Adam Tilted: The Beginning

Hardly anyone knows this, but I've been working on a project for a few months that I've been pretty excited about. I've been through some troubling times lately, so some excitement has been nice. The time has come to reveal my project to you, to celebrate achieving my goal and to motivate me to continue. Adam Tilted is that project. For me, Adam Tilted is more than this blog. It's a new way of thinking. If you are not familiar with my current medical challenges, you should hop over to the About Adam Tilted page (I'll wait). Most of my family and friends don't really know how bad the situation has been at times. I've kept most of that to myself. The good news is that I'm a lot better now. I decided to embrace the dizziness and the new perspective that it offered. A new Tilt. Adam Tilted. I'll be sharing what I've learned from this new perspective through this blog.

One reason for Adam Tilted was to help me focus on recovery, but another was to help prepare myself to go back to work. I really loved my job, and it was frustrating that I was unable to be there and continue the good work that I had started (I've been out on medical leave for the last six months). That desire to get back to my job was a strong driver in motivating me to get off the couch and push my limits to see how much I could really do.

Motivated  by .Bryan McNair. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a    CC BY-NC-ND 2.0  license.

Motivated by .Bryan McNair. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

With some work, I discovered that I could do a lot more than I thought. It took me longer than it used to, which was frustrating at first, but at least I could do it. That was some real progress and I was proud of myself! I kept pushing. That led to some puking when I found the new edges of my limits, but those edges gradually eased outward. A few weeks ago I got to the point where I was getting about two solid hours of productive time before I would need to rest, on average. That's pretty good. I figured I could at least do some part-time work at that rate. Two hours in the morning, two in the evening. Get some money coming in. Get my brain working again. This was really exciting!

Four months ago, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to be dizzy for the rest of my life and probably lose my hearing as well (there's hearing loss happening, too, but I'll talk more about that later.) I was really depressed and didn't see any hope for anything getting better. My condition had been the same for months; if anything, it had gotten worse. I had been to a bunch of doctors and each of them ran a bunch of tests that showed something was wrong, but they had no idea why. It was a very low time. I rarely left the house. I obviously can't drive, but even riding in a car feels like riding a roller coaster backwards at double speed, so I didn't get out much. Lonely and depressed doesn't even begin to cover it.

Now, though, things were different. I had Tilted. I had taken back control. Part of the change was that I was feeling better. My neurologist put me on a new medication that helps prevent migraines, and after a few weeks, I noticed that the dizzy spells had reduced in frequency and intensity. Too soon to link anything, but I'll take it. Another part of the change is that I just got tired of feeling sorry for myself. I looked in the mirror one day and remembered who I used to be: fun, energetic, smart, lively, social. I wanted to be that again.

I gave myself writing assignments for this blog to mimic what I would be expected to do for work, to make sure that I could handle the workload. I did this for two weeks. When I went back to my doctor, I told him about my experiment and he agreed to sign off on letting me work on a reduced schedule as long as I could do it from home. He would work on getting all of the information from the other doctors and writing the note for my employer and I would talk to my boss about the idea to see what exactly he would need from the doc.

When we left the doctor's office, I felt higher than the clouds. Ok, I was on a lot of medication because I had to ride in the car, but it wasn't just that. I felt a sense of accomplishment. I had overcome this challenge that had tried to destroy me. And maybe I could start shopping again! Living on one paycheck hasn't been easy.

Balloon eclipse  by Steve Grosbois. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a  CC BY-SA 2.0  license.

Balloon eclipse by Steve Grosbois. Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

On Monday, I had the phone call with my boss to talk about my exciting plan to get back to work. It didn't quite go as planned. Before I could get to the good part, he told me that my position had been eliminated. See, we've just been through a merger, and blah, blah, blah...

Hindenburg burning. This image is in the public domain.

So, that let the air out my balloon. Just when I'm finally healthy enough to start working again, you lay me off. Nice. It's not how I had envisioned the conversation going.

It also isn't the end of the world. This could be a new beginning. Actually, it has to be a new beginning. There is no choice now. That is probably a good thing, but it certainly raises the stakes and introduces a whole new set of questions.

This was not the Launch Party I had planned for Adam Tilted, and that is absolutely appropriate. Just when I think I've got the ground steady under me, it tilts again. If you think I'm falling down, then you haven't been paying attention.

Want to help? There is just a tiny thing you could do. If you read this, let me know. It might sound stupid to some people, but those people probably aren't stuck at home by themselves 90% of the time. Sometimes I just want to feel heard, you know? So drop me a note and say hi.