Monday, December 3, 2012

Somethings I Wish I Knew Then {Medical Monday}

It's the FIRST Monday of the Month 
and you know what that means?

It's Medical Monday!

Doc and I met and dated the end of his 3rd and 4th year of medical school. By the time he asked me out, his toughest rotations were over {i.e. transplant surgery, etc.} He did well in med school, had doctors encouraging him to stay local and do his residency and was confident and happy. After we got engaged, we decided that it would be wise to consider moving away from our home town for a while to establish our own marriage and family. We ranked an out of town residency as first and an in-town residency as second. We ended up matching with the out of town one. He graduated from med school and we got married the next weekend. We went on our honeymoon and a week later moved 10 hours away from our families and friends. I had him and he had me and that was all we needed...or so I naively thought.

Which leads me to what I wish I had known...

I wish I had known that almost everyone in their first year of residency has doubts. Doubts about their abilities, their knowledge, their intuition. Everything is new. There is added responsibility. It is just a scary thing. I wish I knew that was coming. I saw my husband go from happy and confident to unsure and stressed. Our new marriage had a rough start to say the least. 

I wish I understood back then that there are seasons of life that you just have to walk through with the faith that you will come out stronger on the other end. The first few months of residency, the first six weeks after having a baby, the first few months of a new job. They are seasons. They will pass.

I wish I knew that my happiness was not wrapped up in his. He is not responsible for my joy. And more importantly...I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE for his happiness. I can do kind things for him and I should.  I can try to keep the house clean, the laundry done but ultimately, he has to decided to live focused on the good or the bad. I wish I knew that back then. I tried really hard and felt like a failure A LOT.

I wish I knew that the whole insecurity thing would reappear with his first real job. Not as bad as going into residency, mind you, but he had to walk through it. Confidence only comes with experience and familiarity. 

I wish he knew that he didn't have to compromise his limits to be a good doctor. I wish I knew to tell him that he was working too much, sacrificing too much time with the kids and that his identity was defined by more than the M.D. after his last name. Truth be told, I don't think he would have listened to me anyway. He came to those conclusions himself. It just took longer for him to understand the price he was paying. Doc is an amazing doctor. The danger in that is being drawn to that part of your life because it becomes easy. People love you for taking care of them. Usually, you can diagnose and fix whatever is ailing a patient. Your relationships at home are different. You can't write a prescription and fix your wife's loneliness. You can't do some surgery and fix your kid growing up without you. That is the hard part.

In those early days, I wish I knew that the blessing in all of that hard stuff, is that you value what you have to work for. He cherishes our family and the time he gets to spend being Daddy. He cherishes me and our relationship. {We like each other, too, which sounds silly, but the fact is, sometimes you can love someone very much without liking them or who you are when you are with them}. It is a good place to be, now. I wish I could go back and tell that myself, "Life will be hard, harder than you ever imagined, but you chose your spouse well. Pray for him. Get on your knees when you are frustrated and trust. Trust that God has a plan and one day, you will look back and understand that the blessings you are enjoying wouldn't be nearly as sweet without the hard work and sacrifice you have to walk through to get there. It will be worth it." 

James 1:2-5(NIV) 
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Medical Monday is an opportunity for any and all medical/med life blogs to link up and meet others. So join us!

Are you confused if you qualify for the party?

Do you work in healthcare?
Doctor? Nurse? EMT? Chiropractor? Vet? Dentist? Therapist?
Are you the spouse or SO of a healthcare worker/student?
Are you a nursing student? Medical student?
Intern? Resident? Fellow?

You get the picture, right? 


Our once a month bloghop for bloggers like yourself, where we can build a community of support and friendship, learn from one another and share our stories.

Here are the rules:

  1. Follow your co-hosts via GFC.
  2. Link up you medical/med life blog. If your blog name does not clearly state how you fit in to the med/med life world, please write a little intro or link up a specific post which clearly demonstrates your connection.
  3. Visit at least 3 other link ups, comment, introduce yourself, and tell the your stopping by or following from MM!
  4. Help spread the word by using our button on your post or sidebar, tweet about Medical Monday, or spread the word on Facebook! The more the merrier for all of us!
And here's a helpful tip. . .

If you haven't turned off word verification, it's ON. Please turn it off. We'll all LOVE you!!
Not sure how? Click here for instructions.

Complete step one by following your co-hosts:

Want to be awesome?
Post our button on you post or sidebar and help spread the word:

Want to co-host next month? Shoot Emma an email at

Now, link up below and have fun! The link up is open through Friday, so be sure to come back during the week to check some great reads!


From A Doctors Wife said...

Nichole! Thank you so much for co-hosting with us. I loved your post today.

Trisha said...

This is great advice! And a great post! Thanks for sharing it!

Your Doctor's Wife said...

This is a great post with lots of sound insight as to the personal independence needed to be a doctor's wife! I think lots of women don't realize they will be left to their own devices and the relationship suffers. I hate to say it, but that always seems to be the case when I doctor and his first wife divorce. It's really sad. When I meet younger med school/resident couples, I always try to encourage them to move back near family if they ever have an opportunity. It helps so much!

Miss Liabilities said...

Absolutely love this post and the advice that comes with it. I'll be adding you!

Amber Zaccagni said...

The last few years have been the most difficult for me on this medical journey. There have been a few verses that I have kept close. That one from James is one of them. The others are Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you... & Prov. 3:5&6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.... This whole medical journey has taught me what TRUST really means (in God & my husband) and has definitely strengthened my faith.

This is such great advice Nichole. And your point about "liking" one another is so true! So glad you joined Medical Monday!

Glad to "meet" you :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nichole!

Thanks for co-hosting and writing such a great post! Here via MMBH:)

Unknown said...

Thank you for being courageous enough to share your teachableness my sweet friend, you are such a lovely example of His love and grace.

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