What Do You Want To Know?

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be married to a doctor? Or, have you ever had questions about the medical profession that you were just burning to ask? Then, you've come to the right place. Welcome! My name is Amanda, and I am currently married to a doctor. He's an OB/GYN, and he recently started practicing medicine. I've been with him from the beginning of undergrad all the way through medical school and residency (twelve years of training, to be exact), so I've become very used to the idea of living with a doctor 24/7. I've had several friends ask me what it's like to be married to an OB/GYN, so I decided to start blogging about my experiences. I'd like this to be a Q&A type of blog, so if there is anything you'd like to know, and you've read The Disclaimers* at the bottom of this page, then, ask away! Your questions can be funny or serious or whatever. If you have any amusing anecdotes about your experiences with your own OB/GYN or family physician, let me know. Also, if you're currently married to a doctor, whatever his/her chosen field, please feel free to share your thoughts and life experiences. You might be able to answer someone else's question better than I could! You can leave all your questions or comments in the comment section of each post, follow me at twitter.com (@asktheobswife), or email me at asktheobswife@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!
Amanda, The OB's Wife

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How Do You Deal With An Absent Spouse?

I received an e-mail from a friend saying she thought of me when her husband got very busy with work recently, and she wondered how I deal with my own husband's work-related absences. I'll be totally honest. I do miss him when he has to spend his entire call night at the hospital, especially when our son is sick. It's a little ironic that that tends to happen a lot. For example, a couple of nights ago, my husband was on-call and had several patients to observe at the hospital. At 1:30 in the morning, our 2 year-old-son, who's been sick with a nasty cold, woke up with a fever over 104 degrees! I gave him medicine and fluids, but I felt so frightened and lonely trying to figure out if there was anything else I could do for him while he screamed and cried and burned with fever. It was at that point that I was so thankful we had added text messaging to our cell phone plan months earlier. My husband was, luckily, awake, and he helped me get through our ordeal by texting me and actually talking to me over the phone for a little bit. The best part was he came home the next morning and took care of our little guy while I ran some errands. Knowing he practices at such a great office is what gets me through our frequent separations. He works with five other doctors, and they rotate their call schedule. Whoever is on-call for the night takes care of all deliveries and emergencies in the hospital as well as any after hour calls from patients. That means, the other doctors can go home, leave their work at the office (unless they absolutely have to finish it at home), and not have to worry about a single patient. Also, when the on-call doctor finishes his/her shift the next morning, he/she goes home and has the rest of the day off. I know it's a very unique situation, and few physicians have the ability to do this. We were so lucky that my husband found an office where everyone is so family-oriented. He's only on-call about one night a week, one Friday a month, and one entire weekend a month. My son and I see him so much more now than we did in residency, and I think we're finally getting used to his new work schedule. It's still erratic because his call night changes each week, but I can't complain. When he was in residency, his days at the hospital were long, and when he was on-call, he had to work a regular shift the next day. It was hard on him, and I came to realize how single-moms must feel. I dealt with the loneliness by reaching out to other stay-at-home-moms in my community. My son and I joined a great play group, which would meet each week, so the kids could play and we moms could chat about our lives. It was such a tremendous support for me, since we lived so far away from our families at the time. Even though we've moved back to our home state and closer to our parents, I still keep in touch with the moms in that group because, even in e-mail and Twitter form, they're so supportive and helpful. I wasn't sure what kind of schedule my husband would have when we moved to where we're now living, so I prepared myself by finding a new moms' group to join right away. It was the best decision I could have made. My son and I are so busy now with scheduled meet up events practically every day! We've gone to so many of them that I decided to help out and become an assitant organizer for the group. The moms are amazing, and both my son and I have made some great friends. We plan on staying in this town for a long time, so I hope these new friendships last a long time. Besides having friends for support, I'm now closer to my parents and in-laws. We've seen them a lot since we came back to our home state, and it's been so nice to be able to talk to them face to face rather than over the phone. Moving here has also allowed us to renew and strengthen our relationships with some of our college friends. One couple moved here before we did and helped us out socially by asking us to be a part of their weekly board gaming group. We've had so much fun meeting new people, and we've spent a lot of time entertaining friends at our new house. I've found that on the nights when I do feel lonely, watching a movie, playing with my son, reading a book, or even just surfing the Internet have really helped. And, with today's technology, my husband and I can communicate with each other through text messages and e-mail whenever we're apart. Really, there isn't any reason for me to feel lonely, but the truth is that he's my husband, and I love him, and I'll always miss him when we're separated for too long. It helps knowing that when he's done with his call shift the next morning, I get the rest of the day with him.

I know that my situation is very different from that of other doctors' wives and their spouses. If you're married to a physician, how do you handle the loneliness and your spouse's constant absences? You can leave your stories in the comments of this post, e-mail them to me at
asktheobswife@gmail.com, or tweet me on twitter.com (@asktheobswife).


Anonymous said...

12 Feb 5.40 Wrote the following.

I'm an office manager for an ob/gyn practice and am shocked by the comments here. We have 5 women and 5 men and 2 midwives. The men never bring drama to the office, never refuse to see a late patient because they have to pick up their child from school, never snap at the office staff without reason, and are usually nicer than our female doctors.

The mega bux they earn why should they complain.
All men are trained to like the females sex organ, no wonder they are nicer.

Annie Le said...

The men arent snapping because they get to be away from their nagging wives & dont have to do anywhere near the amount of childrearing, dumb ass.

*The Disclaimers:

1. This will not be a "medical advice" blog, so if you have any questions pertaining to your personal medical situation, please do not ask me. My husband is the physician, not me. I know how to put band-aids and kisses on boo-boos, and that's about the extent of my medical expertise. Also, please do not ask me to take your medical questions to my husband to be answered by him. I just don't believe that's ethically right, especially within this type of forum. Please seek the guidance and care of your own personal physician for any specific medical questions you may have.

2. If your question is in any way personal, I may not answer it. If you ask me anything about parenting or motherhood, especially if it pertains to this blog, I will most likely answer you. However, if you want to know my full name, date of birth, address, phone number, the health of my sex life, etc., I'm not going to give you a reply. For those who are curious, I'm a Cancer, my current favorite color is purple, my favorite number is 7, and my interests include cooking, sewing, reading, assisting in the organization of my local moms' group, spending time with my family and friends, playing board and role-playing games, Twittering, and blogging, of course.

3. If you think words like "vagina" and "breast" are best left for the bathroom and/or bedroom, then this blog is probably NOT for you. I live with a doctor full-time, so the correct medical jargon for body parts is a part of my everyday vocabulary. I am certain, considering my husband's chosen field, that I will be using such words quite often when I answer your questions. Yes, I say "penis" and "breast" around my 2-year-old son. He's bound to hear them someday, and it might as well be from his parents. Also, I personally believe in teaching my children the correct names for their body parts.

That's it! Everything else is fair game! Thanks for sharing and reading!