My Large Updates from a Yr of Alternate

After I began Felony Nomads as a weblog in 2008, I did so in order that family and friends may practice me when I hand over my activity as a legal professional to commute the sector for three hundred and sixty five days.

In fact, three hundred and sixty five days changed into many—you all know the tale by means of now. When the web page started to develop sharply within the years that adopted, I decided to stay it ad-free and now not take any subsidized textual content hyperlinks or advertorial. I didn’t revel in studying websites peppered with advertisements—so I handled my group the best way I sought after to be handled.

Years in the past, somebody as soon as instructed me that was once an overly silly thought, that I’d by no means achieve success if I constructed my trade with the ones sorts of regulations.

Did I depart some huge cash at the desk?


However I sought after the Felony Nomads weblog to be a residing tree of my reviews and adventures, with out sacrificing the sorts of studying I sought after to concentrate on. So I wrote the best way I sought after to, and shared what I discovered maximum attention-grabbing on the time.

Whilst I’m fortunate to have a shockingly unswerving and engaged group of readers, the disadvantage to this selection has been that the weblog has taken a again seat to different pages and initiatives that do usher in source of revenue. It’s been particularly dormant all over the previous couple of years when my capability to paintings has been extraordinarily restricted.

So after nearly a complete 12 months of now not posting at the weblog, I sought after to replace you all on what’s been happening. I understand that what I percentage beneath is probably not information to these of you who get my Curious About The whole thing e-newsletter, or are Patreon contributors. However there may be nonetheless a large workforce that obtain neither of the ones, and it’s prime time I gave you an replace!

I’m additionally going to be sending out my 2022 reward information quickly, specializing in proficient native artisans right here in Ottawa (who additionally send to the USA).

Updates, most commonly in chronological order, beneath.

I finished up at the entrance web page of CNN for a weekend

In 2021, CNN commissioned a work about my spinal CSF leak and the way I went from commute and meals blogger to bedbound. The editor, Karla, noticed an Instagram submit I wrote concerning the paintings to simply accept what’s, and find out how to reframe the existing second when existence permits you to down.

The piece was once very onerous to put in writing, each bodily and emotionally. I’ve mentioned in other places that it felt like doing surgical procedure on myself, carving away portions of my tale that had been too unwieldy to suit into the temporary.

With the assistance of pals who edited my draft ahead of I submitted it to Karla, CNN printed the piece in overdue January 2022.

I had was hoping that the piece would lift consciousness for this horrible spinal situation that many of us don’t even know exists. I used to be one of the vital blissfully unaware, ahead of it came about to me. I additionally sought after to put in writing one thing that fellow sufferers may doubtlessly ship to their households and really feel observed by means of, serving to them provide an explanation for how painful and debilitating spinal CSF leak is.

CNN made up our minds to place the piece at the entrance web page for a complete weekend.

I utterly misplaced observe of who learn it as my inbox exploded with feedback and horrible tales of ache from individuals who may relate. It was once an amazing, exhilarating week and I believe honoured that my writing was once so broadly learn and shared.

jodi ettenberg cnn front page
Screenshot from CNN’s frontpage, January 31, 2022

I nonetheless obtain messages from individuals who stumble at the piece and acknowledge their signs on it, sending them down the trail to get handled for spinal CSF leak.

I’m very thankful to Karla for giving me the chance to impact trade thru my tale.

Notice: I gained many questions on my leak tale after sharing it, like why I haven’t long past for surgical procedure, or issues I needed I knew ahead of I were given a lumbar puncture. I did a distinct version FAQ e-newsletter, and you’ll see solutions to these questions right here.

The Felony Nomads group followed two ‘Felony Lemurs’

At some point, whilst I used to be within the bathe—the place all excellent concepts derive—I made up our minds that I’d undertake a lemur from the Duke Lemur Heart.

Lemurs are a few of my favorite animals (at the back of tarsiers after all), and I feel sorry about now not visiting them of their house of Madagascar ahead of I turn into disabled.

