A few days ago my husband got pulled into a meeting with the program director and department chair. The topic of choice was making sure that Bret was OK.
Apparently my usually friendly and easy going husband has been displaying behaviors non typical for him. Things like shortness, grumpiness, etc were talked about.
They were concerned and wanted to make sure everything was OK. They asked questions like how much was he drinking, was he sleeping enough, was he using any sleeping aids, how were things at home, etc, etc.
While I appreciate that they were looking after him it kind of took the wind out of me.
The department chair mentioned that the past month Bret has experienced is most likely the most difficult he will experience in his career. As a chief the resident acts as an attending physician for all of the hospital's clinic patients. As the biggest and busiest clinic in town (they serve all of the low income/uninsured patients) the responsibility is overwhelming. Add to that they have been down a resident and you have a very very stressful month.
I think the reason it took the wind out of me is that I was feeling pretty confident that he was doing OK. Yes, things have been very stressful and yes, he is exhausted. However, he is not depressed. I have see Bret depressed, really depressed. I have seen him unhappy too. He is neither of these things...I know it and so does he.
Maybe it's because he knows the end is in sight. Even this next month will be much better. Better rotation and back to fully staffed. Still it makes you doubt yourself when others are very concerned and it wasn't on your horizon. Bret said that he acknowledges that he has been less than pleasant lately and will try to make a conscious effort to improve.
I feel like a parent who just got a note home from the teacher telling them that their child is struggling at school. Bret is definitely not my child. However, sometimes he works so hard and things are work are so tough that I have the responsibility for everything else. Making sure that everything at home is running smoothly so he doesn't have to worry about it.
The more I thought about things the more assured I was that I am right...he is OK. He's OK, I'm OK, the kids are OK, we are all OK.