Monday, May 2, 2016

Some Simple Statistics (My journey with Ulcerative Colitis)

Between April 2013 and September 2015 I endured the following events as a result of untreatable Ulcerative Colitis.  If you suffer from UC don't wait until it is out of control to take the difficult decision to proceed with a surgical remedy.
  • 145 Days in Hospital (longest continuous stretch was 30 days).
  • Number of days my darling Wife visited me in Hospital (144).
  • 6 Trips to the Operating Room.
    • Full Colectomy with End Ileostomy.
    • Relieve Intestinal obstruction.
    • J-Pouch Formation with Bypass Loop Ileostomy.
    • Repair mid-line wound opening.
    • Ileostomy take-down.
    • Hernia reduction.
  • PIC Line (3 times)
  • Abscess Drain (4 times)
  • NG Tube (5 times)
  • Blood Transfusion (3 times)
  • Days fed intravenously (43)
  • Colonoscopy (lost count: 10+)
  • Low point weight 105 lbs (vs my normal healthy weight of 165 lbs)
  • Jobs lost while Hospitalized (1: CTO at ScopiaRx)
Holidays and events I missed, or celebrated in Hospital (Son's High School graduation, Mother-in-laws funeral, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and my 50th birthday).

The end result was worth it though.  Cured of life threatening Ulcerative Colitis thanks to the outstanding nursing staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati and Dr. Scott Kelley (Colo-rectal Surgeon, now at the Mayo Clinic), Dr. Kevin Grannan (General Surgeon) and Dr. James Cranley (GI Specialist).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Where has the Alien Entrepreneur been?

It's been a while since I have been active on this Blog.  Well put simply throughout 2013 and 2014 I was battling a serious illness that resulted in spending a combined total of 131 days in Hospital, and undergoing 6 surgeries.  Now cured, I hope to parlay that experience into an inspirational story about perseverance, and follow it with many further thought provoking posts on the current and future state of IT, as I engage in my biggest challenge as a consultant to date (more on that real soon).

Thursday, February 5, 2015

When you become a CEO don't stop being a human.

I had to think long and hard about writing this post.  I am choosing not to name names because the objective of the post is simply to educate future startup CEO's. A while back I joined a startup as their CTO, first as a 1099 contractor, and then as a full-time employee.  Actually full-time employee #2 or #3 I think.  About a third of the way into my first year as a full-time employee I got very sick.  Not a new illness, Ulcerative Colitis, something I had been diagnosed with many years before but which had been in total remission for almost 5 years.  Unfortunately when it decided to return, it returned with a vengeance.  To cut a long story short I spent 83 days in Hospital that year, and 42 the following year including one stint that lasted 30 days, and underwent 5 surgeries.  Initially my employer generously stuck with me, and I did what work I could while hospitalized or at home recuperating.  Eventually though, and not unsurprisingly my work output didn't warrant the salary I was being paid, and that's fair.  Here's where I think this companies CEO failed to act as a decent human being however. 1) He never visited me in Hospital, though I did get flowers on two occasions. The only visitor I got from work was from my direct report, for which I am very thankful.  I also had a visit from the CEO of a former employer where I had worked for 8 years, again for which I am very thankful. 2) He terminated my employment by telephone while I lay in a Hospital bed, even though doing so in person would have taken a 30 minute drive at most.  3) The company initially offered me no severance.  Thankfully they did eventually agree to honor the terms of my contract.  If you're a startup CEO, please don't treat your employees this way, and if its apparent that a key employee can't contribute for a while due to health issues consider and discuss alternatives such as an unpaid furlough.  Thankfully I can report I am 100% recovered from this illness and busy with my consulting practice where I am earning more than I did at the startup in question.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

10 Tweeted Startup Tips

Of course that should have read, Probability, not Probably!