Relationships with Residents

Dating a medical student is my blog namesake, but obviously my relationship has evolved past dating, and Dr. B has graduated medical school. I have actually been blogging since 2012, if that is even possible! Last I checked, medical school didn’t take 6 years  – then again, it sure felt like it did.

I figured I would take this time to explore relationships with residents a little further, since that is the season Dr. B and I are currently in on this journey to attending. Dr. B is on the eve of starting his third year of residency, but really his PGY 2 year since his first year was research block. Reflecting on the last two years, I have realized my life has been a whirlwind. I went back and read my first ever blog post titled “Medical School Girlfriend = Constant Waiting Game.” After thinking about that title, I realized this blog should really be called: “Resident’s Spouse = Alone in Empty House.” lollllz – I literally just laughed out loud. But in all seriousness, as much as I wanted residency to get easier, it comes with its own set of challenges. For Dr. B and I, residency meant we would finally be in the same place, living together, married. This was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, because just the idea of getting to spend time with him daily was a true treat. However, adding the benefit of being in the same place has also added the difficulties of a residents schedule. Dr. B has been on trauma rotations the last few months, and he comes home utterly exhausted. He eats dinner and hits the sack almost every night without so much as say two words to me. I feel so bad that he is that worn out, I don’t even protest. He only gets off 4 days in a month, and even those days I feel are meant for him to catch up on some much needed sleep, the kind he doesn’t get the rest of the month getting up at 4am and arriving home late into the evening.

For anyone who has followed this blog, I am a pretty independent person. So normally these maddening hours would just give me an excuse to throw myself into my hobbies, passions and friends. Moving to a different city for his residency has really thrown me for a loop, however. In the past, I had my sets of friends that I could easily hang with when he wasn’t around. In the city that we are in now, I feel like I don’t have enough strong relationships to have that same support system. In addition, we bought a house that has needed a fair amount of work. Doing a lot of these tasks alone adds to my general difficulties and loneliness.

Today was a good day overall. I need to count my blessings on days like today. I had an awesome lunch conversation with a newer friend I met during my MBA. I was also able to go to happy hour with a developing friendship I made during time at my last job. Today my social calendar was filled, and I was able to spend time cultivating new relationships. Yes, I am alone typing this blog. Yes, Dr. B barely has seen me this week. But days when I can laugh with friends over a marg and some guac are days that should be cherished.

I so want to love this time Dr. B and I have together. We are still newly married and our two year anniversary is only two weeks away. I sometimes kick myself for wishing away the days, and go back to my older blogs to remember the right way to handle this loneliness. I know I need to refocus and live in the moment. I need to enjoy being with myself. I need to trust that this journey does not come with a beginning and end, but an ever-winding path, with good turns and bad. I am happy to be 30 and in this season of life. My focus needs to be the good, not the loneliness and wishing for more. I’m just glad I still have a place to talk about these issues.

For anyone dating, engaged, married or in a partnership with a resident or someone with a resident  like career – how do you handle the time apart?

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New Beginnings, Graduation, and Green Juice

GRADUATION

A lot has been going on recently, and many changes have been occurring. To kick it all off, a little over 7 months ago, I embarked on a sabbatical to finish my MBA, and I fondly coined it with the term “The Year of Me.”  Please take a look back at those posts for a little more background on what that journey meant for me. If you look back, so much of this blog really focuses on my relationship with Dr. B (I do plan to talk more about that in the future – there is always a lot to say there), but really “The Year of Me” was a time to find myself, finish my school, take a break from work. Well… the not even a full year of time has come to an end, and well – I graduated! GAHHH – sooo crazy.

 

NEW BEGINNINGS

So with the closure of that chapter starts a new chapter – I will being teaching at a local university in the evenings as an adjunct instructor! I am super excited about this new prospect and can’t wait to dive in and help my students grow. I am super nervous about this class though because I have never taught before – if there are any teachers or professors reading this, feel free to leave me some tips!

