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Lives of Doctor Wives: February 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Survivor Saturdays: Taking Friends with You

Pretty soon, your and your friends will scatter across the country. You'll all be settling into new communities, new friendships, and new stages in your lives. If you don't take steps to stay in contact now, you'll find your closest friends will become strangers.

As impossible as this seems, consider planning a yearly get-away where you all reunite. It can be men one time, women the next, couples, or families. Some of our friends did this and they have great memories and a long history of fun times together. My sister joins her friends in a cabin rental every year to scrapbook and catch up. The men take a golf trip and talk about their year. She looks forward to this time with her long-time friends. M and I didn't commit to doing anything annually, and now I really regret it. The "let's get together sometime" turned into years, and in some cases even decades. If only we had taken the time...

Your get-togethers don't have to be costly and they don't have to exclude kids. But investing in friendships that will go with you whereever you end up is a worthwhile investment. Consider a quarterly skype session, or a family summer beach trip. Just take the time to keep these very special friendships strong.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Hmm, someone forgot to put up a poll this week. :o) Sorry it's late. Happy voting!

Any comments on last week's? If you could go back in time, would you travel down this road again?


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Passing time/Counting Down

So as the spouse of a fourth year, we have our rank list finalized and certified. And being that tomorrow night is the deadline I imagine most others are done or almost there. So my question is how are you keeping busy to pass the time? Are you going crazy yet?

And to those of you who have survived the match process, did the last three weeks go by quickly or were they the longest three weeks of your life?

I've gotten over the anxiety and am mostly excited now but I find it hard not to let the whole situation CONSUME my thoughts! I cannot help but wonder where we will end up? I'm trying to keep myself distracted, but I find it so hard to stay focused, even at work!


Friday, February 19, 2010

First Baby During MSIV....

Hi there Doctor Wives!

I am seeking some words of wisdom....we are having our first baby this August and while it is wonderful and precious and truly a blessing, I am concerned how this might affect fourth year (MSIV) and when/how/where my husband will be able to schedule away rotations (Ortho)...

While I try to focus on the baby and his/her health as well as my own - heck the single breadwinner is pregnant! - I can't help but worry about fourth year and the timing of everything.

Any advice?


What do you ladies do with your DH's medical magazines? I count about 9 different journals and magazines that come to our house automatically, and they end up untouched, stacked up on the floor in our den. Right now the stacks are knee-high and I end up just vacuuming around them. I know he intends to get around to them, but as a resident he barely has time for his regular reading and research projects, much less for all this extra reading. Would he miss them if I just threw all but the most recent issues in the recycling bin?? Should I save them for packing paper when we have to move for fellowship? Any organizing tips or advice would be great! Thanks!

~Ashley A.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Excuse me

I need to get this off my chest.

If you know someone who is in the medical field, PLEASE be respectful of their family time. If you need to call and ask a question, fine. If you are requiring hours of assistance, find another source please. These guys need time with their families. No, not their Family of Origin, the one they are currently living with. Yes, we appreciate all that family members contribute to our lives, but there have to be boundaries. Their current family takes priority

That is all.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Graduation Present...

Happy Monday/President's Day!!

Well, graduation from Medical School is fast approaching, (a little over 3 months away, eeek) and I'm trying to come up with some ideas for the greatest med school gift, ever! If it were up to him he would want a 4o-something inch flat screen TV (with HD) and stuff. Being a girl, I just don't see the correlation between a flat screen TV and graduating Medical School, but like I said, I'm a girl. I want to get him something personal and meaningful, maybe even something to do with his future as a surgeon. Have any of you seen/heard anything neat and thought.."PERFECT!"?? I'm really open to any suggestions/ideas and hopefully this can help out a few of us!

Sell This House!

My husband has decided to take a Family Practice residency spot back in Tulsa, OK.....you know the place we moved from a short 8 months ago! This is our first home, so we have experienced many fun things that we have never shared in before. Now we are needing to sell it and again this is something totally new.

I would love to hear some advice, stories, and experiences that may help us in the process. I've been reading online, but really we have NO idea where to even start. The buyer's agents we used to buy this home treated us terribly and since we don't know anyone really in Muskegon, MI, we really have no idea who to trust to represent us. Do we need an appraiser? Does the realtor do that? Do we need to get things inspected? Has anyone sold their own home? How much should we expect to pay out of pocket??

