My last post was on May 24th.
There has been much I have wanted to share with you. The problem has been finding the energy and time to sit down and write.
I am still undergoing treatment. We are in what is referred to as “maintenance” mode.
My treatments now run on a three-week rotation. Avastin via my port on Monday, followed by two weeks of oral chemotherapy. I get one week off, and then we start all over again.
I do have scans coming up in a week or so. Dr. Saroha and I will look at those images and make a decision as to how long we will continue this round of “maintenance” chemotherapy. At some point, a body just needs a break. It feels like I am near that place in time.
I worked for a fortune 500 company during my time in North Carolina. During my six years there the plant started a program to encourage continuous improvement.
The Kaizen program encouraged employees to identify ways to improve the work process, lower cost, increase productivity and profits. At one point each employee was strongly encouraged to submit four Kaizens a year.
If memory serves me correctly your active participation in the Kaizen program was reviewed when it came time to talk about raises.
After a year or so people were simply searching for ideas to submit to get “Kaizen credit.” There were a few great ideas, some good ideas, and a ton of ideas that while meeting Kaizen criteria added little to no value to the daily workflow.
In fact, some ideas made your job harder. They added additional steps to a process that were not necessary.
We started referring to that reality as being Kaizened.
My last trip to the oncologist brought all the horrors of the Kaizen program back to the front of my mind.
As the nurse ushers me to a room I am required to stand upon a scale. For five years chemotherapy has left me largely inactive so my weight is not trending in the direction I find encouraging. Each visit is a reminder that I am not the person I once was.
As I approached the scale this last visit I noticed something new about the scale. There was a bright blue sticker on it. Without paying it any attention I stepped right up. Standing on the scale it hit me, the sticker read “Please Remove Your Shoes.”
Half under my breath I muttered, please remove your shoes?
My nurse chuckled and said, yes we will get that next time.
Being the inquisitive type I had to ask, “so what is up with the sticker?”
She replied, they want to get the most accurate weight possible, so the powers that be are asking you to remove your shoes before you get weighed from now on.
Off to the Races
Well…my mind went off to the races.
I had to ask my nurse…
- The most accurate weight would be me stripped naked…how long till I am going to have to strip naked each time I come to visit my oncologist?
- A pair of shoes weighs two pounds at most…why not simply subtract two pounds from the weight you get when people stand on the scale with their shoes on…save people the trouble.
The thoughts just kept coming…
- Have you seen the people who come into this office? How easy do you think it is going to be for them to take off their shoes to get onto the scale? What happens if they fall over? These rooms are not very big. I am not very steady on my feet. Now you want me to take off, and put back on my shoes?
- How much longer do you think each appointment is going to take? I am one of these people, we do not move the fastest. Putting on my shoes is one of the hardest things I do each morning. It takes deliberate focus and energy. Sometimes I sit on the side of my bed for ten minutes getting ready to complete that task.
- Whose idea was this? Do they ever come into the rooms and interact with patients?
At this point, my nurse was laughing uncontrollably.
She continued to check my vitals as I looked at the sticker on the scale.
Watching her disinfect the blood pressure cuff I had to ask…
- Have they given you a procedure to disinfect the scale after people step on it without shoes on? I am not sure I want to be getting on that nasty old thing…who knows what kind of stuff people have growing on their feet.
Not My Advocate
I asked if she was going to mention any of my ideas.
My sense is that while she cares deeply for me she will not be pushing my concerns up any corporate ladder.
Sitting alone in the room, waiting for the doctor all I could think was here I am Kaizened again.