Tuesday, March 25, 2014

72 Hours Post Match Day

Welp... It's over.

Huntington, WV and Marshall University Orthopedics here we come!!

I have felt so many emotions over the last few days. I remember walking into The Match Ceremony in Toledo, Ohio thinking that very few people have moments in their lives like this one. I mean really.? A few posts ago I mentioned his interview offer list. I think the final count was 20 hospitals. Notice below that Marshall was his last on the interview trail and also notice I didn't know what city it was in. Opps. Interviews aside, the ranking process itself was intense. His draft order was completely flipped flopped after I and everyone around me declared January as my own personal Panic Attack Month. To put it another way, I used so much of the Bath and Body Works "Stress Relief" lotion after Christmas break, the students started to comment I smelled like men's deodorant. Hum.. No joke unfortunately. In retrospect, I don't think there is a manual on how to handle being "Married to Medicine". I really did like Philli but the high cost of living scared the bejezzis out of me. As I started to realize that the next 5 years for us would likely be where our first and maybe second child would be born, I wanted a place that would work comfortably. Philli (to me) would not have been the easiest option. The medical community group I belong to on facebook was amazing for being up front, honest, and forthcoming with family budgets. His first rank was done toward the end of the interview trail, right before his Marshal interview. Before my Philadelphia melt down, I really had pushed him toward the "prestigious" school route... ivy league... top-20-ortho-hospital-in-the-nation type places. Those schools to me say "successful" aka "I am one of the smartest people in America". He went to those interviews though at Virginia Commonwealth University and UPenn feeling unsure of the cultural academic attitudes, overwhelmed by the abundance of research projects,  disappointed by the hours spent in the OR (relatively speaking to the community programs), yet highly impressed by the facilities. I kept telling him that 5 years is 5 years. Not forever. Ultimately after he heard my major concerns of cost of living and wanting the option to stay home with kids his rank list completely flipped from "big name" to close-to-home community programs at the top with less to no research requirements and significantly more hours spent in the OR from day 1. Probably the hardest thing about the rank process is really knowing what you want out of life NOW. He said that if we end up at home-home that a community program would be best to see a a variety of cases but poor in the fact that the specialize complex cases would be limited. Going to a "big name" would help get fellowships and provide connections to start in a city. To be very honest, I don't think my mindset was quite right to make that decision during the month of February 2014. His placement now will hopefully still allow him to go back to Columbus, Ohio if we choose to later. He asked me if I saw myself retiring there and I couldn't answer him. I typically am an amazing planner and need to know every detail wasn't working for that question. I can see the 2 of us together, old, with grandchildren, a 2 story living room with a huge Christmas tree; but for the life of me, I have no idea where that setting's address is. I guess that's a good thing? ...but I digress...

All and all his 4th choice is where we ended up. Not terrible. A top 5 ortho match from what I hear is fantastic. We did have our hearts set on Mount Carmel in Columbus, Ohio though. I could have kept my amazing job (with higher than average salary for a teacher), he would have been able to moonlight, and again, we would be in Columbus. The program director even sent him a thank you for interviewing. He also rotated there. We ranked them 1st. Mount Carmel only takes 2 interns per year. Who knows? We might have been their number 3?  Oh well. It has been difficult saying goodbye to everyone at work. Facebook gave it away to ease the blow.

It was absolutely devastating not to open the letter to find his 1st choice.

Here is my play by play (very candid) Match Day experience:

10am: Putting the finishing touches on hair and makeup. I skipped breakfast I was so nervous. I didn't sleep but only 5 hours per night and consumed less than an adequate amount of calories due to nerves the week prior. My weight the day before match day read 116lbs... aka down 8-9 lbs in 3 months. I was dieting for the wedding, doing crossfit 2x a week, and eating paleo for the most part. The Match anxiety definitely helped.

11am: The school had set up a very nice appetizer station while we mingled with his friends.

11:40am: 3 people came to say wonderful things about the class' match outcomes

12pm: We opened letters!

12:01pm: Speechless. Heart sunk. No tears.

12:03pm: Speechless. No tears. He and I stared at each other with blank faces. One of this extremely unsensored and spontanious friend's asked "How do you feel about his match?" All I could say was "I don't know."

12:10pm: Speechless. Still staring at each other. Still not crying. I know he is disappointed. We both know I have to quite my amazing job. He knows I am devastated. No words needed but "Do you want to go?". I said "yes". I was really doing my best to not lose it in front of his friend's parents and fiances.

