Wednesday, June 29, 2011

truth and tears

we deal with so many lies about medicine like, doctor husband = money, doctor husband = sweet schedule, doctor husband = easy life. and after you hear these lies on repeat, you start to wonder what the truth really is. . . what really happens when that MD gets tacked onto your husband's mail. sometimes it's bliss. but most of the time it's chaos.

orthoman has been doing orientation all week. tomorrow is his "day off" before he starts friday. and boy does he start! trauma surgery for the next 4 months. ouch. i feel so conflicted about the whole thing. im glad to get things moving again. im ridiculously excited to get some sort of a paycheck. but then there's the majority of my thoughts. ive been bursting into tears randomly throughout the day. something will remind me that my best friend isnt going to be right next to me anymore. that all this incredible time with him is going to disappear.

but what really kills me inside is that im going to have to deal with the hard stuff by myself again. there's no relief at the end of a hard day with the Bug. the bank account will be just as empty, but he wont be here to help split that worry. and he wont be here every time im reminded of what happened and i break down.

i promised colleen i would tell my truths so that you wouldnt think everything was all rainbows and unicorns everyday. . . one week after we moved into this beautiful house, in an incredible place, with an amazing little girl and so many bright things in front of us. . . i miscarried at 7 weeks. after months of looking forward to a positive test it had come back. i was BEYOND ecstatic. but then i woke up saturday and knew before i got out of bed that something was wrong. having miscarried before i knew that pain. and for the first time ever i looked at my doctor husband and there was NOTHING he could do. this wasnt a cut that needed to be bandaged. he couldnt tell me what to take to feel better. there was no way he could stop it.

and so the truth of being a doctor's wife is that you're at the mercy of "the schedule". sometimes that means he's home in time for a birthday party. sometimes it means that you're all alone in a new city with none of your friends around losing a baby that you already started to love. it means that your husband learned in anatomy class how to distance themselves from death and their OB rotations taught them not to become attached to a pregnancy because hey, like, 1/4 of all pregnancies end in miscarriage so you shouldnt get excited until after the first trimester and even then you should stay cautiously optimistic. but i dont give a flying fuck about that right now. it's after midnight and i cant sleep because YET ANOTHER friend has just announced they're pregnant.

and while it would be so nice to spend our last day together as a family, orthoman decided that Poker Night with his new fellow interns wasnt enough. they're playing golf in the morning and then, oh yeah, did he forget to mention that one of the reps is taking everyone out tomorrow night for a fancy dinner? dammit, i mean it's not like he's disappearing for the next 5 damn years. so i guess you could say that truthfully, im already feeling bitter.

well shit. i guess the truth is just as ugly as the lies.

It's worth it, right?

Yes, Heather, there is a Santa Claus.
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

Hello, Ladies!

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

My Truth

Well, it hasn't been in Vancouver or Toledo, or anywhere so glamorous :).
I love the concept of the last post because oh yes, we all do tell those lies until we are with those who truly know what it is like. Only then can we safely let our frustrated and exhausted and negativity hang out without fear of misunderstanding or judgement.
Of course, you know the Dr. Benjamin Blake family didn't end up having to move for residency. We have been able to enjoy this time at home in Fort Worth, Texas, instead of worrying about moving to a new place, and that has been a huge blessing, but we are nonetheless gearing up for some major changes around here.
Tomorrow (I'm 20 weeks along now) we find out the sex of baby #3 (Am I going to be redoing a nursery or leaving it boy-style?) and Friday is my last day of teaching in home preschool All this basically means that we will be rearranging our house. The playroom will be greatly sized down and moved upstairs to the loft, and I get to have a dining room back. Long story short - after Ben goes back to work, the house will be a flurry of ripping out downstairs carpet, getting the concrete stained, painting (You have no idea how dirty your walls get with 3 years of 10 grubby fingers sliding across them daily.), and moving furniture upstairs to down and vice versa. Fun for me, but also a lot of work for me to handle solo. (Well, not the moving furniture part...)
We have two weeks of vacations scheduled starting at 5:30 when I close Friday till the Saturday before the Monday Ben starts back. Ben starts mandatory training for residency on June 20 (which they so considerately JUST told us about a few weeks ago, so we had to reschedule our summer plans and cram them all into 2 weeks...but I am not bitter at all, ha!)
Natalie, I admit, I was a bit jealous of all the hugging and kissing and snuggling you and your bug are getting with Orthoman. What might that be like? Here in Fort Worth, ER-man is full-on driving me crazy! While I am still working these last days of school taking care of other people's kids and my own, I keep hearing, "I am on vacation!" more than I care to. As in, "No I am not going to help you with those dishes, I am on vacation." And "No, I am not going to change our son's diaper, I am on vacation." And, "I am going to watch this age-inappropriate movie in front of all these small children and their parents who are walking through the house to pick them up, because this is my house and I am on vacation." Frankly, he can take hugging and kissing and snuggling and shove it right now, lol, but maybe those are the pregnancy hormones talking. :) Okay, okay, it might be the pregnancy hormones because to be fair, he did get right out and fix the fence that was damaged in a recent near brush with a tornado last week. And I guess he has been getting up with the boys until 8am most weekdays so I can sleep in till I have to be up for preschool, but mostly, he has not been helpign with the day to day stuff liek I thought he would, and I just get so pissed off to see him watching Deadliest Catch or UFC or whatever stupid movie is on at the moment. I fear that we will need to replace the couch for the permanent lump he has made in it these last few months. *Sigh*
That is my truth. Are you sure you are not telling more lies? Sure would make me feel better if you were. ;)

We Matched!

Noon eastern time came and went today, the day of the Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship Match. By 12:07 pm we were getting pretty anxious. We finally had to call and ask how to access the results.

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

which one is which?

im sure many of you have heard the Sir William Osler quote, "medicine is a jealous mistress; she will be satisfied with nothing less." ive been ruminating on this idea since i first heard it almost 4 years ago. orthoman was in the middle of his first year when i came across it and it's stuck with me ever since. and ive since come to a wall..

is medicine the mistress, or am i?

let's look at the facts, shall we? how much time is he practicing medicine verses spending time with you? i dont know about you, but he spends most of his days (and soon many of his nights) at the hospital only to sneak away for a brief rest and repose at home. what is all of your money tied to? yeah, student debt to pay for the training. do YOU feel guilty sometimes for getting upset with him when there are people who need him too {cause i know i do}? are you the one he eats dinner with most nights, or is he at the hospital?

and, in the spirit of absolutely BRUTAL honesty... do you sometimes feel like he likes medicine more than he likes you? do you feel like you're second string? do you worry that you're replaceable while medicine will always be in his life? these are some of the really deep, dark fears that i have inside. they come from the most insecure place inside me. so, welcome to vulnerable me - the girl that even orthoman has only rarely seen. the girl that i hate to admit even exists.

so in the end, which one sounds more like the wife and who is the mistress? im really starting to wonder...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Waiting part 2

Microvascular match was a no-go, so now we get to wait for the head and neck match July 1st. And I feel a little guilty for saying that I won't cry if he just has to go get a job instead. LOL!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hurry up and wait

That seems to be the theme in medicine. Hurry up, get in your applications, go to all the interviews and then sit. And wait. And wait.

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)

Match List Due Today

Luckily, I had the intuition to look up the Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship Match list due date and it's today. Did my Dr. H know this? No.

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!