Somebody made a comment on my FB a couple of days ago as to how patient I have been. As a wife.
Oh, boy... She couldn't be more wrong than that. Hehehe! I'm afraid I have to disappoint her, because I AM SO NOT A PATIENT WIFE, OKAY?
Well, maybe now it's a bit better. But before, when we first got married, "patience" was not in my vocabulary. But, after a while I got used to being a doctor's wife and the whole jim-bangs that come with it. And I realized, one of the things that had made it easier to accept life as a doctor's wife actually was seeing OUR KIDS accepting THEIR lives as children with a doctor as their father in the last few years. Yup, that was how long it took me to FINALLY stop whining. But, of course, sometimes ada jugak whine here and there now. I'm no saint, okay? I'm a normal human being.
I can safely say here that the causes of about 99% of our arguments or "Cold Wars", when we had any, that is, had been due to Ayah's work. I say "Cold Wars" here because when I'm angry or merajuk, I turn VERY quiet!) That means, I had been the one who would trigger the "Cold War" button most of the times. So, I guess that would definitely mean that I WAS NOT A PATIENT WIFE when it came to his work as a doctor.
It's bad enough for a doctor who works with Kementerian Kesihatan. Try being a doctor at a teaching hospital, under Kementerian Pendidikan. Ayah was not just busy with the normal tasks of a doctor of attending to his patients at the clinic and the wards, doing invasive procedures, etc., but, he also had to teach medical students (giving lectures AND carrying out clinical teachings), get involved in research, present papers, publish papers, go to conferences all over the world, go for postings at some sub-urb hospitals every now and then, and of course he also had to deal with admin work, as well. And he also had to layan his whiny wife, at the same time.
Some of the things that used to rile me up once upon time, but, we, as a family had experienced and have learnt to accept, were the following. This was always the case when Ayah was with UM*C dulu. It's not that bad now, but, certain times of the month, monchong jugak lah I...
Try to be in my shoes, and imagine how YOU would feel in the following situations -
(1) When we had made plans to go somewhere, be it khenduri, shopping, dinner, outing, etc., you name it, and at the last minute we had to postpone, or worse - cancel the whole thing when Ayah was called to the hospital to attend to emergency cases.
(2) When we were already out, and Ayah was called to the hospital. We either had to be sent home first, or wait at wherever he left us, and we had to wait for Ayah to finish his work at the hospital before he came back to fetch us.
(3) Sometimes, he would bring ALL of us to the hospital while he reviewed his patients. We would either wait in the car, or in his office or at the lounge, or at any of the eating joints at the hospital. Sometimes sekejap ajer. Sometimes berjam-jam lamanya...
(4) The endless phonecalls he got from, and he made to the hospital when we were having our family outing. Tension betul...Couldn't they just leave him alone and let him have his weekend?!
(5) He said he would be back by 9:00p.m and he reached home at 11:00p.m (or worse, and for most of the times, even later than that).
(6) Ayah NEVER came back before 9:00p.m. If he came home earlier than that, it was a bonus for us, and good for him. Even until now. And they say him doing private would allow him to have more time with the family... Duh... But, Insya Allah, soon I hope :)
(7) Many times, we would wait for him to have a family dinner, and I would cook some special dish only to be disappointed, and I would ask the kids to go ahead and eat without him because Ayah was caught up at the hospital. I would still wait for him, but, of course bila perut dah berkeroncong, sorry dear...I also had to eat first!
(8) In the middle of the night, the hospital would call, and he would ask his staff to fax whatever test results (ECG readings bagai) to him, and then he would have to leave and attend to his patients at the hospital, only to come back to catch up on his sleep for 15-30 minutes, only to have to wake up and go to work again.
(9) Whenever any of our kids fell sick, Ayah would be so nonchalant about it (when I would be worried sick macam nak gila), and the only thing he would say would be, "Just give them some panadol, and see how he/she is tomorrow..." I guess I can't blame him. He has seen worse cases at the hospital. But, aaaaaarrggghhh!!!
(10) Sometimes, we couldn't really plan for the weekend because Ayah was on-call and he couldn't really promise that it wouldn't be busy at the hospital, could he? Syukur alhamdulilah, the kids understood this, and they didn't complain if we couldn't do the things that they wanted to do for the weekend. Bless them.
(11) And, of course - being late for events or functions...countless times, I tell you, because Ayah had to attend to his patients first.
(12) And I can't remember when was the last time he DIDN'T go to the hospital to see his patients during weekends. Saturday AND Sunday. But, one thing about Ayah - he knows how I treasure time with the family masa weekend, so, normally he would make a point to go to the hospital early in the morning, when the kids and I belum bangun lagi, and he would be back by 10 or 11 a.m when we are all ready for whatever impromptu plans we make.
(13) And when he was involved as the principal investigator in drug trials/research, he would be on the phone continuously with the reps from the drug companies to update them on every single development of the research in real time, even in the wee hours of the morning when he had to do emergency procedures which he had to report there and then. Memang sakit jiwer I...MAJOR sakit jiwer, I tell you...
And I would be lying if I said that I never had doubts on whether he was really working during those long hours. Jahatnya I, kan?! But, as a wife, of course we would be worried about all that, kan? Hati perempuan...when we feel we're being neglected, we automatically will think that our husbands have some distractions elsewhere. Normal lah kan? Tu yang kekadang tu "Cold War" tu...but, after a while I stopped melayan all those doubts. Tidak bagus untuk kesihatan mental :) Hehehe!
And it goes without saying lah kan, mulut I dulu memang selalu monchong 4 batu when all these happened. But, syukur alhamdulillah, the monchong is now reduced to 1 batu ajer... Still working on how to not monchong at all...Getting there, getting there...insya Allah :)
When the kids were smaller, I found it hard to understand the nature of his work because I felt so overwhelmed with everything - work, house chores, kids and he was rarely at home. Selalu rasa lonely and frustrated coz' tak leh nak mencurah perasaan when I needed somebody to talk to. I never could understand why it was always the patients first, and the family second.
But, now I do, especially when the kids are older and independent and they themselves have accepted their life as it is. It's much easier, especially when I have them around to layan perasaan I. Hehehe!
So there - bukti-bukti bahawa I WAS NOT A PATIENT DOCTOR'S WIFE, and still NOT 100% patient yet now :)
But, insya Allah I will try my best to improve and be more patient from now on. I'm working on it. And, my do'a that Allah SWT will tingkatkan tahap kesabaran I to be a better wife, insya Allah. Amin.