It’s been in the back of my mind for quite some time now to get back on here the start writing some more. Sadly, I typically psych myself out instead and end up with nothing. Luckily, I guess you can call it luck, I’ve had quite a tumultuous past six months.

New job

Back in October of 2013, I joined Hortonworks. Looking back, it still feels surreal, dreamlike even. Since graduating from RPI in 2010, the thought of joining a Silicon Vally software company, a company in the Mecca of software development, appeared to me as this unattainable goal. With the help of a friend and the support of an amazing lady, I took a leap to what I thought was a far-off platform, something I’d maybe get close to. Maybe something I could try again in a few months for. Turns out: I was wrong. It’s been a few months now, and it’s been a great experience. I’ve the opportunity to met more than a handful of people who I only knew by name, profile picture and open source contributions. All and all, it’s been awesome and I’m glad that I had the encouragement from others to try to follow my dreams.

Half a decade

Speaking of people who give me encouragement, I’ve also had the pleasure to spend the last five years with Laura. After a few years of dating at RPI, we’ve been living together for about three and a half years now. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I never really considered that I’d find myself in a committed relationship this early in my life already (I suppose that’s a rather “new” way to consider things given that I’m 25), but I’m here. And I kind of like it. I remember back in college when Laura and I were still learning about each other when we were both “learning” how to get back into a long-term relationship. We both had our quirks, but we worked through those, and boy am I glad we did. I know I don’t tell her enough, although she’d probably give me crap if I told her any more often than I presently do, but I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t have Laura around. She’s been amazing over the past six months in more detail than I care to publicly go into, and words don’t do it justice to describe how happy I am that she’s in my life.

Never discard anyone who is willing to deal with more tough times to help you follow your dreams. Hold on to that person and don’t let them go.

Death scare

I’ve already said that I’m 25, but I had quite a scare recently that I never expected to have. In short, I had a doctor in the emergency room tell me, “You’re lucky that you came in here today. You saved your own life.” That statement took a few days to sink in (about the duration of my hospital stay), but I am also one that deals with things by, well, not dealing with them. Sitting in the ER, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a high percentage of puns/jokes for total things I said.

After about three or four days of dealing with tremendous leg pain (I had trouble putting any amount of weight on my one leg for that period), I dragged (only half-kidding) over to an urgent care establishment close by where I live. Now, the emergency room doctor told me that I saved my life, but I tend to think that the doctor who saw me there is actually the one who saved my life, as he’s the one who still told me to go up to the hospital and get checked to see if I had a blood clot in my leg, despite having “none” of the risk factors.

Up the road to the hospital I went. After getting sent around the hospital a couple of times (thanks, receptionist), I finally got myself admitted and the ultrasound was administered. Sure enough, the nice lady scanning my leg got a super-serious look on her face and repeatedly told me “I’m really glad you came here”, “I’m really glad you’re here”; that was just the start of it.

Just like that, I was diagnosed with a deep venous thrombosis (DVT), or, in layman’s terms, a blood clot in my leg. To the emergency room waiting area I went. After a few hours in a wheelchair (as I was told that I wasn’t allowed to walk anymore), I was taken back for a CT scan of my chest to make sure that I didn’t have a piece of that clot also in my chest. This, is where things got scary.

About an hour or two after the CT scan, laying on a bed in the emergency room, the doctor came in and delivered me that wonderful news that I had a pulmonary embolism (PE), or, again in layman’s terms, a blood clot in my lungs. For those who might not know it: this is bad. Very bad. Lots of really bad things can happen to the patient if that clot decides to move closer to your heart. Bad things that could have easily put me under the knife that day. Luckily, I had somebody watching over me that day, and the rest of that week, and didn’t have to do any of that.

Fast-forward three days through a bunch of intra-venous fluids and medicines, lots of blood samples, and lots of crappy television, I was released back home, still with leg pain, but also with ample thinned blood and a healthy heart. While the jury is still out on why I developed this clot(s) in the first place, I find myself very lucky how this all fell into place in the end.

And finally, a public service announcement: if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have intense leg pain, especially when you put weight on it, go see a doctor immediately. Do not mess around with this stuff. Sitting in a desk chair for the better part of my day probably didn’t help my situation, but it’s usually not sufficient to cause a blood clot to form, so don’t worry too much my programmer friends.