Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking backwards and Forwards at the Same Time.

Every New Years Eve I try to sit, look back over the year, and write. Sometimes it gets committed to paper but often it remains as disintegrating memories in my head. Today, on the cusp of a new decade I thought it really important to take a moment and look back and forward simultaneous. Is this what being in the moment is all about?

First I start with a brief synopsis (if that is remotely possible). Ten years ago today I was in Monterey with my partner Guido. We had just finished laying 2 tons of stone pavers in preparation for a New Years eve party. My friends Julia and Morgan were up from LA. Ironically and very accidentally I am now down in LA at my friends Julia and Morgan's house preparing for a New Years eve party. They now have two of the most adorable kids and I am so happy that I get to be part of their lives.

Heading into the year 2000 I was staring down the barrel of unveiling the extent of my rare bone disease and unfurling the methods available to me to address the collapse of my joints. In 2000, I had the first of many experimental surgeries and hard roads to recovery. The first was a vascularized fibular graft. They took my fibula out of my leg and stuffed it into my hip. That was trick. I returned to a company that had undergone a near transformation (meaning I knew few people who worked there). Then in 2001, I found out I had the bone disease in my knees on a trip to Yosemite, started a new career in intellectual property rights. I got laid off and rehired into a new publishing organization-- Thomson Learning. I met Dr Steadman and Dr Philippon in Vail Colorado. That was the beginning of quite a journey. I traveled back and forth to Vail Colorado more times than I can even count to repair and halt the destruction of my joints and bones. I managed a career that blossomed into something wonderful. So many terrific talented people...Carline Haga, Netty Hoglaund, Andrew Clowes, Larry Molmud, and all the other creative smart people at Thomson Learning. In the midst of things my relationship with the man that I thought was the man I would spend the rest of my life with imploded and a new relationship developed. Since then, I own my house, have a loving relationship with Larry and his 3 kids -- we got married last October, I left my job in 2007 to take care of my body.....because it wouldn't let me do it otherwise, and at the end of a series of difficult surgeries -- 14 to be exact -- on hips, knees, shoulder, elbow I am hoping that staring into 2010 that I will reinvent myself and see myself looking forward to a new career in Healthcare using what I learned in 10 years at Thomson Learning and what I have become passionate about -- healthcare and the use of technology to better enable the healthcare transaction between doctors and patients.

So, the month of January is going to be about laying the groundwork and goals to start getting my body stronger, since I am finally seeing hope. And use this blog as a tool to help form my thoughts around the direction I plan on shifting my career in. (I actually can say those words for the first time in a long time). When you are so focused on pain management and recovering from invasive surgeries there is very little else that you can focus on. I am really excited that for the first time in 10years I am not facing imminent surgery. I see hope and possibility. Granted that might change anytime. But, I will take what I can get.

1 comment:

FrankLivingFully said...

Hello Alex, I am so happy for you in finding the end to a long journey with hardly a map. With chronic pain, nerve damage, diabetes, severe asthma, and lymphedema (pretty bad leg swelling - inflamatory in my case) I can relate to where you are coming from. Your straight on honesty and not holding much back was very refreshing. Boy oh boy can I relate to hospital billing departments and handling bills. It is a kind of gallows humor when we laugh about it, but it is funny because it's so incomprehensible. A land of mediocrity -- I like that and have lived there too especially with a very poor pain outfit. Fired them and got a much better one.

I hope your New Year blesses your career dreams. You and I both follow Jennifer Jaff's blog. FrankLivingFully on and on my Google Blog too. Love your writing.

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