Wednesday, January 27, 2010
When I find myself in being negative, jealous or simply in self pity, I find that the best cure is counting my blessings. So I thought I would revive Thankful Thursdays.
This Thursday, I am thankful for unexpected blessings. Today when I went to get my new side view mirror put on my car (see this post for an explanation) I was pleasantly surprised when the total cost came out to be $90.00 cheaper than we expected! So instead of paying $341, we only had to pay $251.00 for a brand new side view mirror! And secondly, when I looked at one of our accounts, (my Dad invested the wedding money we got in the stock market), I found out that in the last couple of months, it has gone UP! The amount that it has gone up should allow us to help pay moving expenses (truck rental, gas etc.) for if and when we move! Money has been so tight lately with financing Drew's interviews. They say God always provides, and he truly does. I am so thankful for both of these unexpected blessings that will allow me to worry a little bit less about finances (at least for a little while!)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tonight I am waiting for Drew to get home from another interview. Thank goodness it is his second to last!
:Sigh of Relief:
This process. Has been. Exhausting.
The funny thing is that is that fourth year is supposed to be the easiest! And I guess academically (with the exception of his Away rotations) it has been the easiest year for Drew. But this whole match process has been much more time consuming than the actual academic portion of medical school. I've been so incredibly jealous of Drew friends that are applying to different specialties in which they didn't have to do away rotations; didn't have to take as many interviews; and are virtually positive where they are going to Match.
I am ready to be done organizing travel itineraries, and picking out suits and ties, and paying astronomical credit card bills for travel expenses. I am ready to have a routine, and have my husband in the same state with me for seven consecutive days. I am ready to stop wondering what our future will hold. I am ready for March 18th. Well maybe not... but as for this whole process, I'm over it! And you're probably over me talking about it! Thank God we only have one more left!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
While waiting in the cold we met a Canadian couple who were both medical residents. They called the Marriott that was attached to the airport via skywalk and found out that their AAA rate was only $90. The decision was easy. We were checked in and in our warm clean hotel ordering room service within 15 minutes. Who knows what time we would have gotten to bed if we waited for the shuttle.
Oh and although the toiletry bags the airlines gave us looked nice, they were pretty crappy. The toothpaste tasted like pure baking soda!
Being that the hotel was attached to the airport we figured that arriving at 6:00 would give us plenty of time for us to go through security for our 7:40 flight. We were very wrong. When we exited the hotel and entered the skywalk there was a line more than half way across the skywalk. That line was to get through security. And this was at 6:10 a.m. By the time we got through security it was about 7:20 a.m. and we weren't at the right terminal. We sprinted through the terminal to catch the shuttle. The shuttle driver called our gate but the agent didn't answer (he said that was a good sign because that meant they were still busy boarding). When he dropped us off we quickly started sprinting again, and of course our gate was at the end of the terminal. When we got there completely winded, huffing and puffing, we saw that it was not the correct gate. Sometime when we were going through security, they switched the gate. We had to run to another agent who told us the correct gate. We went running in the other direction toward the correct gate. When we got there the door was closed and we could see the airline agent walking away. We must have just missed her. According to Drew's watch it was exactly 8:30. And the worst part was that if we would have had the right gate we would have probably made it on time because we spent a whole 2-3 minutes running down the terminal to what we thought was our gate and then running back. Needless to say Drew and I were incredibly frustrated. Although we were extremely annoyed, we tried not to be too incredibly rude to the agent as we knew we needed her to get us on another flight. She claims she waited until 8:32 to close the door, but as Drew said "I guess we need to adjust our clocks."
Finally around 11:30 on Monday we did get on a Flight home. And we eventually made it home to sweet home Springfield late Monday afternoon..... about 30 hours later than we were originally scheduled to get home!
And the really ironic part is that last night (as I started writing this post) my husband had complete deja vous. He was traveling out of St. Louis for an interview and his first flight out was delayed over six hours! And then his connecting flight was cancelled. He was stranded in Atlanta and waiting in line until midnight to try and get a second connecting flight. He had to stay in a raunchy hotel and then woke up early this morning to try and get out on the first flight out, but it was full! He finally did get out on the second flight today, but again he arrived at his destination about 20 hours later than originally scheduled. Thank goodness this is a two day interview because he missed part of the first day today, but made it to dinner and will be there for tomorrows interview.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It all began on the day after Christmas. I wasn't feeling my best - as we had gone to the E.R. on Christmas day so that I could could get some antibiotics for my strep throat. We were heading from Drew's parents house back to Springfield, so that we could pack up and head out on vacation the next day. A few minutes into our drive we hit a patch of ice. Drew used his best driving skills to try an regain control of the car but we began to slide all over the place. Part of the problem was that we were on a road under construction. The left side of the road was barricaded off because of construction (the road dropped off drastically as they were preparing to put down new asphalt). And the right side of the road was a ditch.
