Hats Off To The Senior

check mark

With being completely consumed by baby, time has flown by. Even though I am awake MUCH more during the day AND at night than I was before, if you have a newborn you know that time goes by quickly. So quickly that the last time I sat and thought about Mr. Dr.’s schedule was in February. If you remember, he was finishing 24 hour in house call for the last time ever right before baby G was born. Well here we are in the last day of June. In house call has been done 4 months and it has been glorious. Truly glorious. I love knowing he is coming home to us every night. But on top of that, he has also finished his last 2 rotations as a PGY3. This is very exciting and not until recently did it occur to me that we can now actually look forward to the true back half of residency. I still don’t reallllllly see the light at the end but it’s getting closer. It’s now a dim glimmer as opposed to complete darkness. And instead of inching along these last few months I would say we have been yard sticking along considering I skipped over 2 ‘end of a rotation’ posts in April and May and didn’t even think twice about it.

Like a lot of my other fellow doctor’s wives out there, July is always an exciting time for us. It marks the end of a year. Mr. Dr. is now a senior resident which in medicine terms is a nice accomplishment. He has finally started to be able to enjoy the more pleasant aspects of ortho residency like actually performing the surgeries as opposed to just stitching skin and doing all of the ‘pay your dues’ grunt work. Of course he still has that to some extent but it’s lessened as the months continue to come and go. I am excited for him and for us as we enter into his 4th year. I hope these next 2 years go as fast as everyone says they do.

10 Years

This winter marks the 10th year Mr. Dr. and I have known each other.  10 whole years.  It feels like such a long time when you say it aloud.  What’s crazy is that from the start of med school till the end of fellowship, the training journey will be the same amount of time.  10 whole years.  I think back to meeting him in the athletic training room in November of 2003 at college.  He was nursing a sprained ankle, a really bad sprained ankle.  I, too, was nursing a sprained ankle…that never really turned black or blue, was only a little swollen and was probably better after some icing and r&r.  He was a baseball player and I was a soccer player but we had never met.  I thought he was cute so, using the trainer as a matchmaker, I asked if he could show me the ankle exercises for treating a sprain.  We spent the rest of the afternoon together nursing our ankles back to health and getting to know each other.  My ankle was better after about 48 hours but I milked every last minute of rehab absolutely needed weeks of recovery just like he did in order to ensure a proper heal…

After a few weeks of training room bonding and a memorable baseball house Hawaiian party, he asked me out to dinner.  I’ll never forget I saw his roommates at a party a week after our first date and his friend said to me, “What have you done to him?  The night of your date was the first time I saw him iron a shirt.”

Our relationship has evolved more than any one relationship I have ever known.  Truly.  We have gone from having an immature, not so sensible relationship in our undergrad days to a fulfilling, healthy relationship 10 years later.  We have experienced highs together like how you feel when you are on a roller coaster creeping up to the top excited for the exhilarating drop.  We have experienced lows together that seem like they are beyond the roots of a huge tree trunk dug deep into the ground for hundreds of years.  And in between we have gotten through blizzards, monsoons, tornadoes – both the real weather kind and the figurative “life” kind.  The day we got married there was a tornado watch and it was actually a monsoon with torrential rain.  Perhaps when baby boy decides to debut it will be a blizzard.  That would only be fitting but maybe likely considering the brutal winter we have had up here.

As we get ready to welcome our son into this world, I can’t help but reflect on the time Mr. Dr. and I have shared together over the last 10 years.  Thanks to a baseball career followed by a medical one, he has made the “time spent together” part quite memorable as in…a lot less than the average couple.  Hmmm was this his plan?  Maybe he takes that absence makes the heart grow fonder phrase too literally.  So in terms of appreciating the actual minutes and hours we do have together, for the most part I think we have both succeeded.  The most exciting part about our relationship now is that the best is yet to come.  In just a short couple of weeks we will be blessed with a growing family, and in just a short couple of years we will be moving on from residency into a new chapter.  So while these last 10 years have been a fun adventure, I am even more so looking forward to the next 10.  There is so much more excitement to come our way.

This gem of a picture has always been one of our favorites from when we first started dating and we still currently have it sitting out in our apartment even after all these years.  We used to be so young and sprightly.

About 8 years ago in the Outer Banks when Mr. Dr. was playing baseball there for a summer. Look at those frosted blonde tips - we were such college kids!

About 8 years ago in the Outer Banks when Mr. Dr. was playing baseball there for a summer. Look at those frosted blonde tips and the conch shell necklace – we were such college kids!