In addition to getting ready for the summer semester class, I have been trying to decide what is next for me. I am looking to get back into the corporate world , possibly for my last company and expand on my leadership. Please think about me as I embark on this decision. The last few months have been really hard with Dr. B’s schedule and his mom’s health, so I am not really sure what the right path is for me yet.

One top of all of that, I have been recently expanding my hobby selling new and used clothing onto Poshmark – you can find my store here – Poshmark Store. I have always been selling on the side here and there using eBay, but with the little extra time I have had, I am going to be adding more inventory to Poshmark. Feel free to take a look if you enjoy getting great designer clothes at a discount.

Now back to the important stuff – Blog Goals:

On top of all my other ventures, I really do want to make an extra effort to continue to update this blog. I do not get a lot of readers, but really this is a great outlet for me to express myself and update others. So here are a few of my goals below. If you feel so inclined, please comment on what you would like to hear more about.

  1. Reorg the blog – I need to do a better job categorizing the posts. I have a long-term goal to move this blog to my .com, but that is going to stay a longer term goal for now
  2. Continue to post more frequently. I would like to add some segments based on readers preferences. I get a lot of traffic on my older relationship blogs, but I am not always sure that is what people want to read. That is honestly what I enjoy writing about most, however, so bring it on.
  3. Incorporate more of me – a lot of this blog has centered around Dr. B. While it will always be that way to an extent, he is my husband after all, I would like to move this blog to focus a little more on myself. This would also make Dr. B feel better – he is blog shy. What are your thoughts?
  4. Vlogs? – This is the one thing I have toyed around with most of all. I see so many awesome vlogs out there today, and I have wondered if this would be a nice step for this blog. Mostly, because I think it would be awesome to have my life documented in a way. I am really bad about taking pictures and filming. I would like to have these memories captured, and I am wondering if a vlog is a good outlet. My only concern is that it exposes too much of my personal life/privacy concerns. Plus – who knows if my life is even that interesting.

Anyways – these are some of my goals. Please hold me to them, or at least making a decision on them. Also if you have any ideas, suggestions, or concerns please let me know. I am really interested in knowing what readers think. This blog started as a diary of sorts and has really expanded to be open to others. I’ve liked the growth in some ways, but I also want to keep that diary feel.

GREEN JUICE

You are probably wondering – what in the world? So as I mentioned in my last post, Dr. B’s mom is battling pancreatic cancer. This has been so hard on everyone (I have a post started on dealing with cancer in a family and as a spouse). One of the ways I have tried to be supportive is by doing ample research, mostly scientific because B is a Dr. after all. Her treatments haven’t been very successful and the cancer has spread fairly rapidly. This has been devastating news for all. During this bad news, I came across some scientific research around bitter melons helping cancer.

 

They are these sort of prickly melons I have found at an international market. Well, I have been juicing them for Dr. B’s mom. It is a very interesting and comical process. Would definitely make a good vlog if I ever do one. Here is a pic below of the juice I made.

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The reason this is important is she is having updated scans in two weeks. I am hoping for the first time we get a little good news and the green juice is working. This stuff doesn’t taste great, but I am praying it is killing dem cancer cells!

I think that’s all I got for now…

 

 

 

The Biggest Challenge Yet…

I don’t even know where to start this post. It has been literally ions since I last posted, and there are so many fun, exciting and developing life stories that I really need to start getting down on paper/blog. I know I say this every time. While I wish I was writing about the lighter things – this post is not one of those.

This story starts late last year in Nov/Dec time frame. My mother in law (MIL) (Dr. B’s Mom) had been complaining of pain in her abdomen, chest and back. Her primary care doctor decided she must have acid reflux (GERD) and prescribed her some medicine. Dr. B also thought the same. What else could a super healthy, 64 year old woman, who runs every day, really have wrong?

Fast-forward to right before Christmas – her symptoms seemingly were getting worse even on medicine, so her PCP ordered a CAT scan just as a precaution before he referred her to a GI specialist. On January 3, we received the worst possible news any family could ever hear – Pancreatic Cancer.

