Tuesday, December 27, 2011
1) he scheduled Orthoman to be on call the day of his brother's wedding. after sending out emails and talking to people for months, he had arranged for his one weekend off to be that weekend. while we weren't surprised, it was really annoying. he did, however, schedule the following weekend as his "off" weekend.
2) he had illegally scheduled Orthoman. so not only was he going to be on call during the weekend he was supposed to be off, but he had done so in a way that legally couldn't happen.
3) he was on call Christmas Eve AND New Year's Eve
when you combined #2 and #3, it meant that there was no way to "fix" the schedule. it had been bungled up in so many ways that there was no repairing it. after much discussion and debate, one of the REALLY awesome and nice 2nd years took the pager for Orthoman and covered for him. and guess what? they let him KEEP the next weekend off! he offered to take call, but the guy said that since Orthoman was working both holidays he should enjoy the weekend off. to say that i felt a profound sense of gratitude wouldn't do my feelings justice.
the wedding weekend was really fun, but stressful because he took a red eye Friday night so he could be there Saturday and we came home Sunday. it was short and busy, but not awful. we even managed to get some "hang out time" Sunday night after the girl went to bed. when he was off the following weekend we did a lot of "family" stuff. the girl was beside herself - her daddy was there for 2 mornings when she woke up! at one point on Saturday, he was putting on his shoes to take the dog for a walk and she came up to him, gave him a HUGE hug and kiss and said, "bye daddy. be a good doctor! love you!" all without any prompting. she's already used to this sort of lifestyle i guess. when he told her he wasnt going to the hospital, she got so excited that she started jumping up and down. it was heart warming and heart breaking at the same time.
given our recent struggles, it wasnt the easiest weekend. he didnt feel like going on a date; he wanted to spend time as a family. it stung, and i was mad, but we talked through it later and i actually ended up agreeing with a lot of his reasons (you're 7.5 months pregnant - you'll be miserable sitting in a movie seat for 2+ hours, save the money for Christmas next weekend, little girl was glued to his hip and begging to snuggle, etc.). January has a lot of "free" weekends for him so we're planning on doing a lot of "couple things" next month.
we also had this conversation:
me: so you're on call Xmas Eve. is it safe for me to assume that you dont have any days off since you didnt get to use any vacation time?
orthoman: sorry, no vacation time at all. we'll have saturday morning and all of sunday once i get home. that'll be it.
you'll notice that in this (already really long) post i havent mentioned my feelings about his being on call for both holidays and not getting time off. well, that's really because i dont have strong feelings about it. i completely expected he would work in Xmas and New Years - he's a intern AND a surgeon. December is one of those really busy months for surgeons because people are trying to use up the last of their benefits. so clinic is ridiculous and the ORs are running full speed. there's also a lot of drinking, partying and all around stupid behavior occurring so the ERs get really busy. we talked about this LOOOOOONG ago, before medical school even. people get sick year round without regards to the day on the calendar.
we're also fairly religious and attend services on most Sundays rather than the High Holy Days. and, as a history nerd, i also dont feel obligated to celebrate on the 25th because what we're really doing is hijacking the festival of Saturnalia (see HERE). so, rather than be a slave to the calendar, i've always felt pretty flexible about celebrating with my family at a time that best suits us all. well, it turns out we got an extended christmas present! Thursday night, about an hour before he was due to come home, Orthoman found out he had Friday off! it was a complete surprise to all of us. he stayed late to finish his dictations and when he came home he surprised me with the big news. after looking at the schedule, he called someone and found out he had MONDAY off too! so even though he was working on Xmas Eve, we got 2 WHOLE DAYS with him!
i cant tell you how incredible this weekend has been. our Xmas was small, but the train set we got our little girl has made her the happiest girl in the world. we spent all Sunday playing it and most of Monday too. We stayed up late every night to talk and hang out - just the two of us. i feel like it's given me "breathing room" in the marriage. i dont the same sense of urgency or perseverance that i did just a few weeks ago (does that even make sense?). we've been able to relax and calm down. we've had time to remember that we're not just "partners" or spouses, but friends too. and yes, there was even some major flirting going on.
any rough moments were quickly smoothed over. i didnt feel burdened, as if i was carrying the entire load on my shoulders. and really, what better Christmas gift could i get?