12:15pm: long silent walk to the car

12:16pm: lots of tears during the car ride home.  I remember bargaining "what if we ranked it differently"... "I'm sorry I freaked about about cost of living." ..."You have to spend 3 months in K-Tuck for peds your third year. What about me with kids?" etc...

12:35pm: He reminds me of all the good things we talked about when deciding to rank Marshall 4th after I said my share. I'm feeling more positive and forgetting about my job.

I know all of this because the video cam I used to record the ceremony was mistakenly not turned off an put in my giant hand bag...

Around 3pm: I finally am excited about the move to Huntington. I finally text my Dad.

7pm: We made reservations earlier in the week to have a very very nice dinner in Toledo. At this point I'm feeling very proud to be at a table with the fiance's or spouses of 3 other soon-to-be surgeons. None of his friends go their first choices. They ranged from 3rd to 8th on their rank lists. One friend will be going to Houston, TX for ortho (8th pick), another to Grand Rapids, MI for plastics (5th I think), and the last for general surgery at Riverside Hospital (3rd) in Cbus. All of his friend's opened their letters and basically had the same reaction except for one. Another one of the fiance's has the exact same situation as I do with quitting a great job to start over. It was good to hear everyone being positive at dinner.

9pm+ : drinks and mingling with the rest of the Toledo MS4's who just opened letters


72 Hours Post Match: After setting into the information, researching, and being in contact with a few people down there, it actually does seem like a good fit. The 2 other interns also are getting married this summer around the exact same time as we are! Crazy. I really hope who ever they are, that we become friends! (How silly does that sound!) We received his start date from the program as June 18th. Medical School graduation is May 30th. My job ends June 5th (teacher work day). Our wedding is June 7th which means we can now take a bitty honeymoon!! Finding housing and a new job for myself is now my top priority though. Praying the stars align and it all works out! I am applying to 2 jobs tomorrow.

"Positive things don't happen to negative people."

Being "Married to Medicine" does not come with a manual. The fiance actually said he would put my reaction up against the other significant others in our group. I got over the news relatively quickly.

Excited to see what the future holds! NO MORE LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP!!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas & Philadelphia Road Trip

The fiancé is currently taking his step 2 while I sit in The University of Pennsylvania/Drexel chestnut street Starbucks writing this. It was difficult to leave the family at 4 in the afternoon on Christmas to come with him to new completely honest. This year at Christmas is was very obvious that traditions are beginning to change as my siblings and I get older. Of course I wanted one last Christmas at home-home in my own bed and own room. Sort of bitter sweet really. I was woke by my middle youngest brother at 8am. "It's Christmas Jess!? Get Up!" I gave him a "ugh" and rolled over for another 30 minutes until he came in again and threw my cat at me. Nice. He had driven from his now rented house about 15 minutes away for the ritual of Christmas morning gifts. My family consisting my dad, mom, said brother (Age 23) and other brother (age 20) opened our gifts. Mom likes to buy her Christmas gifts in China Town in New York City with her girlfriend on her annual "get away from the husbands" trip. I've told her time and time again that the prices on North Face hoodies, Tiffany's jewelry, designer sunglasses and bags are so good because they are not real. It has no effect. "But this one really is though" she says with a ruffled confused look on her face. I just have to shake my head and laugh. Whatever you say mom... After opening gifts at home-home we traveled to my dads moms house for breakfast and gifts. Grandma Joan is I believe 84 now and can't really get around too much. Ben, my youngest brother opened up a container of Hershey's kisses, I got a bookmark, and the best of all, Zachary got a first aid kit. I feel really bad for laughing but I chalk it up to memories being made. Haha. I can just hear us 10 years from now... Remember the time that grandma J got us band-aids for Christmas then won at Chinese checkers!? She also demanded that my cat make the trip. The next stop was Charlie's Grandma's house for more food. My grandma Bonnie's house was next. Grandma Bonnie is a fantastic seamstress and always hand sews gorgeous intricate keepsake stockings for all of us. I opened mine to find she had given me her mothers handkerchief with beautiful embroidery and the letter "E" for my soon to be maiden name to use as something old for my wedding day. Charlie and I headed over to his dads house for our final stop. His mom hit the "I want grand babies" hint HARD when she gave me red lingerie. All eyes were on my red face. Haha. Oh boy. Charlie and I left on that note toward Philadelphia. We stayed in the Sherridan hotel. OH MY GOSH the pillows!!! Haha It's the little things. I have a lot of time to think today about how life if changing before my eyes. Deep. My brother is about to get engaged (I can feel it) to a great gal. I'm moving away likely come June. Grandma Joan is getting older. I had so many stops this Christmas, now reflecting on the day is when I'm truly enjoying how crazy and beautiful the changes are. I better enjoy it while I can because I don't think we will ever have any Christmas quite the same. I smile. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Residency Interview Line Up

