5 Things Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About Life

I’ve been a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan since Season 1, when a slutty intern went home with a hot guy at the bar, who turned out to be her boss. While Grey’s has had its ups and downs (I’m sorry, but can someone PLEASE explain why Denny died and returned as a REALLY dirty brain-tumor fantasy?), I’ve been in this relationship longer than a lot of my friendships, and most certainly my current relationship. These people are MY people. When they cry, I cry. When they’re happy, I cry (because I’m happy. Geez).

Grey's

With Mer, Der, Bailey, and the gang back for the second half of the eleventh season, and the first ten seasons streaming on Netflix, I thought that now would be a good time to ponder the really important things in life…you know…how Grey’s has truly brought knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to those significant parts of my world. From the moment Meredith begged Derek to pick her to the day Cristina left everything to start something amazing in Zurich, the doctors at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan have captured our hearts and taught us a little something about the world in which we live. Here are just a few of them.

On marriage

There is NO wrong way to do it. You want to have the big poofy wedding dress with tradition and romance? Go for it. You want the court house secret wedding? It’s all yours. Two ladies proclaiming their undying love for each other in a beautiful lady-lady wedding? Sure thing. Forget the wedding and vow all the vows to each other on a post-it note? You can do that too. We won’t judge. All of a sudden the post-it that was Carrie Bradshaw’s romantic end became Mer’s romantic beginning. It was like TV amnesia, and we ate it up (not unlike the guy who ate the guy who ate Judy dolls. Okay, maybe completely unlike the guy who ate Judy dolls). The point is that you can do what you want. And when my boyfriend of four years has yet to put a ring on it, that’s okay too, right?Grey's I love you

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re watching Grey’s on Netflix and not caught up with season 11, skip the invisible print and move on to work/life balance. Otherwise, feel free to highlight the blank space below…

As the mid-season premier comes this week…They better not flipping break up. Again. That is all.

On Work/Life Balance

It is an absolute necessity to enjoy the company of the people with whom you work. You spend a lot of time with them, and you don’t want to worry about petty BS when you screw up. You want people that are going to work with you and help you in your sticky situation, whether you cut someone’s LVAD wire or slept with the boss. Make friends with the people on your team so that they’ve got your back when you need it. Just make sure you’ve also got their backs.

On Becoming an Adult

One day you’re doing tequila shots and letting the teachers guide you; the next thing you know, you’re the teacher…or at the very least, you’re required to be a responsible adult 40-80 hours a week. Whether you create a mini army of tiny humans or live out your dream of becoming one of the finest doctors at the real-life version of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, responsibility just hits you. And you can’t make it stop.

On Friendship

Sometimes you’ll fight with your best friend. Sometimes things will get so low and so dirty that you say nasty things…you stop speaking to each other for months and when you do speak, it’s snappy and horrible. You might even leave your freshman dorm for the summer vowing never speak to one another ever again (that may have been my real life Mer-Cristina fight). But between tequila shots, dancing it out, boyfriend drama, and free Olive Garden birthday cake (okay, I threw that last one in for good measure; it didn’t actually happen on Grey’s either), you’re back together before the summer’s over. Or before one of you moves VERY far away. But even in distance, your friendship is totally still there.Dance it out

On Weird Medical Stuff That Could TOTALLY Happen

If you find yourself saying, “I saw that on Grey’s Anatomy Once,” odds are you learned something. Of course, just because someone survived a serious bout of being encased in a cement block, doesn’t mean you should go take a swim in liquid cement. And remember that this is real life…and real life doctors (who can be just as delicious in appearance) know their stuff. Don’t distrust the doctor when he tells you he’s going to do something different that the McDreamy/Steamy Dream Team. He’s still a licensed professional. And you’re (likely) not.

Are you a Grey’s fan? What have you learned from your favorite TV shows?

Netflix Stream Team

While no one paid me to write this, I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I was given a year’s membership to Netflix and a device on which to watch Grey’s Anatomy and all sorts of other delightful shows!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

That One Time I Had a Concave Nipple and Why I Hate Being Knocked Out

Warning: Contains a story about serious pain (and boobs). If you get squeamish when reading about pain (or boobs), this is not recommended.

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

When you’re 18, and you’ve ignored a giant growth in your boob for a few years longer than you probably should have (especially when the cancer runs in your family), you think it’s probably a good idea to ignore it for a few more years.

At this point, I’m going to go ahead and remind you to (and I quote), “DON’T DO WHAT I DO!”