I cannot recall the first part where we initially lost control, but I remember the back end of the car spinning forward as we nailed a construction barricade. And I am not talking the little barricades with the flashing lights, I am talking those large barricades. Like this:
Yeah. Next we bounced off the barricade and it spun us hood first into the ditch on the right side of the road. We weren't fully in the ditch as our back tires and trunk were still on the shoulder of the road. Fortunately, we were only about two miles from Drew's parent's house so he called his Dad to help push us out.
I was the lucky one who got to drive while they pushed. It was a bit frightening as I didn't have much room behind us (just the two lanes and then the construction), and the road was slick. I didn't want to accelerate (in reverse) too quickly (as I was afraid of spinning out of control, or running into the barricade again) but every time I took my foot off the accelerator the car fell forward toward my dear husband and father-in-law. Luckily after a few seconds, they had us pushed out of the ditch.
It could have been a lot worse. At least it was just a one car accident and we weren't harmed, just a little shaken up. Although I had planned to rest up during the ride home, I was took shaken up (and nervous) to sleep. We I counted a total of 10 cars in ditches on the ride home. After a long slow car ride, we eventually did make it home, safe and sound.
So I bet your wondering what the car looks like. I would have to say the barricade won.
It left some paint all along the side of the car;
Oh...and then the side view mirror.... Completely gone.Classy. I know. Yes, that is right, I am officially one of those people. One of those people you laugh at, and wonder what the brilliant person did to take off the mirror.
We had an estimate of the repair done. The good news is that the cost to replace the mirror is only $340; the bad news is that the cost to repair the mirror and the driver's side is $3,100. And the car has 142,000 miles on it, so we think the car insurance company will total the car if we make a claim. And the amount of money we would get wouldn't be enough to buy another car. So for now we are just going to have the mirror fixed, and possibly paint the car to prevent/minimize rust. And I will just continue to drive around like a hillbilly.
Stay tuned for Travel Troubles, Part II and III . . .
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you for all the encouraging comments! Sometimes I need to hear those things from other people to help me believe that they are true. Like I said, it is truly a battle because I do know that everything will be just fine, I just struggle with the lack of control and all the unknown. Posting my feelings was theraputic and Tuesday and Wednesday were much better days. I also think that tums may be my new best friend.
I noticed this week that our apartment has been particularly organized and the running of our household has been so much smoother. It wasn't until I noticed this that I realized that it might have something to do with the fact that I've actually be home, the past two weekends. I had been on the road every weekend since October, and Drew hasn't been home a full weekend since July! It's amazing how much smoother the week can go when you have the weekend to do laundry, dishes, tidy up and organize. We've been used to getting home around 7:00 p.m. most nights and then having dinner and then trying to pack/unpack, do laundry, dishes and the household chores at night. And most of the time we are behind on these chores so we just can't manage to catch up! So it has been unusually nice to just be able to get ready for work or make a meal without having to do a load of laundry or clean the sink full of dishes first. I am already looking forward to another weekend home, and having Drew home for at least part of it.
Speaking of staying home on weekends we are somewhat on a travel boycott. Well at least I am. Drew has still had interviews so he hasn't been able to stay home. The poor guy is so used to staying on aerobeds, guest beds or hotel beds! Needless to say we are trying to cut down on travel and visiting friends and family for the next few months, just so that we relax at bit. To give you an idea we put 24,000 miles on my car last year. And I only live six miles from work and its less than 3 miles to Walmart! We travelled a lot in 2009 both for interviews and also to see family and friends. Its hard because my family in particular isn't the best with coming to visit. Which means that if I want to see them, we have to drive up north. It also doesn't help that almost all of our family and friends are located in the same area. Which means that we usually try to pack in visits to several different people in one weekend. And while it is so much fun to see everyone, it gets exhausting. And the sad part is I still don't see everyone I'd like to nearly as much as I'd like too! But ultimately, I realize that we are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives that we wish we could see more.
I don't know how long I'll be able to avoid traveling, just because its hard to pass up opportunities to see the people I love, but for now, I am enjoying the time at home!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Fortunately, however, a few days after Christmas, Drew and I headed to Florida with our families for a relaxing vacation. While I was there my sleep issues disappeared (for the most part.) We did sit down with our parents one night to discuss the "rank order list." That night we put together a tentative list (except for the programs Drew has yet to visit). Our parents mostly listened to what we had to say and chimed in occasionally to point out things that we didn't realize or make comments based on their life experience. They wouldn't tell us where to rank any of the programs but they did give us some greater insight and made us feel more confident in our draft list (which will change because we still want to give the remaining programs full consideration).
