Saturday, June 25, 2011

Driven

To say that my husband is determined is like saying Louisa is slightly precocious. Both would be QUITE the understatement.

Here we go, Byron...this one is all about you. Every last word. I think you deserve some face time here. So, this blog post is all about my husband. And as I've said before, ladies...he is taken. :)

From the day I met him, there is one thing that has been consistent throughout the entire time I've known him. He never, ever ceases to amaze me. Ever. He is brilliant, he is driven, he is handy, he puts up with me, he is thoughtful, he loves our children, etc. And did I mention he puts up with me? I could go on and on, but he is probably already blushing.

We met in March of 2003, when friends set us up. I was in the process of getting more science classes under my belt while working in the business world so that I could go back to nursing school. He was in the process of getting into medical school. I had no clue what that meant. None. What I did know is that I had anyone and everyone telling me that I did not want to live the life of a doctor's wife. It didn't matter, my mind was made up already. I knew that I would stand by his side no matter what he was or did.

8 years later here we are. 4 years of medical school down and 4 years of residency, 1 more to go. As we sat at the country club last night for ENT graduation it occurred to me that it was our turn next year. We would sit in the front of the room and the ceremony would be about Byron. Then, a few weeks later...we would be the ones packing up our house and moving back to the beautiful state of Georgia. It all seemed surreal suddenly, so I took a trip down memory lane.

This here, is sort of the beginning of my husband's journey. His white coat ceremony. This is when you are about to start medical school. It is also a picture of a picture...as are all the photos in this post.

Look how young we both look. This is when the hard, hard work started. Or so we thought. Looking back now, med school was a breeze. And Byron probably will giggle at that since it isn't exactly true. He started med school with his nose in a book, and finished med school with his nose in a book. But we were dating, no kids, no worries. I was in nursing school and working a part-time job and we had money. Not tons, but we had money. Then one summer we got married. After that, we worked in the yard on the weekends, we fixed up our house, we spent time together and we laid in bed and drank coffee and ate donuts on Saturdays while watching HGTV. It was great. When it was time for him to start thinking about what sort of physician he wanted to be, his first thought was ENT. I can remember walking the dogs down Boulevard (our street in Macon) and talking about residency. He was loving the idea of ENT, but for those that don't know...it is HIGHLY competitive to get a spot in an ENT residency. Your scores have to be amazing, you have to have research under your belt, your CV (which is like a resume in the medical world) has to shine and shimmer. I never had any doubts. As I said before, he amazes me. So, he worked his tail off in school and studied and studied and studied more and on Match Day of 2007, just weeks before we had Louisa...Byron managed to grab his number one choice for an ENT residency. Pure brilliance. Pure brilliance. I remember sitting in the auditorium when he found out and wanting to cry. I also remember feeling like Louisa was about to pop my ribs out, but pride overcame me and I knew that he was feeling it too. This was what he wanted. This is what he had worked for. And then, he graduated from medical school (excuse the post-partumness)

and we packed our things and headed 8 hours west to Jackson, Mississippi with a 4 week old to start our new lives and his new career. Speaking of that 4 week old...how sweet is she in this picture with her Uncle Brad.

Little did we know the hell that was about to begin. The first year of Byron's residency was hard, to say the least. I never, ever saw him. When he did come home, I would try and shovel some food in his mouth before he crashed. He worked his tail off. And it hasn't stopped.

My husband gets up at 4:30 in the morning and leaves for work around 6 am. In those hours of the morning, he is drinking his coffee and answering emails from work or reading work-related material. He then goes to work and I don't see him again until about 5 or 6 pm at the earliest. Once he gets home, he has to again go back to emails and then work on research projects and reading. Excuse my french...but he works his ass off. I will refrain from telling all the nitty-gritty details that I would love to reveal about half of what goes on in addition to working as a resident, but let's just say it isn't all surgeries and clinics.

I married on over-achiever. And I love that. Sometimes.

Sometimes it isn't easy. For me, it isn't easy...but it isn't always about the 'me.' When I start to get upset because my husband stays late to check on a patient or wants to go in and operate when he is not the one assigned to be on call because it is a patient that he has been working with, I have to redirect those thoughts and think that for a physician and a surgeon, I can think of nothing better. Although sometimes I wish he was here with us, my heart is so filled with pride that he is so dedicated to his work and his profession and his patients. Maybe this is the part that all those people warned me about regarding being a doctor's wife. It is hard. Very hard.

It is hard to sit back and watch my husband walk in the door, beat to a pulp only to sit down for a quick dinner, read a story to Louisa and get her in bed and then go directly 'back' to work. By this, I mean he picks up a journal (we get like 10 a week) to read an article that I cannot even begin to pronounce the first word in the title. And then, he takes a break to grab one of his humongo surgery books with pictures that make me want to varmit and studies the surgery he will do the next day. He turns the light off around 10 or 11, and then gets up a few hours later to do it all again.

Driven. There is no other way to describe it. He is a damn good resident. I have personally never worked with him, but all he does at home can only lead me to believe he couldn't be anything else. He is a damn good husband. A damn good father. And a damn good best friend. He amazes me. And I don't know how he keeps going.

But last night at graduation, I almost cried twice when his hard work paid off. Something that as a resident, never happens. You can work yourself ragged, and your work is never noticed.

But last night, it was. He won awards for resident teaching and research. My husband loves research and projects and manuscripts. He loves to teach. And he was finally recognized for both. Tears swelled in my eyes and I could think of no better recognition than that. It felt silly to tell him I was proud, because it is so much more than that. Amazement, that is more like it.

So next year, he will graduate and we will pack our things and move to Athens, Ga. and he will begin working in private practice. I know the hours will be a little better, but I also know better than to think that my driven, over-achiever of a husband will change his ways. And you know, that is fine with me. I will continue to stand by his side, shovel food in his mouth when I can and thank the good Lord for friends that set me up with this brilliant man.

In your own words Byron, strong work. :)


7 comments:

Nikki said...

such a good post! i would say that you are driven as well Amy and that will make for a bright future!

Keri Sullivan Ninness said...

this might be one of my favorite posts ever. not even one funny fire-cracker story but it still does something to me. i heart your husband and the beautiful family he has made. With Natalie and Elizabeth in Athens now, I will be stalking the Norris family shortly.

Kosek Landing said...

Sweet post! Well said. Congrats Byron!

Angelina @ April Violet said...

What a nice post! I love it when others have such sweet things to say about their spouses. I give mine a shout out from time to time too ;) They love it trust me!

Rachel said...

so happy to know you guys! such a sweet family!

lnichols said...

awesome! and I love the tan lines! hahaha

Sandi said...

My husband did his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at UMC and finished up 3 years ago. Everything you said completely resonated with me! And private practice is no better. It is always a great feeling, though, when someone stops you on the street to tell you how wonderful a doctor your husband is. That makes the lonely dinners a little more worthwhile, when you consider the people being helped! Hang in there!

Sandi Anderson