I was a captive audience in a waiting room yesterday, and there was a show about car racing on the giant tv. The sound was down, and I could only watch the video. There was video of these amazing, dangerously fast cars careening around a track and then would show these highly efficient teams of people jumping over walls to perform maintenance on these vehicles with such speed and precision it made me dizzy. These teams of people have some pretty awesome tools at their disposal, and each one has a job that is dedicated to them. As far as I could tell, the guy who was in charge of taking off the right front tire was only supposed to take off the tire, another person was there to put a new one on, and then they speedy quick ran around and did the same thing on the other side of the car.
A little later in the day, I was talking to one of our State Captains, and he was talking about his highly skilled team of healthcare providers that help him stay healthy. He has a wonderful pulmonologist, and a team of RTs, nurses and DME providers who help him routinely. He talked about their skill and their passion and the intensity with which they do their jobs. But, he also said that he works really hard to do all the right things and is really proactive about his health by asking questions, using his action plan, taking all treatments/medicines as prescribed, and exercising.
I started thinking – this team of healthcare providers is like a pit crew, they are a team of highly trained professionals who are there to take care of issues before there is a serious problem.
If a race car driver tries to go ‘just one more lap’ instead of coming in for a pit stop, what might happen? Might a tire blow out? Run out of fuel? Lose the race?
What happens if a person with COPD tries to put off going to the doctor for signs/symptoms of an exacerbation? Might that person need more aggressive treatment? Hospitalization? Intubation?
I encourage you to take a personal inventory every day. When something is different from your normal, take note of it, and check in with yourself later to see if things are still ‘off’ or if they appear to be getting better. Talk to your doctor, formulate an action plan, and then work your plan. Don’t try to go ‘just one more lap’ if you are really needing a pit stop.
Races are won and lost on pit row…Let your pit crew help you win the race!!!
(Share your pit crew experiences or give a shout out to your pit crew here. Who is your pit crew?)