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uterine fibroids site author

Carla DionneSite Author - Carla Dionne

Work History

Accumulation of over 20 years in Research & Development. Wide range of companies specializing in software design/development, hardware design, chip design/manufacture, board design/manufacture, etc. Job functions performed have included: instructional designer, trainer, CBT author, technical writer, video scripter/producer, project manager, document control supervisor, online research specialist, web page designer, restaurant manager. Yes, I was trained in restaurant management by the Marriott Corporation eons ago and I managed restaurants for them for almost 2 years. Since a manager wears all "hats" in a restaurant, it was good training fodder for becoming a technical writer, which has been my underlying job skill for over 15 years. BS in Communications from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Some graduate level coursework in neurolinguistic programming.

I am also:

These days, I consider myself a medical researcher, author, women's health care advocate, troublemaker, listener, peacemaker, mother, web designer, chief bottle washer, cook, and all around captain's mate. Oh, wait, no, that's not right. Cross out the chief bottle washer, as I no longer have babies to tend to these days. Oh, and I don't get much time to cook these days either; nevertheless, I am a relentless collector of cookbooks and aprons. Old ones. But, I'll take new ones too -- provided they have some kind of history behind them that is interesting. A friend once sent me an apron she bought off a waiter in France while dining at the Chateau Pasquet. It still had food stains on it. I'm not sure, but I think she was taunting me with her trip to Europe.

When I find myself needing some solitude, I play my clarinet. It runs everyone out of the house and leaves me with at least half a day of REAL peace. When I need a WHOLE day, I pull down the guitar and begin strumming away while singing (badly) "Leaving...on a jet plane...". That usually has them collectively running for the door. Oh, when I need solitude but want my family with me, we all go to the beach. Wave jumping and boogie boarding will empty the mind of all its troubles in a heartbeat and sometimes it is just darn good for the whole family to do it together, don't you think?

As for my work history.... One of my former "corporate" positions included a 1-½ year stint as a Document Control Supervisor for a medical device manufacturing company. During recruitment, the company spoke of their many fine products: gel sheeting, tissue expanders, custom implants, orbital paks, etc. The company's primary market is reconstructive surgery. Even though one of the pre-employment interviews consisted of the VP repeatedly talking about "boob" jobs, I accepted the position. He seemed like a nice, but "quirky" kind of guy--anyway, I wouldn't be reporting to him. It didn't take long for reality to set in."Tissue expander" is the medical term for breast implant. Boobs. Saline Boobs. Silicone Boobs. Boob Central. Geez. They were everywhere. Employees used silicone implants as doorstops and computer hand rests. I was offered one and politely turned it down. In all fairness, a wide variety of shapes and sizes of tissue expanders are used for a number of different reconstructive surgical procedures. But, the primary products this company produced during my employment with them were saline tissue expanders for breast surgery.

As it turned out, this job was critical in my learning about and understanding the FDA. In light of my need to make a medical decision regarding my uterine fibroids, this was a most fortuitous position. Research materials were readily available and training on medical device reporting (MDR) and good medical/manufacturing practices (GMPs) issues was provided. I learned the criticality of how PIDS (product insert datasheets--patient brochures) are developed and, most of all, I learned about clinical research; what it is, how it is performed, how results are tracked, what the FDA has to say about it in overseeing the safety of consumers. I asked a lot of questions. As Document Control Supervisor, I read every document I could get my hands on. There were thousands! Medical device companies, at that time, were required to keep supporting manufacturing documentation for the lifetime of the product. Moreover, for implants, that was generally for the lifetime of the patient. (In 1999, FDA deregulation occurred in this area and tracking of devices is now limited to only a handful of devices critical to the life of the patient. Breast implants no longer qualify as requiring tracking.)

