Reaching Acceptance

This past week marked a big milestone for me. I’ve written a lot about all the amazing and terrible things that happened last year, and talking and thinking about each of them as their anniversaries pass has triggered conflicting emotions. But last week in particular was the one-year anniversary of leaving my job, which was one of the emotional highlights of my year.

And when looking back objectively – in spite of everything, it’s been a pretty incredible year for me professionally. Continue reading

How Tragedy Taught Me to Redefine My Limits – A Year in Review (Part 3)


This is the long-delayed third part of a 3-part post about my experiences leaving my job, starting a business, and taking control of my life last year. I really recommend reading part 1 and part 2 first.

This post is also a lot longer than I meant it to be, because I have so much I want to get out, there’s too much I don’t want to leave out, and editing it more would only delay me posting it even longer. But if you follow my blog, pieces like this won’t be the norm for me. This one is special.

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How My Illness Forced Me to Start a Business – A Year in Review (Part 2)

This is the second of a 3-part post summarizing my experiences dealing with illness and starting a business in the past year. I recommend reading part 1 first, where I talked about taking control of my life and leaving my job. In this part, I’ll talk about the next steps I took after quitting, and how I fell into starting a business.

I will annoyingly stick with the Hobbit metaphors.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

I had just left my job due to illness, and I had no solid plan. But I expected I would find other full-time work before my limited funds ran out. I definitely had confidence that I’d find other jobs I qualified for, since my web development skills are always in demand. But that didn’t make it any less scary to not have a real plan.

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How My Illness Forced Me to Leave My Job and Take Control of My Life – A Year in Review (Part 1)

I’ve been working on a couple of related posts around these topics for a while now, and delays and timing have led me to realize they’d actually make a good end-of-year summary of what was an amazingly turbulent time in my life, with loss, illness, and anxiety, all of which led to some personal and professional breakthroughs.

It’s been a weird year.

And since this write-up got pretty long and I had trouble finding anything I could let go of, I decided to go all Peter-Jackson-Hobbit on it and split it into 3 unnecessarily detailed parts. This is the first part.


Two weeks ago I was laying in bed in a hotel room in Charlottesville, Virginia, my sleeping daughter curled up next to me, as I reviewed doctors’ notes going all the way back to my birth, and typed out a summary of my entire personal and family medical history for the geneticist I was going to see the next day. It was a lot of material. Continue reading

A sense of neurons connecting

There have been a lot of interesting developments lately in the area of devices and web APIs that are clearly only early steps, but have struck me as collectively representing building blocks towards the digital nervous system concept I presented in my (stammering) talk at Ignite Hampton Roads a few months ago. My basic premise there was the idea that the various devices, apps, tools, and platforms we’re using and that are coming could act as a sort of augmented “nervous system” to learn more about our active bodies and expose our health information to others. My own interest in this idea was driven by my problems with my own nervous system, which I still deal with and which continue to deteriorate.

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A voice passes

I was really hit harder today by Roger Ebert’s passing than any celebrity or public figure that I can remember. He was an amazing writer, communicator, and even artist who was adept at sharing his passion for the movies that I care so much about, and later for how he embraced technologies to give himself a new voice both online and off. Probably most of all because I grew up watching his show every Sunday, both with Siskel and later with others.

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Dysautonomia and Ignite

Well, that was about as long a gap after my first post as could be expected. I guess I should probably try to finish the dozen-or-so draft posts I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, I figured my talk at Ignite Hampton Roads tonight would be a good opportunity to start posting more about my condition and experiences, and also to link to some good resources for anyone following up from the talk (Hi!).

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On Writing

I hear this blogging thing is going to be big…

So my goal here is create an outlet for more focused writing than what I put into my clever tweets, long-winded forum posts, deep private messages to friends, Facebook statuses, work emails, and other dry software documentation.

I’m really hoping to use this as a place to talk in a little more depth (and a lot more publicly) about things I’m working on, what I’m going through with my health, and other random nuggets that might come out of my head.

It should be an interesting and amusing insight for both of you.