Sandy rolled in and knocked my second hometown off its feet. I spent over 16 years in New York, and still have family and many friends there. I've been anxiously watching the news, emailing, calling. It's a little like seeing someone punch your best friend in the face, but you're actually watching a video monitor the whole time.
I went to NYU School of Medicine and did my training at NYU Langone Center (back then we called it Tisch) and Bellevue hospital. I was an attending physician at Bellevue for five years before I relocated. With good and bad memories (but mostly good), I still collectively think of these hospitals as the place where I grew up. And not just as a doctor.
So to see them going through this devastation hurts me in a way that is so hard to describe.
This is where I fell in love, and found my future husband.
This is where my first child was born.
This is where I made friendships that are steely-strong, to this very day.
This is where we stood together in a silent scream, on 9/11.
This is where I saved some lives, and some lives saved me.
Maybe I'm being overly emotional. Maybe it's the distance, because I'm here and there's nothing I can do.
My friends and colleagues at Bellevue and NYU are dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, and countless underserved, poor, at-risk patients who rely on Bellevue for their healthcare just lost their hospital for who knows how long.
My heart aches. I will keep watching the news, waiting for my friend's emails, and hoping that they will slowly erase the effects of Sandy. I'm looking to see what I can do to help, besides this. This utter helplessness I feel.