February 19, 2023

Reading time: 2m - 454 words.

After 10 years of trying to build something that would stand the test of time, COVID and circumstances bought me to a place where I needed to make a change.

I'd always admired ThoughtWorks for their ethical stance and real bankable commitment to diversity, along with their reputation for technical excellence.

And, the money didn't hurt either. I started in April 2021 and am coming up on two years as a ThoughtWorker as I write this.

Sarah at Thoughtworks

I began a long slow process of trying to get on top of many health issues that were seriously impacting on my quality of life.

Capsular adhesion, also known as "frozen shoulder" was a serious crimp. It sounds benign, but its painful as anything I've ever experienced, impacting sleep, and making me seriously miserable.

Sarah with a broken arm

I'd hurt myself skateboarding, was suffering with chostocondritis and a broken arm. And I was struggling after a nasty flu and dose of COVID, but kept trying to work up through Christmas 2020.

But it was in 2021 that increasing tiredness from illness and injury, plus a lot of overworking took its toll.

Struck Down

In February of that year (2021) right on Valentines day, I was struck by a bizarre cluster of symptoms that laid me out like I had been hit with a sledgehammer.

Flashing lights, pounding head pain that ran like an electric shock up and down my neck and skull; nausea, tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness and an awful vagueness that made it impossible to collect my thoughts.

I had always been a fitness junkie, running and doing exercise, but now I was completely helpless and in hospital for several days.

The eventual diagnosis took weeks and a trip to a neurologist.

Vestibular neuritis - which is basically nasty migraines from poor posture, illness and overwork. With muscle tissue in my back and neck weakening from flu and COVID bedridden times, plus enforced lack of exercise from the broken arm and ribs, my neck and skull were causing massive pain, by pulling on the vestibular nerves to my brain like a bell rope.

Slow Recovery

As of today, I have been back in the pool, swimming a kilometer twice a week, and the migraines are much reduced. I have to be very careful still with work, and cannot be on my computer, playing games or basically doing anything that involves looking down for a long time.

ThoughtWorks have helped by buying me a ergonomic chair, and I've had a few sick days here and there. But as of now things are going pretty well.

But its made me stop and think. About what I want.

And I'll be posting more about that in future posts.

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Written by Sarah Smith Mobile App Developer
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