Adopting a lemur looked like a amusing distraction from the gaping maw of the scoop cycle, and I questioned if any readers would have an interest.

lemur eating rose blossoms
This lemur’s face expresses how I believe once I take a look at the scoop. © DLC, 2022

I took to social media with a impulsively made graphic and requested if somebody else can be involved in becoming a member of in. 31 other folks mentioned sure, and I despatched $750 in lemur monies to the Duke Lemur Heart.

In go back, we followed a Coquerel’s sifaka and an aye-aye, and obtain quarterly behaviour updates about our lemurs with numerous truly lovable pictures.

One among our lemurs, Pompeia, even had a child this spring.

Duke Lemur Center Pompeia and Cornelia
Cornelia and her mum, Pompeia. © DLC, 2022
Duke Lemur Center Pompeia and Cornelia
I will be able to’t even. © DLC, 2022

Our aye-aye is known as Agatha, and she or he has an overly feisty character. Her updates steadily contain the ingenious ways in which she avoids moving into her enclosure when she’s intended to. (Underneath is a special aye-aye, Binx.)

Duke Lemur Center Aye Aye

(For readability, that is just a symbolic adoption; unfortunately there will likely be no exact lemurs despatched our method.)

I’ll be re-upping the adoption procedure subsequent February, since lots of the Felony Lemur oldsters have already requested if shall we renew once more. If somebody needs to be stored up to date about this eye bleach, please ship me an e-mail and I’ll stay your title in thoughts for subsequent 12 months.

I joined the Spinal CSF Leak Basis’s Affected person Advisory Panel for Analysis, and later within the 12 months, their Board of Administrators

Round the similar time as we followed some lemurs, the American Spinal CSF Leak Basis introduced its picks for a analysis board this is affected person led, and is helping formalize the function of sufferers in shifting analysis ahead.

Analysis is a space of hope for advanced circumstances like me, and I joined the affected person panel for analysis in February 2022, along side a bunch of different sufferers. All of us respect having the chance to incorporate our voice as analysis research are crafted or performed.

Later this 12 months, the Basis requested me to enroll in their board of administrators, and I authorized. Each the United States and Canadian Foundations were very useful, each for me and for sufferers in North The usa typically. I’m excited to proceed serving the affected person group, and confidently proceed to boost consciousness in new techniques.

I moved to Ottawa

After a 12 months in Aylmer, in Quebec’s Gatineau area, I in spite of everything discovered a spot for me in Ottawa. It’s close to water, it’s an 8-minute force from my brother, and it’s in a construction that has up to now been very accommodating with recognize to my disabilities.

Regardless that I’ve now clawed again a couple of hours an afternoon of ‘uptime’ with my spinal CSF leak, there may be nonetheless so much I will not do.

Jodi Ettenberg
Me on my forty third birthday, in Ottawa

I’ve to restrict lifting the rest to five kilos and below. I will be able to’t bend on the waist, or twist my backbone. The rest that raises intrathecal power an excessive amount of goes to possibility blowing open my leak. (As will Covid, by means of the best way, so my worry with getting it isn’t solely my possibility profile for headaches with my immune disorder, but in addition {that a} coughing are compatible can remove all of this hard earned independence.)

I do opt for walks when my well being lets in, however doing so eats into my “status up” funds—and manner I wish to ensure I’m now not cooking a meal then (I’ll have a salad as an alternative), and now not status as much as write that day. Since I’m penning this submit, as of late might not be a stroll day.

Nonetheless, the sluggish walks I’ve accomplished had been completely gorgeous, particularly in Autumn. And after years absolutely in mattress, they really feel like jubilation.

fall trees ottawa ontario
Stunning timber right here!

As for the rental: my construction gave me permission to put in a distinct instrument on my patio door, because the heavy glass door was once now not one thing I may open safely. It drills into the highest of the patio door and lets in me to press a button to open it. I additionally invested in electrical blinds, and in a tabletop freezer. A chum gave me his outdated tabletop oven, and each freezer and oven take a seat aspect by means of aspect and ready to be accessed at any time.

