BLOG (Ryan Burnett)
I AM A DOCTOR’S PARTNER.
‘Dinner for one’ I think to myself as I crack open another can of the finest pasta and sauce (AKA canned spaghetti). Another night alone with my two darling boys as my wife commits further to her community. I admire her for what she has achieved. She has sacrificed so much to this noble cause. But, we have all sacrificed. Our lives are very much: Sleep, eat, work and repeat. I know this isn’t going to be forever and I try and remain focused on the end goal – my wife WILL be a consultant soon and our lives will have her more involved, but the road is long and tiring sometimes. I get very bitter about medicine. I get very resentful towards it. I often see medicine as an ‘entity’ rather than a thing that you do to become a doctor.
Every day after work I make the school pickups. Ironically, I go past the hospital as I do so. I always love seeing my boys smile as I greet them at the gates of the daycare and school. I want their smiles to last forever, but it never lasts long as I tell them: ‘mummy won’t be home tonight’. Sadness fills their little hearts. I’m sure they love me – they always tell me, but sometimes mummy’s cuddles feel a little better than daddy’s. I can understand that. I get that.
I have a busy career myself. I am a digital marketer. Digital marketing is a 24/7 365 job – there are always things to do! It’s not as big of a commitment as medicine is – my wife serves her community. I just talk to my community. As I sit down to ‘play Lego’ with our boys, I often think that medicine couldn’t give a rats about my career. My CV is broken from all the moving that I had to do in my wife’s training years. My job history is short, sweet and always has the end title: Reason for leaving – had to move for my wife’s surgical training. But, there are a lot of things that I couldn’t have done without medicine, and I know this needs to be my focus.
I could never have completed my marketing degree. It’s as simple as that. My wife’s career has meant that we have had money for me to pursue my dreams – for that I am forever grateful to medicine. We were also able to put both boys into a daycare for a bit as I got some quality time to study and do the house ‘chores’. It’s true – medicine certainly ‘provided’, but my word, it also took so much from us.
It took my friends away from me. It took my social life. It took my love for sports. It took my wife away. It broke us down, but helped build us back up. It took a mother away from her children – lost cuddles and kisses that can never be retrieved. I know my wife has had the same sacrifices and it hurts her every single day knowing her children want ‘cuddles from her’. I can hear the tears in her eyes over the phone.
My son asks me again: ‘When will mummy be home’? I tell him: ‘I don’t know’.
He bursts into tears.
I cry the same tears. I miss her too.
Written by Ryan Burnett
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