I'm acutely aware of the serious nature of the medical diagnosis arrhythmia, but I want to clearly state it was not my intent to infringe on the SADS organization's acronym. If I ever inadvertently create what I think is an original acronym in the future, I will certainly search to see if it may already exist in some other context, or represent an existing real organization I hadn't known about.. Meanwhile, though arrhythmia has absolutely nothing to do with what I intended as a humorous post, I'm providing a link to the real SADS organization. I strongly urge you to click on that link and learn about this arrhythmia syndrome..
Then, re-focus by reading the unrelated topic of my Skip-A-Day and hopefully, have a chuckle or two. You will have to suspend belief since there are arrhythmia disorders in the ICD code listings, but just not Skip-A-Day which was something else entirely in my imagination.
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Skip-A-Day Syndrome (SADS) is not a medical diagnosis you’ll find in the ICD (International Classification of Diseases -- official listings of diseases, functioning and disability – nor among specific psychiatric and psychological disorders.) The ICD is where coding numbers are assigned to each of the listings – a system that brings order and chaos to health care -- the latter when getting into the billing for services provided – but that’s another story.
ICD 10 updates 9 this fall with continuing refinements and improvements, hopefully outweighing any new system complications. But, medical science being what it is with new discoveries and research findings, we can be assured change will continue to affect ICD, as it does most aspects of the world in which we live. Who could possibly become bored when change is everywhere -- so much a part of our lives?
As for SADS, I hardly think ICD inclusion is appropriate, nor is official or even unofficial consideration being given to the syndrome’s listing. In fact, this SADS account is what the medical community considers to be strictly anecdotal. I would agree with that. This may even be the first place the syndrome has ever been identified, much less written about. Who knows if others have ever experienced or observed SADS behaviors?
I’ve only recently been able to “connect the dots”, so to speak, tracing back in time to when I experienced what I now recognize as my first SADS episode. My young children had started attending school . One week there was a day when all their classes were cancelled due to special teachers meetings. Normally, the only time during the school year they were ever home during the day was on weekends – Saturdays and Sundays. Of course, if they were ill, or there was a special holiday, they would be home on a weekday, but there would be pronounced activity in our home memorably different from “every day” type living. So, SADS episodes never occurred those weeks. But I discovered …..the week they were home on one just plain ordinary unmemorable weekday was what had triggered my SADS!
I lost track of what day it was, because, clearly, it seemed as though this had been a weekend day or they wouldn’t have been home. Yes, I could have looked at a calendar, but that doesn’t always help unless you’ve been marking the days off. Besides I was really busy around the house and with them -- who cared what day it was! My bedside alarm clock featured time only. We didn’t have computers or smart phones then, where the day, date and time appear on the screen when the digital devices are turned on. But directing ones attention to the specific screen area where that information appears is required.
After that first SADS episode, I realize now, I continued to have such lapses periodically until my children graduated from high school. Those day disorientation events were infrequent because the teachers didn’t have too many all day meetings during each school year, fortunately.
The following years of my life I may have had an occasional SADS episode, but I don’t recall any of them specifically now. Consequently, I’m unable to connect them to any one stimulating causal factor, unlike the teachers meeting events.
I had completely forgotten all about such SADS episodes until the past year when I began to work less, eschew obligatory commitments and generally revel in engaging in whatever, whenever I felt like doing so – or even doing nothing. I, truly, could lose track of time – delighting in not even looking at the written pocket calendar I prefer to keep vs using one of my digital systems.
None of those latter digital systems are the first thing I look at each morning. In fact, I may not look at them until evening, or may even skip a day or two, including reading my email. After all, this is not a business I’m in and I’m no longer on call every week day – this is my life, now. (Using the devices in business is a whole different matter.) Just as long ago, I ceased allowing the ringing of a phone to command my presence (answering machines helped) -- no digital device – cell/smart phone, computer – is going to usurp my control.
I’m not completely irresponsible -- a few significant people are able to text me, so when that signal goes off, I attend to it immediately, thus I recognize importance where I think it matters.
Sometimes, I don’t even direct my attention to the day/date/time on my digital device screens. I don’t deliberately think about not doing so, but just doing so is not an established habit. Consequently, seems I might have had an occasional day slip by but “no harm, no foul” as the saying goes. And then ……..
This is how I became aware of Skip-A-Day Syndrome (SADS) -- how I searched my memory to discover and conclude this was not an age-related disorder as some might be quick to ascribe to any such slip-up by an older person. Am I rationalizing or deluding myself?
One morning I rolled out of bed, took care of my morning personal care, dressed, then drove to my early annual eye doctor appointment only ten minutes away from my home. How strange! I observed the gates to the office and parking lot were closed, but noticed cars lining both sides of the street for half-a-block, though no people were in them. I discovered an open area where I was able to park across the street from the doctor’s office. I was actually a few minutes early for what would be the first appointment time of the doctor’s day, so I waited. He always seemed to have lots of people in the office booked for the same hour.
No one showed up outside at the time the office would open. Oh, I thought, the staff must already be inside….the parking lot is probably locked to keep cars out because they’re going to resurface it today. So, I exited my car, walked to the sidewalk gate, only to discover that it was still locked. Did they forget to unlock it? How would those people from the other cars have gotten in? Maybe they didn’t go to his office but to some other location nearby.
Hm-m-m .....I turned and walked back to my car. Using my cell phone, I called his office number printed on the annual reminder card they always send me. I reached an answering machine – surprised a live staff member hadn’t answered my call. I left a short message, thinking they must be busy as usual, would hear me and call right back saying they’d unlocked the gate. After a few minutes I decided maybe I better double check the date – after all, it’s right there on my phone’s screen.
Well, whaddya know! It’s Sunday! My appointment is for Monday. I quickly phoned his office again and laughingly left a brief message that gave them a chuckle to start their Monday morning workday and another chuckle when I spoke of it the next day at my appointment. Even my doctor was laughing when he came in the examination room.
That must be my purpose in life – to make everybody feel good. Laughing releases those healing endorphins you know!