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Get to here from there – lessons from a teenager

By September 28, 2014Advocate, Caregiver, ePatient, Leader
I was 17, hitchhiking through Europe, found myself lost, hiking alone through the Rondane Mountain Range. A rookie mistake. I’m geographically challenged, I’d been warned not walk by myself. I had a map, a compass, some food and water, and no sense. I was hiking a trail from one hikers’ chalet to another.  Mountains were giant mounds of boulder rubble from glacier melt.  The trail was marked by big red T’s painted on rocks. With my infinite wisdom I decided to follow a stream below the trail markings.  Naturally, I got lost, couldn’t find the trail. Compass and map were useless to me. That night I wrote a letter to my girlfriend, If you get this I probably didn’t make it. I’m such an idiot. The next morning I woke up, made a little ramen breakfast and headed toward the stream to wash up and fell over a rock – with a big red T on it.  I stood on the rock and looked until I saw the next big red T, went to that one and so on and so on.

big red T
Today, I’m challenged and energized by large change projects in health care – Researching, selecting, and implementing an electronic health record,  designing and creating an outcomes management system, advocating for people at the center of care.  Now that I’m seasoned I know that massive change projects require equal measures of sense and standing on a big red T, looking for the next one, going there, and on and on.