I’ll be writing a submit in the end concerning the accessibility adjustments that helped make this position attainable for me. However I do need to say right here that it feels truly glorious to have a spot to my very own after such a lot of years of roaming the sector, after which residing in different peoples’ properties. 

Oaxaca was once intended to be that for me, a house base I cherished that I may devour in and take in the enjoyment of residing in any such particular town. There may be peace in having a small area to my very own that I may construct round my obstacles, although I will be able to’t rise up for lengthy every day.

I’m grateful for my dad and stepmum, who gave me a beneficiant reward to lend a hand furnish the rental. I had no furnishings once I rented it, and it’s been a problem discovering items which might be the precise peak, and now not strongly off-gassing. Their reward allowed me to seek for the pieces that labored perfect with out scrambling.

IKEA, Fb Market, Kijiji (a Canadian Craigslist selection) and a pal who donated his bench cushion sofa to me all got here in at hand. 

The whole result’s a spot with a whole lot of furnishings garage—boxes and drawers and cabinets—in order that I will be able to get admission to issues however now not have them cluttering the counters. As a result of I will be able to’t bend, it manner maximum issues need to be at waist degree. There’s numerous decrease drawers that I will be able to’t get to, however circle of relatives is helping me grasp issues if I would like them there.

It’s additionally been truly great to herald one of the most souvenirs from my travels for the primary time. The picture beneath is my studying nook, with artwork from my first go back and forth to Asia in 2004, and a papier-mâché woman from my years in Oaxaca.

The duck is new, and pleasant.

apartment ottawa
My studying corner
My status table corner, the place the sausage will get made.

I’m most commonly breaking even, because of my group

After I was disabled, I nervous about how I’d strengthen myself going ahead. I didn’t need to be a burden on my circle of relatives, however I may slightly take a seat up let by myself give you the option to make cash. Regardless that I’m privileged that my circle of relatives would by no means let me starve, it felt very tricky not to have the ability to strengthen myself in my 40s

To start with, my celiac translation playing cards had been promoting fairly smartly, and looked like some way that I may no less than have some passive source of revenue to pay expenses I incurred. 

When Covid hit, on the other hand, no person traveled any more — and my gross sales crashed to close 0.

I then began my Patreon club, upon the urging of this beautiful group who requested for it to lend a hand strengthen my very modified existence. (For the ones unfamiliar, Patreon is some way for readers to pledge per 30 days routine memberships, in go back for Patreon-only advantages.)

Many of us arrange their memberships with tiers that experience other get admission to. The extra you pay, the extra you might have get admission to to. I made up our minds to have equivalent advantages throughout all tiers (a “strengthen solely” club), since I used to be involved my well being would interfere in my skill to provide the advantages my Consumers deserved. I sought after other folks to pledge what they had been ok with. 

Clearly, my tiers are birds. Birds with names.

jodi ettenberg patreon
Screenshot from my Patreon web page

We’ve had Zoom calls with the group, I do movies answering questions (even supposing I’ve gained so much much less questions of overdue so much less of the ones!), I’ve accomplished some video tutorials on meditation ways, and the Patreon group will get updates about what’s happening extra steadily.

I’ve misplaced some Consumers in contemporary months, all mentioning monetary problems as the rationale. Understandably, as the entirety has turn into costlier, we reduce the extras the place we wish to. Total, despite the fact that, the Patreon supplies a moderately constant source of revenue move at at time when I will be able to’t paintings as I used to.

That implies that I don’t wish to chase down paid paintings to make ends meet, and will as an alternative center of attention on elevating consciousness for my situation, and sitting at the Basis’s board of administrators (which is unpaid).

In 2021, my celiac playing cards began promoting once more since commute picked up. On every occasion I’ve “uptime” to be had, I paintings on updating the prevailing celiac guides I’ve, and on running towards new ones. There are a number of new international locations within the works, two of which which might be out being beta examined now with celiac readers who will supply comments.

Taken in combination, and with my meals map gross sales (see beneath), I’m making ends meet.

