I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I was born roughly 40 years ago in South Africa. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail. You don’t need the whole history.
In primary school, I played chess and entered maths competitions and was bullied relentlessly. I eventually made it onto the provincial chess team, but that was as far as I was able to go. I’m easily distracted and just was not able to put in the focused time needed to advance further.
In high school, I decided that the bullying was over and fought back. After 2 fights, I wasn’t bullied again. I still played chess on the school team and enjoyed it, but I had discovered a new way to spend my time.
Computers!! My dad had bought a computer at some stage and I started programming. It was exhilarating.
I had the powers of a god. I could create things from nothing. I was hooked.
I finished school and started studying for a B.SC (IT) degree that I finished in 2004. During this time, I worked as a sales assistant in a bookshop where I met my wife.
Then I spent 8 years working for a small company. Honestly, this was a pretty bad time. We were struggling financially, my wife and I were both very depressed (not that we always realised that) and my boss was blaming me for not getting enough sales of his software.
It wasn’t all bad though. I got to travel a bit for work. I saw some of Botswana, Dubai, Afghanistan, India, and Costa Rica (where we eventually settled for nearly 2 years) and it was during these rough years that I started looking into online marketing and creating my own business.
Around 2010, I started experimenting with polyphasic sleep and seeing how little sleep I could still function on (not too bright in hindsight). During this time I started experiencing issues with my right arm. I just put it down to a repetitive strain injury and started taking better care of myself.
In 2013 I joined a new company and everything was great. I’m getting paid a fair wage, I work with great people and things are slowly improving. But my arm is getting worse.
In 2014 my son was born. And there were things that I just couldn’t do because I was in too much pain.
2017 rolls around and I’m losing function in my right arm. I start a journey of referrals to various medical practitioners which ultimately leads to a neurologist who examines me and tells me that there’s a problem with my brain.
18/07/18 The day my life changed. I have Parkinson’s Disease. After an MRI, Lumbar puncture, a dozen blood and urine tests, and lots of prodding and poking the neurologist diagnosed me with Parkinson’s Disease.
End 2018 I moved to a different company with better disability benefits and that I feel is treating me more ethically.
The next 3 years are spent coming to grips with this while I figure out how to live with this disease.
2021 is a bit of a bad start. My symptoms are worse, my deep brain stimulation surgery gets canceled because of COVID-19 and I’m really battling to work for a full day.
I decided it was time for a change, so I applied for a disability benefit with the idea that working four hours a week would leave me in a much better condition.
2022 rolls around and my symptoms are worse, my performance at work is not up to par and I eventually get put on a full disability benefit. I also have brain surgery at the end of the year, which leaves me in debt, but with much better health.
2023, Our family suffered several setbacks, all while I was recovering from brain surgery. And this leaves us updated with my life story up to now.
I also started with John Thornhill’s Partnership to Success Program and that is where I’m at the moment.