I’m listening.

3 years ago · Blog
by Miyoko Hikiji

My mother could deal out an idiom to solve a problem as quickly as she could deal two hands of cards for a game of rummy. One saying she had that crossed my mind today was about making a good decision: just sleep on it.

Last night I had an unusual setting for my nocturnal balancing of the pros and cons scale: The Iowa Sleep Disorders Center. Since returning from my deployment to Iraq in 2004, a “good eight hours” of shuteye has been a challenge and so I decided to do a sleep study to find out more.

My sleep nurse, technically called a sleep technologist, was a health care professional that specialized in polysomnographic technology. It took about an hour for her to hook me up with the brain wave wires, muscle sensors, a snoring recorder, heart-rate monitor and breathing detector (I think that was it!) that ran to a portable control box that sent the information to a control room where she watched the data roll in as I tossed and turned.

While she worked on me we chatted. It wasn’t long before the “what do you do?” and “hold old are your kids?” questions turned into a deeper discussion about civic duty and what it means to “do the right thing.” Mentioning I was a newly announced candidate for the state senate might have invited those opinions out, though.

My sleep nurse told me about a bill that mattered to her. HF 203, sponsored by the Iowa Sleep Society and signed into law by the Governor this April, identified minimum standards for sleep technologists to ensure safety for patients like me, which translates into better healthcare and a decrease in fraud, waste and abuse.

Sounds good to me. But how, as a future senator could I, even with the diverse set of experiences I have, possibly know about a concern like this within the respiratory and sleep medical community?

By listening.

As a representative of my district and state, I intend to “bend over backward” as my mother might say, to stay in touch with people and address their concerns. So feel free to drop me a message or schedule a coffee chat. I’m listening.