Friday, December 9, 2011
We decided to buy a house at our residency location to build equity and so forth. We knew we'd be there 4 years. We paid cash for our down payment and the move. Our savings was gone, but it didn't matter because we would have 4 calm years in a low cost of living area to rebuild.
This was a great plan until hubby's first day of work. He instantly learned that his "match" was not a "fit." He was soon offered a position in another specialty somewhere else. It was what he wanted to do. We had no funds left and took a leap of faith and used the credit card to pay for the move.
In our new, high cost of living location did not give us any wiggle room in the budget. The credit card balance kept getting higher as I had to charge things like groceries in order to have the cash for the minimum payment that had gotten enormous. This sort of thing cannot not go on forever, but we felt absolutely trapped.
Fortunately, family came to our rescue and partially bailed us out. What has been very hard is to break the cycle. Cut our expenses to the point where the cash we pay toward our credit card balance comes from extra money, not grocery or rent money.
The whole thing has made me a very unhappy person over the last few years. I hate to be so unhappy when I have so many blessings I should be happy about.
As you could tell I'm sure from my last blog entry, something had to give. Since then we have attained our first financial goal in our "get out of debt" plan. I feel ecstatic! I am happy that we have a plan and that it has actually been working too!!!! We have made leaps and bounds in the last few months to combat our personal debt situation.
Before, when we were in such great financial shape, we had followed the advise given by Dave Ramsey. I have compiled all my notes from his advise and will be putting them on my personal blog to share with anyone interested.
We have a goal of being credit card debt free by end April! Just in time to save for our move for fellowship.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
i spent 10. 10! glorious days in warm, sunny florida. i saw my bestest that moved matched there and then my family. incredible doesnt even begin to describe my experience. and my little bug blossomed under all of the love and attention constantly showered on her. it was the first real vacation i had taken since my honeymoon. before that, i had been in middle school. so basically it had been a really long time. i felt all of the stress melting away and i started to miss home, which almost surprised me. i genuinely missed my Orthoman and eagerly anticipated seeing him. when we talked at night we both sounded so excited to hear from each other.
2 nights before we got home, Orthoman broke down on the phone. it had been one of the hardest weeks in his life and the fact that i wasnt there for him really hit him. he needed me and i wasnt there. he said it made him realize just how much i do for him and how important i am to him. while i ached because he was hurting, it healed some of what i was struggling with. i was so ready to go home! not only that, but he was going to have the entire weekend off when we got back! 2 full days of Orthoman was beyond bliss!!!
so when i got home i was shocked with the cold. it was cold weather and a surprisingly cold person. after that initial warm reception at the airport, it became VERY clear VERY quickly that i had misinterpreted the conversation we had the other night. rather than seeing an appreciative and loving husband, for the first time in our entire relationship he was resentful! which was terrifying because it's such a departure from his personality.
i was completely paralyzed and stayed silent. yes, he DID need a vacation too. i know that, he knows that, and if he could have come then he would have been there too. but guess what, it's not my fault he cant take time off in this rotation. i didnt scheme with my parents to exclude him from this trip - they have a timeshare and guess what? it's the same week EVERY YEAR. sorry dear, no diabolical plot here.
now dont get me wrong. there's a line between sharing experiences and throwing something in your face. i tried so hard and was so mindful of it that i always erred on the side of caution. but i didnt expect to get cold looks when my daughter walks around with her new, beloved Mickey doll and i tell the story of how she "conned" grampaw into getting it for her. i learned that as long as we talked about him and only him we would be on safe territory, which was exactly the same place we were when we left. great.
i didnt expect all of our problems to just disappear because i had gone on vacation. and obviously they didnt, but i didnt expect this new beast to enter the picture. since when is my Bubbie resentful?! when did he become "that guy"? oh god. was he starting to turn into that douche-bag surgeon everyone hates?
but that wasnt all that was different. *i* was different this round.
while i was gone i did some serious thinking and took full advantage of the 5 other pairs of hands available to help with my little one. now, i was ready to step in the ring. i left home feeling completely drained and empty. i had no fight left in me and wasnt sure i could make it. i didnt know what i wanted or if i was up to the challenge. but now? now i KNEW that i wanted to make things work. i KNEW that i could handle whatever was going to come up. i KNEW that i was strong enough.
