Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stress at Home with the Doctor

Recently, someone found my blog by googling: "husband is a doctor he stresses me out at home."

I love it.

Here are some reasons I thought of for why a medical resident sometimes "stresses me out at home":

1. His work schedule is completely nonsensical and erratic.
2. He is continuously exhausted because of the lack of normality in his sleep patterns due to his work schedule.
3. He is at the mercy of his attendings, chief residents, other residents and hospital staff, and whether they are having a "good day" or are just notoriously "grumpy people."
4. His long shifts (ranging between 12 and 15 hours) are filled entirely with high stress situations.
5. He is evaluated continuously, sometimes daily, so he does not have even one moment to relax.
6. He must constantly have intense mental awareness and recall.
7. His permanently fixed stress throughout the day is based on the fact that others' lives depend on him.
8. Upon arriving home, he has to study the status of his patients for the following day, call his attending physician to discuss his plan of care for each patient, and put in 1-2 hours of additional studying of anesthesia in general.
9. And, sometimes he brings his stress home.

Daily, I have to remind myself that these are the circumstances my husband is in every single day, and sometimes I have to remind him that he is home now, and that maybe he can relax - just a little bit. This reminder seems futile at best, because this is an example of what it is usually like when he gets home:

1. Someone has soccer practice right away and needs help finding his shin guards and a water bottle.
2. Wife has been at soccer practice and piano lessons all afternoon and has not had time to make dinner.
3. A baby is crying and wants to be held.
4. A 3-year old wants someone to watch him ride his bike around in circles on the driveway.
5. A 5-year old wants help practicing the piano.
6. An 8-year old needs help with his math homework and is exhausted from soccer practice.
7. A child wants someone to jump on the trampoline or play soccer with him or her.
8. In general, there are four kids running around like crazed monkeys, some are whining, some are fighting, and mostly they are asking for some attention.

Sometimes I wish I could calm everyone down, including my husband, but most often that does not happen until after everyone is in bed. And I wonder why I can't get more sleep? The quiet and calm is too wonderful to not enjoy, fully awake. I know sleep should not be expendable, but it is more expendable than I am.

Unfortunately, sleep is not expendable for my husband. He can't stay up late and experience the calm. He has to live amidst the stress at work and then the stress at home. So, when my doctor husband stresses me out at home, I try to laugh it off and remind myself of the stress he endures all of the time, and maybe just give him a little break.


iamwoman said...

I think being a Dr's Wife is a huge role to undertake--because although he has such an intense job, your responsibility of presiding over the house/family etc. when he is gone at such erratic intervals requires A LOT. You have to give over 100% because he is doing the same 100% outside of the home. It's the overlap of percentages between the both that I imagine is sometimes hard to adjust to.

Did that even make sense?

Anyways...kudos to both of you for working so hard! It takes a strong woman to do what you do...and support your hubby in the process.

Keely said...

Just came across your blog! So glad to find another doctor's wife to follow! (My husband is in MS2) But I love getting to hear about life in residency. It's better than it being a complete shock, right? Judging by this post, you sound like one tough cookie :0)

Anonymous said...

Sounds about right! And wow - I am so in awe that you guys do the doctor thing while raising four kids. You must be a super-mom!

Amanda said...

I think it is definitely amazing! Both of you!

cheri said...

that's the spirit! find the humor in everything and it'll save your sanity. and remind yourself that all things must end sometime, even residency programs :)