Sunday, February 22, 2015

Aug-Feb Updates

So I'm a little late in the year to be wishing everyone a happy new year.  I seem to post blog entries about as often as I journaled growing up.  Some things never change.

Jay is in his last few months of intern year of residency,

A little background on residency training.  Jay is in a surgical residency which is 5 years.  The first year is called your intern year.  Jay spends a month rotating on a variety of different services.  He has rotated through pediatrics, ICU, labor and delivery, ER, internal medicine and surgical services.  This month he is finishing up his ER rotation.  It has been fabulous.  He is assigned 18 8 hrs shifts, which will occasionally turn into 10 hr shifts.  Compared to the hours he spends on surgery rotations, this has been heavenly.  However, one week from today he will begin a 2 month long surgery rotation followed by a month of house officer night shifts.  this basically means he will be working a month of 12 hour long night shifts for a month straight admitting all patients for the hospital.  4 weeks of straight nights!  For his surgery shifts he wakes up at 4 am to be to the hospital between 4:30 and 5 am.  He finishes up between 5pm and 9pm depending on the case load and patient needs.  It's grueling and tiring but Jay doesn't complain as much as I would be.  We have been warned that 2nd and 3rd year will be the hardest so we have been enjoying the "lighter" rotation months during his intern year.

Since moving to Michigan, I have been blessed with two jobs that have been flexible enough to allow me to self schedule.  This has allowed me to take time off when Jay has time off, including extended time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I chose to work new Year day, but only because jay was working that day.  What other health care professional has that kind of flexibility?  As great as the self scheduling has been, neither job was really a great fit.  The first was an office that was run poorly and I question some of the ways the billing and coding was submitted.  The second was a non clinical job where I reviewed charts and abstracted data for research purposes for a bariatric surgeon.  I actually enjoyed this job more than I thought I would but I wasn't using my NP degree.  This past week I was offered a full time position as an NP with a radiation oncology office at the hospital and have accepted the position.  The timing of it could not have been better.  I will begin working full time as Jay begins the busiest time of his residency.  The office was initially looking to hire an RN, however they received my resume for a recruiter at the hospital who has had my resume since June of last year.  They adjusted the position and received approval from HR to make it an NP position and increase my current pay, plus provide full benefits such as PTO and 403B matching.  It'll be a leap to start full time work again, but I have been so impressed with the office that I am excited to jump in and start working.  It'll be a huge learning curve and I hope that I can learn it quickly and be able to provide great care to these wonderful cancer patients.

and what have we done in our "spare" time??  While living in Arizona, by the time the weekend rolled around I was exhausted mentally.  My job as a new nurse practitioner seriously increased my anxiety levels and I wanted nothing more than to sit on the weekends and not plan anything.  Thankfully, Jay always wanted to go do something.  Here in Michigan the tables have turned.  The first few weeks of residency Jay found himself exhausted on the weekends and wanted nothing planned or least nothing that required much travel.  After a few weeks we talked about how the most time he would ever have off in a row, other than taking an actual vacation, would be 2 days.  We knew that if we wanted to see anything out on the east coast, then we would need to take those 48 hrs and plan it well.  

We went camping with friends from church at Metamora State park.  It was a lovely place right next to a small lake where we rented canoes.  

 We've been to Canada 3 times!  Its' nice that we only live 30 mins from the border.  We first traveled to Toronto in August to see Amy and Billy Dalebout before they moved back to Washington DC.  Then in October we went to Point Pelee, the southern most tip of Canada.  It is known for bird and butterfly migrations.  We were a little late in the season but still enjoyed the beauty of it.  And most recently we went to Niagara falls on the Canada side to see the frozen falls.

We traveled to Indiana labor day weekend to meet up with some of my BYU nursing friends. 

Jay took a week off work in October and we went to Orlando, Florida.  We hung out with his sisters Emily and Becca and their families.  We hit the Disney spooktacular and Universal Studios (Harry Potter world was pretty awesome), visited the beach and pool and ate some seriously good food.  

In November we went to Indiana to see Jay's sisters over Thanksgiving weekend.  She lives in a lovely 100 year old mansion.  It reminded me of the family I worked for in high school's home.  

We drove to Wisconsin on Christmas Eve and spent a week with the Brennan and Springer family.  Wausau was frigid.  We did a lot of puzzles and I got crafty while I was there.  

This past week Jay had 4 days off in a row from his ER shifts.  He got 4 days off in a row at the expense of working every weekend the entire month of February.  The local school district had mid winter break and several of the family were heading to Sandusky Ohio to play at Kalahari, an enormous indoor water park.  We spent 2 days there and then drove on to Cleveland to visit Jay's friend from medical school who is in an ortho residency there.  

We've also had a few visitors venture out here.  Julie came at the beginning of October for business and I got to watch Evan while she was at work.  And Jay's parents and sister came up for a night.  

It's been a busy, but fun 8 months and will just get busier in the up coming months.