As I write this, my beloved huz is one-third of the way through his residency in Family Medicine. If I could have known a few years ago that I would be writing that sentence now, I think the stress that slips from my subconscious to my shoulders would have melted away. The day David proposed to me was also the day we thought he wouldn’t be finishing med school, and life planning in that moment seemed both impossible and scary. Just a few years later, he has now finished all of the USMLE steps and can apply for an independent license as a physician. PHEW! (and thank you, God!)
So med school graduation was this joyous occasion. Lots of friends and family gathered to celebrate that big moment, but David and I both knew that, most likely, the hardest days of his training were still in front of us. We had visited enough residencies and talked to enough residents to know that, although there would be fewer exams hanging over his head, we were about to get our figurative behinds kicked.
The first month of residency was great! It was mostly orientation and training, and they eased everyone in gradually. That first week was also when we found out that Sarala would be joining our family, so our residency experience was topped off with pregnancy and crazy hormones.
I don’t remember when everything started to ramp up, but eventually we worked our way to today (and I say “we” and “our,” but let’s be clear: David is the one doing all of the medical work and I’m the one holding down the fort at home with the kids). And today, David woke up just before 5am, rounded on patients on his own before meeting up with his team, rounded some more, gave me a quick call on his way to grab lunch before their noon conference, finished with his patients at 5, and then ended the day at work around 6pm by signing his patients out to the night team. He came home, ate dinner with us, and then left before 7 to be one of the standing-by doctors on the sidelines of a local football game, where he is right now (9:34pm on a Friday night) as I write this. This isn’t a typical day in that he doesn’t usually have a football game to doctor at, but it is a fair snapshot of the sheer exhaustion we are routinely recovering from when he has a day or two off. Last weekend he had both Saturday and Sunday free; every other weekend this month, it’s one or the other but not both. I realized how crazy this lifestyle is a few weekends ago when it felt like we got to see David a long time because we had him home for 36 hours straight.
I’m not saying this to complain, just to paint the picture for you. And this isn’t a surgery residency (which would be much more intense). There are lots of reasons David wasn’t destined to be a surgeon, and the 5 years of too-long hours were one the main ones for me. This residency is 3 years, finishing in June of 2015. He will graduate as a board certified Family Medicine physician, ready to practice either in a hospital or a clinic or overseas; wherever. I would be very excited about that except that we don’t have a clear picture of what is immediately after residency, and hazy plans are not-my-favorite.
So for now, here we are in the Rio Grande Valley, squeezing in all the happiness and family time and ministry and relationships we can alongside residency. Most days, we are enjoying this busy season of having babies and getting not quite enough sleep pretty much all the time. And every day, we are incredibly grateful to be here, to be through med school, and almost able to peek over the horizon into the unknown post-residency future.