December 15, 2008

Concerns Addressed & Expounded Upon

Okay, not that I'm an expert (I'm not) but my husband is in his 2nd year of medical school and we are 1,300 miles away from our family. So I thought I would attempt to ring in on a couple of Sharyl's concerns and please, anyone else, feel free to do so:

My concerns/worries about the next 10-12 years: Loneliness.
Definitely a legit concern and I was concerned about the same exact thing. Everyone I know with a spouse in medical school's husband handled studying/routine differently. However, what I anticipated for medical school was much worse than the reality of being here. I thought Adam would be in class everyday from 8-5 (some days he is but not on most days) and that he would then study the rest of the night until after I fell asleep leaving us minuscule moments to connect.

So, before we even got here, we tried to rope out a plan that went along with those scary expectations: We would eat supper together. We would have a date night on Friday nights. We would try and work out together.

We did and still do those things but the time commitment hasn't been as bad as I'd anticipated. One thing that helps is Adam is a morning person and gets a lot of studying done before I'm awake, praise the Lord. Second thing that helps is they cannot study ALL weekend, EVERY second. So you carve out times together to do little everyday things. That definitely helps. There are a lot more thoughts about that but I don't want to drone on forever. I hope your reality of med school isn't as bad as your expectation, too!!!

Oh, but also I found close girlfriends and community outside of home. You and your husband can't be equally involved in extracurricular activities so it certainly helps to find your own venues and relationships. We even have a girls' group of women who are married to med. students and we meet once a week and it's a HUGE blessing.

Stress. The place where I feel stressed is money, I think. Because I stress about money more than my husband does. Your husband will probably stress about school, class ranking, etc. I think that's where we come in to encourage and to remind them of the ULTIMATE GOAL. I.E. you are learning information to become a good physician, period.

10-12 years. take it a day at a time. Don't start saying, "Once we get to rotations" or "Once we get to residency" or "Once we get out of residency" because, as my mom would say, "You'll wish your life away." These past two years have been PRECIOUS and I wouldn't trade them. You really go through this experience together and it is stretching but it is full of surprises and simplicity too. Being so far away from everything familiar and safe has really concreted our relationship and who we are as a couple and what we believe.

Money. Yeah. We don't have much. I work full time but don't make very much money. I'm also almost 6 months pregnant and so we will soon have even less as I am staying home with our little bambino! I don't think this is for everyone but I've seen people do it well and we felt really good about taking that step. You learn to budget well and get really creative with date nights and gifts.

Starting a family?
See above response.

Being a cliche "Dr's wife". Being "Dr Evans' wife" and not "Sharyl". I sat by these three women at a restaurant and I was so judging them in my head thinking they were total doctor''s wives. Sure, it was wrong of me to judge them but I so don't want to be that lady. I worry about staying "me" once I'm not working and staying home with our son. I pray that the Lord and good friends keep me grounded and reminds me of my identity.

His satisfaction with his chosen profession. His stress and anxiety levels. Grad school for me? Money. Starting a practice. Augh! Does someone else want to touch on these! I'm tuckered.

Good post Sharyl! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!


Jeff and Lauren said...

Good post Camille. I really agree with your section on lonliness and like how you mentioned that both you and your spouse won't have the same amount of time for being social. (Also, if you are like me and my husband, you may have different social needs.) Anyway, when I moved here, the biggest thing was sucking it up and putting myself out there even though it would have been easier to wait for people to invite me all the time. I started asking for ways I could be involved, joining things at church. I joined the rec volleyball team through my husband's school even though he didn't feel like he had time to play. It is easy to feel lonely the first year but you will meet people much more quickly if you are willing to get involved even in that awkward stage. Just some thoughts. I will have to live out my own advice here in June when we move again!

Also, I loved your advice about taking med school (and life in general) one step at a time. That is key! And I think that when you do that, you get so much more joy out of the season of life that you are in.

Bethany said...

I'd like to ditto what Camille said. Great post.

I think it is very important for you and your husband to communicate with each other your expectations, fears, worries, etc. and come up with a game plan (just like Camille said). It may take a while to tweak and perfect but I'm sure you both will work something out.

And remember, as much as your husband may love to study, I'm sure he would much rather be spending time with you. It took me a while to grasp that. I felt like my husband was choosing studying over me and enjoying it. That's just crazy. Of course, our guys have to enjoy school a little bit to go through 4 plus years of schooling. But trust me, they would much rather be spending time with us than preparing for their geriatrics exam.

Katie said...

This post was really good. My husband is applying to medical school and this is good to know.

Ashley said...

I hadn't really thought of making a "game plan" for how we're going to make time for each other during medical school. Such great advice that I'm going to use in the next little while. I'm starting to feel excited about being borderline impoverished during medical school ;) I think it'll be an awesome opportunity to reach outside of myself and get involved with things that I wouldn't otherwise do. You're right, Camille, it's really just about enjoying the moments that we're IN, not the moments we're looking forward to.

Great post. Thanks!

Ali and Josh Holt said...

So I came to this blog a while ago, and would LOVE to be invited so I can share my insights...the little that I know, to the med school wives here. My hubby just finished his 2nd BLOCK. yes thats right his second block, not year. I dont know much but maybe I can add some sort of something to this blog! So whoever does the inviting, please let me know how I can post, so I can do my "7th grade" introduction...

Anonymous said...

Hello! My name is Shirley and my husband is in the second half of his third year of medical school. I am a teacher, a coach, and a tutor (clearly I stay busy) but I find it to be a lonely life at times. I am proud of my hubby's accomplishments, and look forward to the day he completes, in his words, "the 22d grade." ha ha. The tension and stress that go along with our chosen professions can be somewhat overwhelming at times, but I feel we manage the best we can. One of the most difficult aspects of this life I am facing right now is the lack of female companionship. All of my college girlfriends live far away (at least four hours or more) and I miss them terribly. I have tried to connect with some of the teachers I work with, but none have husbands in a similar situation. Also, there aren't many women my age at my school, nor do I know any in the area we live in (Roanoke, VA). It sounds corny, but I wish there was some sort of website for making friends. ha ha ha.

I appreciate this site and all it has to offer :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I would like to post a few thoughts and feelings. How can I be added? Thanks, again!


the Jennings secede from the South said...

If you leave your email address, we can invite you to be an author!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! My email is :)

Sharyl said...

Thanks to all you ladies for your insight. Camille, Im sorry if I exhausted you, I tend to worry... a lot.. :) but i sincerely appreciate your advice about taking it one day at a time. By the way, Happy New Year Everyone! Hope its wonderful!!