Any pointers? Any ideas??? HELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPP!

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New poll is up! How was your Valentine's Day? Did you get what you wanted? What did you do for your DrH?


Friday, February 12, 2010

It Can Be Done! Or can it?

Well, here we are in a new residency. The great news is the hubby is loving anesthesia!

The rough stuff is renting out the house we bought in Tennessee for less than the mortgage and paying a property manager out of our pockets.

Mayo pays us just a little more than TN or OK did, Yay! Wait... Boo! Now we just don't qualify for WIC or reduced lunch ... nothing.

The rent here is eating our lunch. 5 people in 916 square feet!!!! I feel the love ya'll. Constantly.

But we have the beach close by... except for the rain and freezing temperatures since November.

I saw a post about deferrals and forbearances. Yea, same thing really. As for 3 of our medical school student loans, Citibank won't give us either one.

Yes, when we took them out, they claimed we wouldn't have to start paying them back until after residency, but SURPRISE!!!!! in the fine print they reserve the right to do whatever they want!

All in all, I am glad he is happy. I try to remember this too shall pass. I am struggling in the moment. It seems harder than it should be. Impossible. My church offering this week overdrew my bank account.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Free Video with Great Mommy Tips

I have another helpful site to share with you all.

A twitter friend of mine introduced me to Rachel Campos-Duffy (@RCamposDuffy). She wrote the book Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood and offers some great kid tricks on one of her website videos.

Go to http://www.rachelcamposduffy.com/ and click on VIDEO and then choose AOL Webisodes. for ways to get your kids to clean up, get organized, and get back some sanity.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Our winners!!!

Yes, ladies, we have our winners!

The $25 towards Signing with a Smile goes to Kathi B.!
The Meimei apron goes to Jenn O!
The $30 towards Anticipation Cards goes to Jenny L!
And our number 100 gal, Ams, gets the MD Cards set!
Congrats, ladies!!! Let's get to 200 so we can have another giveaway! :o)


Student Loans

I am wondering what the rules are as far as student loan pay back after medical school graduation. I heard that it used to be you could defer payments in residency, but now you cannot do that. Is it true that you have to go into forbearance? What is the difference?

Can anyone help me understand what we'll be facing in about a year?


New poll is up. Happy voting!


Sunday, February 7, 2010


Okay, all you MSIV D.O. wives!!! Let's hear it! Where are you going? What specialty?


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Time is running out!

Only a couple more days to enter to win a prize in our "100 followers" celebration!


Survivor Saturdays - Judge not, and you will still be judged anyway

It happened again.

I should be used to it by now, but I’m always left a little stunned and hurt... and furious. Especially when someone I thought was a good friend dishes it out.

It will happen to you, most likely. At some point.

Just because your husband has “Doctor” in front of his name, people – friends – will assume that your life is a piece of cake and that having a large salary means that you don’t have a care in the world, that you are not a member of “normal” society, that somehow you think you are better than everyone else.

I hate it. I can’t tell you how much I hate it. So please pardon me if this post is part “survivor” and part rant and part whine. I figure you, of all people, can empathize.

Part of me wants to back this person into a corner and explain to her in great detail the last 14 years of my life. Of living on $20,000 a year and Hamburger Helper for the first five years of our marriage. Of having two kids and a house and a resident’s salary. Of rotations when my husband would leave at 5 a.m. and roll into our driveway again at 10 p.m - if at all. Of dinners without him. Of holidays without him. Of every“vacation” spent visiting our families 800 miles away. Of interrupted dinners and date nights and family time when he is on-call. Of delivering devastating diagnoses to his patients, the stress of which inevitably spills over into our marriage and family.

I’d like to tell her that while being a doctor – and a doctor’s wife – is an enormous blessing with a lot of perks, it is also an enormous responsibility that we take very, very seriously. I’d like to tell her that we strongly believe that our financial security behooves us to generously provide for the needs of others.

