Friday, February 3, 2023
HomeTravelMy Giant Updates from a 12 months of Trade

My Giant Updates from a 12 months of Trade

Once I began Felony Nomads as a weblog in 2008, I did so in order that family and friends may observe me when I surrender my task as a attorney to go back and forth the arena for 12 months.

After all, 12 months become many—you all know the tale by means of now. When the web site started to develop sharply within the years that adopted, I decided to stay it ad-free and now not take any backed textual content hyperlinks or advertorial. I didn’t experience studying websites peppered with commercials—so I handled my neighborhood the best way I sought after to be handled.

Years in the past, any individual as soon as advised me that was once an overly silly concept, that I’d by no means achieve success if I constructed my trade with the ones forms of regulations.

Did I go away some huge cash at the desk?


However I sought after the Felony Nomads weblog to be a dwelling tree of my reports and adventures, with out sacrificing the forms of studying I sought after to concentrate on. So I wrote the best way I sought after to, and shared what I discovered maximum fascinating on the time.

Whilst I’m fortunate to have a surprisingly dependable and engaged neighborhood 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 throughout the previous couple of years when my capability to paintings has been extraordinarily restricted.

So after virtually a complete yr of now not posting at the weblog, I sought after to replace you all on what’s been occurring. I notice that what I proportion underneath will not be information to these of you who get my Curious About The whole thing e-newsletter, or are Patreon individuals. However there’s nonetheless a large crew 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, that specialize in gifted native artisans right here in Ottawa (who additionally send to america).

Updates, most commonly in chronological order, underneath.

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 go back and forth and meals blogger to bedbound. The editor, Karla, noticed an Instagram submit I wrote in regards to the paintings to just accept what’s, and how you can reframe the existing second when existence permits you to down.

The piece was once very onerous to write down, each bodily and emotionally. I’ve stated in different places that it felt like doing surgical treatment on myself, carving away portions of my tale that have been too unwieldy to suit into the temporary.

With the assistance of pals who edited my draft sooner than I submitted it to Karla, CNN printed the piece in past due January 2022.

I had was hoping that the piece would carry 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, sooner than it came about to me. I additionally sought after to write down one thing that fellow sufferers may probably ship to their households and really feel observed by means of, serving to them give an explanation for how painful and debilitating spinal CSF leak is.

CNN determined to position the piece at the entrance web page for a whole weekend.

I totally misplaced monitor of who learn it as my inbox exploded with feedback and horrible tales of ache from individuals who may relate. It was once an awesome, exhilarating week and I believe honoured that my writing was once so extensively 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 alternate via my tale.

Notice: I won many questions on my leak tale after sharing it, like why I haven’t long gone for surgical treatment, or issues I wanted I knew sooner than I were given a lumbar puncture. I did a distinct version FAQ e-newsletter, and you’ll be able to see solutions to these questions right here.

The Felony Nomads neighborhood followed two ‘Felony Lemurs’

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

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 sooner than I grow to be disabled.

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

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

I took to social media with a abruptly made graphic and requested if any individual else could be involved in becoming a member of in. 31 folks stated sure, and I despatched $750 in lemur monies to the Duke Lemur Middle.

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

Considered one of 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 he or she has an overly feisty character. Her updates steadily contain the ingenious ways in which she avoids stepping into her enclosure when she’s meant to. (Underneath is a unique aye-aye, Binx.)

Duke Lemur Center Aye Aye

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

I’ll be re-upping the adoption procedure subsequent February, since most of the Felony Lemur folks have already requested if lets renew once more. If any individual desires to be saved up to date about this eye bleach, please ship me an e-mail and I’ll stay your identify in thoughts for subsequent yr.

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

Round the similar time as we followed some lemurs, the American Spinal CSF Leak Basis introduced its alternatives 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 gaggle of alternative sufferers. All of us admire having the chance to incorporate our voice as analysis research are crafted or performed.

Later this yr, the Basis requested me to enroll in their board of administrators, and I approved. Each america and Canadian Foundations had been very useful, each for me and for sufferers in North The us normally. I’m excited to proceed serving the affected person neighborhood, and with a bit of luck proceed to lift consciousness in new tactics.

I moved to Ottawa

After a yr 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 development that has so far been very accommodating with admire to my disabilities.

Despite the fact that I’ve now clawed again a couple of hours an afternoon of ‘uptime’ with my spinal CSF leak, there’s 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 beneath. I will be able to’t bend on the waist, or twist my backbone. The rest that raises intrathecal drive an excessive amount of goes to chance blowing open my leak. (As will Covid, by means of the best way, so my worry with getting it isn’t solely my chance profile for headaches with my immune disorder, but additionally {that a} coughing are compatible can remove all of this hard earned independence.)

I do opt for walks when my well being permits, however doing so eats into my “status up” finances—and approach I wish to make certain I’m now not cooking a meal then (I’ll have a salad as a substitute), and now not status as much as write that day. Since I’m scripting this submit, as of late may not be a stroll day.

