Finishing Residency, Starting a Job, Board Exams and More…

This summer has flown by! A lot has happened. And a lot has not happened (blogging for one, but so many other things have dropped off of the priority list, too). But things are finally starting to slow down!

16 week ultrasoundPerhaps you’ve guessed this based on the picture above… I’m pregnant! 18.5 weeks pregnant, to be exact. We thought it would take a long time to conceive (considering 13+ years of OCPs and whatnot), so this past spring we decided to stop trying to prevent pregnancy. Well, we were surprised pretty quickly!

I had no idea what to expect during pregnancy (who does?). Things seemed to be going ok until the morning sickness hit. That stuff is no joke. Even though my symptoms were considered mild, the constant nausea and fatigue (like a 24/7 hangover) were hard to handle. I spent my last month of residency (which was supposed to be an ambitious study-for-ABIM boards month) mostly at home feeling sick. My board-prep plan was entirely unsuccessful.

Italy 2016But, getting pregnant did not stop our post-residency vacation plans! Hell, no. A few days after residency ended we were off to Italy and France for our three week getaway. Luckily for me (and Ben), my morning sickness had pretty much resolved by the week we left.

I tried to get some studying done on the trip to compensate, but it never amounted to much. It just seemed silly to spend a ton of time studying. And no regrets there. The trip was lovely… despite a few hiccups (BEDBUGS!!). But more on that later!

Paris 2016
bridge of locks

We came back from Europe a few days before starting our new jobs. There were a million things to do. But I knew I’d have to spend the majority of time studying if I even wanted even a chance at passing boards, which were less than a month away. So, after decontaminating to prevent our own bedbug infestation (gross, I know), I got to work.

Life kind of turned into a blur… and then work started. I’m working as a hospitalist with a seven days on (and seven days off) schedule. Starting a new job is never easy, and I was expecting to work hard. But that didn’t prevent me from feeling 100% exhausted at the end of that first 90+ hour work week. But the following week off was not going to be wasted relaxing! No way, there was studying to be done. All day, every day. Before I knew it the week was over and I was back at work. I had to get through five days of work… and then boards. Talk about a stressful week! I got in early every day and left as soon as I safely could to go study. And before I knew it, exam day had arrived. The ABIM boards are similar to any other standardized exam. There’s a 30 minute tutorial section followed by four 2-hour sections with optional breaks between. To be honest, I used to be better at test taking. I’m out of practice. And by the end of that 9.5 hour test day I thought I was going to die. I somehow made it home alive. And now comes 3 months of waiting for results.

16 week baby ultrasoundHaving the weight of boards (and starting a new job) lifted away is… I don’t know. It feels amazing. I honestly cried tears of relief when it was all over. Now I can finally pick myself back up. Oh, the ups and the downs of life! I’m excited to share so many things. My thoughts on residency overall (and how life changes after residency!). The exciting story of our bedbug-infested vacation (with bedbug pictures so you know what they look like… because I didn’t). My pregnancy thus far (including losing health insurance and a zika scare). So much ambition, so little time (and energy)! No rush, we’ll get there. 🙂