People say it differently around the world: It’s Karma, Life’s a *itch, Murphy’s Law — but I’ll just sum it up in “Te Toca a Ti”TeTocaaTi
It’s your turn.
The issue is with health issues, you’re never planning for WHEN “it’s your turn”. For somethings in life, ‘unplanned’ items might be great – like a bonus at work, a winning lottery ticket, great report cards, and an awesome come-from-behind-win. But I’ve really never heard anyone say “It’s my turn to get lung cancer!” or “It’s my turn to get diabetes!” It just doesn’t happen – or at least not around people that I know.
So if health issues always crop up when unexpected, how do we function in the moment they arise?
- Build your lifelines in advance. Know of your friends who has your back – who can grab the kids from school? who can runs some errands? who can sit with you at the doctor’s office? who will deal with your mail? As adults, I trust you’ve encountered enough people to know who has your back!
- Build your networks in advance. I’m not saying know everyone in the world. As we learned from “6 Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon…” – it’s not many connections needed to get from a question or issue you have to someone who knows the answer. On Healthcare Twitter world, we’ve been known to say “You don’t know Jack” – “You have to meet Jack” (hint: google pancreatic jack). Then reach out to him, because you gotta know Jack! The point is, it’s a small world. Use Twitter to help you, as Regina Holliday and ePatient Dave and others did this weekend to help group-think healthcare solutions.
- Get ready for a ride. I never wished Alexis’ experience on anyone, because I knew it was a tough road. I can’t say my road was tougher than others, because in some ways – I believe it’s easier. I might have been mentality exhausted, but it was really Alexis’ body doing the fighting. I was also lucky that a lot of Alexis’ struggles were during NICU time when there is a lot of support — doctors, nurses, social workers, other parents, NICU graduates. And we could see the path ahead, we knew what success looked like – a NICU grad. Alexis’ experience and our transformation from that shapes who we are today, the decisions we make, the priorities we take – for me, the job I do. I don’t know how the ride will change you, but I can assure you – it will, will you let it?
I was interviewed in my college newspaper in 1996, saying: “I don’t want to make my life impossible, but I like a challenge.”
Since we all will encounter a healthcare challenge sometime, try to see the possible in the impossible!
P.S. One of my ancient Spanish text books was either called Te Toca a Ti or had sections in it called “Te Toca a Ti” (hence the reference). It’s one of my favorite phrases that I like to say, and of course stop myself from saying because I’m not surrounded by Spanish-speaking people.)