Testing a hospital, and a very short year 2014 review.

When I told my boss at the beginning of the year, that my only goal is to survive the year somehow, I did not thought of getting so many health problems until the end of the year. The reason for that “goal” was, that the budget for 2014 was not big enough to hire new people for my team, but there was more than enough work clearly visible on the horizon. I was not able to convince my managers, that there is really a need for more people. Sadly I was right and the work came and we were not enough people, ending up with bad quality testing and unhappy customers on all fronts.

Late summer I was struck with some sort of gastritis, which was underestimated by both me and my doctor. So it took 15 kilograms and ~10 weeks to be back to a closer to normal health condition again. Finally in October I changed managers and got approved a new person for the team. In November I even found a good candidate and can’t wait for January to work with him. End of November my only other colleague cleaned up her desk to take her year’s portion of vacation to fly home to India. So I was all alone, the year came slowly to an end, and with the help of my new boss I got some order in the remaining projects until the end of the year. I finally had time to do some higher quality testing again and take care of some achy back problems. Everything looked like a nice and cozy year-end. I was glad to have survived the year.

And then I got this strange feeling in my throat over and over again, feeling like a wrong hard beat. December 10th, that feeling came over and over again. After walking and talking with a colleague on the way to the underground it became more frequent and after a very short sprint to the train, I had it nearly all way home. Panic began to rise. Something was wrong with me. Since my doctor was already closed for the day and I was not patient enough to wait for the next day, I drove to the county hospital.

up and down I went, ~16.000 steps a day

Of course I stayed there for a couple of days and some examinations to find out what was wrong with my heart. I tried to stay calm, relax a bit, spend not too much thoughts on my work, and I stayed away from Twitter since that day. Get some rest and get that high blood pressure under control. Every now and then I had an examination and once a day (at least Thursday, Friday and Monday) I saw a doctor. I am not much of a TV guy, and I was not in the mood for reading all day, so I was walking up and down the ward’s hallway most of the day.

Now starts the testing of the hospital, well not the whole hospital only the ward for cardiology. I am a curious person and I am fascinated to try finding patterns and processes everywhere. I did not want to disturb anyone from doing their job, so I  was mostly watching what was happening around me. I was doing some basic checks, like how many steps long is the hallway. I found out that the nurses’ room was not exactly half way down the floor, especially since some rooms close to the stairway and elevators do not belong to the cardiology. Some checks of the windows showed, that there was one window that could be opened, even if it should not be.


heart monitor alarm
heart monitor alarm

There is an alarm monitor in the hallway (two to be exact) showing usually the time, but also the bed number if an alarm was raised. And there were some additional markers. If the alarm was raised on the toilet of the room, if there is a technical problem with the alarm, if the heart monitor is raising the alarm, and sadly I also found out one night, when I had problems sleeping and was looking for someone to measure my blood pressure, there is an extra symbol for cardiac arrest.

normal alarm
normal alarm

There is a strict distinction between nurses’ and doctors’ responsibility. Well of course there is, but in several aspects it seems so absurd, especially from the view of a patient. I will not elaborate on this any more. Some discussions I had, and especially other patients were enough for me. And I don’t want to raise my blood pressure again.

I got a 24h ECG and for one night a heart monitor. And of course I didn’t want to check out all the buttons what they do and don’t do, because I did not want to corrupt my own medical information. But accidentally I found out that I can set a marker on the 24h ECG device, that I used, when experiencing the strange feeling in the throat again. Funny enough the software for analyzing the ECG seemed to be new, and the doctor checking my heart beats was not aware of the functionality, neither was the nurse handing me out or better wiring the device to my body. When I asked a ward’s nurse if I accidentally did something wrong with the device, nobody could help me. Come on, this is cardiology, there are several patients wearing these things every day.

The heart monitor was also an interesting device. It was sending the heart beat via WLAN to a monitor in the ward’s room to help check on the patients. Of course there was a limit on the reach, and the device began beeping. Sadly my neighbor seems to have had a bad device, and it lost contact even if he was lying in bed. More interesting for me was, walking by the ward’s room and looking on my own heart monitor. On the second evening I raised an alarm by simply walking down the hallway. Well, that was the start to an unpleasant night. Every now and then the device raised an alarm which led to a visit from a nurse, when trying to sleep.

In my 5 days and nights in the county hospital I collected lots of information how the cardiology and in some parts the hospital works. I can’t let go of testing, even if I try to.

Now I am getting some more rest to recover and get used to the medication and do some preparations for Christmas.

For 2015 I am looking happily forward to get at least one new colleague, visiting my first conference and doing better work than the last year. And of course I want to learn a lot, and not again about hospitals and doctors.

I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year 2015!