and let me tell you - it's been a fight. i have had to fight and struggle and claw my way back. but once i made it clear that i wasnt going to let him give up and that i was still "in the game", things have started to change. and thank god they have! we were blessed with thanksgiving AND that friday off. WE have been working our asses off on making things better. we've made sure to take advantage of every moment we've had together both as a family and as a couple. even though the money isnt really there, HE said to get a babysitter this week. suddenly, im not doing all the emotional work for both of us. instead of getting home, playing with the Bug and then going straight to bed, Orthoman stays up later to talk to me. sometimes it's only 15 minutes, but that's 15 really important minutes!
things arent perfect, but they're so much better than they were. i have confidence not just in Orthoman, but in ME! i never imagined it would be this hard when we first started, but i also never imagined i would find it so rewarding too. our marriage means more to me now because it's not easy anymore. our first 5 years have been relatively easy and we're definitely not in that honeymoon phase anymore. but that's okay now. i cant take our relationship for granted right now because we've put so much into it. so if you're going through this struggle, know that it can be better. it can improve. you do have that fight in you.
after he fell asleep, i kissed my Orthoman goodnight and started to cry. but unlike the past few months, i wasnt crying because i was unhappy, frustrated or mad. i cried because i remembered how much i loved him and knew we were going to be okay.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
We are home and back to our normal routine now, albeit a bit slower than normal. Thankfully, Ben starts a M-F 7-5 rotation this month, so I'll have a bit more help with all three kiddos. :) Hope you are all doing well!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The kids played as I gave her an update on our life status and told her about our plans for then next few years for residency and fellowship. I shared my frustration of having been married for 11 years and always qualifying for government assistance. And about how tight money always is.
While visiting I found out that she and her husbands' house flipping business had flopped. She had to sell everything they had - cars, boats and house and she is leaving her 4 kids with hubby at night to wait tables (this is after she quit her night job at Sonic). They are now living in someone else's foreclosing house until the bank takes it over. I was devastated for her!
She looked and me and said, "Stacie, I am so jealous of you." ME? of all people to be jealous of? Me? Did you not hear about how in debt we are and broke we've been over that last 11 years? How could that be possible? I finally asked, "Why on Earth would you be jealous of us?"
"Because you have a plan." She said.
Oh. Interesting. hmmm
Monday, August 8, 2011
- all Dr. Wives are blonde, skinny as hell, tanned, and constantly "going to lunch" or "the club"
- we're all about the benjamins
- we wear tennis uniforms all the time
- we have 1 or 2 gratuitous kids for the sake of having someone to spend money on, but neither the Dr. or the Dr. Wife really care about their kids
- our houses are all GINORMOUS (even the psychiatrists, pediatricians, and residents)
- we're either the practice wife or the trophy wife
- we have no limit and no balance on our credit cards
- there's a housekeeper/maid and nanny to take care of everything messy in my life
- the hardest decision we have to make is what cocktail to order next
- we're all lushes and have prozac/valium problems
- we married for the money
- our DrH is sleeping with the hot nurse but we dont care (because of the money)
- over the top vacations, massages, mani/pedis, country clubs, unlimited clothing budgets, and cute pool boys come standard.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I got smart right away and stopped indulging these people's curiosity. I say little pansy lines like "oh even I don't know what he does!" and employers respond well to that. I don't want to lie, but I don't want to give them yet another reason to judge me. You might think I'm paranoid, but I really have had people ask me what my husband does [even though I never ask others that question, ever], then roll their eyes at me, or say generally hurtful things they otherwise wouldn't say if my husband was basically any other profession.
What should I do? How should I respond to these prospective employers?
Saturday, July 30, 2011
What's so crazy is that we don't know anything. We don't know what amount pediatric anesthesiologist make to know if any offer is good or not. No one really touches on that taboo income subject.
It's still over two years away, but they seemed to think this was the perfect time to start talking. I guess our short-term fate is set at this point: we know when he'll be done with residency, we know what fellowship he's doing and when he'll get done, so there's really nothing but time to wait on now.
How would you feel about returning to your hometown when all is said and done?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
HF&M Disease is a virus so as I am sure you know, there isn't anything we can do for it really except wait it out. The steroid cream Dr C prescribed isn't working on it, and now Sam has the rash, too. So for that, we wait and do Motrin. *Sigh* At least the fevers, sore throats, vomiting, and diarrhea are gone. All we are left with is nasty looking sore hands, feet and mouths. Which I should have known...didn't I describe the symptoms exactly? Good thing I am not the doctor. Wish Ben had been home to diagnose them when the rashes really hit fully. When he saw it, it wasn't as bad and it was mostly on Jack's hands, but today when he came home to sleep and took a look, he confirmed. And DUH to me, I took them to church last Sunday and they were sanitizing hands because HF&M had been going around. Monday night is when symptoms started. This is what their hands and mouths look like almost exactly. Their feet aren't as bad as these pictures.
