I work as the Staffing Coordinator at a nursing home in Minnesota. One of my primary goals is to make sure the facility is staffed at all times; I also handle the schedules among other things. My days are spent doing the same routine over and over again. If I am derailed from my routine I become anxious and confused. Now obviously there are minor interruptions, but I have grown accustom to these and they rarely derail me, but for the most part I need my routine to function. On every other Monday I need to do payroll for the last two weeks. I do this for around seventy people in the nursing department, and about twenty-five lodge workers. This is the first thing I do on these Mondays, but yesterday decided to throw me a curveball. I sat at my desk and started to do payroll. I noticed everything was messed up; our time clock broke on Thursday. Apparently the time clock did not record any punches from the 30th to the 2nd. My boss instructed me to exit this program so they can try and fix it. This was devastating to me.

I was so lost and I was doing a little here and a little there, but not being able to stay focused on one single task. I was so scattered brain; causing everything to fall apart around me. I was having anxiety attacks all day, which some turned to pure panic. I was still able to get work done but I was in a haze of confusion. I struggled to do my other Monday tasks, but it was difficult since I was doing it at a different time, and the knowledge of not being able to do my first task. One of the things I do at the end of the day is deliver the staffing book along with the schedules for the next day to each floor. These schedules are crucial to the function of the nursing department. Without these schedules the place would erupt into chaos and order would break down. Nobody would know which floor or unit they were on. If this was left for the twenty-seven employees to try and figure out where they are supposed to be it would be random chaos. You can almost guess where this is going.

I am getting ready to wind down for the day. My routine is taking two of my sedatives at 7:00pm, and the remainder between 8-9pm. I took a double dose of my seven o’clock meds because I was all manic from my destroyed day. I started my nightly routine of trying to shut myself down. Now at 8:15 I take my next round of sedatives which include three separate meds. I must add I take these medications because I suffer from insomnia, and if you add in mania with insomnia it is very hard to shut myself down and go to sleep. So I am watching a movie and I am not feeling really tired and I am starting to panic around 9:30. I go upstairs and take another sedative to try and get me to sleep. It is now 10pm and I am just starting to fall asleep when my phone rings, and it is my work informing me there are no schedules in the staffing book for the next day. My office is locked, so I have no choice but to drive into work and get the schedules out.

I was really groggy and close to sleep. I noticed when I was talking to my wife my words were slurring. I live in Shakopee and work in Plymouth. It is a straight shot down 169 from my house to my work, but is a longer drive. It had snowed earlier so I was worried about the ice on the road. As I start driving I can tell I am really fucked up, and that this is going to be one hell of a journey. I was swerving all over the road and feared I would be pulled over. I am not aware of the laws, but I am sure if I got pulled over and told the cop I am driving on sedatives I would probably be arrested for a DUI. I know I would have never passed the field sobriety test. I at this point started praying and hoping I don’t crash or get pulled over.

One of the many side affects of taking all my medication is nausea. If I stay up to long after taking them I get really ill, so now I am driving not only fucked up out of my gourd, but I also feel like I am going to vomit. To make a long story short I made it to work stumbled to my office and up to the floors to deliver the schedules. At this point the nausea and grogginess has gotten much worse. I make it to my car and proceed to head home. It is snowing at this point, and I suffer from severe anxiety driving in adverse weather, so now I am sick, fucked up, and starting to suffer from a panic attack. I ended up driving around 40mph on a 65mph highway swerving from here to there. Obviously since I am writing this I made it home okay. I stumbled in the door holding back vomit and just struggling to get to bed. I think once I laid down I was out in two minutes. It was a scary and crazy experience, and looking back on it now I can chuckle to how close I was to either crashing or getting pulled over. Perhaps my prayers were answered; wouldn’t that be something.

****I need to add a side note to this post. I received a comment from Rambling asking why I didn’t have my wife drive me, and how I could have endangered the lives of another person. To be honest I was not even thinking about it. This makes me sound like a total douche. I got the call and ran out the door because I had no choice but to go. This of course does not excuse my stupidity, because I have a strict driving while intoxicated policy. If I have one drink I will not drive for the entire day. It is amazing how I did not even think about this.

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Comments
  1. Here’s my question: Why didn’t you have your wife drive you to work? It’s great that you made it there and back in one piece, but you could have killed somebody (including yourself)!!

    How do you think the loved one of someone you injured or killed would have felt KNOWING you chose to drive in such an impaired state? Yes, your job is important, but it’s not important enough to risk the lives of others.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Rambling,
      I did not think of the part of hurting another person. It is amazing how selfish I can be. The whole time I was writing this post I was thinking about just myself!! God I should really take this post down because it makes me look like a total douche!!

  2. I had a somewhat similar experience back when I was a state child abuse investigator.

    I had broken a tooth and was in immense pain. My wife took me to the ER and they prescribed some codeine-3 which, of course, made me loopier than snot!

    About 2 hours later, I rec’d a call to investigate an allegation of sexual abuse. Despite my condition, I had to go; it was an emergency report and I was the county’s ONLY investigator.

    Even though my wife was tired from her 8-hour days’ work and the trip to the ER, we both realized I was in no shape to drive. I could barely walk more than 2 or 3 steps in a straight line! So, my wife drove me to/from the home where I interviewed the alleged perpetrator.

    It certainly was NOT the best interview I ever conducted because I was loopier than snot. I reinterviewed the alleged perp the next day (when I was slightly more cognizant).

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