It is hard to explain what Recovery Mode feels like to doctors.
Recovery Mode is what every doctor experiences after a rough night on call, a stressful case, a phrenetic day or week of constant clinical ups and downs.
No matter what the cause, it inevitably takes a while to recover.
And as I get older, I reflect on how Recovery Mode has impacted me and my family more. Perhaps it is the years of entering and exiting Recovery Mode. Or maybe, it's because with age, it's harder to rebound, I'm not sure. But usually, there is relief that you've made it through another test of your endurance, both physically and emotionally when you leave Recovery Mode and reenter a more normal work pattern.
Recovery Mode should not be confused with doctor burnout. Rather, Recovery Mode it is a natural and expected consequence of our job that involves sleep deprivation, tough decisions, and the high levels of attention to more and more details required of doctors that are often proscribed by others. Inevitably, it takes time to recover to baseline after an unsual amount of these "normal" events.
But the effects of Recovery Mode are real. I know it. The kids know it. So does my wife.
And writing here means there's hope.