Anyway, I did find a way to get out myself and get the prescription and Motrin I needed. We had a long night last night, but they were almost completely back to their normal selves this morning, terrorizing each other and running around the house fighting "bad guys." I think we are through the worst. I managed alright. :)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
sore throat. check.
no runny nose or coughing. check.
red, swollen puss-filled throat. check.
Yup. strep throat.
He gave us a script for Zithromax and we were out the door in a total of 30 minutes. (told you I love this dr ofc.) One dose that night, another the next day, and Jack was already back to his normal crazy self. Since Ben had the day off and we had heard about this awesome lake/water park, we foolishly took off for the day. (Note: I said foolishly...) He was fine. We had sooo much fun. We stayed through naptime. The boys fell asleep in the car on the way home. GREAT family day.
Until they both woke up and were HOLY terrors the rest of the afternoon. Seriously. Like spawn of Satan bad. We didn't know what was going on. There were a lot of punishments doled out and Jackson was sent to bed early. And then Jackson WOULD NOT go to sleep or stay in his bed, just whining about this and that and making excuses, which he does frequently. At midnight, Ben pulled him in our bed so at least we all might get some sleep, and I went to sleep on the couch downstairs. (Dad, Mom, Mom's pregnant belly, Mom's body pillow and squirmy Jackson do NOT work in our antique full size bed.)
At 4am, Ben came downstairs with Jackson. He said, "We are horrible parents! He has been complaining that his hands are hurting and I blew him off and told him to go to sleep. He has puss-filled blisters all over his hands." And he did. On his hands. On his feet. On his face around his mouth. (Okay, now we aren't total idiots. He didn't have these blisters when he went to bed, but during the night, in the dark, they developed.) So allergic reaction ot the Zithromax? Looks that way.
Day 3: Today (Wed) I woke up, ready to call the doctor to ask if we could switch meds when I noticed Sam was awfully lethargic and whiny himself. My hyperactive 2-yr-old fell asleep in the living room recliner. MUST be sick. When I checked on him, he was burning up. 102 fever.
So I called the doc, relayed info about Jack, and made an appt for Sam for this afternoon. Meanwhile, Ben's 2 days off are now over, and back to work he goes from 3pm today till 1am tomorrow, then he'll sleep at the hospital and get up for lecture from 7-11, come home and sleep most of the day tomorrow, study for his Step III which is on Tuesday of next week, and go back to work from 11pm till 9 am Friday, and I'm sure come home and sleep all day Friday, too. (Silver lining: then he doesn't have to work - minus that pesky Step III on Tues - for a COMPLETE week, AND starting in August he works 7-5 M-F. It's ok to be jealous! lol) So I'm on my own for now. Not new.
Fast forward to 30 minutes before our appt and Sam is puking his guts out. Sam has such a bad vomit reflex, that if ANYTHING could possibly make him throw up, it will. And he did. again. and again. and again. And then AGAIN when we got to the doctor office. (It had been a while and I thought he was done.) Now I'm frantically trying to wave down the MIA front desk clerk for a bucket or something, and she quickly buzzed us back and we barely made it to a sink in a room. So we see Dr C and he switches Jack's meds to Amoxicillin and gives us a cream for his hands and feet, but since Sam is puking, he doesn't want to prescribe oral antibiotics for the Strep, so Sam got to have dual shots in the butt. Great. In the car on the way, I swore there were to be no shots today. This has been a fear for both boys since Sam's 2-year-old check-up last month. I am now competing for the world's suckiest mom. (Like my invented word? Appropriate, no?)
So Sam was so upset about the shots and straining against the nurses and me holding him down, that when they administered the shots to him, he had diarrhea. Like when his pants were still pulled down. All over his clothes, the bed, etc. Got that cleaned up, and got them both home, still trying to figure out my game plan for picking up Jackson's scripts.
*The scripts are being faxed over to Wal-mart.
*I was in a hurry to leave the dr ofc and distracted by a very upset Sam. I didn't think to have them faxed to a drive though pharmacy so I didn't have to get the boys out of the car.
*Sam is still randomly throwing up and having diarrhea and NOT a happy camper.
