Long time readers, which is most of you who read this blog, know that a little over two years ago, my family did something unconventional to allow one of us to live their dream. In short, my wife started three years of residency in the urban jungle while I became stayed home to work full time and raise our daughter as best I can. Of course we still see each other on weekends and talk every night, but it just isn't the same. Still, we decided to make the best of it while our daughter was still young and would not remember much of this when she was older.
The back story is that my wife was just starting residency when I met her while vacationing in London and after two years of dating, I convinced her to marry me. She wanted to wait until she finished her residency which would mean she could just take the license test over here and practice medicine but love is foolish and so was I when I talked her out of delaying our marriage. So when she came over here a year short of finishing residency, she was unable to practice medicine and went into medical research. She wasn't sure she wanted to go through residency again and after nearly three years, she decided she wanted too. We wasted a couple years trying to get into residency at a teaching hospital about a seventy minute drive from where we lived but were unsuccessful since they gave priority to those whom they graduated from their medical school. So five years after we were married, we decided to branch out and on her first try, she was accepted into a residency program in the urban jungle, a two hour drive from home.
Now for three years, I suppose it is possible to commute four hours a day but knowing that there would be long hours and that she would need to spend lots of time reading, preparing for lectures, and being mentally ready when seeing patients, we opted for the difficult choice of renting an apartment up there just a few blocks from the hospital where she could stay during the week.
It was initially tough for both of us but I think we are able to make this work. It is tough on my wife being away from our daughter four and a half days a week and it is tough on me trying to juggle a full time job and being a mostly single parent for our daughter. But it works and now two years later, with every day that passed by now, we will not be in the same situation this same day next year. For next June 30th in 2012, this ordeal will have ended and we will be a family once again. My wife will have fulfilled her career dream of becoming a doctor.
I expect this year will even go faster than the rest. My wife is doing a month long rotation at a local (to me) hospital that has also offered her a job and is her top candidate now among all those near here that have offered her a job. So she will be able to make the 20 minute commute back and forth everyday for a month which shortens this ordeal yet another month. Not to mention we are contemplating selling our house and moving closer to whatever hospital she decides to work for so that we are within 15 minutes of it and thus giving her the option of being on call even when she is at home. Even if we don't have to move, we still probably will just because we have outgrown this home in a few ways and would like to live in one better suited to our needs. Of course in the future, we would like to build one that is perfectly suited to our needs but one step at a time.
So as you read this post, my little countdown clock at the end of my sidebar should read 358 days left or thereabouts and that is sure a lot easier to swallow than when it initially read 1095.