Before Residency

As I write this, Irene, Lyra, and I are taking a road trip up to Macon for a few days, getting some important things done for our move up to this town in the next few weeks. It’s been over a month and a half since we’ve been in the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World (or so we proudly call ourselves), and it’s Lyra’s first time here as well.

Lyra (leer-ruh) is doing well, and so far has been a good baby, calm and non-fussy like her father, and she’s growing bigger by the day (also unfortunately like her father)! It’s only been a month since she was born yet I already notice her getting heavier and her face keeps changing everyday. Irene and I are still not sure which one of us Lyra looks like more. I feel like she doesn’t look like either one of us so far, though my mom says she has my eyes and my “smell” (apparently Lyra smells like me when I was a baby – sorry Lyra!). Irene thinks she has her nose. I guess we’ll discover how this flower will bloom as she gets older.

Sleeping has been rough. Lyra feeds at least every 3 hours, even at night, and so we don’t get uninterrupted sleep all that much anymore, something we didn’t realize we were taking for granted before parenthood. Lately, Lyra has been waking up even every hour to feed, and falling asleep before finishing her milk, making her frequently hungry throughout the night, and making us sleep-deprived, especially for Irene. So yeah, sleep-deprivation before residency even begins.

It’s been rewarding though helping Lyra adjust to her own body and the world around her. I can tell her vision has improved a lot this past month (babies are born with poor vision). She can now follow my face! Her neck muscles has also gotten stronger, although still lack control, and more and more she’s able to evade my inevitable hugs by moving her head around. Irene and I make fun of her for doing that. We hope we can raise her to realize her full physical and mental potential, and so it makes us happy seeing these small steps along the way towards that goal.

Some things we’ve gotten done so far in Macon:

  • Did my employee health screening, and am drug-free, up-to-date on vaccines and titers, and by the looks of my PPD so far, hopefully TB-free.
  • Got my official employee ID.
  • Got my medical library card.
  • Signed a bunch of papers with human resources.
  • Got my ACLS packet, which I have to study for the next month, to prepare myself to pass the ACLS test during orientation. Yes, a doctor’s life will be full of studying and taking tests.
  • Got my benefits package, which I have to read over. Maybe this will be my “leisure reading” when I get tired reading the ACLS packet.
  • Exhausted ourselves out taking tours of different apartments around the area. We finally decided on our favorite and look forward to moving soon into our new place next month.
  • Met up for dinner with two residents who I will be working with at the Medical Center this coming June! They are a husband and wife duo who are already in Macon and one will be in my year of incoming residents. They are a really cool couple and Irene and I enjoyed meeting them. I look forward to working with them and meeting the rest of the team soon!

On Facebook, I see a lot of my med school colleagues taking advantage of this time before residency to travel the world, visiting cool places like Peru, Guatemala, Hawaii, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, Croatia… getting one last chance to explore the world before being tied down the next few years to residency. Speaking of getting tied down, many of my AUC colleagues also got married, some with extremely patient loved ones, and some with each other (a different kind of Match). Congratulations! It’s the perfect time to celebrate a new life and career together in a new place. Irene and I decided we were neither going to travel nor get married again, so we were going to celebrate this break between the Match and starting residency by dedicating ourselves to become parents, and it’s been a blessing.

5 comments to Before Residency

  • StMartinFan

    Congratulations Benji, on all the exciting changes in your life. I started reading your blog when you first enrolled at AUC because I love the island and had found it interesting to read about students’ different experiences living there. I continued following it because you did such a good job of sharing what the process of becoming a doctor was like. It’s been wonderful to see you succeed at each step, and I just wanted to wish you all the best as you start the next phase in Macon. (I worked there briefly more than 40 years ago – it’s a great city!) The communications skills you demonstrate in your blog will make you a wonderful doctor.

    • Benji

      That just made my day! I am looking forward to coming back to Macon and raising my family here. Thanks for reading my blog and have a good one!

  • Some follower

    Yessssssss new update! I think I checked everyday. I like reading about your journey! Congrats

  • LolaPR

    HI Benji! Congratulations for both your new baby and residency. Your blog it’s been a blessing since my daughter is going to AUC next September and your journey it’s like her dream come true. Here in Puerto Rico we don’t hear much about AUC, only after doing a lot of research we found out about this University. Did you meet any Puertorricans at Saint Maarteen???? I wish you all the best and thanks for taking time to share your experiences. As I read every step of your ordeal to became a doctor I feel as if I known you for my whole and I am very PROUD of you!!!!

    • Benji

      Hi Lola,
      Congratulations to your daughter for getting into AUC, and thank you so much for your message. I’m really excited for her, and hope she has as memorable of an experience as I had. I have met a student from Puerto Rico before at AUC, and I know there are some alumni who are currently practicing in Puerto Rico as well. There are students who come from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. I even know of students who come from Alaska and Hawaii! Thank you for reading my blog and I wish your daughter the best in med school!

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