After acquiring an understanding of FDA and GMP requirements, I reconfigured the company's documentation department and redefined their technical documentation tracking system; writing and re-writing documents to support every change I made. I managed documentation change control and met with members of "Management With Executive Responsibility," VPs and department heads who are legally responsible for all actions a medical device company takes, weekly to review documentation. I worked my butt off getting the documentation department ready for ISO 9001 and TUV certification for CE marking (for the European Union). Our audit was a breeze. I did my job and did it well. Even so, the company quickly folded after the breast implant settlements were finalized and all production reverted to the parent company for production of silicon implants in lieu of this subsidiary's saline implants. Typical U.S. corporation. Work the living daylights out of employees only to shelve the finished product. After 20 years of working within the boundaries of corporate America, primarily Fortune 500 companies, this plant closure came as no real surprise to me. C'est la vie.


Was married for 24 years. 3 kids. 1 college graduate (BFA in Dance), 1 in high school, 1 in middle school. Yes, they are spread ~5 years apart each. Besides the fact that it took me nearly 5 years to get over the pain of each childbirth before I ventured down that road to have another. My former husband and I had this "brilliant" idea of giving our children distance in age so as to allow each of them adequate personal attention during their earliest developmental years. We had read that children spaced apart were more independent, developed strong leadership skills, tended to do exceptionally well in school, etc. All the characteristics that are typical of "only" children who have the advantage of not having other children in the family compete with them for parental time and attention. What can I say? It seemed like a good idea at the time and, well, we do seem to have three incredibly intelligent, independent, and strong-willed leaders for children. However, anyone want to venture a guess what it's been like raising three children who all believe, somewhere in the deepest recesses of their minds, that they are EACH the ONLY child?

Lived in California for awhile but it turned out that the "love of my life" wasn't, after all. Although my vote was for marriage counseling, his was for starting over. Ouch. Hard to fight that kind of mindset. So, I finally threw in the towel and returned to Colorado Springs, CO with my sons where I simply seem to be able to "breathe" with greater peace of mind. I miss the beach terribly -- but find solace in the mountains, these days. Hiking, mountain biking, and snowboarding seems to have replaced hitting the beach for some wave action.

If you'd like to see the view from our front deck, go to the Pikes Peak cam. The video cam is located a short distance from our home and does not include the additional view we enjoy of the entire city at the base of the peak. Nonetheless, you'll quickly understand why Colorado gives me the peace I need to truly breathe.

Not long after leaving California, my beautiful daughter decided to join her brothers here and moved to Colorado, as well. It's been a bumpy road for all four of us -- starting over without their father here. But, I simply couldn't have asked for three more incredible children on this planet. They are an awesome trio!

As for me, well, my daughter finally got tired of watching me rattle around the house, literally around the clock, without a mate. She finally pulled a "snap out of it mom!" scene and pushed me into the world of dating. At my age. It wasn't pretty. After 24 years with only one person -- the person I thought I would spend my whole life with. Hell, as it stood, over half my life had been spent with this single man. Oy. How does one move on from there? Not with any kind of grace, that's for sure! Oh, the comedy of it all. Someday it'll find it's way into my journal online...someday...

As for now, well, I'm crazy about a guy I met -- of all places! -- on the internet. It's almost embarrassing admitting it, but it's true. Blame eHarmony, folks. They found me a match I couldn't walk away from. :) A TOTAL powderhound who was bound and determined to find me a way to overcome my Raynaud's and get my butt on the slopes. On a snowboard. Oh boy. What a journey... Yes, I wrote SNOWBOARD. At age 46. But first, the Raynaud's HAD to be conquered and kept under control. Not easy when you're surrounded by snow and 10 degree weather...

Oh, and of course BOTH of my sons quickly acclimated to the idea of snowboarding. Afterall, without an ocean for surfing or dry, warm days for rollerblading or skateboarding, whatever is a typical west coast kid to do? ;) Why, snowboard, of course!


A second chance for love. I never would have thought it or believed it. But, every woman should be soooooo lucky as to find a second chance this awesome. That's all you get for now on this...but do stay tuned!




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This page last updated Friday, June 4, 2004