it's been a couple months since I've posted. Last time I wrote in I was pregnant - but unfortunately I had a miscarriage a little over two months ago. It happened over a weekend and I literally sort of just turned off emotionally and continued with my rotations like nothing had happened. I ended up having to get a D&C a few weeks later, and was given a little time off from one of my rotations...but it still wasn't enough time for me to really "heal." Well, fast-forward to now...I'm pretty much a mess. I'm living far, far away from my hubby. And I literally am starting to feel like I'm losing my mind. I've worked on peds and ob/gyn since the miscarriage...which haven't really bothered me emotionally. The main thing is being away from my family and sig other. I don't know if I can keep functioning like this. I feel really empty and don't have the drive to continue in this field. I've started to feel like it's hopeless to find the balance between work and family...and that because of our situation I won't be able to work it out for many years (which is something I'm not willing to wait much longer for).
This has been my second miscarriage, and I'm quite certain that both have been stress induced. Next time I know that I need my family around for support.
Has anyone gone through a similar situation where you're far away from your support system...and just don't feel like continuing? I will be excited while at the hospital, and then come home to an empty house every night and just cry. It's really pathetic...and I don't want to keep going on like this. I've considered taking some time off...but am not sure how to go about doing this. If I take time off I want to go be with my husband...but don't know if a research year would allow me the luxury of doing this? I just know that my heart isn't in school right now...and therefore I'm working really hard to learn not very much. My focus is always elsewhere...and my self-confidence is definitely sub par.
Quick summary of my situation: I'm an MS III, living far away from family and husband to do my core rotations. They are an expensive flight away. I was 9 weeks along when I miscarried.
Any words of advice you have will be greatly appreciated. I'm really alone here and am slowly driving myself insane and losing my passion for the only thing I've ever wanted to do.
Hi Sarahdoc. You are not alone in your struggle and my thoughts are with you. I just wanted to tell you that. I too have experienced the kind of loss you have, and am now the mother of a 2 year old. Miscarriage is absolutely devastating. I just wanted to reach out to you and say to have faith in yourself and courage, and not to give up hope. I'm also an MSIII, and it is a really tough year, even with a good support system. My only words of advice are to try and remind yourself of why you went into medicine, and to keep your eye on the long-term goal. If you are feeling hopeless, I would also seek counseling or therapy through your medical school. It can help tremendously. You're nearly halfway through MSIII. Hang in there!
Hi Sarahdoc- first of all, I am so sorry for all you are going through. Miscarriage is exquisitely painful to go through, especially more than once. Going through it alone has to be even more difficult.
You should look into counseling options through school- you have been through a lot and are going through it alone while trying to complete a difficult year of school. Counseling may help and have you not feel quite as alone. Any friends in the same area that can be supportive?
Do you have the option to request any additional time off? Delay a rotation until fourth year? Some things you may want to investigate...
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - MLKJ
Hi Saradoc, Hang in there. I too lived in a different state from my husband for a year during my second year of med school. Your school must have some type of counseling available. I went to about eight sessions of counseling the year my husband and I were apart and it really helped pull me through. My husband finished graduate school and got a job after my second year of med school and then I transferred to a different med school. He had to commute over an hour each way during my third year, but we were so relieved to be back in the same place. We were not even thinking about having kids yet, so I can only imagine what you are going through.
I also have miscarried and I am very sorry for your losses. I cried and had to mourn and took time to feel better physically. Please make sure you are eating good nutritious food. I didn't cook much when my husband and I were apart, so didn't eat as well as when we were together.
Sarahdoc, I am so sorry for your loss. You sound like you are starting to fit the criteria for depression. It is OKAY to get help, and your school should support you without repercussions. Even though your family is a flight away, it sounds like you need to see them, if only for a weekend. Having something to look forward to is a major boost to morale and worth the expense, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Sarahdoc, I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. Med school is hard enough, but to deal with the emotional issues you're going through as well must be very trying. I would second all the recommendations to seek counseling. If nothing else, it's a wonderful place to vent and say everything you've been feeling out loud for someone to listen - it can be quite cathartic. It sounds like you may be coming to a breaking point and just need a breather from it all before that happens... so maybe talking to someone at your school about taking a rotation off to go home for some much-needed time might be helpful? I haven't started my clinical years yet, but from what I understand, there is some flexibility in fourth year which may allow you to push your third year rotations out a few weeks? Are you planning on going home for the holidays? How about scheduling any away electives in your home area, either third year or fourth year - is that a possibility? Does your husband's job or schooling have any flexibility to allow him to come out to you?
Being alone is hard. I haven't had to deal with my husband being away, so I can only imagine how difficult and lonely it might feel. Maybe there are ways to feel less of that or to try to feel more connected given the circumstances? I know that this is a different situation, but maybe it's similar in the emotions department - perhaps using strategies that women whose husbands are deployed will use to stay close, like sending care packages and/or letters to each other each week, Skyping, etc. We have a ton of friends whose husbands have been deployed and I think there's something special about anticipating and getting pieces of mail that are just for you and that say things that we don't always say in person or over the phone. Plus, writing letters may allow you to devote a little time each night or a couple times a week to expressing some intimacies that, again, may not be said over the phone. Writing, sort of a form of journaling, can be pretty stress-relieving too.
I'm sorry about your miscarriages. We had one early on and I spent more time grieving than I anticipated. Taking some time to yourself to just reflect (which I can imagine is hard during third year to find any time!) may be helpful. I noticed you said that you've had two miscarriages and think it may be stress-related, but have you talked to your doctor about other possible reasons for the miscarriages (had hormone testing, etc.) to make sure it's not something physiological that they can treat? I know how easy it is to feel like having a miscarriage is somehow your fault or if you had just changed something or done something differently, or were feeling less stressed, than they could have been prevented (at least I know I felt like that for a looong time after mine), but the vast majority of the time, that's not the case and it's not your fault.
I too have felt concerns lately (and I think everyone here has at some point from my understanding) about balancing work and family. In fact, I posted not too long ago about this and received some really helpful words of support from other posters that encouraged me to remember my original motivations for coming into medicine and my long-term goals. It's one day at a time sometimes - we all have good days and we all have bad days. I know too, just from seeing other women do it, that it is possible, which helps. Perhaps too when you get to a point where you're feeling more stable with your situation, then these concerns may be reduced a bit. How much longer are you anticipating being away from your husband and family?