Friday, November 15, 2013

hack hack cough cough hack

I don't do very well at writing these days. I'm so excited to have my brain back that when I have energy, I spend it learning things. Because learning things is what I do, and I'm able to make a living by synthesizing and applying the things I learn, and then learning from the application, in a virtuous cycle that keeps me from having to get a real job.

I've been feeling better enough that I went to aikido twice in a 7-day period, which hasn't happened since I don't know when--mid/early last year, probably. And afterward I felt the way I always used to! (Tired, logy, satisfied.) And I recovered in a normal amount of time! Pharmaceuticals are amazing. Not that we know what they're doing to me, but I'm enjoying life again, so I decided not to care.

Over the course of Tuesday, I developed a cold or flu or something. On Wednesday I worked a full day from home, Thursday I worked a half-day from home, and working today was out of the question. The decline has to do with quality of sleep rather than the sick, though. Briefly, it appears I had a slight fever, although since (a) I haven't had a fever in at least a couple decades, and (b) the awesome skin-reading thermometer gives me ludicrously high results on the first try--I'm pretty sure if I had a 101° fever I wouldn't be casually hanging out in the hallway checking my temperature--I'm skeptical.

Thinking back on my medical history, I've been blessed that before 2010 and what I might call the Great Decline, nearly all of my problems have been glaringly obvious to diagnose. Broken bones, bleeding wounds, concussions. There's no mystery. "I'm not a doctor, but you got washed over a coral reef, so that may be why your back hurts."

The Great Decline was unsettling because it's even hard to describe. Lethargy, absurdly long recovery from exercise, cognitive impairment...all tests normal. As always, on paper I am completely healthy. (I am grateful for a standard-issue no-surprises body.) Numerous rock-star doctors confessed bafflement. Now that there's a medicine that I take it forever? How can I even experiment, given the consequences? Does it fix the sleep apnea? (Okay, that one I can actually test pretty easily.) It's like a dark shadow out there in the woods, waiting to grab me again.

After months of trying to adjust my work approach to accommodate how my team works, I finally gave up, and I'm switching teams. There's a bunch of stuff around it, but it boils down to working in isolation and not having a use for my talents. Sounds like fun, eh?

I had a long IM chat with my new manager today. None of us are entirely sure whether or how this change will solve the problem, but it's an honest attempt. Plus it's really the only option available! I gather that my experience has generated some organizational turbulence, outside my frustratingly limited field of view. So we'll see how that goes.

At my last job I did the best work of my life, completely turning a team around, as well as its technology, while still delivering new features. The problem with performing up to your potential is that it then becomes really annoying to do anything less.

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