The July Effect: Residency Year 2

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End of July Run Together-it happens sometimes

A somewhat rambling post on why July is the worst and pregnancy is stupid. 

We officially survived July. I think if a computer aggregated all of the words I’ve posted online that the most popular word from pre-residency would be “adventure” and the most popular for in residency would be “survive(d).” Often on Fridays when Alex officially passes the devil in a black box (his pager) on to the on call resident (whichever poor soul that is) we breathe a sigh of relief. Another week done. Ironically, I also currently “change weeks” in pregnancy on Fridays. So it’s a good day. Usually. 

I’m being dramatic. But also, residency is tough. R2 year thus far is certainly harder than intern year. But we knew that was the case. Just like next year will be just as hard as this year (if not harder), and that research year is amazing. And that senior years are different, but being in the OR until 9pm or up all night are not yet a thing of the past. Which is all to say, we have 47 more months of surviving-with a brief reprieve in the middle where Alex will officially meet his then 2.5 year old child (who thankfully will remember none of this). I don’t understand how surgical residents remained alive prior to recent hour restrictions. I guess it’s evidence that humans are capable of a lot. The toll it takes is of course, an entirely different question.

You almost have to laugh at how absurd it is. Either that or you’d go insane (or maybe thats why we are laughing? It’s too late for us, maybe). July is notoriously rough. Its when all the new interns and fellows join the hospital. Fresh faced, eager, and slowing everything the heck down. It takes a minute for everyone to figure out the new order and thus July is just generally terrible. We see it across all our medical friends, everyone is just a bit weary. One of which decided it was the perfect month to try and sleep train their baby. They are especially brave (or something). Another friend who is married to an ED fellow actually left the state somewhat last minute with their son, needing to step away from the feeling of slowly drowning in the stress of a cranky and sleep deprived doctor. I have less sympathy for them though, in 11 months they’ll resume his working half the the month and making more than a poor excuse for an income (given their hours). She just straight up left for a week. She also vaguely considered not coming back for a bit. Don’t blame her one bit.

In theory, though it gets better in August. Now that people are less inefficient. Although Alex did start the month with working 32 of first 36 hours of August. So, there’s that. And he’s on call again from 6am this morning to 6pm tomorrow night. Doesn’t really seem like August got the memo. We didn’t experience this last year because Alex was the new staff causing problems. That and Vanderbilt is a special place in terms of surgical interns. I am beyond thankful he started there and not here.

It could also be that I feel like time is crawling. I have 11 weeks (hopefully less, dear god please no more) left before we meet our kid. Although I don’t have many pregnancy symptoms I don’t enjoy it and it’s more or less a series of mild inconveniences and annoyances. Last Thursday I spent my morning at my clinic where I was forced to consume a disgusting glucose drink, the taste of which lingered in my mouth for the next hour since I wasn’t allowed any water and made me super nauseas. I then got the TDAP shot which hurt like hell, a week later my arm still hurts. Then had blood drawn. Then waited 3 days for my clinic to upload results. Bonus? no gestational diabetes or anemia. Downside, all of the medical interventions. Mostly though I just dislike feeling a complete lack of control over my body. As an athlete I am used to my body being in control and I’m very in tune with it. Now it feels like a separate entity that might just try to kill me at any moment. So I’m anxious to be done! And excited to start the next chapter in our lives instead of feeling like I’m standing still. Waiting. Plus pretty sure we’ll think our kid is pretty awesome (even when they act like a little asshole). I would say we aren’t really mourning the loss of our old lives right now because of having a baby. No, that was taken away already by residency so you know, might as well have a kid now! Hah, ha, ha…eh. But really, it is a pretty great time to have kids. They won’t remember this, they’re small and fit into our tiny overpriced apartment, and also they’ll be out of college before we’re 80 (this one should be class of 2035ish-what?!).

So now that July is behind us I’m trying to “enjoy this time” (gag) before we meet our child. The next few months are super busy, we currently have one not-planned weekend from now until October. So hopefully it’ll go fast. And a lot of fun things coming up! We have a camping trip, our California baby shower, a 10-day trip to WA for the second shower and see family/friends, our three year wedding anniversary (for which we will probably be super boring and forget), and our first birthday party for a friend’s son (feeling old). So lots of good things to balance out what feels like the longest “July” ever. But hey! We survived this month, we will survive the next, and the next…and eventually when we are so tired and done with residency we will be actually done. It will happen. And we’ll look back and think “it wasn’t all that bad.” Our brains are marvelous at skewing the past and I’m thankful for that (also, though if they weren’t the world population would be much lower…).

This is one reason I love to occasionally look back on this blog. What I think I remember as correct is often actually just a slightly fonder memory of reality. Tricky, tricky brain. And it’s for the best. If right now our child declared they wanted to be a surgeon I’d probably yell “NO! RUN FOR THE HILLS!” And also be confused why a baby was expressing such a thing. Which really isn’t fair. But in eighteen years I’ll probably say “if that’s what you want, we support you!” and “you can be anything you want!” And more specifically, “here’s our bank account routing number, to make things easier” or some other bullshit parental platitude while we gush with pride over our offspring’s questionable (but socially acceptable) life choices.

So, thanks for nothing July! Please be marginally  less of a jerk, August. I’m off to pregnant lady yoga where everyone complains about what hurts and someone is usually burping or farting uncontrollably. It’s a glorious time, you guys.


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