Startled out of sleep, I reflexively reach for my beeping pager. For a split second, I lie poised between wakefulness and terror in the pitch-dark resident call room, not sure where I am or what happened. I resolve to sleep with the lights on from now on.
I dial the call-back number.
“Pod A,” a caffeinated voice chirps. It’s Candice, one of the nurses.
“Hi. Amy here, returning a page,” I murmur.
“Oh, hi, Dr. Cowan,” she says. “I just wanted to let you know that the family is all here. They’re ready for the meeting.” Her voice is sweet. At sixty-three, Candice is still practicing ICU nursing–at night, no less. She loves it.
“Candice, what are you talking about? What meeting?” I ask.