Six years after I married my high school sweet heart who’s the love of my life, and two years after I had received my PhD in Chemistry and had immediately started working for a large pharmaceutical company, I would come home exhausted and immediately fall asleep on the coach before my wife got home. My wife convinced me to see a family physician who, after examining me and talking with me, told me to see a neurologist. When I asked why I was told I might either have brain cancer or multiple sclerosis. Well, after I saw the neurologist and had blood and spinal fluid analysis completed and an MRI of my head completed, my neurologist told me I definitely had MS. Well at least it wasn’t brain cancer. Hah, Hah.
I was able to continue my career at the pharmaceutical company for another thirteen years without telling anyone in upper management at work that I had MS. I was careful to get enough rest. I wrote everything down and stored it on my computer or in my DayTimer to help my declining memory. I worked overtime lots since it was taking me a bit longer to solve complicated problems. Then in my final performance review, as I had done each year before, I delivered a seminar about all of my accomplishments and the accomplishments of the people in my lab over the last year. Afterward upper management asked me a simple question regarding my seminar and I could not remember the answer. So, a couple days later upper management told me I would be held back from any advancement. So I tried to explain to them the reason I forgot the answer to their question was because I had chronic progressive MS and I had been diagnosed 13 years earlier. Then a couple days later upper management told me I would have to take long term disability.
After that I received disability income for 14 years, and after that I’ve been receiving retirement income. A couple years after I took disability my wife and I moved to be closer to her parents since her dad had two open heart surgeries. My wife’s Mom and Dad have been living with us for the last 13 years. During the first 12 years on disability I put together a computer program with which I could store information about scientific articles I was reading. I used that to try to entice people to hire me as a technology transfer consultant to help business people to commercialize some of the discoveries and inventions that biotechnology and nanotechnology research was generating. Well that did not go anywhere so I dissolved the technology transfer business I had tried to start.
I learned a lot from that experience which I am using to write a book now. I have a friend who is a Professor in the business school of a large university nearby who is reviewing each chapter as I finish them. I’m currently entitling the book, Share Knowledge to Sustain Ourselves, subtitled: (Commerce, Humanity, and Life Can No Longer Be Sustained by The Purchase of Intellectual Property to Sustainably Satisfy the Basic Human Needs Market Demand). In the book I define basic human needs as a) clean air to breathe, b) clean fresh water to drink, c) nutritious, palatable food to eat, d) bio-materials to manufacture clothing and housing, e) bio-fuels for temperature control, manufacturing, and transportation, f) Bio-Sanitation and Waste Recycling, g) Biodiversity maintenance, and h) medical/health care. I write in the book about the knowledge economy, and how biospherics will eventually need to replace economics as we know it today. I’ve outlined the book with eighteen ideas I’ve used as the title of each chapter: Intro-Hope Against Extinction, 1-Basic Human Needs Product Demand, 2-Knowledge Exchange Commerce, 3-Basic Human Needs Market Demand, 4-Clean Air to Breathe Market Satisfaction, 5-Clean Fresh Water to Drink Market Satisfaction, 6-Nutritious, Palatable Food to Eat Market Satisfaction, 7-Biomaterials for Clothing and Building Market Satisfaction, 8-Biofuels for Temperature Control, Transportation and Manufacturing Market Satisfaction, 9-Bio-Sanitation and Waste Recycling Market Satisfaction, 10-Biodiversity Maintenance Market Satisfaction, 11-Medical/Healthcare Market Satisfaction, 12-Knowledge Production, 13- Knowledge Consumption, 14-Sustained Value of Knowledge Exchange, 15-Sustainable Global Ecological Economy, 16-Political, Ethical and Cultural Issues WRT Intellectual Property Rights While Evolving Into a Sustainable Society, 17-Remaining Products People Demand, 18-Research Translation and Commercialization Evolution. I’ve written the Intro and the first four chapters and had them reviewed, and I’m almost done writing the fifth chapter.
I try to persevere always, maybe even more when I’m depressed. My wife is my guardian angel since she helps me so very, very much. She is the love of my life who I met in high school band, started dating in 1974 and married in 1980. Since my wife is a trained music educator and has an MBA in marketing, we are co–leaders of the fan club for our city’s symphony orchestra. My wife and I are also on the board of the local chapter of my undergraduate alumni association.
Oh my, I almost forgot. On our thirtieth wedding anniversary my wife and I took a riverboat cruise on the Danube which was fantastically wonderful!