The C word is enough to send chills down your spine. A million thoughts were running through our minds when we found out. What would the next steps be for treatment, what is the prognosis (we had a feeling not good), how were we going to handle this, what about Dr. B’s work schedule, my work schedule, and how will we be able to be there for my MIL? The toughest part about this whole situation is that we live a little over an hour from my MIL, and Dr. B lost his father in high school. He is also an only child, so we were really fighting this thing alone and on a resident’s schedule. When determining how to tackle this fight, we decided that we definitely need to get an opinion at a large research hospital about an hour north of my MIL’s house, which is just about 2 hours drive from where we live. We decided that the treatments that they had to offer would be the most cutting edge and give her the greatest chance of survival.

After a flurry of appointments and discussions, the cancer team and Dr. B ultimately decided the best course of treatment for my MIL was to have neoadjuvant chemotherapy – which essentially means having chemo before surgery. I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it was to watch a robust, healthy and happy woman just fade before your eyes. The first couple rounds of chemotherapy were nothing short of Hell for my MIL. I stood there watching the cancer war unfold, helplessly trying to do whatever I thought I could to help her turn a corner. I cooked and cooked, reading article after article on foods that would enhance her viability and strength. She was unable to keep much down so we pushed her, cheered her on, helped her just get stuff done because it literally could not get any worse in our mind. We had our eye on the prize. A few more weeks of this terrible path and hopefully surgery will get this cancer gone!

That leads us to a few weeks ago. Dr. B and I were scheduled for a little spring break trip in New Orleans that butted up against a conference Dr. B had to present research at. We felt immensely guilty going away but had been encouraged by some of the progress my MIL started to make before we left. Little did we know, our vacation was going to be cut very short. We got the worst call of a lifetime standing in the french quarter with some friends. Its one of those calls you just don’t erase from your mind because it literally just changes your entire life in an instant. My MIL had been having a super rough day so her friend decided to drive her to her cancer hospital to get checked out. While she was at the ER, she had some additional scans done to make sure everything was okay. Long-story short, the scans showed that the cancer had literally spread all over her abdomen. The cancer was everywhere, and we were helplessly standing in the French Quarter just flabbergasted, not knowing what to do next.

We quickly changed our plans and got flights back home. We were able to spend the next week dealing with my MIL inpatient, trying to determine next steps and get her the best possible care. It was a blessing that Dr. B was off of work for our trip so that he had some time to dedicate just to figuring out all the details of her treatment. Watching him be so brave and try to be his mom’s biggest support system, as well as her caregiver, power of attorney, doctor at times, coach, and her parent at the worst of times, made me appreciate his calm and caring spirit. However, it was just devastating to watch him break down, knowing that we were looking into death’s door, helplessly holding on for dear life. I couldn’t imagine this love of my life in so much pain. I had no idea how to comfort him. Here I am with both my parents, healthy and intact, and he was on the verge of having none. My heart was broken for him daily. I just tried to be there whenever he needed me. I went through a roller coaster of emotions myself – cursing God for bringing this on such a sweet woman and her son – Begging God to show us mercy and heal her terrible pain – crying out to whoever in the universe would listen, and help show us the way.

My MIL is currently at home and doing slightly better but is no longer a surgical candidate. Her prognosis is still undetermined but this serious turn of events has lead us down the path we least wanted to take.

Dr. B and I have been challenged time after time since the day we started our relationship. We have been challenged by distance, by circumstance, by timeline, and now this. Really our challenges are the whole reason I even started this blog about 6 years ago. I really don’t know where to go at this point and firmly feel we are experiencing our biggest and hardest challenge to date. I don’t know how you move past this, whatever the outcome, and that is a very scary possibility. All of this hardship has brought us closer together as a couple. However, I feel each one of us individuals is close to unraveling at any minute due to the stress and heartache each challenge has caused. Please pray for us on this Easter weekend.  Help us get through this, our biggest challenge yet…

Sabbatical – The Road Diverges

So a few months ago I wrote my first post in awhile. I then went dark again for a time. Last we spoke, I had been toying with the idea of leaving my job and starting something fresh. Well, my friends, I did actually act on that thought and took break from work (it’s been almost 8 weeks now). I am currently on sabbatical from my manager position and now finishing my MBA full time. The funniest part about this transition is that now Dating a Medical Student has turned to Business Student Married to Medicine….I digress

Transitioning back to school has been nothing short of great for me. I have offical coined the next 8 months – “The Year of Me.” This means that dealing with residency and Dr. B’s absence is much easier. He is now almost halfway through his first year of surgical residency and if anyone who reads remembers, that means that he is one year done through research fellowship and now halfway through 1st year residency…that means only……4.5 years to go of training and then 1 year of fellowship…oh my.

