Posted by: Budger | August 13, 2008

Choke Them with DATA!

I have a friend (you know who you are) who has the No Whining image as his picture display on his IM.   (He also strictly enforces a 5 minute rule at the start of meetings, but that’s another blog.)  Well, forgive me, but I’m going to take a moment, and WHINE

I hate doctors.  I’m sick of their arrogance, and refusal to listen to patients.  I actually have one doctor that I love and he’s great about listening to me, but the rest of them HA!  It used to be you could go to the doctor and tell them that you don’t feel well.  They would ask you for some of your symptoms and work WITH you to diagnose the issue.  Now you go in, tell them you don’t feel well, they ask for symptoms and order 1000 different tests to alternately verify that you are feeling what you are feeling and to identify the next test that is needed.  No empathy for what the patient is going through, no analysis of your thoughts or knowledge of your body or habits.   They just want DATA, and lots of it.  My Cardiologist is a data geek.  If it’s not downloaded from a device, it cannot possibly be fact.  Doctors are also the absolute worst about stereo-typing people who are over-weight.  If you have a weight issue, the first assumption is that all of your problems are related to that, and that you don’t take your health seriously- therefore why should they take you seriously.  So other than my one doctor – who monitors my allergies, sinuses and asthma (the least of my worries right now) – I have yet to meet one that has not aggravated the hell out of me.  I am very tired of the medical merry go round.

So….some of you may be again wondering why I haven’t updated my blog.  Well this time I have more than one excuse.  Over the last 5 weeks, I have been out of town for 3.  And then when I got back from my tour of Oklahoma and the Rockies, I have been going to the doctor and having more tests.  So I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation in April, and I have been very frustrated because I have not been feeling well.  So I went to see a Cardiac Electrophysiologist to see if we could get to the bottom of it.   I would love to say that it was an instant success, but instead they wanted more data.  I was asked to do a Sleep Study to see if I had Sleep Apnea.

Now I don’t normally have problems sleeping in strange places.  I’m a certified road warrior with Platinum Marriott status for the last 4 years, so I’m used to sleeping away from home.  But I knew that I would have trouble with the sleep study.  So I deliberately scheduled it for the day after I got back from my vacation which was at the tag end of 2 weeks of business trips. My husband thought I was crazy, but my strategy worked.  I went in and they hooked me up to about 25 (no exaggeration) different wires, and put me to bed.  I told the guy that once they had their data, if I was sleeping leave me alone until the morning.  The bed was really comfy, and although I know I had problems during the night, they told me in the morning that they got lots of DATA

So today I went back to the Cardiac Electrophysiologist and I took my own data.  I took my spreadsheet of rides, and we discussed a plan.  It’s going to be a slow plan, but I am hopeful that we might actually have a direction.  I can’t be definitive because I have not yet met with the Sleep Studies doctor for his analysis of the DATA.  In the meantime I am strongly resisting the urge to back the doctor into a corner while loudly expressing my frustration at the slow progress.  Yo DOC  – I have GOALS!  I’m supposed to be riding a bike 90 miles in October!  Instead I listen; I ask questions; I interject with my opinions, and I agree to the slow and steady approach.  And then just when I start to feel OK, Dr. Ego says we may need more tests.  I HATE DOCTORS!

No WhiningSo as a project manager, I have told my team members many times to analyze the DATA.  When having development diagnose an issue – Choke them with data.  Those were my own words.  So I guess this is like my cousin told me over my vacation – it’s karma coming back on me.  Now NO MORE WHINING!

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