I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, but sitting inside the hospital housing, alone, on a Friday evening brought it back into the forefront of my mind (Or maybe it was the resident physician episode of Queer Eye that I watched last night).
Medicine is HARD. The amount of education and training a doctor has to go through is overwhelming, and I think most individuals know that, but what they don’t know is how hard it can be on the spouse.
When Andrew and I first starting dating, we were long distance. There was no way Andrew could move to where I was living (Indianapolis) because he had just graduated medical school and was getting ready to start his 3-year family medicine residency.
In residency, the physicians go through various “blocks.” Andrew’s blocks were one month each, which meant every single month he was working alongside a different doctor in a different specialty. He trained in everything from delivering babies to visiting the elderly in their homes.
This meant his schedule changed every single month. He would go from working days, to working nights, to working weekends, to working 12s, to working 24s. Half the time, I had no idea where he was or what time he was working. He could barely keep up with the schedule himself.
On top of all the blocks, the family medicine physicians also have their own patients at their home clinic. Andrew had two clinic days per week where he would see “his” patients. And don’t forget the weekly mandatory lectures, mandatory dinners, and mandatory call.
The last four months of residency were the absolutely hardest. Our house sold out from underneath of us, and we couldn’t find anywhere to live. Don’t get me wrong, we were SO lucky to sell our house. That was a huge weight off of our shoulders.
We needed a short-term rental to get us through the last 4 months of residency. No one, and I mean no one, would rent to us with our German Shepherd. He is on the “no breed” list in Michigan. The rentals that would allow him had tons of requirements and were going to charge us close to $2,000/month in rent for a one bedroom apartment.
I remember sitting in the Meijer parking lot after seeing an apartment and tears just streaming down my face. I was going to have to leave Andrew in Muskegon to finish residency and take the dogs to go live with my parents 2.5 hours away.
As a last ditch effort, Andrew reached out to his employer to see if we could live in the hospital housing. They approved Andrew and I to live there. We may have forgotten to mention that our dogs would also be living there with us…
Right around the time our house sold, we found out that Andrew’s final year of training would be in Indianapolis, Indiana. That was our top pick! I hurried down there to try and find us a house. I did NOT want to move all of our stuff into a rental or storage unit and then into a house.
Thankfully, I found the perfect house for us in my old neighborhood. We used a Pod to store all of our stuff between the closings and then we moved into the hospital housing. The next four months consisted of living out of a suitcase, and leaving Andrew for weeks at a time to take care of things at the new house. I found myself growing bitter at the fact I had put our entire house together on my own.
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But here we are! We made it through. Our family is finally living together in our house and it feels too good to be true. I am so proud of my husband for all of his hard work and sacrifice to become a doctor. We have many good things ahead and I’m looking forward to experiencing them together!