When I was working around the clock and Dr. B was in research fellowship, and then starting residency, I started to go to a dark place. I had thought that we were finally together and that being with someone in medicine would not be that hard after all that distance. Boy was I wrong. Once he started residency, he was not home much at all. The trouble with that was that nothing was getting done around our house, and I began to get overwhelmed because I also did not have time to commit to our home life. We were like two ships passing in the wind. I realized for my own personal sanity and for the balance we needed in our life, I needed to take a step back. That is a very difficult decision to make in my opinion. Not only had I been very independent and working full-time since the day I had graduated undergrad, but I also am a main monetary contributor.

Sometimes you have to do what needs to be done. I realized that I had been working so hard to support Dr. B and his dreams, but I had not taken time to realize my own. I knew I needed a change, and I took a leap of faith for something new. I am not sure what I am going to do in April when I graduate. Going back to the manager madness I came from does not sound appealing. However, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because I am finally doing something I have wanted to do for awhile. Dare I say I feel freed. It has been very good for my relationship with Dr. B as well because as much as I hate to admit it, I may have been holding a grudge on him because of my lack of ability to pursue something for me.

Divergence is scary, but omg is it freeing. Follow me on this new path – all, and I promise to keep you more informed as I actually have some precious time back!

It’s a sign?

As many of you who have followed my blog in the past know, my work is pretty stressful. I usually focus a lot of my time writing about Dr. B, but in all reality my job takes a lot of my time and adds to a lot of my stress in the background.

When we moved this past year for Dr. B to start his residency, I took on an ever expanding manager role, working in the financial world. We had moved cities, moved homes, and started this new life. On top of the everything else, my job demands much of my time and is very stressful on a daily basis. I have been trying to compartmentalize all of the stress and get through week by week, however recently I have felt like I am at a breaking point. Dr. B is really starting to get busy, and I haven’t had the assistance of his help around the house much. To make matters even more interesting, we bought a new house and really put down roots in this new city.

Talk about stress level increase! Bam!

Anyways, I feel like I have been getting daily signs that it is time to take some sort of new journey in my career. I am not sure if other people feel this way, but with an overachieving husband in my presence daily, it is really hard to step back myself. I feel like I am already forgotten next to his contributions, as big as my own might be – including the major fact that I am totally the bread winner for this family – common people, that should count for something! Residency drama I know. But really the truth is, the internal struggle is real. Part of me says you should work these hours, have this prestigious job, and make all this money because you are smart enough to do it. The other part of me realizes that I have been sacrificing many things including my sanity, health and general happiness. Yes it is currently 12 am, and I am just wrapping up my work for the night.

If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is – A Toyota Commercial just came on as I was typing this blog, exclaiming – “you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do then by the things you did do.” Wow – did that give you chills like it did me. Goose pimple alert! Additionally, just the other day I read an article about taking a break from work to recharge and follow your dreams, on NPR that same day I heard about an accounting professional leaving her partner role to start a Yoga studio, and finally, I have noticed there are many people out there who are struggling with family or health difficulties outside of their control and these individuals find more self worth in what they are doing on a day to day basis even in their adversity. These observations have been life altering for me because I know I am in a situation that is unsustainable. I am just in a rock and a hard place as to how to dig myself out of this hole.

I have toyed with many options such as changing to a new job, taking a lesser role, quitting all together (I fondly call this flipping your desk) and taking on some crazy hobby.

