Wednesday, July 13, 2016

All of the ways I forget

I had my 90-day evaluation in my new position today. I left the clinic I was working in, one overrun by burnout and toxic management, in order to remember why I went into medicine at all. I love my patients and this work, but I love my family more. I now work 3 days a week in health care administration and quality improvement. I sleep well at night now that the main cause of my insomnia has ended. My family is happier. My evaluation went very well.

Immediately after my meeting, my husband reached out and said he needed to talk. I needed to talk too. He is finishing his dissertation this week, we just bought a new house, and my parents came in town for the weekend. We have been passing like ships in the night. Both busy and not really checking in enough. With moments of hugs and kisses and simple appreciation. But overall, we haven’t been checking in frequently enough and we definitely haven’t been having the weekly meetings that are my bookends at work.

I feel lonely. He feels unappreciated. Why didn’t I offer to help with his appendices? Why didn’t I read the chapter he asked me to read so many months ago (honestly, he gave it to me and I forget and he never mentioned it again until today and now I feel like dirt). He feels that my work has taken priority in our family for years (medical school, residency, the toxic job took so much of our family’s energy just to stay afloat). And now I’m studying for my Boards again after I failed them last year (more about that later, I have a lot to say about it but it's so raw and traumatizing). And he’s finishing his dissertation and starting his first job as a professor at the state university.

When we get busy I forget that my marriage needs check-ins, scheduled ones, on purpose because they are priorities. And when we are busy, we both have to go the extra mile to make sure that my needs, his needs, and our family’s needs are met.

And I’m sitting here at work, dragging my feet because at home I am reminded of all the ways I forget. I need to go home and start remembering again. And I need to be gentle with myself because we are juggling plates and though many of them are scuffed up I pray that none of them are smashed and destroyed. I’m going to head home now in order to remember that I love him immensely. And loves me. And we can't forget.


  1. Be gentle with yourself. I lived through my husband's PhD (and we didn't have kids) and then his tenure application. It's hell. It's better that he can tell you how he's feeling; that's an opening for repair.

    I suspect he'll forgive you faster than you forgive yourself, and you'll move forward. It's a difficult season.

  2. Big Big Hugs. A lot has happened. I am so excited that someone sympathetic to doctors is on the other side helping improve hospitals for the right reasons - to help the patients, rather than the wrong reasons - to help themselves and the insurance companies. I met a nurse a few weeks ago who had gone into quality improvement and learned about a really cool project that will improve process and patient care. Made me realize that balance is happening all around us, even though it's hard to see that when you are working so hard just to stay afloat.

    Good luck getting through a tough time. Looks like you both have what it takes to make things work. I'll bet you will find the time when it is there and do just that.

  3. There is simply not enough time in the day. When it comes to your partner, I am all about showing love and affection in the way they most appreciate. We have recently employed Love Languages, and they have been very efficient (sorry to use that word in relation to love), but an excellent starting point to know the best way to showcase your appreciation and love for the other person. These life transitions are tough, especially when both partners need support in their new positions. Just keep communicating, we are here for you!

  4. Thanks ladies! Hosted a surprise dissertation completion party for the hubby. He felt appreciated! The yummy sangria may have helped a lot!

  5. You've been through so much. This deeper reflection here in this space, sharing this and past posts with others is helpful to many. Now time to be helpful to yourself and your marriage. Thinking of you and wishing you well and wishing you some togetherness. (Read his book chapters!)


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