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A Wish for the Season

This is the holiday season for most major religions, as well as for popular culture. During this time, even the most devoted techies among us should enjoy the company of family and friends, and to be cognizant of our individual good fortune.

I have a friend and former colleague; let's call him Bob, because that is his name. Over the last year, Bob has suffered debilitating illnesses that have left him disabled and with a poor quality of life. After months of pain and blood clots, his primarily ailment was diagnosed this fall as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. According to the Web site, RSDS is a progressive disease of the autonomic nervous system that can follow a trauma. Its symptoms include chronic burning pain, inflammation, and spasms in blood vessels and muscles of the extremities. More recently, Bob has been diagnosed with a growth in his brain that is giving him almost constant migraine headaches. Bob is in his forties, with a wife and three children dependent upon him for support.

It is not my intent to be morose and depressing this holiday season. Here's what Bob has to say about his situation:

"I am at peace with dealing with managing my pain. It is just the way it is going to be for a long time, and we should set realistic expectations. So we have, and things are OK, really."

I'd like to ask each of you, over the next several weeks, to perform a kind and considerate act for someone in your life. There are plenty of people who both need and deserve it. Thank you.

Posted by Peter Varhol on 12/14/2004

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