Nonetheless, the gradual walks I’ve performed have been completely stunning, particularly in Autumn. And after years totally in mattress, they really feel like jubilation.

fall trees ottawa ontario
Stunning bushes right here!

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

I’ll be writing a submit in the end in regards to the accessibility adjustments that helped make this position attainable for me. However I do wish to say right here that it feels in reality glorious to have a spot to my very own after such a lot of years of roaming the arena, after which dwelling in different peoples’ homes. 

Oaxaca was once intended to be that for me, a house base I liked that I may consume in and take in the enjoyment of dwelling in this type of particular town. There may be peace in having a small area to my very own that I may construct round my boundaries, even though I will be able to’t rise up for lengthy on a daily basis.

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

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

The total result’s a spot with a lot of furnishings garage—packing containers and drawers and cabinets—in order that I will be able to get right of entry to issues however now not have them cluttering the counters. As a result of I will be able to’t bend, it approach 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 take hold of issues if I want them there.

It’s additionally been in reality great to herald probably the most souvenirs from my travels for the primary time. The photograph underneath is my studying nook, with artwork from my first shuttle 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, due to my neighborhood

Once I was disabled, I apprehensive about how I’d make stronger myself going ahead. I didn’t wish to be a burden on my circle of relatives, however I may slightly take a seat up let on my own have the opportunity to become profitable. Despite the fact 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 make stronger myself in my 40s

To start with, my celiac translation playing cards have been promoting fairly neatly, and looked like some way that I may a minimum of have some passive source of revenue to pay expenses I incurred. 

When Covid hit, then again, no person traveled to any extent further — and my gross sales crashed to close 0.

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

Many of us arrange their memberships with tiers that experience other get right of entry to. The extra you pay, the extra you have got get right of entry to to. I determined to have identical advantages throughout all tiers (a “make stronger solely” club), since I used to be involved my well being would interfere in my skill to offer the advantages my Buyers deserved. I sought after folks to pledge what they have 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 neighborhood, I do movies answering questions (despite the fact that I’ve won so much much less questions of past due so much less of the ones!), I’ve performed some video tutorials on meditation ways, and the Patreon neighborhood will get updates about what’s occurring extra incessantly.

I’ve misplaced some Buyers in contemporary months, all mentioning monetary problems as the explanation. Understandably, as the whole lot has grow to be dearer, we reduce the extras the place we wish to. Total, although, the Patreon supplies a reasonably constant source of revenue movement 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 a substitute focal point 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 go back and forth picked up. Each time I’ve “uptime” to be had, I paintings on updating the present celiac guides I’ve, and on operating towards new ones. There are a number of new international locations within the works, two of which which can be out being beta examined now with celiac readers who will supply comments.

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

Entrepreneurship is normally anxiety-inducing, because you by no means know if one month will fare neatly in comparison to the following. Including to that, I anticipated that after my existence modified that my target market would too. Not in a position to proportion amusing go back and forth pictures or meals tales, I questioned if I’d have any individual studying in any respect.

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

My spinal csf leak is strong sufficient that I’ve behind schedule going again to Duke

I am getting emails each and every week asking why I’m now not pushing for surgical treatment, or extra blood patching. I feel that is a type of very non-public issues that many of us don’t perceive. It was once an overly dramatic ultimate blood patch, and I need to be keen to just accept all the hazards 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. This can be a affordable factor, for the reason that I used to be sealed for 8 months throughout the ultimate patch he gave me. However I additionally wanted an epinephrine jab at the desk throughout that very same process, and my immune machine has long gone into overdrive since.

I used to be additionally advised 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 be sure that the patch will paintings, particularly as we will be able to 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 tougher (pun supposed), which is why they went with it for me within the first position.

So it’s an issue of accepting dangers, however amongst them that I might finally end up internet detrimental—now not simply that the patch would possibly not paintings.

This mix 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 make stronger a greater chance for my therapeutic. There are new imaging ways, procedures, and ongoing analysis for this situation. To this point, 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. Once 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 had been promoting since 2014. The plan was once, and stays, to do ten international locations in all.

This yr, 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 supposing my artist Ella has had New York Instances bestselling books pop out for the time being.

Many of the meals Canadian recall 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 neatly, 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 additionally to verify the spelling was once right kind.

I am hoping it’s a extra inclusive map because of this.

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

The store that homes my maps was once stagnant since 2016, after I arrange a now-defunct theme and overlooked it ever since aside from so as to add new maps on the market.

In spite of that, folks have purchased maps! And despatched me their footage in their maps in all places their partitions. I’m additionally extremely joyful to have orders for brand spanking 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 way 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! Outdated store:

hand drawn maps of food

And, the brand new store:

Yay! Test it out right here. I’m nonetheless solving some insects, but it surely’s most commonly performed.

Phew, I feel that’s the whole lot.

Thanks in your make stronger, and for coming alongside in this very extraordinary trip.


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