Anyone who’s a doctor would know the dread of the ringtone.Sometimes you just need that one ringtone to differentiate the hospital from everyone else. And, in my case, a different vibration pattern too.
Whether it was too many years ago or right this moment, we’ve all suffered from it.
That feeling you get when you’re on call and your phone could ring at any moment. Savouring those quiet moments until your phone is suddenly under the barrage of calls and not another break.
That feeling that you get on call when it’s you haven’t had a call in an hour or two and you wonder if you’re phone is working.
That feeling of making sure you sleep lightly on call to make sure you hear that dreadful ring at 3 AM.
That feeling of being so fatigued while on call that you knock out so hard on a chair, or desk, or ground or (if you’re ever so lucky) a bed and you suddenly jump awake hours later realising what happened and check your phone to see what you missed. That dread of seeing numerous missed calls and text messages from your colleagues. Or none at all, that can happen too (thank heavens).
That feeling that you get when you use a specific ringtone for the hospital and whenever you hear it your fight or flight response kicks in: instant palpitations and sweaty palms.
Especially when you’re out with friends and you suddenly hear a stranger’s phone ring with your hospital ringtone. “Where’s my phone? Where is it?! Who’s calling me at this hour?!” To find it’s sitting quietly in your pocket. Nope, not my phone. Almost had a mini heart attack there, didn’t you?
The ringtone that scarred you for life.