I don't believe I've talked about this before but I'm not the healthiest human alive. I'm anemic, have strange food allergies, carpal tunnel, and consistently swollen hands. Most of these things don't always affect my dev life but something I've been thinking about is how much longer I can go with carpal tunnel and swollen hands.
I've looked into tackling all these problems by themselves but then this weekend happened. I woke up to a swollen wrist...cool, nothing new. I went back to sleep because my energy wasn't there. I woke up to 10x the amount of pain. Now I'd like to note my tolerance is pretty high because I've spent years with these issues, so for me to feel enough pain to get up is major. Anyway it was so bad that I've decided I need to move on from being a developer in the next year.
So what does this mean?
I can still code or whatever but realistically I just can't keep doing this for 15-20ish hours a day. I really love doing things with my hands from building computers to playing music. I rather keep doing those things than kill my hands at the computer. I've had a good run but realistically I need to move on in my career. As I work on moving away from being a full-time developer I'm going to also to invest a lot in medical test and such.
People tell you all the time that black women have the hardest time with doctors and that is especially true for me. I've had these serious food allergies since I was 11/12 and nobody would give me an epipen until I demanded it at 21. I also have had increasing swelling in my hands since 2015, I know that it's a water retention thing but my doctors would do anything else past saying "well we don't want you to get hooked on those". I don't even like pills so it's time that I take this nice tech salary and invest in my own research.
Whats the plan?
Well first off I need to see if I can do app sec without crazy coding doing the day. If not I'm going to look at going the PM -> Executive suite route. I also have a slight suspicion that I can fix some of my swelling at a lower altitude (I grew up in Nashville which is a bowl) so I'll be asking my job to be fully remote or I'll have to find a new one. Regardless of how that turns out I'm moving back south. My goal is to do whatever possible to cut how much time I spend coding.
How does this make you feel?
I'm a bit sad about it but it's time I go overboard on my physical health. I have really been focused on my mental health after leaving grad school. Nothing wrong with that but physically I'm only doing enough to make it day by day. Also at the end of the day I rather be healthy than lose my hands even though I joke about replacing them all the time.
I know this was a lot and kinda sad. I wrote this mostly for me but also I want other devs to take care of themselves more. I was doing ok for awhile but at some point you need to REALLY listen to your body and do what best for it.