I published this article on LinkedIn today. I thought I would share it here. If you wish to see it at the source, you can find it on my LinkedIn profile. However, I’m going to republish the piece in its entirety here, since not everyone has a LI account and some would not be able to read it.
A “Major” Status Update
Hello. I’ve decided it is long past time to write a personal status update with explanations about several issues regarding myself, our business, and my goings on here on LinkedIn. Sorry for taking so long. My last update was in September (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/major-changes-scott-holstad/) and a lot has happened since then, and I frankly haven’t had the time to write another until now – and many of you have been inquiring into my status, so I feel I owe you a promised explanation.
As many of you know, I’ve had some severe health problems for awhile, which worsened considerably last year, resulting in three near-death experiences, ample time spent in and at various hospitals, countless tests, procedures, medications, etc. In November, several things occurred which resulted in a number of injuries, for which I’ve had to undergo more tests and past and future surgeries. What I didn’t realize was there apparently was more under the surface, which when added to some pre-existing conditions and issues, resulted in new and worsening symptoms that didn’t initially make much sense, but which accelerated at a shockingly fast pace, week by week. I won’t list most symptoms, but suffice it to say that among them were signs of increased cognitive impairment. That actually isn’t entirely new, but the rate of progression was astonishing, compared to previously, and new symptoms were disturbing and confusing.
Typically, I started researching like crazy, about anything remotely associated with these symptoms, and a pattern started to emerge, which when added to a series of events dating back to at least 2016, chronologically showed evidence of growing problems. Indeed, I was diagnosed with a particular condition as far back as 2017 and put on some strong medication. I was overseen by several specialists, but that was largely put on the backburner last year when I “died” in June, and then with the chaos that followed.
In any event, I began to figure things out in January, started making more notes, and came up with not one, but two related conditions, which when one considered the symptoms, the ways in which such conditions emerged, and events in my life that chronologically matched periods of memory impairments and numerous other issues, really made sense. I developed a detailed theory and discussed it with my wife, who was resistant. I wrote a lengthy logical document detailing what I just mentioned, gave it to her and she was finally convinced. I then met with doctors, discussed this/these with them, gave them the information, and they agreed with my self-assessment/diagnosis. So, I’ve been put on some new medication and I was given some information, advice, and an outlook which wasn’t very … optimistic. The potential exists that I am in an advanced stage of this/these conditions, generally related to cognitive impairment, potentially quite severe. I’m sure you can figure things out for yourselves. I have an appointment for far more extensive testing soon. We’ll know better then what we’re looking at. At this point, the doctors currently overseeing me have generally given me six months to two years to live, with a strong emphasis on the former. Basically, they said it would be surprising for me to see 2020. I haven’t told my elderly mother, nor has my wife told her family. We’re discussing this with no one. Only my doctors know anything, and I want to keep it that way. Of course, anything is possible and further testing may show these specialists are wrong, or at least their prognosis is off base. But I’m pretty convinced. I’ve been keenly aware of my progressively worsening state on a daily basis, and my wife admits that she too has observed me worsening regularly since December. I’m looking at an incurable, irreversible, terminal condition. I’ve never been afraid of death. I’ve come so close to death in so many ways over my lifetime that I simply have no fear. I DO fear a few ways to die. For instance, I never relished the notion of crashing to earth in a plane. And like my parents, none of us wanted to ever get something like Alzheimer’s (who does?). Whatever the case, one rarely gets to choose what method, what time, under what conditions. For most, it just happens when it happens. So my concerns now are to take care of details for my wife and her future, do whatever is necessary to slow down and stop working, to shut down the company (Yes, I intend to shut down WireMe Designs, LLC sometime this year.), and to try and make it day to day. For many months now, my life has radically changed. My usual habits and patterns have been altered. Now, I am constantly fatigued, but I often can’t sleep at all and will go 48 and 72+ hours without sleep before having a night where I sleep to 11:30 the next morning. I’m also a lot weaker, more prone to falls, and have been having more trouble walking. I’ve used a cane for some time, but doctors insisted in late 2018 that I start using a walker, which has really taught me humility. Severe stomach problems have also returned, notably severe nausea, incredibly extreme pain, and often an inability to eat at all; there are days I simply don’t eat. Furthermore, I have suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia Type 2 for a decade, as well as many serious back conditions, resulting in dozens of surgeries. For years, I’ve lived daily with indescribable pain, and it impacted me terribly the first two years, but I came to adapt to a large degree, and my pain tolerance level is actually extremely high by most accounts. However, my pain is greater than ever and my entire body hurts nearly constantly, and now most of my days consist of attempting to do some necessary things, now very difficult, and then of simply existing, at various time, barely cognizant. I shut down my Facebook account and am no longer active on virtually any social media except LinkedIn, and my time here has decreased. And as many of you have found out, it’s nearly impossible for me to reply to the large number of messages and emails I regularly receive. I’m having to limit my interactions because my window of opportunity for daily productivity has been radically shortened. So forgive me if it seems like I’m ignoring you because it’s not that I don’t want to interact with you – I’m just very limited now. So, I’ll do what I can to keep sharing relevant articles, posting commentary, writing the occasional article, and I’ll keep making connections with people, but I can’t do what I’ve typically done in the past, and that’s give significant time, energy or effort to any project or favor requests that come my way. With many apologies. So, I wrote more than I intended, but I felt like after all this time, I owed an explanation, and I needed to explain my current and future status, as well as that of the company’s. I appreciate everyone in my network and those who follow me, and I appreciate any support thrown my way. You have my gratitude. I’ll probably be on here less than normal, but I’ll try to get on regularly for as long as possible. Cheers to you!
April 18, 2019