i’ll miss you… house



One of the first weeks we lived here, Y was already in the midst of nonstop studying and I had no job and no friends. I was having an ongoing pity party for myself — here I was, alone in our new house, the only one home on my entire street except for the 16 neighborhood cats. I was acutely aware of the fact that I was not contributing to society while my husband was off with his 120 new friends learning how to do Super Important Things.

One day I was doing the dishes on a creepy, rainy day. It was eerily quiet in my house (we didn’t have Ike yet) and, like I said, I was mid-pity party. I was scrubbing a dish, gazing mindlessly out the window, when — out of nowhere – a cat flew through the air and landed, stomach first, on our window directly in front of me.

If you recall, I have a dire and tragic condition called Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Syndrome. I’m also not a fan of cats. I screamed, fell to the dated tile kitchen floor, and burst into tears. How had I ended up in a place with ugly tile and flying cats, my two worst nightmares?

But then I got a job,  found a guard dog and gained the cats’ respect, and eventually, made some friends. And suddenly, my house was my favorite place in the world. The perfect place for a game night, a royal wedding tea party (side note: can you believe it’s been a year?), or watching the first three seasons of 30 Rock in bed while eating Mickey Mouse shaped pasta. (best. day. ever.)




I’ll miss you… archive:


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Step 1 of the medical boards (from a med school wife’s perspective)



This is my blog, and I reserve the right to be lazy.


For the next three days, I’m going to link you to some of my posts from 2010. Step 1, the first part of the medical boards, is coming up and I know a lot of med students are starting to study. Wives of med students are starting to freak out about the excessive amounts of studying.

Y took Step 1 two years ago (before a lot of you found me), and I’ll let you in on a little secret: it wasn’t that bad. For me, at least. I’m pretty sure Y started going crazy. Here’s the proof, in 3 parts:

an illustration of fourth year

Fourth year is known for being the most laid back year of medical school. Allow me to illustrate:


Q: What does the first, second, or third year medical student do when he realizes that the hair product he bought for his beard has an ugly label?


A: Trick question. The first, second, or third year medical student has no time for personal hygiene! The fact that he has no time to maintain his beard is ironic (in an Alanis Morisette kind of way, not in a literary kind of way), because he also has no time to prevent it from growing.


on the flip side..


Q. What does the fourth year medical student do when he realizes that the hair product he bought for his beard has an ugly label?


A: Easy! He uses his vast amounts of free time to design and print his own label!





Q: The first, second, or third year medical student’s father mentions that he’s had to use the “world’s smallest violin” cliche often at work. What does the student do in response?


A: What? He was supposed to be listening to someone tell a story? The only people the first, second, or third year medical student pays any attention to are his cadaver and Goljan.


 and the fourth year?


Q: The fourth year medical student’s father mentions that he’s had to use the “world’s smallest violin” cliche often at work. What does the student do in response?


A: Easy! The student uses his aforementioned free time to create an exhibit for his father’s desk!



Anything else you’d like to know about the mysterious and crafty fourth year medical student?

having a medical professional at home is supremely helpful


Since Y has been in medical school, he’s gotten several midnight emergency medical questions from family members. Symptoms have ranged from vomiting and diarrhea to Lyme Disease. Every time, he’s woken up and given patient, thoughtful answers, backed up with facts from whatever exclusive medical app he has access to.

Since Y has been in medical school, I’ve asked him several questions about my own health. Symptoms have ranged from random dizzy spells to shortness of breath. Every time, he’s looked at me with a scowl and said, “I don’t know. Ask a doctor!” 

Have you ever heard the phrase “the shoemaker’s wife has no shoes”? I get it. I really do. 

In the past few years, there are two instances I can think of when Y has been helpful in response to a medical issue or question I’ve had (not including the time I got brain freeze):



1. Y looked up from his textbook. “I know why you get scared so easily!” he announced, startling me. 

“What are you talking about?” I asked, even though just that week he had accidentally scared me to the point that I almost killed him. We were running together, and near the end of our route he had slowed to a cool-down walk as I sped up for a sprint to the finish. A few seconds after I passed him, he snuck up next to me, startling me and causing me to reflexively hit him as hard as I could in the chest. I feel like I was one heartbeat off from inflicting commotio cordis.  

“You have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome!”

“You definitely just made that up,” I said.

But in fact, he did not. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine syndrome is (assuming Y didn’t change the Wikipedia page to play a huge joke on me) a neurological disorder.  The person who first described this disorder noted patients “reacting abnormally to sudden stimuli” including jumping, yelling, and hitting (all of which I’ve done). It was first observed in northern Maine, hence its awesome name. 

I think I’m going to start writing this on any form that asks for my medical conditions. The gym I join when we move isn’t going to know what to do with me.



2.  Yesterday, while watching a Rogaine commercial, I turned to Y. “Do you think,” I ruminated, “That if I smeared Rogaine on my face, I could grow a beard?”

Y’s expression turned serious. “The major compound in Rogaine is blablabla,” he said thoughtfully. “so that means bla bla bla bla. I think. Let me get my phone.” He returned a moment later with his trusty medical app. “bla bla bla bla. So, no.”

I’m still wondering why I often feel dizzy and get out of breath. But at least I know I can fall face first into a vat of Rogaine and be okay. 

just another post about match day

I get a lot of questions about how many job offers Y has gotten, which one he’ll take, etc, etc. 


No, no. 


Apparently word hasn’t gotten out that matching into a medical residency is less like applying for a job, and more like pledging a sorority or fraternity. Let’s examine this theory:



Step one, in both cases, is the official Deactivation of the Facebook Page. No one can know about that time they wore a bow tie and posed with a Shake Weight. 



Then, whether it’s Rush or Interview Season, they travel from place to place in a  short time span, dressed in their finest. In Greek life, the places are houses, situated several yards away from each other in a row. In medical life, the places are hospitals, situated around the country. In both situations sensible shoes are advisable.


The applicants/potential new members attend several events — pink lemonade parties, grand rounds — where they make conversation and imagine themselves fitting in with the house/hospital. 


Then, they must make one of the most important decisions of their lives. Thoughtfully, they craft a list of their top 10 (or 3, or 5, or 15) places they visited to be turned in by a designated time. Potential new members of sororities and fraternities get a few days to think about this; medical students get several weeks. 


Meanwhile, the residency programs and active sorority/fraternity members are making their own top whatever lists based on criteria like board scores and bubble writing. (I’m sure sororities look at more than handwriting, but can we discuss how sorority girls have perfect handwriting and I am doomed to be forever inferior?)


When the medical students and the residency programs turn in their rank lists, a far away computer performs some kind of algorithm developed by an economist at Harvard. I’m not sure how it works on Bid Day – perhaps the computer has a part-time gig during its off season?



Match Day is approximately one month after the students and residency programs submit their rank order lists. Every graduating medical student in the country finds out where they matched at noon eastern on March 16th. (Some fourth year medical students find out their matches in private, this post explains how Y’s school does it. )


I’ve never been to a bid day, but I imagine it’s similar…but pinker. 


See the similarities? Apparently it’s confusing for everyone involved – the social committee at Y’s school is throwing a post-match party and accidentally used a leftover theme from a sorority party: Devils and Angels. How embarrassing.


—-


After the medical students find out where they matched, med school still isn’t over. It doesn’t officially end until graduation day on May 26th. If you’re wondering how medical students spend their final days before actually being employed, stay tuned. It involves a lot of sleeping. And in our house, a lot of Downton Abbey.




bid day photo via