*Taking him INTO Wal-mart to the pharmacy is not an option.
*I am by myself.
*Sam only took an hour nap when he fell asleep in the recliner this morning. He is VERY tired.
*His fever is still hovering around 102 since he threw up the last dose of Tylenol I gave him.
*We are out of Motrin, so I need to also get some of that.
*Meanwhile, Jackson's blistered hands are so sore that he can't clench his fist.
* I am so emotionally drained that I needed to come home for a minute to regroup. Plus last time it took Wal-mart 2 hours to fill our prescription.
*Did I mention I am by myself? Like for the next three days? And nights?
*This is the point where if you don't have a close relationship with God, you get one.
And that is where I am at. To be continued...
Monday, July 18, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Dare I report?
Ben has finished his two weeks of training and has started in the ER. Granted, they are still doing training of sorts, but his schedule this month is WAY cushier than I expected it to be. Most days he is home by 3:30, except Thursdays when he is home by noon, and he has 3 weekends off for the month of July. When he starts his "real" ER schedule next week, he only works 4 days a week, ten hours each through the end of July. Wha...!?
This is not what I expected. I know that when he does MICU and NICU his schedule will be insane, but so far, in looking at his Fall schedule, it is not too bad. Okay, and he IS studying for Step III at the end of this month, so when he does get home, he spends several hours in his office, but he always eats dinner with us, plays with the boys some, and is even in the middle of helping me with a HUGE home improvement project. (We are ripping out the preschool carpet - all carpet downstairs - and staining our concrete.)
We looked at our 18 month budget tonight, and things aren't too shabby at all. I mean, now that I am not working, we definitely have a stricter budget, but there is still plenty of room for a little fun here and there.
Right now we are still on food stamps, and I'm not sure how long we will still qualify, so that may put a damper on things. I can't relate to not being able to buy whatever I want at the store because the government still carries us there and I cook a lot, so we always have plenty. Plus, we have a substantial food storage for just in cases.
As for me, bitter Colleen has left the building. I am loving life. So many things that had gone by the wayside because I was too busy and too stressed to deal while running the preschool have started to work themselves out. Things I needed to work on with the boys are progressing well. (Jackson, age 3 years, 10 mos, is FINALLY pooping regularly in the potty and my barely 2 year old, Sam, seeing us make a big deal out of Jackson's progres, has decided he wants to potty train, too. He has peed on the potty every day at least once of his own accord for the last 8 days. Dare I hope to have them BOTH out of pull-ups by the time Baby #3 (Ally) gets here!? Hmmm...maybe we'll get to send more than one kid to college after all!)
I have been able to enjoy such a relaxing day with JUST my boys. One time, I was in the middle of folding some laundry and Jackson came up to me and asked me to play a game with him, and I dropped what I was doing and played! Do you know how satisfying that was as a mom!?
I am 25 weeks along now in this pregnancy, and one of the best parts of the day is naptime because if I need to, I can nap, too!! When I was pregnant with Jackson, I taught third grade. I got pregnant with Sam in October of the first year I had just started my prechool. It has been so nice to just be able to relax and take things easy with this pregnancy. And wow! When she gets here, I won't have to try to nurse multiple times a day AND keep track of 12 kids at the same time!
So, to sum up, I have been spending my days sleeping, taking the boys on fun outings, playing with them, working on home improvement projects, potty training, and just being domesticated. I LOVE it!! And Ben loves it, too, because he comes home to a cheerful wife, happy to see him, and ready to be at his beck and call while he is here. He gets yummy meals every night, and gets to be the cool guy whose wife sends homemade cookies and cinnamon rolls to work with him regularly. None of the extra stuff rolls over onto his plate that used to before, such as having to help with bathtime or the bedtime routine. I take care of it all and it works for both of us. YAY!
Have any of you PGY1 wives met your husband's co-workers yet? We have had the opportunity to hang out with our group several times. Once at a hospital-comped get-to-know-you dinner, and then several members of the group watched a fireworks show together on the 4th. A few of the guys have families like we do, and those that don't are still really down to earth, good guys. The whole group really gets along well, always cracking jokes and giving each other a hard time, like high school buddies. I am glad because Ben was not focused on making friends while in med school, and so didn't really fit in well with any groups there. I am encouraging him to bond with these guys. Without me, he has gone to play poker with them and is going with them to a Rangers baseball game (and taking Jackson) this weekend. I have lots of friends through church, but he needs that outlet, so this has been really good for him.