Roommate

I have a roommate.  It’s a man.  He is only around every other night.  Which is kind of nice because I get a lot done that I have been putting off for a while.  But it’s also lonely after a while too.  When he is around, he is either sleeping or looks like he is sleep walking.  I see his wardrobe closet go untouched for days unless I do laundry and put things away for him.  The beer in the fridge doesn’t diminish because he is barely around to drink the alcohol a preggo girl can’t.  The food in the pantry stays in tact until the occasional peanut butter & jelly sandwich is made before he passes out upon arriving home every couple of days.  His phone charger sits in the corner of the room untouched, as does his contact solution in the bathroom.

I leave our tidy living space in the morning looking bright and clean, and I come home from work and it looks the same as it did when I left.  The next morning I wake up, and I am still the only one who has resided in our little space.  Our home is eerily clean.  No scrubs or shoes occupying random areas of the floor, no empty cups in the sink and no weird folded papers with chicken scratch on them sitting on the table.

Most people would enjoy having a low maintenance roommate like mine.  But when it’s your husband, you feel a little different.

Yes, my roommate is my husband.  The occasional body next to me in bed, the occasional company I have some evenings on the couch, the occasional dining partner a few days a week.  He has been working so much I really do feel like he is just a roommate I occasionally see in passing.  The last two weeks have been especially bad and the next couple weeks will be better but this latest stretch has reminded me again why it’s so important to have good friends and family around to be the companions you need when medicine takes over.  I am lucky to have that.  And I guess I am lucky to still have some cuddling every other night to reassure me that my roommate is also my loving husband.

The Glass Is Half Full

check mark  There has been so much going on I almost forgot one of my favorite milestone posts.  We are another rotation down and this one that ended at the end of December was an exciting one because it also was the turning point of being halfway through residency.  How exciting is that?  Let me tell you…very.  As I have told you all before, the little milestones are what keep us plugging along on the grueling crawl to the finish line of this medical career.  I know a lot of people that follow this blog share in my sentiment.  Mr. Dr. just finished a Sports Medicine rotation which allowed for a little more free time during the week but busy weekends as he was on call every other.  Here are some observations from the last 2 months:

-Many Sports Medicine surgeries involve scopes and lots of standing water.
-Some Sports surgeries can take on average only 20 minutes. Others, a few hours.
-Sports Medicine is a pretty saturated field in Orthopedics.
-I am really looking forward to 24 hour in house call being over after February as every other weekend was spent in the hospital the last 2 months.
-There were days that Mr. Dr. beat me home from work. This was refreshing and very pleasant. The con is that he also did more night time reading and studying on this block too.

So we are halfway done and I see our glass as half full.  Mr. Dr. has learned a lot over the last 2.5 years and I know his knowledge in Orthopedics will only grow over the next 2.5 years so I am looking forward to filling the rest of the cup to make it a full glass when that is complete.  Just because he runs on half empty most days of the week doesn’t mean that is the way we have to look at this journey.  A glass half full of Ortho, a loving marriage, a crazy schedule, supportive families, fabulous friends, new living spaces and most importantly, a brand new addition on the way.

via I am picturing this as sangria that I will indulge in after Baby L arrives :)

via
I am picturing this as sangria that I will indulge in after Baby L arrives :)

2014 Medical Monday


Happy first blog post in 2014 and happy first Medical Monday linkup.  For those that are new to me and my blog, we are PGY3 in Ortho, living in NYC, and are expecting our first in February.  Mr. Dr. and I are currently working on settling into the new apartment but it’s proving to be a challenge.  We have lived in 6 different apartments over the last 6.5 years of living here so one would think we have gotten really good at the moving game.  In some ways we have and in others each move brings a new set of hurdles.  For example, every apartment we have lived in has had a different type of layout which means we have to get creative with every space we live in to fit all of our things properly.

This apartment has about the same amount of square footage as our previous apartment but totally different storage space so I am really struggling with making things fit.  I think in part its because I know we have more “stuff” than we normally do, thanks to the little man that will be added to our family next month.  Up until now, I have just kept his things in a corner in our bedroom.  That corner definitely had spillover next to my side of the bed.  So now, trying to make sure we allow enough space for his things is my biggest challenge.  I am trying to plan it out before he makes his entrance so that we are ready to go when he comes home.  People say babies don’t come with a lot for the first year or so but I beg to differ.  The stroller alone takes up what feels like a 1/4 of our living room.  I officially have to find a new place to fit his clothes because all of our drawers and closets are maxed out to accommodate myself and Mr. Dr.  That is also with 5 full bags sent to the thrift store later.

