Tuesday, June 14, 2011

lives inextricably connected

Last night my husband was on call - from home.  It was interesting.  About once every hour one of his pagers went off (he was covering for two clinics), he sprung out of bed to answer the call and jumped on his computer.  Fascinating conversations ensued, but by morning I could not recall one single detail from any of them.  I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I was exhausted, but I had never even opened my eyes during the night.

One comment left by a resident's wife under my "being married" tab states how "her whole life revolves around [her husband] and medicine always comes first."  I honestly have to admit that I have never felt this way, (but this is likely due to my strong (narcissistic, selfish...) personality).  I do feel that my husband's choice of career has affected me and our family, but I would never describe it in those terms.  As much as I would like to admit that my "whole life revolves around" my husband, it doesn't.  My top loyalties and priorities never change.  He is one of them, but he is not at the top.  I would be a very unhealthy and unhappy person if my husband solely defined my happiness and/or success.

But last night, for the first time, her comment left so long ago seemed to come to life for me.

My survival instincts, however, still prevail.  Rather than dwelling on how torturous the night was, and how my life is inevitably caught up in his responsibilities, stresses, duties, long hours, etc., I've decided that next time he is on call from home, I will just sleep in a separate room.

Problem solved.


Wife of a Resident said...

Some mornings I wake up confused by my dreams because out of no where I recall "medical stuff" that my husband was talking about while I was sleeping. I've learned to sleep through the pagers just like he has learned to sleep through crying babies:-)

Jamie Lamb said...

I've been thinking about this same topic a lot lately--kind of from a backward perspective, though.

My husband started doing overnight rotations 6 years ago (the last 2 years of med school, and the past 4 of residency). I remember crying the first night he left (and many times after)--I had a newborn and a 2 yr old then. Now my kids are 8, 6, 3 and newborn.

I decided early into residency that I would NOT be miserable for the next 5 years. So I carved out a life for myself, and I've been (mostly) happy. Life is what you make it.

But something that's been eating away at me lately is just how independent I've become. I guess sometimes I wish my happiness DID depend a little more on the one I love! He went on a 4 day trip last week, and I barely noticed. We talked on the phone a lot (like always), I took care of the kids and the baby (like always), I took care of cooking/cleaning (like always), and before I knew it he was back. But I don't like the feeling of being so functional without him! Weird, but true.

I guess it's not weird...ideally we would be equally yoked. We live like we do out of necessity, not out of choice. But we should always make the best of the situation we've got, right?

Anyways...sorry for the novel. :) My husband just started doing home call (plus regular call), so I hear ya with the rotten sleep! We decided to call it "couch call" rather than home call though, because he has to sleep on the couch those nights!

Liz B.B. said...

you are right in that our schedule DOES revolve around them...if they ARE home, we all drop everything.
but, we both have awesome husbands just doing what it takes, almost "playing a role". s&i role our eyes together at the ridiculousness of this residency, but we do it together, KNOWING how awful it is.
and lizzy...HE sleeps in the other room.
that's what we've been doing with this new-found "home call". it works wonders on YOUR sleep....and marriage!