Yesterday, after completing my 16th ½ marathon (I began running 6 years ago. My time for this run was not very good – but I had not trained for the run – I will elaborate more next post) my friends and training partners were talking about our health (yes, that seems to be a common topic when you reach 60). My one friend stated that he had a “funky heart rhythm”. When I probed a bit further about what was a funky heart rhythm, he was not able to articulate what that meant and shrugged it off.
Putting on my healthcare professional hat, I began thinking ….What if I had a patient that I was meeting for the first time and they told me they had a “funky heart rhythm” and that they had been see in the emergency room for this problem – but it was “nothing”. My Sherlock Holmes hat would have to dig to try and find what that meant and determine if it is important. (lots of time used to try to figure the mystery out and it could be important or not important)
Is it not our responsibility to know what that “funky” means? Could it be a life and death piece of information to know? Maybe,or maybe not – so how do you “splain it?
Let’s break it down and use a reporter’s techniques: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Here is an example (please note, this is just an example)
Who – that’s easy – it’s You!
What – I had a problem with my heart, my doctor said it was xyz
Where – It was discovered during a stress test
When – in 2001
Why – I was having a stress test because I was feeling skipping in my heart and my doctor thought I should have a stress test to find out more.
How – (let’s change this to NOW) They told me it was just some premature atrial beats and it should not cause concern. I haven’t had a problem since.
It helps to have the descriptor of what it was, even if you don’t know the medical term. This will make the questions that are asked and the direction your healthcare provider takes much easier. Even better – have it written down in your wallet.
example: I have premature atrial contractions (PAC’s) which were discovered in 2001 via a stress test, there was no treatment and no medications were required. My doctors checks this periodically.
Who, what, and where, by what helpe, and by whose,
Why, how and when, doe many things disclose.
(The Arte of Rhetorique, 1560)