Friday, December 9, 2005

Another successful trip to Pill Hill!

If you have ever been to Atlanta, you have probably been impressed, awed, and perhaps even frightened by our maze of surface streets. Unlike in many cities of the American Midwest and West, the streets of our fair city are not laid out on anything even remotely resembling a grid pattern. In fact, we are told that the major streets (many of which contain Peachtree in their names) actually follow ancient Indian trails. I believe it.

One such trail must surely have led to our northside medical center, affectionately referred to by locals as "Pill Hill", owing to its auspicious setting on a leafy hill adjacent to the I-285 Perimeter expressway. I-285 is in and of itself a work of art; labeled on incoming expressways as a "by-pass", it actually is a main artery connecting several very densely populated suburbs, and the traffic on 285 can be truly overwhelming at times, merely humorous at others. It bypasses nothing, indeed.

Pill Hill, on the other hand, is a cluster of three large metroplitan hospitals and a whole slew of doctor's office buildings connected (somewhat) by a loosely defined network of "roads" on which lanes mysteriously appear, then disappear without warning, much to the delight of visitors and locals alike. (MARTA trains run right through the complex as well.) Basically, if you have to get to one of these hospitals in a hurry, including the "Baby Factory" Northside Hospital, you will need to be blessed by some almighty being to avoid becoming hopelessly lost and/or having your car locked or "booted" in such a way that it cannot be moved without dispersal of enough money from your wallet to buy dinner for two at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Now, that said, once you get to your destination at Pill Hill, you will find that the care is quite good, the people are attentive and friendly, and you even begin to feel that you are in your own insulated little piece of the world, that is, until you try to leave. Leaving can be just as confusing as getting there. Without the proper preparation and arduous study of a map beforehand, you can easily leave your hospital premises and within two hours unexpectedly find yourself in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Columbia, South Carolina, or Dahlonega, Georgia (a nice little mountain town which is great to visit when you're feeling up to par).

All in all, I guess we can't complain -- the places are there when you need them, and the care is great. It's a lot better than trying to get your tonsils removed in Bangladesh, and with a little looking, you can even find some excellent coffee and above average biscuits. But you may want to let someone else drive...someone who has a good sense of direc -- oh, never mind about that.

Have a nice weekend! =:)