My husband and I can talk. Our first date, we planned on doing dinner and a movie and we chatted so long during dinner--I remember he brought up Hegelian dialectics to impress me and I still have no idea what that means, but obviously it worked--that we didn't make it to dinner and, when he took me back to my apartment six or eight hours after the date had started, we still hadn't run out of things to say. We still haven't eight years later.
So when we found out that he matched at the program that takes the most call out of any of our ranks, we were concerned about how it would affect our relationship. He's Q4 for the almost the whole first four years--that is a YEAR on call. Miserable.
Which I was, for a while, and I rushed through each call day just trying to get it over with faster. And then I realized: spending an entire year of residency hurried and miserable sucks.
Thus began operation Learn to Love the Call:
- When DrH has to take weekend call, our sons and I sometimes go on a date to a restaurant and talk about whatever they have on their toddler-sized minds.
- If the hospital's slow, we meet DrH at the cafeteria for dinner...until we're interrupted by his pager.
- We give ourselves license to eat hot dogs, pancakes, cold cereal, or once, memorably, nothing but cheese and raisins for dinner. Nothing fancy unless we feel fancy!
- We snuggle up on the couch and watch Thomas the Tank Engine,
- Or have a crazy dance party in the basement.
- And get into pajamas whenever we feel like it. Sometimes it may still technically be morning.
- When the kids go to bed, I catch up on my trashy reality TV shows,
- Or the latest book I'm into,
- Or I call a friend and talk until I'm all talked out.
- I've learned to refinish furniture,
- Clean the bathtub 'til it shines,
- Sew a quilt from start to finish,
- And bake too many brownies, cakes, and pies.
- (Consequently, I also try to catch up on my wall sits and crunches.)
We're almost halfway through residency and maybe two-thirds of the way through call. And I'm thrilled that calls are no longer miserable, but this I will admit: the moment when I turn off the light and call it a night, alone? I don't think I'll ever learn to love that.
Although I've found that sleeping diagonally across the bed really does take the edge off.