Adam Tilted Goes to DevLearn: Achievement Unlocked!

Image Credit: Adam Brown

Last week, attended the DevLearn conference in Las Vegas. If you've been following me for a while, you may realize what an achievement this is. In case you haven't, here's a short summary of the health issues I've been dealing with for the last year:

I am almost always dizzy. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I feel like I'm on the deck of a boat that is constantly rolling every which way. The doctors haven't been able to find a cause yet, so I've been doing vestibular therapy to retrain my brain to work around my deficiencies so I can keep my balance.

I was really nervous about the trip. I don't travel well because of the motion sickness. I've been stuck at home by myself for nearly a year, so I worried that my social skills would be rusty. You never know how people will react to a dizzy guy with a cane wobbling through the crowd. I worried about being in Las Vegas, over-stimulus capital of the world. Still, I wanted to go (especially with Neil deGrasse Tyson there!), so I've been training. Hard. Through therapy, I'm much better at getting around. I've learned some tricks to keep my balance and identified some visual triggers to avoid.

Image Credit: Adam Brown

Image Credit: Adam Brown

I had to take a lot of meds to survive the plane trip (I don't really remember much of the trip, so it's a good thing I brought my husband along to make sure I got to the hotel), but I made it without getting sick. Yay!

As I attended the conference sessions, I found that the other attendees were about the nicest people I've ever met. I never once felt awkward and so many people offered to help me carry something, or offered their chairs, or just asked how I was doing. It restored some of my faith in humanity. I met some amazing people and I look forward to keeping in touch with them.

The intellectual stimulation was much needed. I had a blast discussing learning with other professionals and learned some tips and new ideas that I can incorporate into my work. I'm still going over my notes from the sessions I attended and I hope to write some of those up soon.

Overall, I walked almost 20,000 steps that week! I had a few wobbly moments and each time there was a new friend ready to help if I needed it. I fell once and got sick on two of the days, but I was expecting that every day, so that's a great outcome.

It's been easy to wallow in despair, considering my situation, but I'm tired of that. My victory at DevLearn has inspired me to find other ways to engage in socially and intellectually stimulating activities. I'm riding on an emotional high, and I blame the DevLearn folks. And I want more.

What did I learn from DevLearn? I learned that I can do it. I can do it all if I work hard enough.

Image Credit: Scott Fontenot (I think?)

Special thanks to my loving husband, without whom I could not have made this trip.

If you'd like more information about DevLearn, check out the eLearning Guild or check out the DevLearn backchannel on Twitter by searching #DevLearn.

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