I know we will figure it all out but settling in does take time and 8 months pregnant…well I find myself a little antsy.  It doesn’t help that Mr. Dr. needs to be around to help with most things because I can’t go crazy trying to risk my body standing on things to put stuff away or decorate, or lift anything too heavy.  But he’s a resident so his hours at home are few and far between at the moment.  I am doing my best to manage and organize where I can on my own but I do look forward to the times we are both home together to try and nest.  Below is a picture from the day we moved in and that’s just the living room.  The bedroom was just as bad.  I swear it’s better almost a week later but trust me, it’s been an undertaking.  Hopefully I will have some photos to share in a couple of weeks once things start to look a little more like home.

Moving Picture

Baby L’s Gender Reveal

While I know gender reveal parties are all the rage these days for expectant parents, we did not partake in such an event for our little one.  First off my mom was like what the heck is a gender reveal party?  Just recently I gave her a synopsis of some of the things we were registering for and she gasped at the prices for some of the items.  Grandma has a lot to learn :).  It’s 30 years later and times are a changing.  Especially when you live in NYC and have to figure out a way to comfortably fit your child in 650 square feet.

For baby L’s gender reveal I knew that I wanted to do something cute to tell our families but I wasn’t sure what.  Add this to the list of challenges of being pregnant hours away from loved ones.  Part of why I didn’t want to have a gender reveal party was because it would be missing key participants, aka: our families.  So we did our own makeshift gender reveal and the idea was provided by my baby basket.   Remember the cards I get to open for milestones throughout my pregnancy?  Well the gender reveal certainly was one of them.  We had to wait until the next day to open the gender reveal card because Mr. Dr. was on call the day prior over night.  Here is what the card looked like:

Baby boy 2

So cute right?  So we did exactly what the card told us to do to reveal to our families.  We blew up the balloon of the corresponding gender and Mr. Dr. wore a matching polo shirt.  I facetimed our families (thank God for technology) and turned the camera around so they could see him holding the balloon with his matching outfit.  It was a really cute reveal via electronic devices and I’m happy that if we couldn’t do the reveal in person we at least were able to see and capture their emotions through my IPAD.  Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a photo of him with the balloon but it was absolutely perfect.

Flashback to the previous day.  It figures the day I find out the gender Mr. Dr. is on a 24 hour call.  So when I found out, I called him and when he asked about the gender I said I wasn’t sharing such big news over the phone and that he had to make himself available for 5 minutes for me to come down to the hospital and tell him in person.  He wasn’t happy that I was making him wait but it was so worth it to do it in person.  I dressed up in black pants, a black hoodie and walked on down to meet him.  My back was facing him, and when he walked out of the hospital, I turned around and this was how I greeted him :).

Baby boy 1

It was a really, really sweet moment and he was thrilled as expected.  So there you have it folks, baby L is a boy and we are ecstatic to welcome him in.

Post Call Postmortem

I think it’s fair to say that post call days in the medical world aren’t all they are cracked up to be.  After a 24 hour shift, regardless of how many “naps” someone got in, you will never convince me that person is fully functional.  Mr. Dr. used to look forward to post call days because it’s time in the daylight that he isn’t in the hospital which is a nice, strange phenomenon.  Turns out, the grass isn’t greener on the other side.  I used to not believe Mr. Dr. on the days he would come home and say he didn’t sleep a wink during the whole shift.  How could he really go that long without sleep?  Then I noticed his behavior over the next 24-48 hours following the shift and I realized what he said had to be true.  It’s hard to describe unless you live with someone who works these kinds of crazy hours but it’s like they turn into a different person…or rather a different being.  They are in a fog almost.  They take a seat for the first time in hours and the eyes are shut within seconds.  They wake up after a few hours of napping on what the hospital calls “their day off” when it’s really supposed to be the equivalent of their night time sleep.  It never is.  They sleep for a few hours and wake up in a delirium.  If anyone else is like my Mr. Dr. he never wants to waste a day so rather than really catch up on the rest, he only naps and then carries on with the rest of the day as if he is superman.  Then that evening he crashes yet again after some crankiness which is unrecognizable to him of course, and voila I lose him early to the zzz’s.  This is why I feel like post call days are ineffective.  Sure they are nice for the times he can suck it up and muscle through it to enjoy the “day off” but if that happens, the next day is spent in even more delirium because it’s essentially two days of no sleep.  That third day is deadly.  And if he can’t suck it up because he reaches the point of total exhaustion he ends up sleeping the entire day, waking up for a quick dinner and then back to bed, only to get up at 5am to go back to work.  It is a vicious cycle that can’t seem to get broken when he is on a rotation that requires 24 hour call.

