All That Glitters Isn’t Always Gold

Think I have made it pretty clear at this point, there are pros and cons to being the wife of a doctor.  At this point in the journey, we are experiencing a lot of the cons and a lot of the pros probably won’t come around until much later on.  But there is one part for me right now that is twofold.  It is an immediate conversation starter when I meet someone new.  This is exciting because most people suddenly seem really interested in our life when I tell them I am married to a doctor.  Instantly awkward conversation moments are avoided and we can dive right in to discussion.  There are always a lot of questions that follow.  People usually jump to the conclusion that we are a rich NYC couple who have a second house in the Hamptons with a personal driver and an endless supply of Dom Perignon.  In my dreams people.  I always tell people that by the time we reap the benefits of this doctor life I will be old and wrinkled and won’t buy anything other than Botox to help me feel better anyway.  Ha.  I really hope that is not the case as I still keep an eye out on the latest Range Rover models (one day I hope to have one sitting in a driveway).

Anyway…occasionally one of the questions asked is, “Has he ever seen someone die?”  Sigh.  What was a fun conversation just turned slightly morbid.  There are only a couple professions out there that deem this question appropriate.  Unfortunately for us, it’s a fair question for Mr. Dr. and I guess his wife.  No one likes talking about death and that doesn’t change just because someone has an M.D. after their name.  It doesn’t make it any easier.  But experiencing a patient death is a reality that probably every doctor experiences at one point or another in their career.  It’s dreaded but it happens.  Part of the appeal of Ortho for Mr. Dr. is that typically the surgeries are not life or death outcomes.  But yes he has witnessed the death of a patient.  It’s not easy being in residency and its not easy to have a job where you are responsible for people’s lives day in and day out.  There is a lot of pressure put on residents, attendings and the like in medicine.

As a doctor matures in their career I have to believe that although an experience like that doesn’t get easier and may be out of their control, one inevitably has to learn how to better manage it.  Understood that it comes with the territory of the career choice but it is still an aspect of the job that is unwelcomed.  I admire doctors for being able to get past those hard times and move forward.  It also makes me grateful for doctors that go into fields like oncology where most of their time is spent dealing with sick patients who could be enduring too fatal of an undeserved life outcome.  It takes such a strong person to dive into this type of medicine but thank goodness for them because these are the people that find us cures and treatment plans that can save a life.  So yes, patient deaths are a huge con in choosing to be a doctor.  And being a doctor’s wife?  Well just add this to the list of cons for us too because it is something that no wife wants to hear about when you ask, “How was your day dear?”

At the end of the day, I hope the patient deaths that Mr. Dr. witnesses throughout his career are few and far between.  I hope that he is able to learn from them and not lose sight of the fact that he is helping people every day.  I hope this for every passionate doctor out there.  And for those who share such a dedication to helping others with a heart as big as Mr. Dr.’s –  I hope they never forget how many lives they touch in such a positive way each and every day.

Even Liberty needs a Doctor sometimes.

S-U-P-P-O-R-T…Find Out What It Means To Me…

(In case you are a bit slow today you were supposed to sing along to the tune of r-e-s-p-e-c-t for the title…duh)  Anyway…Support.  A much stronger word than what I thought so I have learned.  Our parents support us while we grow up into the adults we hope that make them proud.  We then maybe have children of our own that we support when we become adults.  And full circle, we go back and support our elders when they age.  This support is needed.  We support our spouses, significant others and partners in day to day life.  We support our friends and relatives when they need us and when they don’t.  This support is hopefully out of free will and personal pleasure.

Professionally, we support the companies we work for, the ones we own or the ones we want to do business with.  We support charities that we believe in and people that are in need.  We support troops who fight for our country and we support causes that touch our lives.  Heck even at the Oscars those rich celebrities start out their award acceptance speeches with “And to my ___ who supported me when I had nothing.”  Oh please.  Spare us the sob story and cut us little people all a check and then maybe we will empathize with you.  I mean realllllllllly people.  Those celebs need to save the sob stories for a funeral.

Let’s not forget ladies…our bras support us everyday :)

Bringing it back to medicine…and eeeek….the government….we support free health care with our tax dollars by funding certain institutions.  Institutions where people get flown in from all across the world to get to because the care they need will be provided to them.   Something Mr. Dr. is witness to almost everyday.  But nonetheless, we support it.  Career related – in our case Mr. Dr. supports patients and I support retail media.  We support the economy by shopping (I knew being a shopaholic was good for a reason) and I support the vodka business through my many cocktails.  We all support what we feel is right, what we love, what we believe in and what we feel obligated to.  Support is such a powerful thing.  Think about it.  How annoyed do you get when you call customer service support and you are put on hold, not assisted properly or drop the call.  This is frustrating.  It makes you want to scream.  But there is probably someone on the other end of the line just trying to do their job and put a meal on the table for their family.  We may forget (I know I do) they are not just in a support role for their career, but also for their family.  Sometimes in these cases a little patience goes a long way.

I don’t think I ever really understood what it felt like to truly have the desire to support someone else until residency.  I thought I did.  We always think we know everything, right?  Ha.  Well ladies if you want a happy marriage and your husband is a resident, you inevitably fall into a support role at home.  It just sort of happens.  But in a good way.  I understood what it meant to support but to WANT to support someone else is what I am learning day in and day out.  I want to support Mr. Dr. in everything he does because I admire  who he is as a doctor, husband, friend and person.  I want to support him because I care and because I know that everyday when he wakes up and leaves for work he is about to walk into a day full of pressure, surprises, stress, sleep deprivation, egos, patients, studying and many other challenges.  But we all have busy days and challenges.  And what would we do without the support from our loved ones to help get us through it?  Not just human loved ones…thankfully Greygoose and Cabernet have supported me in my most treacherous of times.  The bottom line is that we need support to live, work, love and keep on keeping on every single day.  Sometimes its nice to just sit back for a moment and think about the people that have supported us along the way.  I am thankful for those who support me every day…my husband, family, friends and the local liquor store.  For all of the times I forget to say it…Thank You!

Mrs. Dr.’s support group style :)