Entrepreneurship is typically anxiety-inducing, because you by no means know if one month will fare smartly in comparison to the following. Including to that, I anticipated that once my existence modified that my target market would too. Not ready to percentage amusing commute pictures or meals tales, I questioned if I’d have somebody studying in any respect.

I’m grateful that lots of you’re nonetheless right here.

My spinal csf leak is solid sufficient that I’ve not on time going again to Duke

I am getting emails every week asking why I’m now not pushing for surgical procedure, or extra blood patching. I believe that is a type of very private issues that many of us don’t perceive. It was once an overly dramatic closing blood patch, and I need to be keen to simply accept all the dangers for me to return. 

After the CNN piece got here out, I spoke with my physician at Duke and he presented to patch me once more. It is a cheap factor, for the reason that I used to be sealed for 8 months all over the closing patch he gave me. However I additionally wanted an epinephrine jab at the desk all over that very same process, and my immune machine has long past into overdrive since.

I used to be additionally instructed I’ve a situation I’ve now not written a lot about known as adhesive arachnoiditis, the place my spinal nerves are clumping in combination inflicting numerous ache.

There are different issues that consider. It’s now not a make it possible for the patch will paintings, particularly as we will solely use blood since I’m allergic to the glue. Whilst blood-only does paintings for lots of, with a connective tissue dysfunction within the combine, fibrin is harder (pun supposed), which is why they went with it for me within the first position.

So it’s a question of accepting dangers, however amongst them that I would possibly finally end up internet adverse—now not simply that the patch would possibly not paintings.

This mixture of things, along side my few hours of ‘status up time’ an afternoon, has led me to push out patching for now.

I’ve hope that the science evolves to strengthen a greater chance for my therapeutic. There are new imaging ways, procedures, and ongoing analysis for this situation. So far, now not a lot has proven to be appropriate to my advanced case, however you by no means know.

I do plan to get remedy in the end, as a result of signs abound. After I stand, I nonetheless get the “mind sag” feeling of my backbone being smushed by means of my mind. I’ve numerous nerve ache and again ache, and neurological problems. And I’m thankful that Duke is keen to patch once more.

I’m simply now not there but.

The hand drawn maps of meals that I designed were promoting since 2014. The plan was once, and stays, to do ten international locations in all.

This 12 months, I’m in spite of everything freeing the Canadian meals map—it’s solely been 3 years within the making! The prolong is all mine, even though my artist Ella has had New York Occasions bestselling books pop out for the time being.

Lots of the meals Canadian call to mind as ‘our meals’ are colonial dishes. There have been no “ketchup chips” or poutine previous to Columbus, that’s evidently. I sought after to incorporate Indigenous dishes as smartly, and I reached out to the consultants in Indigenous meals in Canada each to ensure I used to be together with a cross-section of dishes, but in addition to make sure the spelling was once proper.

I am hoping it’s a extra inclusive map consequently.

food map of canada by legal nomads
Meals map of Canada in 12×12 structure (with out identify)

The store that properties my maps was once stagnant since 2016, once I arrange a now-defunct theme and disregarded it ever since except for so as to add new maps on the market.

Regardless of that, other folks have purchased maps! And despatched me their footage in their maps in every single place their partitions. I’m additionally delighted to have orders for brand new eating place openings, with my map decorating their partitions for the delicacies in query.

For this vacation season, I sought after to revamp the store so it higher replicate the manner of the LN web site, now that I’ve redone issues right here. I did the store redesign myself, as a result of I sought after to replace issues as I am going…. So it took me awhile.

Behold! Previous store:

hand drawn maps of food

And, the brand new store:

Yay! Test it out right here. I’m nonetheless solving some insects, however it’s most commonly accomplished.

Phew, I believe that’s the entirety.

Thanks to your strengthen, and for coming alongside in this very odd experience.


Check Also

Cessna Plane When compared – The Cessna 172 Vs The Cessna 182

To the uninitiated, the Cessna 172 and Cessna 182 are indistinguishable from each other. Both …