It’s been quite a long time since my last post. I was really freaking out for a bit about “THE MATCH”.  It was better to avoid thinking about it. Sitting at my computer for hour wasting time on Zillow.com looking at possible housing options depending on location we *might* move was starting to consume my school work time. Wedding planning has taken over my worries. My check list is getting shorter and shorter. My dress came in, save the dates are about to go out, and bridesmaids dresses are ordered.  All is right in the world. Except for my Christmas tree that only survived 48 hours before I came home from school with it on the floor. The cat popped her head up from the braches playing with the ribbons pouncing up and down excitedly as I opened the apartment door. Nice. Déjà vu. This already played itself out last year. … I have yet to fix the decorations. Instead it’s propped up against the wall. I’m using the excuse that it now looks “artistic”. Lol

I am very happy to report that the fiancé has a total of 19 interview for orthopedic residency programs!

His resume is prettttttty solid. Step 1 score of 258, Alpha Omega Alpha, 1 publication, worked on 4 projects, and a step 2 score of something really good also… can’t remember now.

In order of orthopedic residency interview date:

1)      Western Michigan University Medical Center in Kalamazoo, MI

2)      Wayne State University’s Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Detroit, MI

3)      Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI

4)      Akron General Hospital in Akron, OH

5)      SUMA Hospital in Akron, OH

6)      University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY

7)      Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY

8)      Upstate New York Hospital in Syracuse, NY

9)      Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburg, PA

10)   Thomas Jefferson Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA

a.       US World New Report Ranked

                                                               i.      7th out of all orthopedic hospitals in the US

11)   Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, IN

a.       US World New Report Ranked

                                                               i.      38th out of all orthopedic hospitals in the US

12)   Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, OH

13)   Albert Einstein University Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA

14)   Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, VA

a.       US World New Report Ranked

                                                               i.      39th out of all orthopedic hospitals in the US

15)   Toledo Medical Center in Toledo, OH

16)   The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, OH

17)   University of Pennsylvania’s Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA

a.       US World New Report Ranked

                                                               i.      34th out of all orthopedic  hospitals in the US

18)   University of Birmingham Medical Center in Birmingham, AL

19)   Marshal University Medical Center in Charleston, WV


Rank lists are due sometimes in February. This is getting more and more exciting! I'm drinking more and more Yogi Stress Tea! :) haha But in all seriousness ,  have prepared myself that we might be moving away from Columbus. Anger was a real emotion felt for about a month before acceptance set in. The fiancé has very supportive about me not wanting to leave my job. It’s so nice just to hear him say that he understands what I am giving up potentially.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Orthopedic Residency Applications Sent

The time is here. Residency applications are sent and now we wait yet again. His step one score is very very good and  resume overall is pretty solid.  He keeps questioning how many programs he should apply to in the MD world. Ideally we would like to stay in the Midwest New England, or southern part of United States. Right now I believe the total is up to 70 applications sent out. I'm Pretty sure that it's overkill and at this point we're  wasting money; however, it eases his mind which makes me in turn feel better about life. 

People at work are starting to ask me in the lunch room what my plan is. My answer is a wide-eyed shoulder shrug. I'm preparing myself for the chat with the principal at school. Of course he knows my fiancé's in med school (he's met him before) But even so, the building is so amazing to work at that I'd rather not tell him I'm leaving. Blah... 

As far as wedding plans go, my wedding dress came in! We reserved the church for the shower and also the wedding. And get this?! ... I liked a post from the exact place I got the bridesmaid dresses & my wedding dress, and it ended up that I actually won a rehearsal dress for free. It's an Alfred Sung dress in any color and any style I want! Who knew these things actually happen?!  
Yes, it's for Real and not a scam. Oooo also engagement pictures have been scheduled for October 20. So excited for the pictures and I'm hoping that its still "fall-ish looking" with leaves on the trees by then.  We are thinking that the pictures are going to be taken at my parents pond/farm. Pumped to get That taking care of. 

I'm not sure I've blogged about this yet but I'm also cross country coach for my school. It's eating up a lot of my time between planning a wedding, grading, planning lessons, and life in general. Even still I'm pleasantly surprised I do enjoy it so much. It Allows extra time to chat with the kids and get To know them on a different level. I keep my classroom pretty fast-paced with little downtime so it's hard to do that in the classroom. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Attitude: 4th Year of Long Distance

 mixed with ...

