Hey y’all! Well it’s been a while since I last got out the Chromebook and regaled you with our adventures but I’ve been busy. We’ve just spent every free moment of the last three or so months at the hospital. But please don’t worry. We’re all healthy. It was Seattle Grace or Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital as we now know it to be. Real life got a bit too serious and we really needed an escape.
Having watched most of Netflix, we found ourselves between shows. A crazy idea came to me as we were scrolling through trying to find something to make staying home seem more palatable. Enter Grey’s Anatomy: 16 seasons, 20 plus episodes a season. This would keep us busy. Rich had actually stopped watching Grey’s halfway through the last season when it became a little too preachy. I’d taken a break but kept recording the episodes and sure enough, after a few weeks found myself making a weekly appointment again. Now we were both showless. What if we went back to the beginning? Back to the original five. Back to a young Meredith, Yang, Alex, Izzy and George. We could see those beautiful people all fall in and out and in again of love. Watch them fight, cry, nearly die, and ultimately learn something deep and meaningful whilst coincidentally saving lives. We knew it was a commitment and knew not everybody would be getting out alive. I was hesitant but a chance to reunite with McDreamy and more importantly McSteamy? I’m in! It was a beautiful day to save lives so we hit the play button on Netflix and got lost in the drama.
Years ago, I remember being in HMV looking for a birthday present for myself and Rich remembered my sister telling him she thought I’d like this show about some ridiculously beautiful surgical interns in Seattle. So all out of other ideas, and worrying about the cost of the car parking in the Eagle Center he picked up the first 5 seasons box set. Eventually a few weeks later, I sat down one afternoon after having cleared a space on the sofa of all the toddler toys strewn about and put the first episode on. I then very impatiently waited for Rich to come home. I explained I thought he may like it so wanted him to watch it and he begrudgingly agreed to watch the first episode again with me. Luckily against his better judgment, even he was won over by the beautiful doctors and so began our first ever binge watch of those first five seasons. And every year since we’ve anxiously awaited the escapades of those handsome doctors and followed them from bumbling interns to being the award winning and respected surgeons they grew to be under Webber and Bailey’s fine mentoring.
And oh my word, it was wonderful. I can’t remember when we actually started rewatching it but with current events being the way they are, it offered the perfect escape. We laughed louder and cried harder (although I should say, Rich got stuff in his eyes more). We knew when we came home from a hard day’s work and had to face covid or election headlines or just the challenges life can throw at you, we knew we had an escape. We could bolt to Seattle and forget about our issues for 42 mins.
It made me sad on occasion that my foray into the hospital world had ended with my graduation. I’m not saying Grey’s Anatomy was the reason I decided to become a nurse but it did give me a push. But selfishly, I realize how lucky I’ve been to not have to face the reality of covid on a daily basis. I spent three years training and qualified to become a nurse and even got a job on the wards but life threw us an unexpected curveball and we moved to the States before I had chance to put on the blue uniform. And although I absolutely loved nursing, being 5000 miles from the best childcare meant I was hesitant to commit to it again. Had things happened differently, I know my family would have come face to face with the harsh realities of covid. Instead, I got to bake and complain about boredom whilst my class of 2014 cohort ran themselves ragged and risked their lives hoping people like me will stay home and stop the spread.
Actually watching Grey’s again made me realize how the argument for masks preventing communication was ridiculous. Those long stares, those raised eyebrows, those smiling eyes were all too apparent above the surgical masks and dying patients. I never noticed how much their luminescent eyes conveyed whilst wearing masks and saving lives. Maybe it was “smell the fart” acting on occasion but their masks never stopped me understanding the dialogue, unspoken or aloud. The folks at Grey Sloan Memorial had unwittingly spent 15 years preparing me for masked communication without me realizing it. It only made me sad I couldn’t see their beautiful chiseled faces. As someone who struggles with hearing loss, they are a pain in the butt sometimes even though I can’t read lips, they do get in the way of communicating fully. I was going to buy one of those masks with windows so I could avoid this problem but then realized I didn’t ever need to see my own lips! I need everyone else to wear them! What a doofus! But I’d rather say pardon a few times than wear a ventilator ya know, so just call me Buttercup!
Anyway, I loved the drama. Being a bleeding heart liberal made the story lines all the more important to tell although it felt like they were preaching to the converted sometimes. Being English and having experienced the free healthcare of the NHS, I find it hard to believe children and adults have to forgo treatment here because of cost. People are made homeless because of medical bills for cancer treatment. We, ourselves have even turned down recommended healthcare because of the expense and we have good insurance! It seems so wrong having experienced the NHS. I know the NHS is not a perfect system but it should be protected because the alternative here seems to have much greater, immeasurable costs that make me wonder how those in charge sleep at night. But wait, I’ve gone all Meredith. This wasn’t meant to be a soapbox post.
It was an actual delight to meet up with those doctors and patients again. They felt like old friends. We smiled insanely throughout the marathon. I cried pretty much every night as our residents battled to save lives, careers and broken hearts but it almost felt like a pressure release on occasion. Plenty of times recently, I’ve needed to cry at the absurdity of 2020 and rewatching Grey’s gave me an outlet. And although not all of our favourite friends made it to the current series, I feel happier for knowing them even briefly. Even though I should stress I do actually know it’s really just a shiny over dramatic piece of fiction (although I’m keeping a biro handy ready in the eventuality of Rich choking and me needing to perform an emergency cricothyroidectomy stat!)
It was Grey’s Anatomy gave me the idea to name all my blogs from songs and their recurring song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol was a fave before I’d ever seen my first “ten blade”. It was perfect for the show. I loved the lyrics then and now they feel even more appropriate. I saw that when I tentatively suggested rewatching it, my hubby agreed to do it all, waste time watching it, on our own, to lay there and just forget the world with me. That’s just such a Grey’s Anatomy ending right?!
But now we’re lost…we chased the car to the end! What do we watch now? All suggestions gratefully received.