Ok. That might not be true. (But I hope it is!) The brand new class of interns started orientation today which is crazy to me because that means we (ok really just Joe) is finishing up his intern year! I wish I could say this year flew by but it did not. It dragged. Last summer one of the chief's wives told me that second year of residency is worse than first year (for this program). I'm not sure why she would say that to me, a brand new first year wife who was struggling to adjust to life with a husband in residency. But she did. And so it is with much dread and fear (all me! not Joe.) that we enter the second year of residency. However I feel a little better prepared for this year of residency because I know what I like and what I do not like about residency life. I have just a little bit of experience under my belt. And that experience will help me better cope this year. Hopefully:)
At the play date for residents' wives and children I hosted last week one of the new intern wives asked me if residency is as bad as it sounds. With Joe's words (in regards to the new wives) ringing in my head. "Be gentle." I simply answered "No". But l spent a little time thinking about it after my house had cleared of the dozens of ladies and children. Once I could think clearly my completely honest answer would have been along the lines of "sometimes". But really there isn't much wisdom I can pass along to a new intern spouse because residency is a different experience for each family. What I loathe about residency another spouse might enjoy. What I learned the first year of residency is that there are no breaks (or weekends off) between rotations like during med school. And I sure do miss those weekends! Actually I miss weekends in general. Joe rarely had a weekend day off. And a full weekend off was nearly unheard of this past year! For me and the littles that wasn't such a problem but my school age kids definitely saw their dad the least this past year. But the thing I HATED was his month(s) of night shifts. A few night shifts here and there? No big deal. An entire month of nights? No. Just NO. It does not work well for our family! Joe is perpetually tired. I'm perpetually tired (from not sleeping well). And the kids are left with two tired pitiful parents. It's not pretty. We are barely limping along by the end. But we've survived two months of nights so far. And if I really think about there are a few things I like about nights: 1) the fountain Pepsi Joe brings me in the morning at the end of his shift and 2) the house projects Joe completes on his nights off while we sleep (because he stays on a nocturnal schedule). And that's it. The bad definitely outweighs the good. In regards to nights. I went into this year dreading all the special occasions and holidays Joe would miss because of work. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover I'm okay with Joe being absent on birthdays and holidays. Those can be celebrated anytime. But other families might really dislike having a spouse working on holidays. For me it's not so bad.
It's a hard question to answer because while the residents are all going through the same program no two residents or families will have the same experience.
The long answer for the new intern wives is this: Some days I absolutely love our life and living here. It's a fun adventure and a beautiful place to have to live for a couple years. And some days I loathe this life. And can't wait for residency to be done. I wasn't very good at reaching during my husband's intern year - especially during the times I was miserable. I wish I had been. So just know if you ever need a listening ear or company I'm here! My door is always open. And I'm always just a text or phone call away. During the good times and the bad! Because there will be both.