Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Benchmarks

I hate the word benchmarks. My former boss (who I adored) used to torture me with benchmarks. Because he wanted charts to show performance. Well, when you're working with about 60 countries, all with a different idea of a successful project, it's hard to condense disparate date points like that into one neat chart.

Benchmarking, I told him, is a full-time job. You should hire someone.

He refused.

Do you want me to make charts or make millions of dollars? I can't do both, I huffed. (I was way overworked in an understaffed department and did not have time to pee let alone fuss with a lot of silly paper peddling.)

He said, We need a chart. Get on it.

So I made up some generic charts to keep everyone happy and shook my head every month about the whole thing. All fluff, no substance. Drove me nuts.

Anyway.

Here are my living-with-chronic-illness-benchmarks, the indicators that tell me if I'm good or in trouble.

1.If I am dancing, I'm feeling good. Today I was dancing in the dining room. With the dog. If I'm dancing, things are looking up.

2.During an elliptical workout, if I can get the RPMs to 55-60, I'm good. If I'm struggling to get out of the 40s, the adrenals are giving me a hard time. Those are the workouts where I showed up, but nothing much happened beyond that.

3. No napping = good adrenal day.

4.Good mood = good adrenal day. Bad moods are either I need more steroids or I have too much. Irritability, easily frustrated is usually too little steroid. Dark moods are usually too much.

5.Walking speed. If I'm doing the slow, sad zombie shuffle that means the adrenals are tanked. Normal speed = normal. The hubby notices this one too. Feeling bad = slow.

6.Stretch marks. Yes, stretch marks. Red = too much steroid.

7.Hair falling out. Is either PCOS or adrenal tankage.

8.Acne. Is either PCOS or too much steroid. Steroids tend to make it go cystic.

9.Mental focus. Not missing the turn off to my road, remembering why I'm in the kitchen, those are all good. Bad is driving through stop signs. Forgetting what I'm doing or where I'm going and generally feeling like my brain is floating outside my body.

10.Eating. Forgetting to eat = adrenal tankage. Insatiable appetite = steroids f*cking with me. Too tired to cook = adrenal tankage as well. I hate being too tired to cook.

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If you have adrenal issues and want to connect with other patients the following message boards are wonderful resources:

http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/adrenal-insufficiency-discussions/general-support

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