Wednesday, April 27, 2011

how Crohn's made me a better scientist

Many people are able to recognize their type-A personalities early on in young adulthood.  Type-A folks always make better scientists, we all thought.  Not so with yours truly.  I spent much of my responsible years thinking that I couldn't possibly be type-A because my memory was not terrific and I habitually make small-to-moderate sized mistakes.  Not long ago, I realized how type-A that thought was.

There were other signs: I always wanted to be the group leader because I didn't trust anyone else to get 'er done, but I was very conscientious of bossiness; I needed to have an organized schedule, but it didn't need to be the same day in and day out; I am only ever early or on time, but never late.  Ultimately, the driving force of these tendencies is actually Crohn's.

needing to know where the nearest restroom is...

scheduling things perfectly so that there is always room for a five minute Throughput break... or an hour long retreat to a hidden spot to wait for the pain to go away... or doctor appointments...

scheduling time for food prep... bringing food to places where I know I wont be able to find edible things...

These things necessitate the very efficient scheduling of experiments and juggling of multiple procedures, and allow me to transition "easily" between technical mode (bench) and theory mode (grants and manuscripts).

However, I try to remain flexible.  Science is anything but predictable, so when things go wrong or results are totally unexpected, I thrive because my particular type-A-ness is most enthusiastically channeled through trouble-shooting.  Or, H.K. and I often plan trips that turn into spontaneous (mis)adventures, which I love.

Interestingly, this does not cross over into the more irritating "things that go wrong": for instance, my gripe today is that Dr. Derm "jumped the gun" in diagnosing my Staph-infected psoriasis last week, and found out this morning that "the rest of the culture" showed that what I have is in fact resistant to the antibiotics he prescribed me.  I'm soo glad to have already taken 5 days of unnecessary antibiotics that make my gut hurt on top of everything else.  So glad.  And extra happy about not getting refunded for my doctor's eff-up.

Someday, I hope to trouble-shoot these most irritating instances of being screwed over more efficiently. (although I must say, my little cry over the ant horde last night helped my ceaselessly-bloodshot eyes immensely!)

Grumble.  Rediscover the terrible music I listened to in high school.  Move on.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate. Thanks for posting on my blog. Putting your blog into my reader to follow from now on :) ~ Peter