Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Walking through Rings of Fire to Providence


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It has been a difficult new year for me, and I am so thankful to have a little time to return to this Blog. My original idea was to use this blog to document ideas that I had a priori to having them used in the name of good science. I had to have something that was mine alone, that was relatively independent of my position at the UW. It is for that reason that this post and all other posts are my opinions as a private citizen and not the opinions of any employer, center, institution or charitable organization.

The New Year brought me an increasing stress from a home remodel, family problems and a greatly increased workload with the formation of the Center for Excellence at Harborview Medical Hospital – CHAMMP. Don’t ask me what it stands for, because I can’t remember, but CHAMMP does imply a winner and a loser. It certainly speaks to competition. Other models for Centers like this exist. See CARMHA a similar center at Simon Fraser University in B.C.

I was very sick for the past couple of weeks with a stress induced viral syndrome. This is a tautology of decreased immune functioning due to extreme stress leading to flu symptoms, which in turn cause more stress on the system. Especially when one is too sick to one’s stomach (from anxiety or flu - who knows?) to take one’s medications needed to treat chronic diseases. This illness and the weeks leading up to them were some of the worse of my life. And I am so thankful that I am on the definitive road to healing myself. I had much help along the way. That is why the rest of these posts are shout outs to the people who matter in my life, and those individuals who showed me the way through the rings of fire. I am happy to report that I only see blue skies and northern lights in my future.

When asked by a friend, “what is important in life?” The only answer I could come up with that was fairly parsimonious was: Good quality of Life – QOL. This is a subjective concept. To me it means feeling healthy and pain free; having peace and relaxation and enjoyment on a regular basis; having a home to live in and people you care about; having peace with your family members; a supportive, NICE and ethical work environment, and the ability to use your creativity to follow your passions, no matter where they take you.

2 comments:

Devilbluedress said...

Hope that you are feeling better soon! We all know that it's tough to work and think when you're down...

Joan Russo, Ph.D. said...

Thank you Devil in the sexy blue dress. I am trying very hard to balance what my body thinks is correct and the pharms given to me. Tommorrow I go on vacation. You don't know how much your words mean to me. Thanks :)