It's like the next phase will never start.

 Where did happy/ optimistic me go? Below is my attitude the last few weeks.

Update: Residency Interview Suit Purchase

The Fiance lived with me while his was doing his 2 away audition rotations. Just last week he left to go back to school and study for step 2. I can't believe how fast the summer went. I hope this entire year goes as fast! When we are having our hard-of-hearing 75-year-old chats, I am confident we will look back on 2013-2014 as one of the most chaotic times of our lives.

September- The $2000 step 2 exam... ugh...
October- Residency Applications
November- Residency Applications
December- Residency Interviews
January- Residency Interviews
February-wait wait wait
March- Match Day (finding out where he will spend the next 5 years training)
April-Wedding shower- finding a new place to live potentially finding a new job for me
May- Medical School Graduation/ Bachelorette Party / Bachelor Party/ finding a new place to live- potentially finding a new job for me
June- WEDDING- Moving to ? - possible honeymoon if $ is there/ finding a new place to live -potentially finding a new job for me
July- Residency starts- potentially finding a new job for me

Bahh...It makes my head spin. Living alone is getting lonely which intern makes me slightly bitter. ...Sad truth. sigh.

 It's time to start thinking of suits for residency interviews. Since these interviews dictate the next 5 years of my life and his, I had NO problem dipping into the wedding savings to pay for his residency interview suits.

The Fiance has a very athletic build: 48 shoulders and 38 waist. I normally have no complaints about his build but, it's definitely problematic for buying "off the rack".

We ended up going for 2 suits: charcoal grey and black. The pictures below are from Brooks Brothers. He ordered a charcoal grey suit to be tailored. (The one he tried on was navy.) Before alterations and after the Labor Day sales/ old gift card the cost dropped from $648 to $425. The second suit we purchased was a black herringbone athletic cut from Macy's  starting at $648 to $239 to $177, again, before alterations. We definitely saved some money. 2 suits for about 600! Tailoring is estimated to be about $100-$150. Parents are helping with that. I really think a $1000 untailored suit looks terrible compared to a $200 tailored suit.

 I've surveyed several wives who have gone through the interview process. They all have their own opinions of color choice but, the main theme that emerges is undoubtedly confidence. As long as the hopeful resident isn't "flashy" and holds himself well in the suit, the color choice of black, dark grey, or navy really doesn't matter. From what I have been told, charcoal grey is popular choice and that depending on the interview location, black would be appropriate, hence our purchases. We wouldn't have to buy new shoes and could interchange shirts and ties.

Macy's Suit Link
Brooks Brothers Make-Your-Own-Suit Link

Ahhh. C'est la vie

Is it obvious his arms are longer than his legs?!  ;)

Very happy with Brooks Brothers customer service

He was feeling very awkward here as an associates, tailor, and I were all discussing him.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Happy Happy News!

Wonderful news!!! Fiance's graduation from medical school has been moved to may 31st!!! No more worrying about logistics! We can actually have a rehearsal dinner now! Thanks to someone out there who made that executive decision. 

Breathing easy now...oh happy day!

I'm thinking the rehearsal dinner will probably be the same place as the reception since they give a discount. 

Less than a year to go!

My wedding dress should come in the last week in August or first week in September. My veil still needs purchased. Shoes are iffy. I dearly want the ultimate "way-out-of-budget" couture but am waiting to see how the fiancée residency application process plays out. I was eyeing nude open toe pumps.

Best news of all: fiancé started his first orthopedic away rotation and is living with me for 8 weeks! It was weird seeing him so much at first (keep in mind he works 80+ hours\week). I hadn't seen him for a solid 6 weeks prior. I'm cooking and doing laundry aka playing house. Never did I think I would take the role so seriously or think that type of gal to be me. I actually find I like doing it now with him there... I must be ill. 

He is raving about the place he is currently rotating with. I'm talking "Jess, I can't get my hopes up but I love it there. I'm over analyzing everything. Everyone seems to like me. One of the residents even said today that (exact words) when your here as a resident dr.___ will likely be here for ___ more years..." We are both trying to keep a realistic head about it. I know most people don't match at their #1. But seriously, if I can keep my job and he is able to moonlight, wow... Just wow. 

He also started to bring up kids a few days ago!! If we place at the hospital he is currently, I could have my car and student loans paid off in 3 year (because I could stay at my job) then stay at home with kids while he moonlights during pyg3. Kids in 2 years likely. Daydreaming is fun.