After receiving my PhD in biochemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, in 1984 and working as a Senior Scientist in a protein purification process development lab that was part of Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis for three years, I would come home from work and immediately fall sound asleep on the couch, not even waking when my wife would come home from work. So she suggested I see our medical doctor. I was told to see a neurologist. The neurologist I saw examined the results of a spinal tap and an MRI and told me he diagnosed my condition as secondary progressive MS. Nevertheless, I was able to continue contributing to protein purification process development efforts at Eli Lilly & Co. until 1998 when after a seminar I had given as part of my performance review I was unable to answer some questions because of my failing memory, after wich I explained my memory was compromised by multiple sclerosis with which I had been diagnosed in 1987. I was then advised to take the long term disability package the company offered to me. So I left Eli Lilly & Co. in 1999 on long term disability and my wife and I then moved back to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to be close to her parents with the intention of asking them to live with us since her father had a heart condition and they were both retired.
I scared the heck out of my wife when I had my first grand mal seizure waking her up in the middle of the night with blood coming out of my mouth because I had bit into my tongue so hard. I had a couple more grand mal seizures since the first one but have since gotten them under control with medicine I take regularly.
I tried to start a business to help foster the technology transfer by matching discoveries and inventions generated by research universities with needs for them in the air and water purification industries, agriculture industry, biomaterials industry, biofuels industry, bio-sanitation industry, biodiversity maintenance efforts, as well as the medical/healthcare industry. But that business effort wasn't successful.
While living in Indianapolis my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and their summer season of Symphony on the Prairie. So after moving back to Allegheny County, PA we have been enjoying the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra(PSO) very much. My wife and I are co-chairs of the Friends of the PSO which is basically a fan club for the PSO which gets together for cocktail receptions at which guest artists or members of the PSO make a brief presentation to Friends of the PSO and answer questions from the members of the Friends of the PSO. My wife does all the work of inviting the artists and arranging the Friends of the PSO events.
My wife and I are also on the board of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association for which I am the secretary, so I take the minutes at our board meetings. My wife helps edit the minutes I compose.
I also rely on my wife to drive since after going on disability I no longer feel I am able to operate an automobile safely.
I was still able to walk when I went on long term disability but I was alway dropping my toe and tripping myself. I was helped with physical therapy on the auto ambulator which actually retrained my brain to stop dropping my toes when I'm walking. So since I'm still able to walk I'm still am able to help my wife with shopping, I cut the grass, I remove snow with a snow thrower and stuff like that. I know my limits of endurance and take naps when I am exhausted.
I am currently writing a book related to that which I learned while trying to start my technology transfer business, currently titled Share Knowledge to Sustain Ourselves. The book presents my idea that our current economy and capitalism paradigm must be replaced by a new paradigm I call nursurlifres commerce in wich people globally will collaborate to nurture the health, survival, and evolution of all species of life and all natural resources on Earth so as to maintain Earth's life support system long into the future.
That's my story so far.
David G. Maskalick, PhD