Handicap? Just Handy, Thanks

I refuse to think of myself as “handicapped” — nor any other variant of the word. (handi-capable? differently-abled?)

Yes, I now use a cane every now and again — and with a regularity and at times that most people likely wouldn’t comprehend. Yes, I’m still finding a way to work with the limitations that were foisted upon me in January.


Until, with a modicum of tenaciousness, I return to running, and cycling, and motorcycling, and driving, and all of the other independent personal freedoms I once enjoyed.


By some interpretations, currently, perhaps.

But not for long.

Nearly Healed…?

Nearly. From the infection, that is. Here we are, September, and I’ve a couple things on my To Do list, that I’m hoping to have done soon:

-a work trip… once this bloody PICC line is removed, of course.

-rebuilding the primer/fuel filter assembly on the truck.

-getting a mount/ledge assembled for my exercise bike.

-actually -using- said exercise bike (I nearly have the strength to do very brief rides).

-rearranging my office. Need to rearrange it every now and again until I find something I like.

-several more complex carpentry projects—think “furniture”, of course.

-there’s a sailboat in need of being built—to say nothing, of course of the neglected sailboat whose hull needs to be reglassed.

-wood floors need to be installed in the house.

-oh, and we’ll need to do a bit of house-hunting in a nearby, but much larger city.

Rather embarrassingly, I’ve also picked up a cane — yes, really — to help me out a bit with balance in those somewhat unfamiliar areas or when I become mentally fatigued. Though few things are quite as entertaining as a middle-aged guy wearing a jogging shirt (and who actually jogs every now and again) but carries around a cane. People’s heads become somewhat explodey whilst they try to do the mental gymnastics.

Since Our Last Episode…

…a great deal has happened. I’ve been to the ER, twice, with an unexplained fever, which absolutely kicked my ass. One easily overlooked and quite small detail led to a few more medical questions, then a few more CT scans and a rather long drive (hey, it’s cheaper than a helicopter flight) to Wenatchee and… I’d be admitted for a week for a rather aggressive treatment of a liver-abscess, which was likely suffered as an extra injury from the fall and had gone almost completely unnoticed until it was nearly too late.

Yes, really, almost too late.

I’m home now, but there’s likely another several weeks of antibiotics an the horizon. On the plus side, I’ve seen the imagery from the latest CT scan and everything else inside appears healthy — except that damned liver. Treatable? Probably. Time-consuming? Yep. It’ll take several months to recover from just the liver injury.

Oh, also, if you’re looking for “the” weight loss program, perhaps I can recommend an ungraceful fall from about 4m high including a liver injury at impact. I’ve lost 12 lbs in about 3 weeks.

On second thought, skip the high altitude fall, the brain injury, and other assorted blunt force trauma to soft tissues.

There are far more effective and healthier ways to lose a few pounds.

…but what do you DO?

While I’ve spent pretty much the entirety of the last five or six months recovering and coping with my severe TBI, I sometimes have questions from people, “…but what do you do for a living?”

I was a Principal Operations Engineer for Pearson. We were pioneering a legacy integration with an established containerization concept with modern/updated technologies like Linux, Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS. There are others of course. And I’d love to talk about the visions we’d had for the future of learning.

In fact, there’s also a Kubernetes case study outlining the figures of how we’ve integrated the Kubernetes orchestration concepts. Give it a read over if you’re curious about where we were.

While I was a principal engineer and lead site reliability engineer, I’m now an architect overseeing the same project sharing the responsibility with Ben, trying to bring our visions into clearer focus for ourselves, our team, Pearson, and the world.