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!
21 thoughts on “Intern Year So Far…For Me!”
I think you’re doing an amazing job adjusting. It’s so hard to have such a varied schedule but I think the key is for you to find your routine. I think going home for Thanksgiving is a great idea! Do you guys have Christmas mapped out?
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Thanks, P! I think we’ll both go home for Christmas. I get 2 weeks off at the end of the year, but we’re not quite sure what Vishnu’s schedule will look like. Playing it by ear!
Parita! I’m so glad you shared your experience with this. And believe me, I’m RIGHT there with you. I know how crazy this life with a resident can be, but it definitely seems like you’re adjusting well! Please reach out to me if you want to chat further, I’d love to catch up! Hope you’re well 🙂
Alexa, hi! How have you been? How’s Chris adjusting to residency?
You know what, P? I’ve never said this before and it’s kind of random but your one of the very few blogs I’ve ever come across which can share written content with no visual aids and still be captivating. urgh what a stupid word CAPTIVATING.
Anyway, I feel for you and I think many underestimate the pressure it has on the other half/other family members. I seriously need to come visit. I think I will.
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A!! I was honestly having a super crappy morning, and your comment turned it all around. THANK YOU!
And yes, come visit! Seriously…come!
Par, just think its only 8 more mths and it will go by so quickly! you both will be in Chicago!!!! Times like this its probably very difficult esp with unpredictability and lack of schedule (we are sooooo into routine life), seems like you are doing best with what you can. if you need a break, fly to Dallas 🙂
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Oh believe me, I have a countdown going already! And you know what, maybe I’ll make a trip to Dallas next year 🙂
Hey Parita! I follow your blog not only for the honest and interesting content, but also because I’m on the same journey with my significant other. He’s also doing his intern year now, and he’s moved out of the city we loved so dearly when he was a med student. It’s such a different adjustment- the random schedule of anywhere between super long night/day shifts to easy-peasy derm week, it’s crazy. Now he’s studying for step 3 and it’s just like med school all over again 😛 It. never. stops. 0_0. But one thing I realized, and you clearly have as well, is that its so much better for us to stay positive about the whole thing, and just be a cheerleader 110% of the way! It’s so hard to stay positive when you’re stood up (not intentionally lol) for dinner, or you see him for 4 hours total like all weekend, it really is… I keep my eyes on the finish line, and I just try to remember that it’s all part of an amazing journey that he’s chosen to share with me, his process of becoming a doctor! 🙂 I feel your pain so much though- like reading this was preaching to the choir, haha. But we’ll get through it! Thanks for sharing your honest feelings about all of it, and please know that you’re in good company! Congratulations to Vishnu on his match and intern year, and to the both of your for your beautiful relationship/life. I’ve been reading your blog for so long now that I feel like I know you guys, and from what you share on the blog it certainly seems like you two are meant to be! Please have a good weekend, and again thanks for your lovely blog posts- they always cheer me up or give me a new perspective 🙂
Hi, Nicole! Thank you for your comment…it really resonated with me! And you’re absolutely right, we’ll get through it! 8 more months to go!
And while it’s hard being the cheerleader (I’m sure you can relate), it is a wonderful feeling knowing that your s/o is making such a difference in other people’s lives. Makes it easier to give him up!
And thank you for reading MIS! It means so much to me! 🙂
That must be tough, sort of being in limbo. But I’m glad you guys have each other, even though I know he’s busy a lot! It’s good that you can look at this as an adventure for you both!
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This year is a tough one for sure! Once we get to Chicago, it will calm down a bit…can’t wait! 🙂
The uncertainty must be so challenging for you both…the good thing is that he doesn’t have to travel for work. I sometimes feel like that’s my biggest challenge with Ali! He’s often gone for 3-4 weeks at a time and being a single parent is definitely not easy.
I wish I had more friends nearby as well. It would definitely help with just about everything.
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I have friends whose s/o travel for work, and they tell me how hard that is too. I’m thankful that Vishnu gets to come home…makes it a lot easier for sure!
And the friends thing…it’s harder than I thought it would be!
Only 8 more months of Intern year!! If it helps, I started a countdown of how many years were left about 3 months into residency, that was 2 years ago, 4 more to go! Honestly, the time will fly, before you know you won’t believe how far he’s come. Also, the night float thing is spot on. My husband has night float every year and just got off 5 weeks straight of it, needless to say, I barely slept for 5 weeks, which isn’t great when you still work normal hours the next day.
It’s awesome that you have each other through this crazy journey 🙂
Haha! I have a little mental countdown going already…and we’re only 3 months in! But it’s funny because when I think back to med school, while certainly hard, it flew by!
And nights…ugh! Vishnu has a full month in April…and I’m already dreading it!
Love reading this and appreciate your honesty. As taxing a job in the medical industry is on the practitioner, I think it is equally a challenge for his/her family members. Like you said there is so much unpredictability and it’s difficult to not let that affect you while also trying to remain a pillar of support. However given all this, it’s amazing & inspiring to see just how strong a marriage you and Vishnu STILL have. Hopefully things will get easier after his internship!
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There is nothing wrong with being a little “negative” on your blog. I like that you’re sharing your true experience and you’re not sugar coating it. It’s honest and I like that 🙂
Chanced upon your blog a few weeks ago and I am hooked! Read a lot of your older posts too. So the last few years have been transitional for us too and I deal with a lot of the same issues you mentioned – unable to plan vacations together , working from home , not having friends in the cities we have lived in and it all does suck. But ultimately I read something about each of us being responsible for our own happiness and I am trying to find what makes me happy and its hard. You atleast seem to have friends in Chicago to look forward to reuniting with soon. I need to make some friends where we are! Keeping the bigger picture of a few years down the line in mind does help and like you I wouldn’t exchange the present for anything in the world – but I do wish it were a tad easier.
So glad you came across my blog! And transitions are so hard, especially when you have to go through certain aspects of them on your own. I personally try to find happiness in the small things, but even that can be hard sometimes…and I’m slowly learning that it’s ok to feel that way. Good luck to you on your journey…sending positive vibes your way!
[…] My last post about intern year was brutally honest. This year has been both lots of fun and very challenging. Like every season of life, it came with its ups and downs. That particular post was mostly about the downs. […]