Yes, after 14 years of medical marriage, we are building a house. A great house. A very large house. Our dream house that we have been meticulously and prayerfully planning during the past 10 years. And we envision this house as a safe, warm, welcoming place for friends and strangers alike – because we have been very blessed, and our deepest desire is to be a blessing.

I’d love to say all of these things. I’d love to justify myself and my life. I’d love to cram it all down her throat and MAKE her understand.

But I can’t. First of all, that wouldn’t be very kind. But even if I could say all of these things, she still wouldn’t completely understand. No one could – not unless they have lived through it.

Which brings me to my next point. It is imperative that you have good friends who are also married to doctors. I now feel like I have to filter myself and what I talk about – especially the building of our house – when I am with friends outside of medicine for fear of coming across as pretentious or spoiled or out-of-touch or whatever. That makes me really sad. I wish I could be completely authentic with everyone. It also makes me slightly neurotic and paranoid (and admittedly and pathetically self-absorbed). What does THAT other person think about me? Who else is judging me? However, the friends that I have from training know me and understand me, and I can be completely honest with them. They are in (more or less) the same financial and circumstantial boat, so they know. They get it. They don't judge.

I also need to remember my own proverbial wisdom that I recite to my kids on a regular basis: If someone is being mean, there is always a reason. Always. There is a deeper hurt or insecurity inside that is causing them to lash out and act the way they do. (I'm convinced that's the reason God tells us to pray for our enemies.) So if someone is judging me because she thinks I’m a spoiled princess – well, obviously she doesn’t know me as well as I thought she did, and she also has some of her own issues that should lead me to compassion, not anger.

So put on an extra coat of thick skin, smile, and nod. They just don’t get it. They never will. But we’ve been there, and we know what is true. Remind yourself – and me, please – that what other people think about you is none of your business. It doesn’t matter. (it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter…)

Now, pardon me while I put on all my diamonds and prepare a tasty snack of champagne and bon-bons before jetting over to the spa...

Survivor in Pediatric Ophthalmology

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Monday, February 1, 2010


To celebrate having 100 followers, I got a couple of things to give away, thanks to some wonderful readers and friends.

There will be 4 prizes. I will choose 3 winners, who will get to pick from the prizes. The 4th will go to our lucky number 100 follower. Here are the prizes:

I'm offering $25 to spend at my Signing Time Store, www.signingtimeacademy.com/smile. The store has DVD's, CD's, flashcards, books, etc. to help teach you and your children American Sign Language. I can also give everyone a code for 5% off at my store (email smile@signingtimeacademy.com). Or if you are in town, visit my website at http://www.signingwithasmile.com/ and use the $25 for ASL classes.

Next we have a $30 gift certificate to spend at Anticipation Cards. Anna has some super cute things for birthdays, Valentine's and is even going to be making a set for graduation, in case your DrH will be finishing up med school or residency this year. Or maybe to celebrate MATCH day, which is coming up quick! She has lots of options for you to choose from, so be sure to check it out!

Next, our talented reader, Davita from http://meimeilittledesigns.blogspot.com/ is donating a toddler apron that is oh, so cute. The apron is for ages 2-6, and they are about 20" long. Choose from Alexander Henry's Juicy [lemons] and Alexander Henry's This Land is Your Land. Cute and super useful if your little one likes to get messy, and truthfully, don't they all? Check out her store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/meimeid

And then we have a wonderful card set from Completely Preppy. They'll give you a set of four hand made cards with envelopes, one Mother's Day, one Father's Day, one Birthday Card, and one Thank you Card. Mother's Day and Father's Day are just around the corner, so now is a great time to get ready. And be sure to check out the monogrammed notecards and adorable sock creatures while visiting their etsy site at MD Cards and Gifts.

Winners will be drawn from comments on this post, so come and say 'hi'! Be sure to have an email or link or another way for me to contact you if you win. Winners will be drawn on Feb. 8th at noon Eastern Time.

Also, if anyone has the talent, skills or desire to set up the next giveaway when we reach 200, please let me know. Thanks!



New poll is up. Comment on last week's poll?

Brad gets a few a month, at least. Thankfully, he doesn't mind at all. I don't mind either, as long as they are respectful of his family time. :o)