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October 25, 2016
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Delays May Be the Death of Me

We hear it over and over again: delays in seeking medical treatment are responsible for huge numbers of preventable deaths each year. Sometimes the delays are financial: not having the money to pay the doctor, buy the medication, schedule the procedure. Sometimes they are logistical: unable to get time off work, car isn't working (or a driver isn't available), or there isn't an available doctor or treatment facility space within the necessary timeframe. Then there are the diagnostic delays -- often because life-threatening medical conditions don't show symptoms until they reach emergency status, but sometimes because the condition is difficult for one's healthcare team to diagnose.


In this case, though, the expression is idiomatic, and the cause, meteorological. At least, that's what I'm going with.


In the wake of Saturday's winter storm, New Jersey Transit trains were delayed a nominal 10-15 minutes, stretching the limits of my ability to make a 10am rendezvous in midtown Manhattan. That delay stretched to 30 minutes by the time I reached Newark. At least I'd had the foresight to travel in sneakers instead of dress shoes! In the end, I was only a few minutes late.


From the rendezvous, my colleagues and I moved to the venue at which we would be talking with pharmaceutical representatives about the roles patient communities play in the management of chronic diseases. Our presentation was, in its turn, delayed and made shorter than expected. This delayed a potential meeting with my sister (who works nearby), and following that, the ability to get any productive work done between that meeting and my evening briefing for a group of the radio volunteers for Sunday's NYC Marathon.


With few opportunities to plug in and connect up, I've been relegated to writing my blog post on my iPod, which has the longest battery life of all my consumer electronic devices. Typing in Evernote, on a virtual keyboard, has been a challenge, and it's quite possible I'll fail at NaBloPoMo, National Health Blog Post Month, and introducing Diabetes Awareness Month at a single blow, on the very first day of the month. Oh, well. As I said at the start, delays are like to be the death of me...

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