Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just before the drop

I love roller coasters.

I wait in line excited, watching the people riding before me envious that they have already made it through the line and onto the ride.

But every time I'm in my seat, harness clicked in place, and moving slowly, slowly up the hill, I start to get a little panicky. I know the ride will be fun, but the slow clanking ride upward makes me nervous. Right at that moment I want off.

I'm getting that feeling now.

We pick up the moving truck in the morning. We hit the road the day after. I don't think I've been this excited about something in a long time.

But tonight has the feel of the chain clanking under my feet as I reach the summit.

And I'm scared.



I tried to think of a nice tie in to this next part, but couldn't. So here it goes. This is less of a confession and more of a...confidence. I don't know. You read, and then you tell me.

I don't really have any friends.

(Okay, don't sit there reading this and say "Oh, the poor girl." Or "Great. I smell a pity party.")

It's not like I've never had any.

I had a lot of friends during high school. But as high school friends, we lost touch as we went our separate ways.

I was friends with my roommates during undergrad. But I was a science major living with three music majors and we all had such different personalities, I think we were glad to let things slip when we moved out.

Out of my group of childhood friends, I was the only one who went to college. I think that decision put a little distance between us. Not purposefully of course. A few of them talked about going to college.

There was always a lot of talk.

It was medical school that really put the nail in the coffin of many of my childhood friendships. Some of my friends were not that subtle about that fact that they were not interested in continuing our relationship.

At first I just thought it was because between raising two boys and working on my medical degree, my schedule just didn't allow for as much time together as it once had.

But after a few obvious snubs, I began to think it might be more.

I blamed myself mostly. I wasn't there enough. I wasn't trying hard enough. I just wasn't a good friend.

Hubster has always been of a different mindset. He thinks that most of my friends were intimidated by what I was doing. That suddenly all their talk couldn't hold up to my actions.

I had always dismissed this.

Until recently. I read an article that female physicians have a hard time making friends in general. Some of it is self-induced seclusion. But not all. Women have talked about negative reactions they have gotten once other women have found out that they are doctors. Soon, they just stop telling people what they do for a living. They try to avoid conversation about work so they won't be asked the question that will stop all future conversation. Many have guessed at possible reasons. The other women are intimidated by the title. Others don't think they are "worthy" (huh) of physician friends. Whatever the problem is, apparently I'm not alone in it.

Medical school was the most emotionally demanding, physically exhausting thing I have ever done (and that is including surviving two newborn phases of 1 am-3am-4am-6am feedings). However it offered a respite from the loneliness that I had felt before that time. I had the most amazing friends in medical school. People that were working towards the same goal I was. People that were coping with the same challenges. People that weren't offended if you didn't make it to a party, because well, they didn't make it either, because they were home studying for the same exam.

But medical school ended and my friends are scattered across the country. We still talk occasionally. But, obviously, it is not the same.

Blogging has helped. I get to have conversations. I've reconnected with people I hadn't talked to in years. Some have even gotten to see that I haven't turned into the emotionless controlling "stereotypical" doctor. And I've made bloggy friends.

Which I get to take with me regardless of where I live.

I've been asked if I'm sad about moving. Scared? Yes. Sad? Not really. Yes I will miss my mom only being an hour away.

But I'm not really leaving anyone else.

I think being lonely in Iowa will be about the same as being lonely in Utah.


  1. I know how you feel! I am a pastor's wife and it is like people are casual but don't want to be your friend. Moving to Iowa for us was wonderful but somewhere between the 5th and 6th year is when I started to really make friends. I still talk to them too. We lived in Grinnell which you will pass on I-80 about an hour west of Iowa City. I am sure you will find some friends through your program at the U. The mall at Coralridge has a really fun hands on touch Childrens Musuem. The people in Iowa are friendly but it is sometimes hard to break into the "circle" because the Iowans live in Iowa and were born and raised there. But they will do anything for you! I pray you guys have an uneventful move and that the Lord will place a friend or two in your path for you! Blessings, Jennifer in Fowler, IN

  2. I have to admit that, even though I'm really smart (and completely humble too, obviously) the idea of having a friend that is a doctor is a little bit intimidating. I mean, in my mind, doctors are at the very least borderline geniuses. They've gone to school for years and years and they know way more about my own body than I ever will. But reading your blog has helped me to realize that doctors are normal people too. And it's helped take away some of that stigma in my mind.


    And good luck with the move!

  3. I moved to KY for a guy who left me nine months later for a girl who had enough facial piercings in her face to make her a magnet.

    Being lonely in cities suck. Good luck with your residency. I work with a residency program--if Iowa is anything like us, you'll make friends quick with your fellow docs.

  4. I agree, I also feel like we lost touch as we all went our separate ways. I think it is great to have a friend who is a dr. espically one who helps numb the pain.With a son having to go to the dr's. so often I'm thankful for those who help comfort him while at the dr's. Good luck in Iowa.
    Thanks also for introducing me to blogging to help stay in touch a little better then I have in the past.