So that's where we are at right now. If it gets worse, I am prepared, but right now, all the changes have been for the better for our little family. I hope you are all faring the same...
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I wish it were an easy YES! For SURE!
That is one loaded question. Let me contemplate...
He's doing what makes him happy. I suppose he could be doing something that has equal pay to what he's making now with no chance of financial reward later.
Unfortunately for myself and all those around me, I have moved into a bitter stage, is there a bitter stage or am I just bitter? Either way, I was really very excited to have an income his internship year. That money in Oklahoma made me feel filthy rich. I was so happy. We put $4000 freaking dollars into savings that year! Since moving to a high cost of living area and anticipating an EVEN HIGHER cost of living move in the close future, income has become an area of deep contention for me. I throw my fist in air and yell, "How can people live on this?!" every two weeks.
Is it worth it right now? No.
The mountain of debt over our heads. The destroyed credit (with our amount of debt we can't even qualify for a gas card!) Having to turn to our parents at 33 for help when we can't make it work. (I never thought I'd be in that place.) Relying on WIC to get by... still. Feeling totally unaccomplished at my 10 year class reunion. Being helpless to make ends meet. Trying to make mommy's "Totally Free Summer!" sound like fun. Putting water in the shampoo. Watching the government take over health care and threaten all we have been sacrificing for all this time. Worrying that my son or daughter won't make the ------ team in high school because we couldn't afford to get them in --------- classes at a young enough age. Or that they'll never learn to play the -------- well because they started too late.
Will it be worth it? I don't know.
I'll have to revisit this place once we are done and assess the situation from a new perspective. Sometimes I have a warped perception of what our financial situation really will be. Will I really be able to buy what ever I want at the grocery store? Will we be able to take family trips without blinking an eye? Will I have a home that I love? Will I be able to buy new clothes? Really? new ones? From, like, Dillards? I just can't even comprehend at this time.
So, is it worth it? Gosh, I hope so.
Friday, June 24, 2011
That's how I feel and it is only Day 1 of DH's PGY-1. Only, minus the Diet Coke because right now we are SCRIMPING until that first holy paycheck. You know, the first paycheck after four years of watching your liabilities quickly outnumber your assets. But allow me to introduce myself. I'm Kate and my husband is going into Radiology. This is his intern year, and we'll be in Pennsylvania. Then we're moving to the New England area for the actual Radiology part. Yes, DH was one of the few poor souls at his school that got matched at different places. Regardless of our circumstances, we are grateful :)
I will admit, I miss my husband already. I felt like I was saying goodbye to my child on the first day of school. And I don't even have kids yet. I loaded DH's backpack full of nutritious granola bars and a plain turkey sandwich. I packed the steth and phone charger. I expressed worry that he may not get 30 minutes to eat lunch. I shudder at the thought of my husband going a whole day in the ER with only a turkey sandwich and granola bar. I know he'll be back at midnight, but that is another worry. DH must drive sleepily across town, after fetching his car from a questionable parking garage. Why do they make them go through this? Why didn't they tell them if they get food during their two week orientation? Why doesn't my husband know if he can eat or not during his 12 hour shift? Why can't he have access to a refrigerator so I can put some cheese + mayo on his turkey sandwich?!
Residency is hard. I don't care what anyone says. For years, in medical school, we both lived in loan utopias, DH with his med school loans, and me with my law school loans. But since DH did not get scholarships, his debt will inevitably take the greater part of a lifetime to repay. I'm just grateful that mine can be taken care of in a few years. They don't tell you about that transitional time when your loans run out sometime around graduation in May and you are waiting desperately for that first paycheck, which will likely come at the end of July.
While DH and I will not starve, and are more fortunate than many, the money issues are stressful. But nothing is more stressful and frustrating than hearing "oh but you're a doctor, you're making a ton of money." The first idiot to tell us that in Pennsylvania was our landlord. I wanted to snap back "if we're so rich, why are we living in a crappy town house where our neighbors get Section 8?" Nobody understands.
