I love getting dressed for icy weather. It is a great excuse to put on my wool socks and steel-toed combat boots - the ones I bought when I was sixteen downtown at Bennett's military supply store (high school was a war zone - I felt the need to be prepared). I felt super bad ass today in Chest Conference in my bulky over sized sweater, khakis, and combat boots, amongst all the suits, scrubs, and white coats. I trampled both morning and afternoon through the treacherous light rain that coated the parking lot. I was prepared.
Tomorrow might be worse, so they say. I did my shopping on Sunday so I didn't need to battle the Kroger parking lot on the way home, thank goodness. My husband is on call, and should be coming home around 11:00, before the roads get bad. That means he will be off tomorrow, and I don't need check the school closings religiously between running, showering, reading a chapter of my novel, and cooking breakfast; frantically scrambling for child care at the last minute. I will be free to wake up early and go off into the weather with no responsibility except to get myself to work safely.
A few of my partners spend the night at work. So do some of the ancillary staff. They make sure a skeleton crew will be available no matter what. It was not expected of me tonight, since I have small kids to get home to and a spouse working late. But it is always understood that we will get there, somehow. I remember once during residency my friend walked three miles from her home to the university, because her car wouldn't start. If any resident failed to show, or called saying they couldn't get in, it was like a giant black mark hovering over them for the rest of their five year tenure. When you are an integral part of the cog, your absence weighs heavily on those that show up and your name becomes mud. If you do come in and help out, your presence is a godsend, and you can sit warmly and smugly in the glow of your attending's respect for weeks. Ice stories expand and grow like fish tales in the South, so even if there isn't much to do, by the end of the next week your performance on the ice day becomes legend.
Now I am the "attending," even though we don't really use that term outside of academics. Meaning I need to be there. The OR was busy today, and there will be much work to do tomorrow. I can't wait to tackle my cool adrenal case I saw in the gross room this afternoon. I'll get to use my new adrenal fascicle. I am looking forward to a hopefully slushy and wet more than icy morning drive to work. The adrenaline is such a rush. I can't wait to wear my combat boots again.
I just know all this silly bravado is going to land me on the side of the road somewhere, paradoxically undressing with hypothermia, while everyone else is sleeping in safely.