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May 31, 2015

I promised that if there was ever a time in the future when I knew that I wouldn't be able to get any updates out for a while, that I would at least declare it, rather than keep everybody waiting and hoping. My last unannounced hiatus was between August 2009 and November 2012, and was much longer than I had anticipated. The last time around was due to chronic tension headaches that I've had since March 2006 which were not abating, which made doing a lot of extracurricular computer activities difficult. This time around is unfortunately due to health again, but for a slightly different reason. A second chronic issue that I've been battling with since August 2012 is severe eye strain. It's hard to say whether or not these two issues are linked.

I've been using computers in some way, shape, or form pretty much since I've been in diapers, and I've loved everything about them all my life. Naturally, I made a career out of it and landed up as a Linux Server Administrator for a provincial health insurance company, which I am still doing now, and have been doing for over 7 years. This means 40 hours of staring at some sort of visual display every week, plus all my extra time on my iPhone, home PC, etc. I'm not sure if all of these hours caught up with me, or if there is something about current display technologies my body can't handle as well.

I seem particularly sensitive to LED monitors. After building a $3,300 computer in December 2011, I bought a top-of-the-line Samsung LED monitor, plugged it in, and felt seasick the second I looked at it. No matter what the brightness, I always felt queasy looking at the thing. I felt so bad using this monitor that I eventually sold it to a colleague at work for -60% off in like-new condition, who is still using it to this day without difficulty.

About 8 months later, I started having trouble with LCDs as well. I'm using a Dell UltraSharp U2410 both at work and at home, and it's the best monitor I've ever owned. Unfortunately, I will still feel unwell after using it. After not too long, I experience aching/cramping eyes, motion/sea-sickness, visual headaches, photophobia, etc. My iPhone 5 gives me this too, but it comes on even faster. Every medical practitioner I have seen scratches their head. I have seen both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist this month alone, and both flat out told me they are not sure what is causing my issue. It is suggested to try a neurologist next (suspected issues similar to migraine sufferers).

I am actually typing up this update on a 15.5" CRT that I found in the basement running at a paltry 1024 x 768 px. The Bowser Shrine does not even format correctly at a resolution this small, and I have to use a horizontal scroll bar to see everything, lol. I am doing this just as an experiment to see if any good comes of it. This is the most drastic change I have tried so far when it comes to my experimentation. Unfortunately, I have no information as to why all this is happening, so I'm left to figure this out on my own.

Hopefully I can figure something out quickly. The problem appears to be worsening, which is a bit scary. It is potentially career-threatening, so I'm trying to explore all available avenues at this time. If anybody has any tips or advice that might help, by all means, send them my way!

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(as of December 18, 2006)

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