Process Mapping My Health
Nothing like having to record every detail of your activities with consideration of the potential outcomes. When two weeks ago I had a headache and nausea, I thought it was a fluke and would pass. Yet the next day I was persistently frustrated with a strong perfume/chemical smell. Fast forward to two days later and I am searching my home for a dead mouse (a cat gift) or forgotten food wrapper in the trash because there was a strong smell that was just plain awful. I found nothing. So I asked for assistance, but they couldn’t smell it. How could that be? It was strong and pervasive. I was sure it was there. Two more days of this and I am sitting in the doctor’s office feeling crazy and confused. They tell me it is a migraine. I have had no pain in days though. That came later, but the point here is outcomes can be confusing when you don’t have a good picture of the causes. My preconceived idea of a migraines timeline and standard symptoms had to be altered.
My task was laid out for me. Write it all down. What I ate, where I had been, how much sleep had I gotten, how did I try to fix it, create a timeline, think of all the factors. When you are getting results you didn’t want, how do you respond? Do you layout the factors that brought you to the current situation? I dove into the record like I do with process mapping for my clients. Lay it all out there. Put everything down, even if it seems irrelevant. Question everything. Try not to assume anything or take things for granted.
I drink coffee every day. Could too much have been a factor or did I have withdrawal that contributed? There was a big storm front pushing in. Did the pressure changes affect me? There is no sole cause for migraines. There is only history and commonly known triggers and symptoms. Olfactory responses are not that common, but it happens. My triggers may be similar to others (caffeine, weather, sleep, stress, food, etc.), but mine have a unique combination. The same is true for processes. The stages may look similar to other processes, but each process is unique in its makeup.
Ask experts for assistance in your evaluation. I reached out to an APRN to make sure I was considering everything I should and get affirmation of the conclusions I was developing. When working with a food service process, I turn to experienced restaurant managers to layout the factors to consider. When dealing with software integration, I turn to IT experts to understand the possibilities. I access resources at the library or through trusted websites. I consult people with perspectives I value.
For migraines the treatment requires you be ready at the outset to take action. The medicine is most effective if applied at the first sign of trouble. My groundwork now will prepare me to take immediate action when it counts and develop a plan for prevention. I will leave room for adjustment as I track the next incident and pay more attention to the factors as they happen. The process renovation work that I do is all about prevention and laying the groundwork of resiliency and elasticity. I work with my clients to map the current situation and contributing factors, I analyze for cause and effect, and I help my clients create a plan of action.