Anyways, I have been keeping things here as calm and quiet and organized as possible. The place is spotless. I make sure DH does not have to do any chores, except take out the trash. His clothes are pressed, there are healthy snacks in the fridge, and I have been letting DH watch whatever he wants on TV. I even told him last night, that if after his first day he decides not to be a doctor, I would love him and support him no matter what. Our household has been a drama free zone all week, and I'm hoping this pays off. I hope DH has a decent night in the ER. I hope we get to have lunch tomorrow before he has to go back. I hope I can buy a 24 pack of Diet Coke. I hope.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Chad went bananas when he saw:
"Children's National Medical Center - Washington DC"
This is his dream fellowship. He hasn't even allowed me to speak of DC for fear I would jinx the whole thing.
We're not sure how we got so lucky, but we're just really grateful.
I'm scared too.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Brad is applying to both microvascular and head and neck fellowships. So, I guess that means we have 2 chances to get a fellowship. :o)
Friday is the match for microvascular (Portland and Jacksonville). July 1st is the match for head and neck (Iowa City, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Detroit, Wisconsin).
He is also applying outside of the match, so we know that Plan A (see Stacie's post) isn't going to happen. We get to scramble into a spot or take a reserved spot. This whole process just makes me nuts. He got a call today from one of the "outside the match"(see Stacie's plan C) spaces offering him a spot, but he still wants to see what will happen with all of the spots. Oh fine. July 1st isn't that far away. Unless you are waiting for the match. :o)
He would have cruised on by and missed the match!!!!
I can only hope that other brilliant clueless doctors didn't have nosey wives that are too far into their business. Is that just awful that I hope people missed the match list date?! Golly I sound awful. The truth is out and now I can never run for public office. Oh well.
We got the match list in just in the nick of time. It is very short. Now we are crossing our fingers and waiting until June 22nd. Match Day.
Plan A) He matches
Plan B) He scrambles into a spot
Plan C) He gets offered a spot somewhere that's reserved for filling outside of the match
Out of all of these "plans" he should surely get a spot somewhere.
Since his last interview he has gotten VERY attached to his number one. It was much better when we were ambivalent and didn't really care where he matched. Then (in sorority terms) he got a "rush crush" on his last "house."
Now he's all nervous and stressed and getting all down and negative. He won't let me talk about what it would be like to go there or anything. He thinks if I talk about it then it won't happen. I have been essentially been silenced on the subject until June 22nd. Argghhh!
Monday, May 30, 2011
- residency isnt nearly as bad as med school (thanks FP's wife whose husband is in an awesome clinic with hours i could only dream of)
- it's not that bad
- the hours arent that bad
- your kids will still get a lot of time with their dad
- you'll get your husband in the evenings
- attendings are all really nice. your husband will be treated really well.
- you're finally making money! it's great to have an income!
- it's not that bad... really!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
If you think it's time to apply - you're too late already.
Chad applied when his friends began to apply and many of the programs are already full. It's still 1 year and 1/2 away!!!!
2. It's who you know, not what you know. Have no shame in asking for phone calls and letter of recs from people who went to the fellowship you are interested in. The programs we have gotten interviews from either know him personally or one of his recommenders. If not, we haven't heard a word.
3. One interview with flight, rental and hotel is about $500. That's super fun; make it count.
4. Have program director look over CV before sending it out. My hubby's was not properly formatted for what he was applying. We needed to completely reformat and rewrite the whole thing!
5. Once you think everything should have been received, CALL THE PROGRAM AND VERIFY THAT THEY HAVE EVERYTHING!!!!!!! Do this early. When you find out what is missing, get it sent off by fax or mail then- CALL THE PROGRAM AND VERIFY THAT THEY HAVE EVERYTHING!!!!!!!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Having a Dr. Hubby means we wait until Monday. Last weekend Cougar broke his arm playing with friends. Using a ruler and an ace bandage we splinted it up as Chad ran through his list of "what they would do in the ER" and we did it ourselves. I felt unsettled all weekend, because I am not used to NOT running to the ER because we have a Dr in the house. In the end he got in to an orthopedic on Tuesday and it totally did not matter that we did not go to the ER. They fixed him up in a cast just the same.
Then THIS weekend Brock got sand in his eye at the beach. It swelled up like a mother and he was an unhappy camper. We were at the beach with another Resident DR. and between the two of them they flushed Brock's eye with saline thoroughly. Even with two doctors present I felt REALLY unsettled not taking my baby to the ER. They assured me he'd be fine and his eye looks much better today, but I am still threatening to run him to an optho tomorrow if he's not all better.
