Saturday, January 15, 2011

Get here (if you can.)

 You can reach me by railway
you can reach me by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane
you can reach me with your mind . . .
. . . .You can make it in a big balloon
but you'd better make it soon. . .

from Brenda Russell's "Get Here" 
(made more famous by Oleta Adams)

Turn on the news in Atlanta this week and all you'd hear about were the following in this order:

oh, yeah, and school closings

School was closed for an entire week. It was crazy. The novelty died off by day two. Grrr. A city incapacitated for a full week? Are you kidding me? I have to admit. . . .even as someone who lived in Cleveland, Ohio where some sho' nuff snow comes down. . . the roads here were bad. We just don't have the equipment here. So six inches equaled a paralyzed city.  Literally.


What about the hospital?  Surely folks can't just turn on the TV and look for "hospital closings" the way our kids can diabolically rub their hands together waiting for school closings, can they?  You guessed right--hospitals stay open. By any means necessary.

Well, sort of.

As you saw from my Monday post, we did close our Grady primary care clinic for one day. That was the morning after the big frost hit us.  Fortunately, I wasn't on the inpatient schedule so that meant that I got to stay home. But my colleagues caring for the hospitalized patients or emergency-related conditions weren't in the same boat.  They had to come in.  Hook or crook. One of my friends was even picked up to take call by a hospital vehicle when she couldn't get out of her garage. Bananas, right?

Because sick doesn't happen on schedule.  It happens rain, shine, snow, or sleet. (Still want to be doctors, you sweet little medical students?)

The good news for our patients is that we have some pretty hard core and committed doctors working at Grady Hospital.  They will reach patients by a speed boat, climb a tree and swing rope to rope. They don't care how they get to 'em. Trust me. They'll get there. 

Speaking of which.

It definitely would have been less tricky for this colleague of mine (in the upcoming video below) who had to make it to rounds that morning to get there in a big balloon. Anyways, he managed to get out of his driveway and onto the road. However. He decided that he'd capture his treacherous travels all on film. I am thinking that the whole filming, narrating, and driving together combo made it a bit riskier . . . .umm yeah. 

Now. You have to know this Grady doctor to get how funny this video is. Nothing would keep him from his Grady patients. Not even six inches of snow that' has been untouched by human plows.

While he doesn't actually spin out on this video (which would have been really funny in that train-wrecky-America's-funniest-home-videos-falling-off-of-a-roof-or-getting-kicked-in-the-cajones-kind of way) what does make me laugh out loud about this is the fact that Grady doctors just can't stop teaching.  This Grady doctor was alone in his car, getting pelted with sleet yet still launches into a few teaching points about bridges freezing over.  If I didn't think that it would make you cover your mouth and gasp, I would tell you that his windshield wipers were broken and that every time they swiped he had to hit a switch--manually. But that would make you think he was crazy, and that's not what I am going for here.

The real point is for you folks to see what your nerdy doctors will schlep through to get to you (and to make you feel glad that you have the kind of job that doesn't require you to go out a-teaching in these kinds of elements.)

Universal disclaimer: This very skilled camera man-slash-Grady doctor is a Long Island, NY native (just listen to his voice), a car-mechanic-on-the-side, and has been doing one handed snow-driving tricks since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. That said, the author of this blog in no way endorses such one handed, snow-sleet, narrating driving and, in fact, recommends against it. (As does the camera man's better half, Tamara!)

Oprah disclaimer: Dear Oprah,  I signed the no-phone-zone pledge. Not only do I not text behind the wheel or look at texts, I don't film during blizzards either. That was him, Oprah. Not me. Love, Kimberly. (Yes, she gets her own disclaimer.)
Heading to rounds at Grady: "Untouched by YOUMAN plows. . ."

Don't try this at home, people. (Or on the way home.)


  1. Terry (Rachael's mom)January 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I love this. I didn't leave my house for five days, so it's nice to see what it was actually like beyond my driveway. We still have a backyard full of snow and patches of ice on the road leading to our house. Still waiting for the "big melt" in Lawrenceville.

  2. As a native Floridian, this is just making me want to return to Florida for medical school or residency. I'm ok driving before or after hurricanes, but with this snow, I haven't left my house in a week.

    If I were an Emory medical student that knew they had to be there during the snowstorm, I probably would have borrowed a mini-van and camped in the parking garage.

  3. "Look at that Audi, what an idiot, WHAT an IDIOT!"..... absolutely hilarious.

  4. As the driver-slash-camera man-slash-Grady Doctor, I would like to add to the universal disclaimer: Do NOT try this at home with your Mercedes Benz, BMWs or Corvettes. Not everyone can enjoy the safety & shelter of a 91 Honda Accord!

  5. I think my new favorite line is, "Aaahhh! I hate to see that happen to a corvette!" Then you realized that it would suck for anyone to spin out and crash their front end. That's when you add, ". . or any car."

    Anush, thanks for always commenting! :)
    Neil W., I still can't believe that you were manually controlling your windshield wipers!!

  6. Oh yeah, and thanks for reading, Terry! I really appreciate it, and hope you made it out of the cocoon yesterday!

  7. My oncologist's office was closed all week, which makes me appreciate that y'all actually went into work. It didn't bother me, for me, that they were closed. I was calling to reschedule the appointment, but if I was putting off chemotherapy, I would have been upset.

  8. My husband and I were driving through Atlanta that day, at about that time. My husband made a very similar remark about the Corvette! I had to laugh when I heard it!


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