June 13, 2012

New Girl

Hi Fellow Med Wives! So glad to be here. Kinda nervous, but what new kid isn't. Before I write my little fingers to the bone with ALL the questions I have, here is a little about us! 
My husband Derek is a 4th year podiatry student (PMIV) currently in his CORE rotation block here in Michigan. We made the 2,000 mile journey by moving truck from where the school was located in Phoenix, Arizona. (Midwestern University) So far, we are LOVING it  here! 
I am a certified elementary school teacher & finished off the year with my kiddos to enjoy a year free from school & work. I know, sounds like a dream! I needed it! I also write & maintain our blog. Feel free to check it out here. We're here for the next 3 months before Derek leaves & starts his clerkship's from coast to coast-literally. 
So here's where I want advice & help! All you long distance wives- how do you do it?! I'm going to be living with my parents in San Diego during those months & will visit Derek briefly at each location. 
1. How do you support your spouse long distance?
2. How do you stay busy & active?
3. How should I act on the phone/video chats we will have?
4. How the heck will I stay sane.

I will take any & all advice! I literally read this blog from start to finish and had tears in my eyes from over half of the posts....hormones, guys. 


Katie said...

Hi, welcome! I'm Katie--my husband is a 4th year med student, in the NAVY. My dad is a podiatrist & my background is in elementary education, too! ;)And while I'm not mormon, my good friend and fellow med wife is. her blog: http://lukeandmarissapoulter.blogspot.com/

My personal suggestions for long-distance would be:

1. Keep a journal with things you (and your family) do AND HOW YOU FEEL! Often times, I'll get on the phone with my hubby and he'll ask what our daughter (19 months) and I have been up to and I'll completely blank-out with Mommy-Brain! Then he gets frustrated because my answer is something like 'nothing really'. He just wants to feel a part of our lives.

2. For video chats, I'd suggest scheduling them (but be flexible!) and make sure that there are no distractions around you... tv, people, etc. Be 100% in the moment.

3. Send notes and/or 'love' packages (fav cookies, a new tshirt, etc) every other week or so

4. Make sure you have all his contact info... address of where he is staying, phone number of a colleague... hospital's phone number, etc.

Hope that helps!
God bless,

Sadie said...

1. I often sent random texts or emails just saying that I loved him, missed him, wished him luck on whatever exam he may have, etc. And he sent me a goodnight text every night he could. Little things like that to let him know that even though you’re apart, he’s still on your mind and you still care. I agree with Katie’s suggestion of care packages. I made an awesome one at the end of Steven’s MSII and mailed it so it got there just in time for exams. He loved it!! Also, I read the Long Distance Relationship Survival Guide by Chris Bell and Kate Brauer-Bell. They had a lot of good suggestions for staying connected and supporting each other from a distance (although it is not exclusively geared towards med school couples).

2. In my opinion, staying busy and active is the KEY to staying sane during long distance! Throw yourself into your hobbies, take up some new hobbies, take a class just for fun, volunteer, pack your schedule with activities with your friends/family, anything that you enjoy doing that will not let you dwell on how much you’d rather not be long distance. It really does make the time fly by the busier you are, and the more you are spending the time doing things you love, the happier you will be. Also, develop a workout regime for yourself…it’s something you can do every day to pass time and the exercise will release the feel good chemicals that put you in a good mood…not to mention make you healthier and make you feel better about yourself overall! Honestly, working out was what helped me cope best when we first started long distance (as ridiculous as it may seem to some people).

3. I’d say just be yourself! He’s your husband so I’m sure he’s seen the best and worst, happiest and angriest/saddest of you lol. .Again, I agree with Katie…think about keeping a list of things you did/want to talk about because believe it or not your mind will go blank (and I can’t even use the excuse of a “Mommy brain”!). And maybe sometimes if you or he are in a particularly bad mood, consider rescheduling the phone/skype chat to another day to give yourself time to cool down because fighting over the phone/skype sucks majorly.

4. Stay busy and try not to dwell on the fact that you are long distance! Be honest and open with him about your expectations for him/the relationship/visiting frequency/phone call frequency BEFORE you guys are long distance to clear up any misunderstandings before they become problem. I’m not going to lie, it’s not going to be easy and it takes some getting used to, but don’t give up! You can do it, and your marriage will be that much stronger after overcoming an obstacle like prolonged long distance. Take a vacation to reward yourselves when the long distance is over ;).

P.S. Sorry for writing a novel…just have way too much experience with long distance ;)

JulieClaire said...

Hi! I am new to this as well -- but my husband and I were long distance until we got married this May.

Every rotation that we were further apart (we were 2 hours apart normally, but rotations, interviews etc made it a lot harder to see each other)

I like to think I am fairly crafty and I used a lot of homemade things to send his way. When L went to Iowa for an away rotation, I made him a box before he left with over thirty letters and little surprises wrapped. Each envelope and wrapped gift had a note on the outside with instructions on when to open it (i.e "after a long day" "after a run" "when you're missing me" etc) The little wrapped gifts were little things like granola bars and fruit snacks -- he would take one to the hospital with him. A lot of the cards/notes that were in the box were handmade and I tried to make them very situational -- encouraging, miss you, etc.

Little texts or emails just letting them know you're thinking of them help too.

Blogging helped a lot for me, it gave me somewhere to release my feelings for being so far apart.

Phone dates/skyping, try to schedule them ahead of time, so then you both make time and you have something to look forward to. Make sure it fits both your schedules and that there will not be lots of distractions or interruptions. Don't make it about how long you talk/skype either...it's hard to only talk for 5 minutes but remember it's something and this will pass and you'll be together again soon.

Be interested in what he is doing, and keep him interested in what you are doing.

Just remember this is so short of a time in the long run. It will be over before you know it.

Best of luck, God Bless!

Anonymous said...

New York Times today on item of interest to you folks:


That one is on bullying culture in med school.

Below it is some insight commentary.

Also at the base is a piece on The Hidden Costs of Med School.

You guys are doing great!
Take a bow.