I know they went to med school at all, but do you ever feel like you need to run them to a "real dr" just to be sure?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I have a decision to make that is proving to be near impossible. I've been back and forth everyday (every 5 minutes) for about 3 months. I want to present my paradox and get your feedback.
We moved mid-year during this school year to a new home in the same general area, but different elementary school district. Rather than traumatize my 9 year old and make him change schools mid-year for the 2nd year in a row I have been driving him to his old school everyday about 4 miles away (16 mile total driving per day).
We only have one more school year left after this one here in FL and my daughter starts Kindergarten in the fall.
The skyrocketing gas prices have made it very difficult to buy gas and pay for all the other expenses of living. Putting our two kids in the new neighborhood school next fall would cut down on daily driving tremendously (we could ride our bikes everyday!)
Do I risk pulling my son out of a school he loves to do one year at the neighborhood school, just to move again the next year for one year at a new school again at the fellowship location?
Or do I do what ever it takes - eat beans, rice and ramen-, even if gas is $5-$6 dollars a gallon next year to avoid torturing this poor child with yet another new school?
btw - he can keep all his same after school activities, cubscouts, baseball, piano, only the school would change. The new school is supposed to be just as good academically.
Also, he is very opposed to changing schools.
I am at a point where I cannot make a decision. I know this is something where Chad and I have to make the ultimate choice, but I beg for your feedback, please. Perhaps your experiences could help tip the scales one way or the other.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
I guess I knew this could happen. All of Chad's friends are applying to fellowships, so he wasn't going to be the only one who didn't right? I hoped so. Too bad.
Chad has decided to apply for Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship. We'll see how that goes. If he doesn't find the right place we'll just go to Plan B: get a real job.
Let's say he does match somewhere here are my questions about Plan A:
Where do we get the cash to move with? We are already coming up negative each month, especially with crazy gas prices. We went $200 over on car gas alone over the last two weeks. At least with a real job they cover moving expenses.
Chad is off-cycle, which means he would start Oct.1st with Fellowship instead of July 1. Would YOU move early and start kids in a new school for the one year OR would you move with hubby and start mid-school year, OR would you move with hubby and home school that year?
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We are very excited about this for many reasons.
1. Our family is less than 5 hours away. It would have been farther for us to visit family at any of those other locations. We wanted to be close to family because both of our moms are not in good health, and because I am expecting Baby Blake #3 in October.
2. We would have had to sell our house for much less than what it was worth to be able to sell it quick and buy a new house in a new location.
3. We like it here in Fort Worth. It is very family oriented. We have a strong church family support system here, an established business, and many friends. Plus, we live near Eagle Mountain Lake, and we are planning to buy a boat. The cost of living here is awesome!
4. Ben's main stress-relieving hobby is hunting. Here we are closer to the land where his hunting cabin sits. With the money we saved by NOT moving, he can buy a 4 wheeler to drive around on our land.
5. We never would have been able to get into another house with as much space as ours has for the money we would have had to spend on a new house. Our house is 3,000 sq. feet with 4 bdrms, 2.5 bath, a dining room and a large loft/second living area. It sits in an extra large cul-de-sac lot and backs up to a large field where several hundred yards away sits the playground of the school Jackson will start Kindergarten in. We bought it in 2007 for a base price of $119,000. It was a promotional house. Our builder builds spacious (but NON-CUSTOM) homes. (There is nothing customized about our house. No ceiling fans, no curved entryways, no vaulted ceilings or crown moldings. It is just pure space. Which was fine with us because Ben is quite handy and could add that stuff -and has - as we wanted it.) It WAS worth almost $170,000 before the housing market crashed. Now it is worth about $140-150,000.
When we move Sam into Jackson's room, so they share and each have a twin bed, we will STILL have a nursery, our master bedroom AND a guest room/office. The rooms are very nicely sized.
6. Because we saved so much money to move and now don't have to, we have an abundance of extra spending money to buy fun toys and things we want like a hot tub, a used four wheeler and boat, a new computer, a shed for the backyard, updates on the house, etc. Plus, I don't have to work next year if I don't want to. My days of running a child care facility with 10-12 kids are OVER, unless I want to. If I do, I have made a reputation for myself. I can easily pick up a few kids if need be.
7. At JPS, Ben only has to work 8 hour shifts in the ER, and makes a higher salary than those other places, and gets full insurance for the whole family paid.
To sum up, I am ecstatic. This was the best choice for our family. Other choices may have had more competitive programs, but this is, by far, the best choice for our family.