At the age of 21, I finally went to the doctor about a lump…it was big and it hurt. Dr. Google wasn’t really Dr. Google back then, but I was pretty sure I didn’t have cancer. I sat in the doctor’s office and she recommended that I get an ultrasound.  The ultrasound, in which I laid on a table with my tit out in the open for yet another stranger to see, showed a gigantic tumor that was probably benign, but they didn’t know for sure. It was then I was told to visit a surgeon who handled that sort of thing. If it was painful, and oh my God it was, we were better safe than sorry in removing it.

So I made my way to the surgeon for a consult. My mom was in the room with me, and the surgeon asked all sorts of questions. There’s something uniquely awkward about sitting topless on a cold metal table in an exam room with your mom, a probing doctor and perky nipples, but there we all were. The surgeon explained that he was going to do a biopsy (I wasn’t sure what that meant), but he was going to numb it with an anesthetic first and OH MY GOD HE JUST WENT IN FOR THE FUCKING KILL.

I screamed bloody murder with pain as this alleged medical professional stuck me right under my nipple with a needle the size of a ruler and NO warning whatsoever. As tears ran down my cheeks, my mom looked on a little horrified at my reaction more than the doctor’s action. I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to punch him. I wanted him to stop whatever he was doing and die seventeen painful deaths.

I hated him.

Apparently, (and this is according to my mother, because I completely blocked out the rest of this memory), like 5 more needles made their way into that wickedly painful-without-needles mass under my left nipple.

I left the consult with plans for surgery. And no idea what to expect.

When I had my surgery, Mom came with me (my boyfriend at the time wasn’t really the most supportive boyfriend) and waited the whole time. I remember getting prepped for surgery and being rolled into the OR. One of the 15 medical professionals in the room told me that they were going to give me an anesthetic that was going to knock me out. Of course, I couldn’t resist asking them what would happen if I woke up mid-surgery? Or what if it didn’t put me out? And could I keep the tumor? They assured me it would be fine and the mass was not for keeping, so I cracked one last one-liner before they put the gas mask over my face and knocked me out for however many hours.

When I woke up, I was in a hallway. There were people all around me; I was shaking, freezing, and…I couldn’t move my body. My eyes popped open, terrified. I kept shaking, but I couldn’t move my arms. Or my legs. Or my head. Or (ohmygodpleaseletitnotbeso) my MOUTH. I couldn’t speak. I could hear everyone around me, talking, ignoring me. FINALLY, they noticed the shaking, panic-eyed girl on a gurney. “She must be cold.” Duh. So, they put this magic plastic blanket over me that had a large tube pumping hot air through it. I wanted to live under that blanket forever. I was almost okay with not being able to talk. Or move. Because that blanket was the heaven that I was waiting for after my body died stopped working.

Eventually, I regained the ability to speak (obviously). And to move (maybe not quite so obviously…or gracefully). And I vowed never to go through THAT again.

Once I got home, took a looooong nap, and was finally ready to rejoin the living, breathing, working world, I took a peek at my recently-sliced knockers.

What. The. Ever-living. Fuck?

There were serious stitches. And. What the hell happened to my left tit?

Apparently, the large jalapeno-sized tumor that was removed from my boob had left a ridiculous gaping hole in the middle of my breast tissue, thus inverting my nipple in the craziest way.

After I came to terms with my newly shaped booby, I decided that it was my job to share it with the world. Or at least my best girlfriends. I was a junior in college, living with 3 other girls in an apartment…I showed them and any other lady friends that were around. I’d get drunk and say, “Dude! Wanna see my concave nipple?!” And of course, the oddity that was my boob was kind of a party trick for several months. (My boyfriend at the time would not have been pleased if I was showing my boobs to dudes, so it was just lady friends). After almost a year, I figured it would never be a normal boob again.

Low and behold, over time, my boob went back to normal and I wished I had taken pictures of the concave/inverted nipple that amused the shit out of me for so very long. And I was okay with that.

What I learned from this experience: Go to the doctor even if you’re scared. You may find out that you’re allergic to vicodin, and that you hate anesthesia, and that the surgery changed your body for a freak-show party trick…but the initial problem will be gone. And you’ll live to show off your party trick.

Have you ever had a surgery render your body a little bit different than it used to be? Have you ever been under anesthesia? Do you hate doctors who inflict pain on you? Did you ever wait to do something because you were scared of the results?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!