I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of Christopher. Some of you have asked me how we ended up in Chicago for a year. The short version is that he is required to do an intern year in internal medicine, surgery, or pediatrics before he can begin his four-year radiology residency. Instead of spending the year complaining about having to do something not in his specialty, he worked hard to be the best doctor he could be. I’ve lost count of how many times he was asked to switch his specialty from radiology to internal medicine by people in his current program because they wanted him to stay. Not only that, but he had to take his Step 3 (a physician licensing exam) a year before most people, and he scored in the top one percent of everyone who took it. I’m not usually one to brag, but it was just so amazing to watch him work so hard all year when he could have coasted along until radiology residency.
This was both the best and worst year of my life. As much as I loved exploring Chicago, Christopher’s constant schedule changes and long hours at work combined with my health problems resulted in a lot of stress. Through it all, I was so impressed with my love. I rarely heard him complain, even when he had to go back to work on two hours of sleep, or when he had to stay six hours later than expected because of an emergency.
This year has made us stronger as a couple. I learned that residency is just a season of life, and it’s okay if he can’t make it to a Friday night get-together with friends or a close friend’s wedding. We made a point to focus on each together during the limited time we did have together.
To intern year, I say good riddance. In many ways, I won’t miss you. What I didn’t expect to feel was grateful that we went through it. Not only has Christopher grown so much as a doctor, but we have grown so much as a couple. We didn’t just survive. We thrived.
As for that fortune cookie, I believe every word. Someday, my Christopher will make a name for himself in medicine. Maybe not in the number of publications he publishes, but certainly in the compassionate way he treats his patients. And I will be right beside him cheering him on along the way.