Health woes

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04 April 2007

Two weeks ago today I boarded a flight to San Francisco to speak at a couple conferences. I travel a fair amount, probably 17 trips a year on average. But I never expected how this one would turn out. This blog post is also an explanation for why I haven’t been responding to emails, forum posts or any other communications, no matter how important, and why I’ll be extremely slow to respond for a few weeks now as well. I spoke at SD West Thur and Fri. I moved to downtown San Francisco and gave my one day CSLA-related workshop on Sunday. Monday I attended a Magenic company function in the evening and had a great time – nothing like getting together with a bunch of friendly geeks J Monday around 11 PM I got sick. I mean sick! Serious stomach pains. I tried various things, but ultimately my wife (via phone) got me to go to the ER. They put me on an IV for a few hours and got me feeling adequate. The assumption was that this was a very bad intestinal virus (read: stomach flu). If only that were true. I ended up speaking at only one of my three VS Live sessions, and I really regret that in retrospect. I hate to let people down, but if I’d know what was going on I wouldn’t have stressed my body like that. Professional speakers may make it look relatively easy, and like they are having a fun time (and I think most of us really do enjoy it), but it is really a lot of work to deliver even an hour long session. Anyway, that night and the next day were worse. So bad I couldn’t see my way to flying, but I still assumed it was the flu, so I rested and drank a lot. Thursday I staggered to SFO and flew home. I knew I must look sick, because I got a lot of odd looks from people in the airport and the plane. My wife took me home, and I figured I’d be on the mend. She’s so very good at taking care of me and the kids if we’re sick. But by morning I asked her to get me to a doctor. (pause, writing the above wore me out – I’ll be back later) To make a long story short, my gall bladder had a gall stone. That stone (probably Monday) had blocked the bile duct. The gall bladder got infected, and the infection had caused swelling, irritating the liver and other nearby organs. I was lucky it didn’t burst due to the infection. The pressure had caused an old hernia to pop too, just to make things more fun. The surgeon removed the gall bladder and fixed the hernia Saturday. I’m still really sick, but at least I’m getting better instead of worse each day, and I feel good about that. In  a couple weeks things should be well on their way to getting back to normal, so hopefully I’ll start showing up on email and forums more over time. But please be patient. If there’s one thing I learned out of this, it is to keep my priorities straight. You can also

click here for one of my wife’s blog posts recounting some of this from her perspective.

(final note – who’d think you could work up a sweat (twice) just typing in a page of text…)