Money is definitely part of my worry, but the other part of me thinks, I have worked so many years since college all for that next promotion, raise, just to prove a woman could do it in finance – am I letting myself down? Moreover, am I letting women down? Am I just not strong enough? Does saying to yourself, maybe stepping back for a second would be good for you – is that selfish? Can I stop comparing myself to everyone else?

What do I do? Or is everything I am seeing a true sign that I need to just jump head first and figure out the rest later. I really don’t know…

Match Day isn’t the LAST day

Just a shout out to all my spouses, partners, family and friends of someone who found out whether or not they matched today – to those of you with great news the wait until Friday begins. Congratulations. Be thankful for this day, even though I know you are anxiously awaiting Friday.

To those who may have found out that they unfortunately didn’t – please hold your head up high and do what your future doctor needs – be there for them and support them. The SOAP just started and this next week they are going to need you more than ever.

To any of those who have been following my journey, I have some news…Dr. B matched. Long held breath just released.

To be continued…..

Match Day 2017 – Tips to help keep you chill

To all those out there dating a medical student who is finishing up their forth year, match day is around the corner. This can be a particularly scary time because there are so many potential changes ahead.

I know first had how difficult match day can be. For anyone that has followed this blog, they know that my hubby and I had a particularly difficult match day last year. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, and well, we are reentering the match again this year. I am literally having nightmares going through this again. The what ifs and the wheres are just floating in my mind constantly. For every cheery face that is out there on Match Day 2017 there will be an equally fake smile or horrified look on the face of some future doctor and/or family that just found out a decision that they totally are not cool with.

For anyone out there worried about Match Day 2017, here are a few tips I have compiled from my first match day experience:

  1. Ride the Wave – There are so many things outside of your control – where you will be, what you will be doing once you get there, how will you move, do you have enough finances to sustain you, will you have friends there, what about a new job? The best set of advice I can give is just to “ride the wave.” Only worry about what you can control in the “now”. Leading up to match day, focus on your significant other, your job, your friends and family. Worry about all the other what-ifs the day after match.
  2. Be supportive of your Medical School Person – Whether you are romantically involved, family or friends of a medical school person, the best thing you can do is to be supportive of them. They need you now more than ever, because as much as you are feeling the weight of their burden, they are feeling it 10 times more. The amount of guilt they feel for putting family and friends through this life altering change is tremendous. I have talked to many medical school persons, as well as doctors now. Most of them saying the hardest part about match was letting down someone they loved. Let’s lift up these medical school persons and show them we support them through thick and thin, and matching to Podunk Missouri – whatever right? It’s an adventure?
  3. Take a moment to feel sorry for yourself – as the supporting person to your medical school person, you need to take a moment to mourn the match. Feel sorry for yourself for a few minutes. Wallow in the unfairness and lack of control you have. After you have taken a few minutes for yourself to curse medical school and all its atrocities, promptly get it together. Things could be worse. I’m sure your medical school lover, brother, sister or friend could come up with a laundry list of alignments that could have you knocking on heavens door.
  4. Get a back up plan – I wouldn’t harp on this one, but as a person who didn’t get the match experience a medical school significant other deserves, I would suggest at least lightly entertaining a back up plan in case your medical school person doesn’t match. Obviously they will need to go into scramble mode if this is the case. Just a quick summary – Monday of match week they find out if they matched or not, and Friday, if they did match, is when the location is announced. If for some crazy reason they find out on Monday they didn’t match, go into attack mode. Do not lose it – they need your support now more then ever. This is when you need to help them figure out next steps, and what is the right process going forward. They need you to be their rock as their world is melting down around them. Maybe have a back up plan just in case this happens. I doubt it will for most, but for the unlucky few, your medical person is gonna need the superstar you are in this moment.
  5. Be excited even if you aren’t – Just enjoy the match day moment with your medical person even if you are having a hard time with the day or the place you will be. This is an exciting time, even if only for the fact that your medical person will be starting their journey as a true doctor. For that we should all celebrate, no matter the circumstances. If anything at all, match is one step closer to the completion of  the uncertainty that is dating a medical student!