Immediately following our discussion, I felt great; like a weight had been lifted. But then again, later that night, in the early morning hours I found myself wide awake, mind racing. I was wondering if I had made a mistake expressing my thoughts and feelings causing Drew to change or flip flop the order of certain programs. I began to think, what if my feelings cause us to match at the "wrong" program. Or what if we end up at a place and are miserable, all because I was advocating that program over another? I know I do want to be a part of the decision, as this is our life. But I am also horrified of Drew being unhappy in residency, and feeling like my opinions and contributions to the rank list are the reason for his misery. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to handle the pressure associated with helping in his decisions.
When I shared my sleep difficulties with others, someone suggested that I write down all my fears. They said something about writing or communicating your concerns can help both sides process the feelings and possibly help with the sleep problems. I put it off for a while because I guess didn't even know what I was scared of. All I knew was that I was terrified of this whole match thing. Eventually I did sit down and write out all my fears and worries. It made me realize that not only do I have a lot of worries, but also that I have worries about residency in general, and not just about specific programs. It also made me realize that while I have a worry about every program, I also have something I like about every program.
While writing things down has helped the sleep issues there is still an ongoing conflicting battle between by brain and my body. My brain and my heart, know and believe that everything will be just fine, but my body insists on manifesting signs of anxiety. And I hate it. I feel like a crazy woman. I do. It is horribly frustrating for me and those around me. My poor husband doesn't understand it, and feels helpless. I don’t understand either. I’m upset with myself for not being able to better handle these things. In quiet times, when I should be relaxing I find my heart begin to race, and my stomach will be in knots. I am doing all that I can by exercising, praying, and taking deep breaths, but it is still a struggle.
I am hoping by sharing my madness it will either help me accept my fears and worries (and somehow be therapeutic), or it will at least make someone else out there feel a little less crazy because they aren't the only one going through it.
2 months. And now, I am ready for it. I cannot handle the unknown much longer, it is literally wreaking havoc on my body. I realize I may not like what that envelope holds, but at least there will be something to face
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
- Friday January 15th, Rank order lists open up, which means we can start to put together our official rank order list with the NRMP website. Another reminder that that match day is approaching.
- Here is a good explanation on how the matching process works. (And how a candidate should rank programs).
- Drew has completed 13 interviews.
- Due to complications with school schedules we have had to cancel one interview this month and may have to cancel a second. He is currently in the process of totally rearranging his schedule so that he can keep a particular interview. His curriculum director is not very happy with him. But, unfortunately Drew didn't get to pick his interview dates and this whole interview process kind of effects the rest of his life. Kind of.
- Drew has three more interviews scheduled, but he probably won't be able to take one of them because the curriculum director may just kill him if he does.
- As a result of the above two mentioned bullet points, it looks like our rank order list will have 15 programs on it. Which is 3 shorter than we'd hoped for, but he has to graduate, so we'll just pray 15 is enough.
- TODAY our last semester of student loans were distributed. This means that we are DONE acquiring student loans (just interest). Wooo hooo! Shh, I don't want to talk about paying them off, I just want to celebrate the fact that we won't be increasing the principal amount any more.)
- We have recently had some terribly bad luck with travel (which I will elaborate on in the future).
- And last but not least, 64 more days until Match Day!
Monday, January 11, 2010
For I am so grateful that like Deanna's children, I have a best friend in my Mother, who will would do absolutely anything for me and my sisters. When she isn't coming to my rescue she is on the sidelines as my biggest fan. I don't know what I would ever do without her.
And like Deanna's husband I too have found a love that brings out the very best in me, makes me a better woman, and can bring me joy on my worst days.
Please pray for Deanna's family as they can no longer receive her loving hugs, look into her sparkling eyes, or find comfort in her glowing smile. May they find peace knowing that she is experiencing a whole new joy with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Maddy and Sophie loved the tree and all its sparkly ornaments.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
We had a wonderful lunch with Drew's family and opened presents. Drew's cousin has two darling little girls and we enjoyed watching them open all their presents.
Although I think Stella like eating her presents more than anything else! Isn't she adorable!
Mmm! Feels good on those teething gums!
And big sister Ophelia got a lot of great presents too....
And then shortly thereafter we headed to my Uncle's house to celebrate Christmas Eve with my Mom's side of the family.... stay tuned for Part II....