|Some of the books I've been using to study feel off the top of this big stack.|
I started studying for the first phase of my board exam (for Oral Maxillofacial Board Certification) this fall. It feels like that's all I've been doing (even if this post will demonstrate that isn't quite true). I have been wanting to blog for weeks but have felt guilty taking the time rather than studying (silly?). Today it is my day off, the high temperature is -8, and I think I need a bit of me time to blog before hitting the books again. I'm getting pretty burnt-out, with only about a week to go before the massive brain dump of the 7 hour test is upon me!
Life has been crazy since my last post. From mid-October until mid-December Abe was away on a rotation in Mason City, IA, a small town almost 3 hours away from home. He only had a few weekends off when he was able to come home. So, most weekends I would make the 4-5 hour drive from Burlington after work to meet him for the weekend. Not very fun after 10 hours of driving during my commute each week.
Nine weeks is a long time to be separated and I am so glad he is home now! But, his absence did mean I was able to get a lot more studying done.
|Visiting the crash site of Buddy Holly while in Mason City|
|Christmas parade and fireworks in Clear Lake, IA close to Mason City|
Part of my board preparation included a trip to Denver in November for a preparation course. The course was quite intensive, the weather unseasonably cold, and the trip definitely business (sometimes classes would last from 8 am -8:30 pm). The best part was seeing old friends from college, the Marsh family and having an alumni BYU Women in Dentistry Club 2005 meeting by going to lunch with Tara Bruggeman and Laura Milroy, the only two women in the club with me at that time. It was so cool to meet up with them and see how far we have all come and to share our common experiences as LDS women dentists. If you live in the Denver area look them up because they are amazing and committed dentists.
We have continued to have some disappointments in the fertility department. During this time we completed two more embryo transfers. This includes daily painful shots in the hips and multiple medications by mouth. Abe was gone for part of this time which made the shots difficult. Luckily I know some helpful nurses. After three rounds of failure, the doctors seem puzzled by our lack of success. Each disappointment has been harder to swallow than the past. I am trying to stay positive and hope we will have success on further attempts, even though even the doctors agree it should have worked by now. It is hard to not ask "How many times do I have to do this, only to find out it wont work?" But I do feel lucky in many ways (we still have embryos left!) and as time goes by I find more and more positivity to go forward.
|Medications and supplies from my last round|
We were both able to take a few days off around Christmas and the New Year this year. What a blessing after years of holidays stuck working in the hospital. We joined Abe's family in Chicago right before Christmas with his family and spent the New Year celebrating on our own with a staycation in downton Iowa City.
|Beignets at Grand Luxe Cafe Chicago-- I was feeling a bit like the Grinch on my shirt after nasty Chicago traffic|
In a lot of ways, it has been a difficult past few months. This is ironically supported by the fact that as I was planning this post I found out my grandmother passed away yesterday after a long battle with Alzheimers.
To be honest, it feels a bit like the bad/sad news keeps coming lately. I also recognize many blessings in my life despite or maybe in relation to the challenges.
I am looking forward to the New Year with some (tempered) optimism. I'm hoping for some better news including a passing board score, a successful pregnancy, and some continued improvements in my other goals this year.