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.


  1. Uh-oh - My husband took me up on that, as many of you know. He matched in Radiology, we bought a house moved in. He did orientation.

    He started Rads on July 1. He came home from work that night and told me that he did not want to be a Radiologist.

    He left the program and we moved to Florida for him to do Anesthesiology with Mayo.

    I too worry about him going hungry during those rotations where food isn't provided. I never feel like the lunch I pack is going to be enough to sustain him!

    Enjoy your short time in the big city. I bet it will fly by!

  2. oh i remember this day so well.....starting PGY-1..... we are starting PGY-3 and I have stopped dreaming that it is "going to get better next year...", it's still hard. it's still crazy hours. it's still no sleep and no time together. he still never has a "lunch"...he still rarely has time to even go to the bathroom. he still has a lot of loans.

    And- it's still his dream. it's still his passion. he's still an amazing Doctor...and he gets better everyday. it's still all worth it- watching him grow, learn, and save lives. he has a gift and this time is just the inbetween.

    I know this is a very exciting (and nerve racking) time... I hope you get those diet cokes and best friends that will help you through it all :-)

  3. All too familiar...

    Someone should do a reality tv show on the wives of doctors...for two reasons. 1) Then the world might finally understand just a little bit of what we go through and 2) Maybe then we could get paid some $$ for being on reality tv and then be able to get the diet coke ;o)

  4. So, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I moved hours away from my home to follow my DrF for his first day of PGY-1.

    I, too, felt like I was sending my kid off to school and we don't have kids yet. And I worried also: would he get lunch? Would he get enough time to eat? What time would he be done? I have to do this for what now-- 3 years???

    It will fly by and you'll fall into a rhythm. The house gets cleaned (always by me), and we've learned where to save to live off of his paycheck, and my paltry part time job while I finish my degree.

    Oh, and the other day, I had the pleasure of "educating" two girls who made the comment "I wish I was with a doctor so that I could live the high life". Man, once I was finished "explaining", they had changed their minds! Lol

  5. Thank you for the sweet, positive comments!

    @Stacie, my dad switched halfway during his Family Practice residency to Anesthesiology and he likes what he's doing, it's a good field :)

    @Sara, it's been hard giving up things like Diet Coke, but you're right, friends will help me through this one

    @Rochelle Lea, if the kids from Jersey Shore can get a show and spin-offs, I should get one too. I promise my life is interesting lol.

    @Tahmina, I'm falling into a rhythm already, but it still needs a little bit of polishing :)