When you’re on call, you’re in control of so little.
You can’t control how busy the call will be- like cats and Donald Trump, calls do just whatever the hell they please. You can’t control what’s going to roll through the doors- just because vascular emergencies have kept you up until the wee hours on your last three calls, doesn’t mean you’re exempt on this call. You can’t control who will be on your team- the universe may gift you that intern who thinks the management of hypoglycaemia includes ‘like…uh…10 units of insulin stat, dude’ or the pregnant intern who looks like she is mere moments from rupturing membranes, whom you take pity on and send home, and you end up doing the shift without any help. A derailed train could flood your ER with mass casualties, a patient could bite you, you could develop diarrhoea (a distinct possibility if your call takes you within a 1 mile radius of the paediatric ward, those kiddie viruses don’t mess around), and on, and on.
The only thing you DO have control over…
is your lunchbox.
When it’s all going to pot around you, at least you have that Snickers you’ve been saving up. When you’re so fatigued you feel like you need to prop your eyes open with matchsticks, that cup of coffee and packet of Jammie dodgers will come through for you. I have on occasion averted imminent mutiny in the emergency room by ordering in vast amounts of pizza for the team. It’s an essential component of boosting / maintaining morale.
I’ll be the first to admit: falling face- first into an angina burger with a side of LDL fries EVERY day is not a great coping strategy.
But once in a blue moon, when the going gets really tough, only bringing out the big guns will work. Napoleon Bonaparte famously stated that an army marches on its stomach, and these calorie bomb exceptions to our usual sensible nutritional rules may give us the courage we need to grab our metaphorical rifles and charge over the parapet of the metaphorical trench, to once again enter the fray.