Cue Dory’s epic solo of Just Keep Swimming from Finding Nemo…
People often ask me “How does he do it?” In reference to his nutty schedule. Sometimes when I describe to people how Mr. Dr. gets through his weeks I refer to him as a robot. For lack of a better term it really resembles what he seems like day in and day out during the really tough weeks. It’s as if he is programmed to just “keep swimming.”
Then it hit me. I too am a bit of a robot. The second this man went to medical school and we moved our life up the East coast together I made a decision to start a path. A path filled with upcoming sacrifices and decisions I couldn’t even at the time imagine would be part of my life. Let’s face it. I was clueless. Two years ago when I chose to give this man my heart for the rest of my life I chose to stay on that path forever. This path has been nothing short of a roller coaster and I know it will continue to be for years to come. I am so proud of where we are and how far we have come. But…I still think I am just as much of a robot as him. I wake up and I go to work. I have no choice – we wouldn’t be able to drink as much wine or eat as much steak if I didn’t. I look at my schedule at the beginning of every week to see what nights I will get to see my husband for the next 7 days. I see that he is on call or working 24 hr shifts and I barely budge because at this point I am trained to normalcy. Freak out? Maybe last year. But now? Second nature. I spend most every day of work not hearing a peep from the love of my life. Ironic because most people out there would freak out if they didn’t hear from their spouse for over 12 hours. Me? Expected. An invite comes in the mail for a weekend event. Most people are excited to RSVP. Me? My first thought is…I will most likely have to attend solo so I hope it’s close by and with people I like. The holidays approach. Most people are excited to plan trips to see loved ones. Me? I know I am lucky if I get 1 full holiday with him and our families together. Most people that went to college and got a degree approach their 30s with a firm financial standing if they are smart. Me? I like to think we are somewhat smart and we live paycheck to paycheck with a debt stacked higher than the Empire State building. The point? I have programmed myself into thinking this way of life is normal. In reality, it is far from what most people consider normal. But when you become a Dr. spouse you are given the choice to sink or swim. It’s not easy but if you don’t choose swim you’re pretty much screwed if you want to survive and lead a happy life. Just like when you become a Doctor. If you want to survive you just keep swimming.
He has programmed himself to go through the motions regardless of how painful it can be at times. I have programmed myself to accept that this life we live is normal…our normal. When comparing to non-medical relationships I realize that our life is far from the norm. But ya know what? If we didn’t face the challenges we do then our life wouldn’t be shaped by the crazy, exciting experiences we have had. Boring isn’t a term I could ever use to describe the life we live. And lucky for us we think that is normal. So while it seems we have programmed ourselves to look at our life a certain way, I believe it will be the reason we both survive and get through it all…together. We will just make sure to keep some tins of oil on the side for when we need regenerating.