Taking breathers

I went in yesterday for routine bloodwork, which I do every few days, to make sure my blood maintains optimum clot-resistance. While there I also decided to ask the medical folks to listen to my chest again, since the pain that started this whole thing — and which turns out to have been a pulmonary embolism, a “moderate-sized” blood clot in the middle lobe of my right lung — never went away. In fact, I still feel like I’m nursing some broken ribs.

The diagnosis is nothing more than slow healing. The broken rib pain is actually residual pain around the scar tissue forming where the blood clot did its damage. The bubbling feeling I get near the pain is probably fluid still in the lungs, and air sacks making popping sounds as they heal, or get used in a new way, or something.

The upshot is that I need to exercise my lungs more. Ride the bike more. Walk. Get up, move around.

All this while I have more writing work than ever, all due approximately now, while also prepping for travel and speaking and event engagements over the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to all of it, but it’s wierd getting up and down a lot. I’m used to sagging into a chair and cranking on the laptop. Like I’m doing now, sort of.

Anyway, people have been asking for health updates, so that’s the latest.


  1. Eric Link’s avatar

    Hey Doc – what about a dictation service? Then you could walk and write at the same time? Maybe at least to capture your ideas etc. Might be an interesting experiment to see if that would work. Wonder if you could do a “rev 2” of a piece from memory (speak the whole thing again w/ your newest thinking). Then maybe you could just do final editing type work to put it together.

  2. Eric Link’s avatar

    Or, how about this; sort of podcast system where you could record your stuff, then as you play it back edit and make changes ‘on the go’, so you end up editing the recording. That might be a neat piece of software.

  3. zeno’s avatar

    Better yet, just use your cell phone and talk to Jott! 😉 Dunno what its time/length limitations are, though…

    Here’s a simpler idea. Have you thought about using a standing desk? It certainly doesn’t replace a good walk (or bike ride, or whatever), but it would keep you more active while computing, and you could work on your pacing!

  4. Chip’s avatar

    Eric has some interesting ideas
    Not too plugged into voice recognition software, but did try to set up my dad with same – failed (likely not software’s fault)

    Dragon is one I recall

    Take care of yourself, so you can continue to crank out good stuff

    Right now, I’m rediscovering difference in energy between 60+ and almost 3yr old (grand parenting)


  5. jeff schwartz’s avatar


    please, please, please take good care. in a “previous lifetime” i was a pulmonary tech in cardio icu…so i know just how dangerous a pulmonary embolism is.

    all the best,


  6. Paul’s avatar

    Doc I know how you love travel (especially air travel), but travel (especially air travel) is a significant cardiovascular stressor. Since you’re probably like me (and at 52 I’m not all that far behind you either) and aren’t really all that eager to cut back on something you love so much, consider this a plea to (as Jeff Schwartz says please, please, please) try to exercise more. I started doing more on that front a couple years back and I feel so much better (and better about indulging in the less healthy things I love). You’re such an important thought leader for so many of us, and we want you to continue on your healthy, happy path.

  7. francine hardaway’s avatar

    Doc, at your age, which is almost my age, it is way more important to keep fit than it was when you were younger. Trust me on this: I walk a half hour every day. I go to the gym and/or yoga 3x a week. That allows me to maintain a breakneck pace. You will get all the writing done. Try Utterz. It’s preferable to death.

  8. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Eric, I’ve tried dictation. I don’t think in anything close to final draft. Too cumbersome. I end up rewriting anyway.

    Paul, I’ve taken it easy on flying, so far. The risk is sitting still for too long. Tomorrow I fly for an hour to Toronto, then back the next day. I’ll wear special socks, and move around all I can. In two weeks I’ll be flying to San Francisco and Columbus. Those will be longer flights, but I’ll be in business class on all of it, which makes it much easier to get up and walk around.

    I’m sure the embolism came from sitting too much. So I’m getting a standing desk and walking and biking more. Hopefully playing some Basketball too.

  9. Russell Nelson’s avatar

    Doc, my resting heartbeat was scarily high about four years ago. I made a pact with myself to get off my butt and bicycle at least an hour whenever the weather supports it, or to stack wood when it doesn’t. Sometimes I feel like my work is more important than my exercise and then I think about the fact that I won’t get ANY work done if I’m dead, and I go exercise.

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