Friday, September 3, 2010


These last few weeks have been a big lesson in adapting for me. Vertigo, knee immobilizer, and an office move.

Life as an Oracle employee is finally sinking in - things are different. Some things are better, some are ... well, different. Packing up my old office in Menlo Park was quite a walk down memory lane - I found old CDROMs full of SunScreen source code, old Solaris install media, cards from friends, pictures of family, and stacks of old design notes.

I've moved around a lot in my years as a Sun employee, but my very first office was a double window office in Menlo Park (MPK17) overlooking the foothills - probably my favorite office to date. From there I went into Palo Alto (PAL1), Mountain View (MTV21), back to Menlo Park (MPK18) then back to my favorite building, MPK17. I moved back into Menlo Park 17 right after September 11th. Everything seemed so surreal, joining the OS group and working on a product with a seemingly endlessly large team. I couldn't believe how strict the integration standards were (and now, as a CRT advocate I enforce these and as chair I document them), nor how large the scope of our overall project was.

I sat across from a woman, Renee. And over the next 9 years, even as our offices moved, we were still across the hall from each other.

Now I'm in Santa Clara. I still have one box left to unpack. Renee is on the other side of the building, not too far, but not shouting distance either (of course, the rest of the people around me are probably grateful for this). The commute is nicer, though I'm further from my friends in San Francisco. I think I'll like it here.

About two weeks ago, I sat up from a massage and suddenly found the room spinning. No matter how long I sat, it wouldn't stop. Hours later I found myself visiting a doctor at Kaiser who diagnosed me with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) which is a vague diagnosis which basically means: "Something in your inner ear relocated. You're dizzy and you're just going to have to learn your new spatial environment". He performed the Epley Maneuver and gave me some exercises to do. So, I've been adapting to my new inner ear. It's taken awhile, but the dizzy spells are very infrequent and typically only happen when I turn my head upside down (like when drying my hair!). So, yoga is right out... oh, it was anyways....that knee immobilizer....

Apparently during my 105-mile bike ride for the American Lung Association, I partially tore the tendon that attaches my knee to my quadriceps. This knee has always had a tight quad, so swelling in my knee wasn't unusual. After a few weeks, though, of having it swell up every time I tried yoga or short bike rides, I made my way to Kaiser. Initial x-rays showed a perfectly healthy knee, but the MRI (which I had to wait more than 2 weeks for) showed the tear. Now I'm in a knee immobilizer. The device goes from just above the ankle to most of the way up the thigh. It needs to be worn directly on the skin, 24 hours a day. This means no jeans! I can wear short-shorts or skirts. Thank goodness I have a lot of skirts! I can walk with crutches (which results in sore ribs/hands/shoulders), or kinda like a pirate (which results in sore back). I alternate. I'm adapting.

I have a long recovery ahead of me. I can already see the muscle in the effected leg melting away. I don't know when I'll be able to ride my bike again. I'm so afraid I won't be able to. I am already tired of driving everywhere. I don't even want to think about skiing - I can't miss out on ski season, too!

As much as I want to feel sorry for myself and have a great big pity party, I realize that I am very fortunate to have medical care and an incredibly supportive husband who has been doing most of the driving and taking care of the house. I can put Renee on speed dial. I can adapt.


  1. Wow, only two weeks for an MRI? It would take a lot longer here in Canada - if your doctor would even think it was worth getting one in the first place. In any case, I hope you recover well and fast. No fun all this bad luck!

  2. I thought 2 weeks was a long wait since I've got an HMO. I find out next week if I get to take the leg brace off.