This is why come March 2014, I am very much looking forward to him never having to be in-house for it again.  Ever.  That doesn’t mean he might not get called in and be there for almost the same amount of time.  It’s just nice to know it won’t be a staple in the schedule.

And of course…linking up with for November Medical Monday.

Orthopedic Trauma Rotation = Done

check mark

Another 2 months have passed and we are another rotation down.  Today marks Mr. Dr. being complete with his 3rd year trauma rotation at the public hospital in NYC.  I am really glad this one is over.  It’s been a doozy.  Lots of 24 hour call (if only it were really only 24 hours), lots of nights alone for Mrs. Dr. and lots of time spent trying to catch up on rest which always seems like an uphill battle for the poor doc.  The good news is that with this one under our belts, he only has one more rotation where he has in-house 24 hour call EVER.  It just so happens to be when I am 9 months pregnant in Jan/Feb but I’m trying to look beyond that and see the positive that will come from it.  As of March 2014 he will finally have no more 24 hour stints of having to be in the actual hospital.  Rather, it will be home call which will be a nice change…well I think.  I guess that could be just as rough but the mere fact that he doesn’t have to be somewhere unless he is summoned to go in just sounds better for a call schedule.  I mean, isn’t that why they phrase it “being on call” anyway ;).

Here are a couple of observations from the last 2 months:
-As one might expect in this city, rather than the majority of trauma accidents being car related, NYC residents are more likely to come into the ER as a result of other fatalities such as pedestrian hits, reckless bike injuries or even unfortunate skateboarding incidents. I’m surprised I didn’t hear a scooter story out of Mr. Dr. this block.
-Trauma stories can definitely be sad but after some of the stuff I heard from Mr. Dr. I can totally make sense of the Grey’s Anatomy characters when they fight over certain surgeries. Despite that a bad outcome could happen, thinking from their perspective, some of the trauma surgeries sound really appealing and keep these residents on their toes, which hopefully is twofold: making them better trained and keeping them interested even after 20 hours of no sleep.
-My belly is a growing. 75% of my closet officially doesn’t fit anymore and onto maternity clothes I go. I have some really cute ones that I am actually looking forward to wearing though.

Also, appearing in the last month is a new addition to our bed.  The Snoogle has become my new favorite toy.  It has changed my sleeping repertoire for the better and I now can’t imagine my zzz’s without it.  I don’t really know why or how it has helped me sleep that much better but it just has.  It was recommended to me by a couple of different friends who used it when they were pregnant and I thought it was a more of a luxury item than what I probably would have needed.  Well friends, if you’re pregnant, get this body pillow.  It’s nothing short of amazing.

Our next rotation is Sports Medicine and I am hoping it’s a good one for Mr. Dr.  He deserves a little bit of a break after the last 2 months.  Ha.  Yeah right.  Wish us luck.

Cue Bon Jovi

oooooo we’re halfway there…OOOOOO livin’ on a prayer…

I’m 20 weeks pregnant this week which means in the words of Bon Jovi – we’re halfway there to meeting our new addition.  The first half of the first half of pregnancy was so hard mainly because of keeping it a secret.  Being a hermit is not fun especially in NYC.  I couldn’t even call my mom to say hi as regularly because I felt guilty about lying every time I got on the phone. Hey how are you, what’s new? Oh nothing just walking home from work. Oh yeah and did I mention I have a little bean in my belly? That too.  But the secret was so worth it because seeing the excitement in person was worth every tongue biting, nail chewing moment of keeping it in over the phone.

I thought since I was halfway through, now would be a great time to share what my experience has been like so far.

When did you first find out you were pregnant? We found out early, I was only about 4 weeks when I took the first positive test.
What kinds of emotions did you experience in your first trimester? Too many to count. Thrilled since the first day we found out, scared out of my mind that this was real, lucky and shocked that it happened so quickly, excited when we heard the heartbeat for the first time, sad when we got test results that made us question health concerns, happy when the word got out and we could share our good news, anxious about…well just about everything. And most of all, overwhelmed in the most positive way by the support Mr. Dr. and I have given to each other and the support from everyone else in our lives who have shown us and Baby L so much love.
Food aversions? None yet…
Cravings? No specific crazy cravings yet except one week I really wanted pancakes for breakfast. I also have been really into pizza ever since I found out I was preggo. I like pizza anyway but I feel like right now I could eat it every day. There has only been one day where I have missed my yummy spicy tuna sushi rolls.
What are you drinking? Question of the year! I have been sober now for about 4 months (since I was already 4 weeks or so when I found out) and I actually could mistakenly probably end up in an AA class if I didn’t look down and see my daily baby bump. I never thought I’d see the week where I came home and immediately got my workout clothes on instead of pouring a glass of wine every day. I certainly miss it but what I miss most is the social aspect of drinking. Grabbing a drink with a friend, sharing a good bottle of wine with Mr. Dr., enjoying a cold draft beer on football Sunday or having happy hour martinis. At this point I’m used to the no drinking zone so I’m not even sure I’ll have a glass later in my third trimester. We’ll see how I feel then. I have been drinking lots and lots of water – sparkling, flavored and good old regular. When I go out I like to order sparkling so I feel like I’m indulging in a fun high class drink. Add a lemon and voila, back in the cocktailsphere.

