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January 6, 2013 by + · Comments Off 

In my Project Managing a Health Crisis article I mentioned variables, including errors. This is not to suggest that I did not get excellent care in an excellent facility. I did. But I quickly learned to not expect perfection because errors are a fact of life in healthcare like they are in any domain. There were many in my case, perhaps because of the complexity of my illness, the severity of my acute condition and the number of specialists involved. In terms of degree, those errors ranged from annoying, to worrisome, to serious. A series of the more serious errors resulted in a life-threatening, code blue scenario less than a week after I'd gotten out of ICU. It followed a procedure that one of my doctors ordered, resulting in massive internal hemorrhage requiring an emergency coil embolism and blood transfusions. Its hard to say how close it was, but it was minutes to spare. When the sirens went off and they were racing me to the CT-scan my doctors were telling me how sorry they were and that my son had been notified. Two of my sisters were crying and telling me goodbye and how much they loved me. I, on the other hand, had no doubt I was fine. A few hours after the crisis, to everyone's amazement, I'd bounced back. Months after my discharge, friends who had knowledge of, and experience with, healthcare errors suggested I contact an attorney and look into programs that offered apologies to patients along with quick settlements. It sounded reasonable when they talked about it but I could never bring myself to even talk to a lawyer. My friends could not understand why I would resist even having a consultation since the law would be on my side. I couldn't understand it either but my intuition was so strong I could not ignore it and it was bigger than not wanting to hurt anyone who had treated me. Eventually it came to me. I already had the law on my side, the law of the field. Some people may prefer the term universal law, others may prefer the law of God. It doesn't matter. All that matters is a willingness to accept that reality, or underlying truth, is shaped by how the observer perceives it, i.e. the observer's beliefs, assumptions and expectations. If you don't have that willingness, its easy to research decades of quantum mechanics research and experience that consistently prove it and you don't need to know anything about physics to check it out. I wrote in a previous post about my belief: I'm Fine. To even think seriously about talking to a lawyer meant acting against that belief, throwing myself into a state of contradiction, and setting myself up for suffering and stress. This is in no way meant to discourage anyone from taking legal action which in many cases is the appropriate path. But for me, this time, the ability to stay in a state of non-resistance, grace and gratitude was infinitely worth more than a monetary settlement. As for money, I won't be surprised if it shows up anyway, as much as, or even better than, what I would've received through "other" law. As Florence Scovel Shinn taught:
“The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.”

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The “D” Word The Flowers That Looked Like a Face Humor I’m Fine Project Managing My Health Crisis

Project Managing My Health Crisis

November 12, 2012 by + · Comments Off 

Project Managing My Health Crisis

On 9/10/11 I was stricken with a rare (1 in 50,000), and potentially deadly auto-immune disease that almost killed me. I'm almost completely recovered against all odds. I'd never been sick in my life so I knew nothing and, like in a business/tech environment, I had to learn a lot on the fly. I'll eventually breakout more detail when I figure out the best way to present my story in a way that will best help others. Until then, what it boils down to for me is that a health crisis presents the ultimate project management challenge. There's a big problem to solve, goals to achieve, milestones, inputs, outputs, variables, testing and outcomes. My goal: to maximize all medical resources plus my physical conditioning and mindfulness training to be at an optimal state of health, as good as or better than, before the health crisis. Inputs:
  • personal beliefs and attitude
  • diverse, aggressive treatments and procedures
  • multiple professional care givers
  • support from advocates, family and friends
  • self-care
  • how I feel: physical, mental, emotional and meta-physical states; symptoms and side effects; changes in physical appearance and capabilities
  • data: myriad quantitative and qualitative treatment plans and recommendations; test and procedures reports and results; conversations and instructions; care giver and advocates notes
  • inputs and outputs continually changing
  • disparate communication and data management systems, methods and styles
  • errors and weak error tracking
Sounds like a high-stakes project, right? It is, because life and/or quality of life are at stake and, like in business, there are many stakeholders. Early on, when I was first released from the hospital I made the typical project management mistakes. I tried to control every detail, did not delegate, freaked out over errors and mistakes and was inflexible about timelines. I strived for, and expected perfection from, myself and everyone else. Fortunately, I quickly realized that I had to let go. Letting go did not mean that I gave up, or did not work hard. Rather, it was a shift in my vantage point from "the one who must protect and care for herself", to "the one who is always protected and cared for, and so very grateful for it". Fortunately, making that shift was not an impossible leap of faith. I'd spent two decades investing in personal growth and development with exceptional teachers. I had the tools and mental training in addition to the physical conditioning of a master rower and the organizational and analytical abilities of a business woman. I do believe, however, that health in consciousness is a vantage point available to anyone who is willing to meet a health crisis by standing in trust and renouncing doubt. The more I stayed in that shifted place, it became less about the problem to solve, that being the health crisis, and more about relatedness, shared humanity, vulnerability and new directions. The world is in such a state of change that it can seem like everything is a problem. Its our nature to resist them and want them to go away with the force of our will. My health crisis came on so suddenly and severely that I had no time to feel that way but when I came out of ICU I was obsessed for days with escaping, and resisting and "getting it over with". The problems kept mounting. Then I let go, aligned with the experience and let my love for everyone replace my resistance. From that moment on, the healing and the unexpected positive results surprised everyone but me. As Norman Vincent Peale said: "Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds." Well I've been planting a lot of seeds from my health crisis. I'm open to whatever might grow. And most importantly, I'm having a lot of fun watering the garden.

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The “D” Word The Flowers That Looked Like a Face Humor Which Law? I’m Fine

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