Saturday, July 24, 2010

Putting it in perspective

I had a rough week, to say the least. My tumor board presentation went fairly well, but I was called out by my attending for a mistake on my epidemiology slide. It was a minor point about the prevalence of a less common type of thyroid cancer than the type I was talking about, but it still wasn't fun being corrected at the podium.

Earlier this week, I found out that a Friday night social event at a good friend's house is not open to me anymore if I have my kids with me. I understand the concept of wanting a childfree space, especially since many of the regular attendants are childless, but it still really stung, especially after the week I've had.

The status conference over the custody of my younger son went better in some ways than I expected, and worse in some ways than I expected. I got to sit with my soon-to-be-exhusband in a waiting room for an eternity, and he spent the entire time doing the Dr. Jeckyll / Mr. Hyde routine that made my life miserable when I was with him. "I hope you're enjoying your rotations...Being a medical student means you're a bad mother...I hope you find happiness...Have fun at residency when you'll never get to see your children...I just want us both to be able to spend time with Z...You never loved me, and just used me as someone to watch your kids when you went to school...(Sorry, can't come up with another positive quote)...My next wife will make lunches for me to take to work; you didn't and that means you didn't love me..." and it went on, up and down (mostly down) the roller coaster while we waited for our paperwork. I left and sobbed in my car, and considered dropping out.

I drove hundreds of miles this week in my car (and my piriformis and sciatic nerve are not forgiving me for that, yet). My rotation site is about 30 miles from my house on the highway, which is fine with me, and I put my older son in a camp at which I was a former counselor. It is near his dad's work and my mom's house, which is even farther from my house, and on ground roads (ugh). I also had to pick up Z from my ex's house, which is even farther away. Yesterday, after picking up Z at the ex's, then driving the opposite direction to S's camp, I turned around again and drove 70 miles from my house to go to the viewing for my classmate who died recently.

My sons came with me to the viewing. She is being buried in her white coat, and we were asked to wear ours. The kids were very understanding about going. We only stayed for a short while, and sat in the back of the room. I briefly paid my respects at the coffin and to her family up front. Z crawled into my lap when I came back to our seats, and I held him and kissed his head. As I sat there and listened to my classmate's mother wail with pain, and thought of her baby in the NICU, I thought how lucky I really am. Danielle wanted nothing more than to be a mother, to hold and nurse her baby, and to be a doctor. She never even got to meet her baby, and now her family is reeling from the sudden, heartbreakingly unfair loss.

In a few years, this shitty week will be a distant memory. I can still hold my sons and kiss their soft hair. I am still (so far) going to achieve my dream of becoming a physician. I still have a strong social support system with loving friends, even though, sometimes, it can be more piecemeal than I would like. I am trying to keep it all in perspective.

(Cross posted at Mom's Tinfoil Hat)


  1. So sorry about the x's comments. You may need noise canceling headphones next time.

  2. Thanks. When I told my lawyer, he said I should definitely ask for a separate waiting room the next time. I have succeeded in mostly removing myself from his emotionally abusive behavior, but I need to protect myself more when I am forced to interact with him.

  3. "My next wife will make sandwiches for me to take to work."

    W.T.F???????? Who even thinks that way anymore? Why would someone ever say anything like that?

    Your next husband will be a person who understands your desire to be a doctor, and recognizes all the good qualities you must posses that you show to your kids every day: your work ethic, your drive, your independence, your intelligence.

    I'm so SO sorry you have to put up with your ex. I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but I have a few friends who got married and then divorced during med school. All of them went on to have happy successful careers, and have new relationships with men who wanted a WIFE rather than a SERVANT.

  4. @Old MD Girl - I know! That one was my favorite. I made dinner from scratch almost every single weeknight. Even when I was still attempting the dual degree and had one class a week in the evenings, too, I would almost always rush home in the afternoon, cook dinner, and then go back to school.

    But, since I didn't pack him a lunch every day, apparently I didn't love him. Or, I wasn't his servant, as you so astutely pointed out.

  5. What a rough week! I hope this next one is much kinder to you.

    I can't believe some of your ex's comments. Geez!

  6. Bad week indeed! I can relate.

    Med student does NOT equal bad mom.

  7. Jiminy, what a creep! You're well rid of that guy. "Next wife," indeed.

  8. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Hope your next week is better. Give your kids a hug, take a long shower or better yet a long run, enjoy your own cooking and keep telling yourself about all the good decisions you have made.

  9. you and your boys and your friend Danielle's baby and family are in my thoughts and prayers. It is so hard at times like this to feel like the world is a kind or forgiving place. I hope the smell of your son's head brings comfort, and that you find it in other places as well.


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