This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Lives of Doctor Wives: Tales of a Doctor’s Wife on a Prairie

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tales of a Doctor’s Wife on a Prairie

My journey as a Dr.’s wife, like many of you, has been quite the adventure. Before I met DrH, I never thought I’d be married to a Doctor- let alone living in the middle-of-nowhere in southern Minnesota. Even though I grew up on a farm not that far where we presently live, I vowed when I left for college that I would never go back. Boy has that come to haunt me! None-the-less, living in a rural setting as a Dr.’s wife has most certainly had its sets of challenge and perks.

In July 2010, we packed up our house, dog, and then four month old daughter in Columbus, Ohio and moved 15 hours to a town of 700 people and began to start a new life. It was during that first year of transition that I noticed some of the challenges of being married to a Doctor in small town. While I am finally coming to acceptance of our life on the prairie, it has taken time to adjust. And for anyone transitioning between medical school, residency, or the #itgetsbetter phase in life, there will be some up and downs. Just allow yourself time to adjust. It’s not easy.

Within the first week of moving to rural Minnesota, I noticed our street was becoming a parade route. I would be working in the kitchen and then look out to see people s-l-o-w-l-y driving by our house- perhaps even stopping in front of our house- all wanting to see the house where "DrH" was now living in. And this parade continued in the grocery store, community functions, church, really…everywhere we went. It got old and I felt this pressure to be "happy and okay" when I really wasn’t. I wasn’t happy to be living in the middle of nowhere with no friends- even though both of our families live within 30 miles of the town. Everyone was so happy to have us living there; it was almost too much stress to handle. Today the "parade" has died down, though I still feel people stare at us when we go places. And, we have learned that we need to strategically sit in certain places at functions to avoid patients wanting to talk to DrH about their ailments. In a small town, it does not matter where you go, you will always run into a patient.

I think it’s also funny that everyone assumes I know everything about all of my husband’s patients or who is in the hospital. I do not know how many times I have been stopped and asked questions about patients. Honestly, I have no desire to know this information and YES, HIPAA applies to small-town USA too! Though adds an extra level of challenge to it. I joke I’m usually the last person to find out information, but that’s okay. I am glad that my husband takes HIPAA seriously.

Finding friendships is tough. I’m not going to lie; this has been one of the toughest things to get used to while living in rural Minnesota. Many of the folks who live in the area have lived there their whole lives and tend to congregate with their high school buddies. I’m considered an "outsider" so I’m not really welcome in their circles. Also, I think people are intimidated by me because I am "the Doctor’s wife." It also doesn’t help that people hang out at the local bars on the weekends and we can’t go there because DrH’s patients hang out there. To people in the community, it looks like we are being "stuck up" or "too good" but the reality is we try to avoid some of these situations for the sake of my husband’s mental health. On the bright side, when DrH and I get a chance to get away, we truly "get away" from the area and have a fabulous time. Cost of living is minimal, so we have saved up and have gone on some amazing trips since we moved to the prairie. It’s in those moments we can just be us- not "DrH and his wife. "

A year ago in July, we did one of the best things for ourselves; we moved out to a place in the country. We were living in the small town prior to this and we found it to be isolating and very public. We found a fabulous place with a much bigger home, 15 acres of land, AND a winery/vineyard. This place (for a ridiculously low price) has been our oasis and happy place. Call nights are a little more challenging because of our move, but our world is much happier. It’s worth it! And in a month, we will have an open winery to the public! This move has helped my outlook on living on the prairie and has brought a fresh perspective and a level of acceptance on what it means to be a Dr’s wife. I have accepted that call will part of our life forever and that our kids and I must go on with our plans and not dwell on the "he’s missing it again" mentality. I have also learned that the more I get involved in the community, the more people get to know me as an individual and not just the "Dr’s wife." That also applies to us as a couple, too. Finally, I am excited about our future and all the adventures life will bring on the prairie. Though I never thought I’d be living in rural Minnesota married to a Doctor and now an owner of a vineyard, I couldn’t imagine this journey without my partner-in-crime. I find this more reason to accept and celebrate the challenges and perks of living in rural "middle-of-nowhere" Minnesota.

Krista Kopperud

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home