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Lives of Doctor Wives: I thought I was already at #itgetsbetter…

Friday, May 8, 2015

I thought I was already at #itgetsbetter…

I have been a doctor’s wife for 2 years and I am still coming to terms with it being part of my newfound identity. You see, I didn’t have the fairytale romance of meeting my DrH in high school or college and taking on this medical journey with him from the beginning, side by side. Some days, I think that if I had, the transition I am currently going through wouldn’t seem quite so drastic, but then again that is merely my assumption. This transition I speak of is me trying to find myself again and get back to the #itgetsbetter stage after having found and fallen in love with DrH later in life. 

Let me take you back about 5 years, as the backstory is very important to give some perspective on where I am today. Before DrH, I was a very successful 30-year-old single girl living in the city, surrounded by my family and closest friends. My life was already at the #itgetsbetter stage and I had gotten there on my own. The idea of marriage was nice, but not really at the top of my priority list, as I was happy with my independent life. You can probably already guess where this story goes from here. DrH walks into my life and everything changes. I was very hesitant to date him at first because I did not want to be involved or potentially end up with a physician. Yes, you heard that right. In my career, I had worked with doctors as a malpractice consultant for 9 years, so I knew all about the sacrifices and the long hours. It was just not the life I had envisioned for myself. However, DrH is very intelligent, handsome and charming and before long I had fallen head over heels for him. So, I joined DrH in "our" medical journey when he was in his third year of residency.

Now, let me take you to present day. I have been on this journey with him for some time now and we are currently PGY8, as DrH is completing his third and final fellowship in a couple of months These past two fellowships have taken us from one side of the country to the other, resulting in me giving up my career and six-figure salary, and moving away from my family and close friends. I have gone from shopping at Nordstrom on a weekly basis to shopping the sales at Target on occasion and from brokering big deals in the boardroom to trying to figure out how to fill my days. As you can imagine, there have been many times along the way when I felt I had lost myself and put aside my desires for my husband’s career. I was already at #itgetsbetter before meeting him and now I am not…or so I thought.

As we are approaching the end of his training, I am beginning to realize that the real truth is: we have always been at the #itgetsbetter stage. The moment I met DrH my life was better. He made me realize that I didn’t have to face this world alone, that love is so much sweeter than anything money can buy, and that I now have a best friend for life. When he completed residency and we packed up and moved across country as newlyweds, our life was better. A girl who had never left her home state was now moving across country and we would make lifelong friendships and strengthen the bonds of our marriage as we took on the world together. I learned to step out of my comfort zone at 33. Another "dreaded" year of fellowship would take us to a new city (another cross country move!), where we would be tested and tried by the long demanding days and come out even stronger and better as a couple. I would learn to treasure only having one car so that we could enjoy time together each morning and night on the ride to and from the hospital as that was all we would see each other most days.  All of my free time allowed me to find a new passion for volunteer work that would be so fulfilling and help impact young lives in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Unfortunately, it has taken me almost to the end of this medical training journey to realize that while I was waiting for that next phase of #itgetsbetter, I missed out on the moments that were already made better through this experience. While I mourned my past identity as a career woman and breadwinner, I missed out on the opportunity to embrace my new role as a support and strength for my DrH. As we move forward in our next phase of #itgetsevenbetter, I will embrace the here and now and not always be waiting for tomorrow. I will be okay with being identified as a DrW, as I know that having that title means I provide my husband with the love and support he needs to do his life changing work… and I think that is something I can be proud of! So, for all of you that are anxiously waiting for it to get better, it probably already has. Take it from someone who has already been there before...or so I thought.

By: Toshia Wagner

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Blogger BLau11 said...

I needed to read this post. I too joined my DrH late in the game, he was wrapping up his masters and entering PGY4. I met him when I was 26, and I already moved away from my hometown, was making a great income, and built a nice social bubble around me - all on my own. Then he enters and turns everything upside down, and now I am in the midst of struggling with my new-found identity. During a time when I thought I would start settling down and going into my next phase of life, I feel like I just took 2 steps back into a storm. Thank you for reminding me that I am at #itgetsbetter already, I wouldn't trade my hubby for anyone else, and I just need to enjoy this rollercoaster of a ride. Because it will end sooner than I think. I am a few years behind you, and I hope that soon I will be where you are at mentally.

July 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM  

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