How have you been feeling overall? GREAT! I truly can’t complain. I barely had morning sickness – just a few days here and there over the last 5 months. I have been more tired than usual, more so in the beginning than now… my preggo app says that’s because carrying a child is the equivalent of running a triathlon every day.
What’s your biggest symptom? Oddly enough my boobs never hurt which is a common complaint. However, they are growing at the same fast rate as my belly. My biggest symptom was my skin breaking out like I was back in high school…and I mean everywhere.
Weight gain? Depends on the scale I use but just about 10 lbs.
When is your next ultrasound? Today is our 20 week anatomy scan appointment so we will see Baby L again. I can’t wait!
Do you feel the baby? Yes. Felt flutters for the first time around 17.5 weeks and this past weekend we felt our first real little kick.
What has been your favorite part so far? I have two. The first was seeing the baby in mini baby form at 12 weeks during the sonogram. It was so exciting. The second is feeling the baby move. It’s crazy but awesome at the same time.

What have you been wearing? Up until today (I have on maternity leggings) I have worn all of my normal clothes and used the belly band so I can still wear my regular jeans.
How big is the baby? Right now Baby L is the size of a banana between 6.5-7inches long.
Oh yeah and how is dad? Mr. Dr. is doing really well. He’s gotten to feel the baby kick already, and while he hasn’t played the sympathy sober card, he has been a great support and is so excited.

Second half of pregnancy, here I come!

Centipeding Along


It’s October Medical Monday for those of you visiting from the linkup.  Quick intro for the newbies – we are PGY3 in ortho and we live in NYC.  I don’t work in medicine, but I support my hard working hubby who does.  We were driving back recently from a nice weekend away visiting family, and thoughts ran through my head about how the first 2 years of residency felt like they went by sooo slow.  It almost felt like we were never going to make it to 3rd year.  It felt so far away.  The reality is we are almost half way done residency come December.  So I know we are making progress but sometimes the inching along feels like centimeters.

I didn’t feel that way about the first 2 years of medical school.  I felt like I blinked and they were over.  It could be because during med school we were fresh in a new city, new life and new beginnings.  Now we have 6 years in the city under our belts, Mr. Dr. regularly has crow’s feet around his eyes from sleep deprivation and I am knocked up.  I guess when you sum it up like that it seems like a lot has happened since we started the medicine journey.  And while a lot has happened, residency is every bit as tumultuous as I expected, and at times worse.  I have already seen an improvement for him 3 months into his 3rd year but it’s still residency and it’s still a doozy.  There are parts that have gotten better and parts that have gotten tougher.  As I write this I find myself in an anti-residency mindset.  I haven’t felt this anti in a while.  Maybe it’s the hormones or maybe it’s that I am entitled to feel this way every so often and that’s OK too.  Maybe it’s a bit of anxiety knowing we are welcoming our first child into this world in a few months.  Maybe it’s because his call schedule sucks at the moment.  Maybe it’s D. all of the above.  Probably.

But even though I’m having an anti moment, I never lose sight of the fact that we are actually gravitating towards the end.  It’ll come, just in a few years.  It feels like I’ll be extra wrinkly by then and we might have 3 kids living in a 1 bedroom apartment when it comes but it will get here.

I also found myself pondering what I want in my future dream home recently.  I realized I have no freaking clue.  I know nothing more than my tiny apartment and concrete outdoor space.  I currently base my idealistic dream home on what I see on HGTV and what I dislike and love about our families’ houses.  I’m going to start making a list and as ideas pop into my head I will just write it down so I don’t lose sight.  But then again, in 10 years when we might actually be building our first home, that stuff will be outdated.  So perhaps I shouldn’t waste my time.  Maybe I’ll stick to big ideas for now and no specifics.  Yes, that’s what I’ll do.