Friday, November 07, 2008

mo' money, mo' problems

The interesting thing about having a blog (and I say this with some perspective, having been at this game for a little more than eight years, since the days people called these things "online journal" and when I thought that writing with yellow text on a royal blue background showcased my IMPECCABLE DESIGN AESTHETIC) is that people really feel like they know you. Sometimes it's nice, like when people refer back to old entries from med school, or remark on how fast Cal is growing up, that sort of thing. And sometimes it's a little strange. One has to understand when reading my blog is that though I talk about my personal life, and to a lesser extent my work life, what I write about here is about 25% of the picture, sometimes even less. Not everything is for sharing, after all.

A few days ago I posted a Twitter about how I woke up in the middle of the night (to go to the bathroom, actually--damn pregnancy) and could not fall back asleep because I was worrying about our finances. And this seems to have caused some consternation, because people felt that I was "complaining" about my lot in life, and that this was insensitive given that as doctors, we were in a privileged subset economically and that there are people far worse off. First off, let me say: I'm not upset about this, and I don't take it personally. Certainly anything I say publicly has a right to be publicly responded to, and everyone has a right to their opinions. My initial reaction was actually to try to explain everything, give a lot of details about our particular circumstances at this moment, what the concerns are, and make it clear why with an attending physician salary in a two-doctor household, we are suddenly chewing our nails down to nubs about finances.

But that is outside the purview of this blog. As are many other things. And as much as it would make me feel better in some way to give everyone a more complete perspective, I don't really think that's subject for public discussion. As much as some people might think that they have a full picture of our lives from the pictures that I post here or the things that I choose to write about, I venture that it is not. In fact, it's probably closer to trying to diagnose a patient while peeking at them through a keyhole.

I don't argue that as a family we're lucky and that there are people far worse off than us. I have some perspective--I take care of them every day. And I'm not saying that readers don't have a right to comment--I would never shut down a discussion or erase a comment, because why post anything publicly if you can't handle people responding to it? After nine years of medical training, I have thicker skin than that. All I'm saying is: don't be fooled into thinking that a sense of familiarity actually confers an understanding of the 75% of my life that I don't share here. So for your own sakes, don't spend any more time thinking about why I should or should not be allowed to stay up at night worrying about our finances like everyone else in this country, especially given that you don't know any of the particulars. First of all, such particulars are almost always REALLY BORING; secondly, Joe and I spend more than enough time on that endeavor as it is lately, no reason you should.

And...that's it! No hard feelings! Carry on!

* * *

Speaking of Biggie Smalls...

One of the best things about this pregnancy is that since my work is so busy, the weeks seem to be passing by really fast. Any pregnant woman will tell you that the worst part of pregnancy is the waiting. That tortuous first-trimester waiting, when you're on pins and needles, waiting to see what direction things are going to take. That pendulous third-trimester waiting, when you're ready to get the show on the road already, whether this baby feels like it or not. And all the waiting in between. My problem is that I am a control freak and I have no patience.

But working is really making the time fly by. It's another Monday, then you blink, and suddenly it's Friday again. Then Monday. Then Friday. And suddenly, I'm just about 31 weeks, which means that we have anywhere from six to ten more weeks to go with this gig. Once you start getting down to a single-digit number of weeks, it starts to feel like you're in the home stretch.

Because of the six-week maternity leave issue, I had hoped that my current OB (who from my very limited interactions I am not IN LOVE with, not that it really matters, I guess) would be open to the idea of a full-term scheduled induction of labor, but it seems she's more of the "medical indication only" school, which...OK. Fine, I can respect that--I'm sure that there are those out there who find the idea of medically inducing labor (or even accelerating labor) kind of appalling. She did say that we could readdress the issue if I went post-dates, so we hopefuly won't go too far past 41 weeks, but hopefully I'll just spontaneously go right on time and not have to burn one of my leave weeks sitting around with NO JOB and NO BABY and nothing to occupy my time but watch the minutes sloooooowly tick by.

Or maybe I'll just keep showing up to work every day past my due date like a ticking time bomb and just scare everyone half to death.


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