It’s been three months since Vishnu started his intern year of medical training. Or as I like to say, since we started intern year! I think most people with significant others who have demanding careers would agree, it’s all about the we.
In the medical world, intern year is known for being the hardest year of training. Vishnu’s co-interns have said that they feel like “fake” doctors because even though they’re done with medical school and are actual doctors, they don’t quite feel like it yet. Knowing what I know, this is the adjustment year. And honestly, it’s been quite the adjustment for me too.
When we were in Miami, we lived walking distance from my office and I had a close circle of friends. It was starting to feel like a true home away from home. St. Petersburg doesn’t feel that way, and I honestly don’t think it ever will. For one, we’re only here for eight ish more months. And two, I know this isn’t the best attitude to have, but between work, Vishnu’s crazy schedule, travel, and my sister’s wedding planning, I don’t have time to seek out new friends.
That brings me to my next point, I miss having friends nearby! Haha. I really thought I’d be able to hang out more regularly with Vishnu’s co-interns’ significant others, but it just so happens that they are ALL (minus one person who’s a photographer in Atlanta) also in the medical field. Go figure! I do know a couple of people who live in Tampa, but it’s hard to get together regularly because we only have one car. If I really needed/wanted to, I could drop Vishnu off and pick him up (which I do on the weekends). His schedule can be pretty unpredictable though, so that’s just something else for us to take into consideration. At least it’s an option though!
The unpredictable schedule is another big adjustment. For example, the other day, I made dinner and waited until 7:30 before texting Vishnu to ask when he was coming home. He texted back a few minutes later to say he didn’t know because a big case came in at the last minute. He came home almost 2 hours later. The unpredictability varies based on the rotation he’s on. Some months are awesome and he’s home either on time or early, and other months we play it by ear. The coming home late thing is honestly kind of expected and not the biggest part of the adjustment for me. The surprising thing (although it probably shouldn’t be) is that every month, my schedule and routine change as well. Work stuff has to be consistent, but the time I go to sleep and wake up varies, the time we eat dinner varies, how I spend my free time varies, etc. It took me a while to realize that this was the case, and I’m now working on getting myself on a regular schedule regardless of what Vishnu has going on. Not sure how it will pan out, but I’ve realized that the change in routine every months drives me crazy. All I can do is try, right?
So the ever changing schedule thing is something I can live with, but only when he’s on day shifts. Night shifts, for some reason, are a whole different ball game for me. I’m not sure why, but when Vishnu’s working nights (7p-7a), I can’t fall asleep. And when I finally do, I end up tossing and turning the whole night. Sometimes I purposely sleep on the couch with the TV on because that seems to help (even though it’s not a great habit). Thankfully, nights are few and far between (at least for the rest of this year). However, I need to find a way to deal because it’s annoying more than anything! I need my sleep!
Another tricky thing about intern year is that most months you don’t really know your exact schedule until right before the start of the rotation. That means we can’t plan much in terms of travel. And you guys know how much I like to go home to see my family! However, we do know which months are completely off limits in terms of time off and which ones are more relaxed. So I guess there’s a little flex. Sadly, holidays are the trickiest. I won’t go through every single one, but as an example, Vishnu will not be getting Thanksgiving off this year (and he’s working nights). So instead of staying in St. Pete by myself and not sleeping (haha), I’m going to Atlanta to spend time with my family. It’s not ideal at all, but it works for us. Intern year = you gotta do what you gotta do!
So I just reread this post, and I realize it has a bit of negative twinge. I’m not going to lie. It’s not easy, but it’s completely doable. Yes, we compromise and sacrifice more than we’d like to, but that’s marriage…and life!
Most importantly, I realize that sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy the ride. Whenever one of the above situations gets to me, I force myself to take a step back and think. Yes, even though Vishnu’s career is demanding, it’s one that impacts and helps SO many people. He makes a difference every single day (#proudwife). Also, I’m beyond thankful that I was able to keep my job and work from home for a year. BEYOND THANKFUL!!! And even though Vishnu’s busy, I get to see him every day, and he really does make time for us. We’ve been really good about trying new restaurants and plan to explore the St. Pete/Tampa area a little more before our next move.
Overall, more than anything, I constantly try to remind myself of how lucky are we that this is our journey together. Yes, there will be adjustments and bumps along the way. But it really is a beautiful life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!