue (I envy her ability to sleep through noise and light changes). She moved into a room that has a member that is Forward Deployed and I now have a roommate this also Forward Deployed. Basically, we each have new roommates but they aren't here at the moment. I got six hours of sleep in a row Sunday night and seven hours yesterday. Still had the headache, though the back and shoulder pain has gone. Went to Sick Call last night to see what can be done about that. They gave me an IV (I'm not drinking enough water, go figure) and some Fenagren(sp?). That stuff had me slurring like I was drunk and gave me the worst case of restless legs that I've ever had. Really didn't like it. I think I'd rather have the intermittent headache instead. Anyhow, they put me on quarters for the rest of the night. I think I went to sleep around 9pm last night and then got up at noon-thirty today. 15 hours, although great, is not the amount of sleep that I'm aiming for on a daily basis. lol.
Bottom line...I now have the opportunity to get uninteruppted sleep and plan on doing so. I'll be able to get back to the gym in another few days once my body is running on all pistons and this damn headache is gone for good. Of course, I'm due to start my period in the next few days but that's bad only for one day. lol.
As for work, I mentioned that we transport a lot of "out-of-towners" to and from their various locations. When I see them in their seats, on their way "to" the hot zones, I look at their faces and wonder what they're thinking. Are they scared? Are they just wanting to "get this shit over with"? What are they missing most from home? How long have they been away from home? Will they come back on their own accord, wounded, or in a casket? You really look at your mortality here. THIS is where it "gets real."
It "gets real" when the plane that was broke for six hours is now fixed and the boss "greens it up" and it's in the air not three hours after you've signed off that last discrepancy. It "gets real" when the boss has to break a jet out because of something that can't be fixed due to lack of parts and you realize that those 100 troops have to get off the jet and wait; which means that whomever they're replacing has to wait that much longer to come back. THIS is the pressure that snowballed into soreness in my shoulders and back. BUT, when the big boss says: "We don't expect miracles out here", you realize that it's better to take a little bit of time and fix it right than to miss something while trying to just get it done. My inexperience is a hurdle but it's not the mountain that I was making it into. Just a molehill. A molehill that I can level in time. :)