My medical and work situation (summary)

 

See a complete, detailed description of the issues described in this document here.

 
Until the summer of 2002 I was a healthy, hyper-productive multimedia designer, writer & creative consultant (see skills profile here).  I had been known for possessing enormous energy, and for my ability to work for 18-24 or more hours at a time, if I got “in the groove” in a challenging creative venture.

In August 2002, however, I was involved in an accident that broke all/most of the ribs on the left side of my ribcage.  This accident, and complications with my recovery, left me with a permanent, partially-disabling neuromuscular disorder called fibromyalgia This condition produces:

  • Chronic muscle pain, particularly throughout my upper torso, forearms and hands (See graphic “pain map” in illustration below, left; Click to enlarge)
  • Chronic fatigue (See graphic depiction of my energy cycles in illustration below, right; Click to enlarge)

I also developed a secondary disorder, Intercostal Neuralgia, persistent pain in the nerves that emerge from my spine and underlie my damaged ribs, but which never healed properly after the accident.

    

Combined, these maladies have impacted my life and work situation in the following ways:

  • On a typical day I have periods of energy that last between 5-8 hours, after which I must rest.  I then engage in some form of exercise or physical therapy.  The process then starts all over again.  Depending on the severity and duration of my symptoms, my alert times can be somewhat unpredictable; I can be (and often am) as active and productive at 3am as I am at 3pm.
  • I am often able to work 6-8 (or more) hours a day, just not in a continuous sequence, or in a traditional work environment.
  • I avoid taking prescription painkillers in all but the most severe circumstances, because while they reduce my pain, they also dramatically increase my fatigue. Recently I have been working to learn biofeedback and meditation practices that, with practice, I’ve learned can help tamp down fibromyalgia pain.
  • Other physical trauma also “triggers” my fibromyalgia pains.  For example, an ear infection, while intensely painful to normal people, causes pain not only in the “normal” area for me, but also dramatically escalates the fibromyalgia “hot spots” in my neck, shoulders, etc. Also, severely negative stress aggravates my symptoms; intensely positive feelings tend to mitigate them, temporarily.

Because of all these circumstances, I am unemployable in a traditional full-time (or even part-time) sense.  To survive, I have worked out of my home office, pursuing and servicing part-time, project-based consulting work.  These are projects with deadlines, for which I can do the bulk of my work on my own time, day or night.

Most of the work I’ve obtained since the accident has been on an as-needed basis with law firms, consulting on and designing graphic courtroom presentations.  See my portfolio of this work and client testimonials here.  As possible, I have also lent my skills to aid liberty-oriented advocacy projects.  See my portfolio here.  In both cases, my clients attest to the efficacy of my work, performance, innovation and attention to detail.

Most recently, due to market conditions, I’ve begun to branch off into more entrepreneurial ventures, in the hopes of creating steady, sustained income.  My first project in this regard is a book I’m writing about the transformative power of the “right” first dog on a troubled person’s life.

Conclusion:

  • Although my special needs require certain accommodations, my integrated body of skills are as sharp as ever, and have been successfully employed by clients on mission-critical projects.
  • Aside from generating income, my primary objective is to close the gap between my highest aptitude and my present skill-set: to acquire the 3D modeling & animation software, hardware and training to enable me to independently produce the 3D media that I have a demonstrated ability to design and direct the production of, but must subcontract out.

 
See a complete, detailed description of the issues described in this document here.
 
 
 

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