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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Stories Q & A

Monday, June 17, 2013

Survivor Stories Q & A

Hello LDW family. This is my first guest blog post on our site.
I asked people to send me some ideas as to what they would like to know about post training.   I received several, so I will post the others on my next blog.

Here we go...
The first thing we did when we got our first BIG paycheck....
Well,first of all, we have direct deposit so it was not as exciting as getting that first actually CHECK and running to the bank BUT it still was VERY exciting! I actually just stared at the deposit notice from the bank and then took a screenshot for posterity! Dr. H went to his favorite high end clothing store and bought some very nice tailored clothes and shoes. He bought a LOT of shoes. They are on their feet SOOOO much and one of the more seasoned docs said that should be one of his first major purchases.  Then we made our NEW Budget (that sounds sexy doesn't it)!

The biggest change for your relationship...
I think the greatest challenge post training is integration. I became incredibly comfortable with Dr.H being a non factor is daily decisions, plans, etc... It was difficult to allow him back into the routine rather than just continue to just do it all myself. Even small tasks like getting goldfish in a snack cup for our toddler took some time for me. That is how I survived for many years-I had my way of doing things. The kids eventually began asking his help more and that really allowed me to relinquish some control over things and let him help. He desperately wanted to and has enjoyed doing some of the running around and cooking and tutoring!

Buying a house right away? How Big do you go?
We have waited 9 months to purchase our post-training home. Dr. H actually was an attending for a year and a half and then went back for his fellowship for one year.  So it seemed like we waited a very long time! We wanted to pay off debt and really take the time to look at houses. Each time we have moved it has been a hurried experience to find a house and get moved. We did not want that for this home. We have shopped for a home for about 5 months and closed last week on the new house. We did not end up buying quite as expensive of a house as we could "afford". We chose to put more in savings, and investments. Plus, with all the budgetary issues arising in healthcare right now we just wanted to be very comfortable in our financial situation. That being said-it is double the size of our other home-so we are definitely movin' on up!

Post-Training Marriage....
Dr. H and I have been married for 13 years. We married before med school so we have been together through all aspects of his training.  I would say there was definitely an adjustment period since he was actually home often for the first time in a forever! You both have to adjust. He is adjusting to the new stress of a new position. There is a big change from being a fellow to being the Attending-it is a huge leap. Then I had to let him in. Let him into our schedule, into decisions, into our daily lives and let him lead our family more than he has in a long time.  For me it was a WELCOME change, I was ready to have my partner back full time and he was ready to take that on! I know that each marriage is very different and the transition can be very difficult. I have a very close friend who has said that the first 3 months post-training were the hardest of their entire marriage. This particular friend has had a child recover from cancer and they were in the Nashville Flood of 2010 (just for perspective). Be ready for that transition, it is wonderful and fantastic and so exciting, but it is a BIG transition for both of you. I believe accepting that the end of training is not some magical elevator to a world of unicorns and rainbows can definitely help. He still has to work. He still works a lot sometimes. His job is still stressful. Those factors don't change and realizing and accepting that is the first step to a happier time!

Relationships with those friends and family...
I would say this is extremely dependent on the friends and family! Some family members just don't get it. We are done with training, but now we have to financially recover from all the years of sacrifice! Most of our close friends were truly excited for us. All our medical friends understand and are thrilled. Those in our lives who have skewed views of medical families, we just do not include them in anything really going on in our lives.We have had people ask for money- it WILL happen no matter who they are. We have chosen not to go down that road. We closed on our dream home last week but have chosen to keep that info off Facebook and social media. Since finishing, we have both become very guarded with our security and that of our children. Part of that is keep things like moving, or our new neighborhood to a  bare minimum.

Best Advice you have given or been given...
 I really don't have any BEST advice. I do believe you must be honest with each other, thrive not just survive in training, and keep moving forward. Living in a stagnant place is not good for you, your family or your marriage.  Live your life and let Dr.H come along for the ride whenever he can.

I hope this was not too long. Please send me more questions and I will answer them when I am back on in August!
Mellissa Griffin-Henson



Blogger themedicalstudentswife said...

I really like what you say about how difficult it is to let them back in to every day life. We aren't on the other side yet, but I get small glimpses every now and then of how hard that's going to be for me.

June 17, 2013 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Elle Liabilities said...

Why keep your security tighter? Just curious. Are you afraid patients will show up at your door step? That is a frightening thought.

June 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Olivia Heilmann said...

This is fantastic! Thank you for the insight.

June 17, 2013 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger DocWife5 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger DocWife5 said...

I coped by creating and maintaining a tight family routine and schedule. It was one of few things I could control. Giving up that control was challenging, but definitely welcomed!

June 17, 2013 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger DocWife5 said...

As far as security is concerned, I am not really certain what sparked the initial concern. Dr. H has had great relationships with patients, but you just never know. We have seen some very odd situations regarding doctors/patients/clinics and started thinking about all of our personal information more seriously. One of our friends had a realtor who put a posting on facebook of their new home and their names with congratulations. Obviously, it was meant to be a sweet thing-but now all these random people know where they live, how much they paid for their house , and their children's names. We live in the world of google and Dr. H's name and face are all over the hospital website and anything he has published. So we need to try a little harder to keep our family private. There is a movement of people in medicine doing the same thing and we know some going much further than just not talking about stuff online.

June 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Alexa said...

Thanks for sharing!

June 24, 2013 at 1:43 PM  

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