Over the last couple of weeks, the lives of all of my family took a diversion from the normal routine of work, raising kids, paying bills, etc. We found ourselves in a daily struggle trying to come to grips with the possibility of losing someone very important to the family. My father, because of some serious heart related issues, had been taken to the hospital for observation and it was later determined that extensive surgery would be needed in order to correct his heart function.
The ordeal that followed was very difficult for my Mom, brother, and I. Dad went into the O.R. at 4:00pm on June 24th and was released to ICU at about 9:30pm that night, but due to complications was rushed back to O.R. and did not come back to ICU until 2:00am on the 25th. Those 10 hours in the waiting room were probably the longest 10 hours I had ever experienced in my life. Needless to say I did quite a bit of thinking about big picture things. You know, the things that each person faces when something potentially life changing has happened that makes the daily routine of life look trivial. By the time we were allowed into the ICU, not exactly sure about what to expect in terms of the prognosis, I was deep into an internal debate regarding my relevance in the grand scheme of life.
While sitting in the ICU watching all of the technology at work, I started to see familiar names. Names such as Cardinal Health, Hill-Rom, Tyco/Kendall, and Welsh Allyn. These were familiar to me because the EDI team at IQMS had built EDI mappings for these companies over the years. Unfortunately, up until then, these companies were just names that really did not mean much to me beyond the fact that they were a trading partner that needed to be setup and mapped. That was when something I try to share with all the employees I work with hit me: Look at the job you do from the perspective of whom and what it affects. Who does your job benefit besides yourself? How does it make their lives better?
We get so busy on the job trying to figure out the small details, the 0s and 1s, that we lose focus on the big picture of what we are doing. Being under the constant crunch to produce answers and results can, over time, bring frustration and a lack of appreciation for what we are a part of. What a wakeup call for me. While I certainly appreciate the position I have with IQMS, I would find myself moving from one issue to another without necessarily considering the big picture. Now I was looking directly at the picture and it made sense. Here was the single most important man to me being supported by equipment that exists because of the time and energy of many people. And I had never once prior to this taken the time to consider that the end result of the EDI mapping we create on a daily basis might be a part of a piece of equipment that was helping save someone's life. My Dad's life. I would like to think that it is possible that some of the material used in the equipment I saw in the hospital and more specifically in Dad's ICU was there because of an EDI transaction that came from one of our EDI customers.
While I cannot say that is Dad completely is out of the woods, he is at least back home under the watchful care of his family and is responding well. What I can say is that I have a very different perspective on how I view my job. I am thankful for all of our customers and the innovation that they bring to their respective industries. I am thankful for the hard work that the doctors and nurses did to help Dad. I am thankful for working at a company like IQMS that is relevant in its community and beyond and for the support I received while going through the last couple of weeks. I am thankful for my family and their support through this. Lastly I am thankful that I still have the opportunity to talk and learn from my Dad.