Who is this S chick?

Here is me and all of my faces: the professional, the patient and the web developer:

The Name

I currently use the pen name Sydney Cale. Unfortunately for ethical reasons I cannot associate my full name with this blog or my other social media accounts. Personal self disclosure and dual relationships are a no-no in my line of work. My clients past, present, and future could have negative repercussions in their treatment if they were to find me online, and I could lose my license. I also like to be able to run my mouth on Twitter and do the occasional whining. I’m more than happy to verify my credentials via private message. Professionally I am on linked in and have an up to date professional license than can be verified online.

The Professional

I’m only going by my first initial S for now as I am a Masters Level Licensed Social Worker. We have a very strict Code of Ethics1 when we get our license we essentially sign over our names and a good part of our lives. Until I’m sure my job and my licensing board is happy with this website S is what you’re going to get.

I have my Master’s in Clinical Social work with a specialization in Mental Health and a sub-specialization in Macro Social Work. My undergraduate I double majored in Social Work and Psychology. I focused my Psychology degree on Neuroscience and clinical Psychology.

As a social worker I have been practicing Evidence Based Psychotherapy in the public mental health system in an Evidence Based (yeah we’re meta!) mobile program for almost 8 years. Yes, I’m only 34, I started young which leads to the next bit:

The Patient

I went ahead and got my Master’s at a young age in large part because I have never been particularly well. The strengths based recovery perspective of Social Work, combined with my health problems likely is what drew me to that over Psychology. I started young because who knew how long I could work, and when I could I needed good insurance. I’ve always been a fast and bright burning star, I figured why not continue doing that for as long as possible.

I will disclose here what I say to my clients. I have Chronic Migraine with Complex/Basilar Aura, Meniere’s Disease, Severe Facet Arthritis in the Lumbar spine, Endometriosis, and at least one undiagnosed illness. I also occasionally need surgery when my colon gets completely locked in scar tissue. My current symptoms are severe back pain, stiffness throughout my spine and shoulders, muscle spams, chronic low grade fevers, and severe fatigue. My Meniere’s and migraines are currently manageable, though my other symptoms have caused me to go on disability.

I have an amazing team of doctors from Johns Hopkins and Mercy. I’ve learned to Social Work the crap out of my healthcare, and the doctors don’t tend to care since I am apparently that sick and interesting. In the past 4 years, that’s when the Endometriosis got really bad, I had to become a professional at being a patient. At this point I am pretty good at it, which is why I am here sharing what I know with you.

Web Developer

I made my first website in 1998, within months I was on my first independent server. In 1999 I started to learn basic programming. By the year 2000 I was installing things like Grey Matter2, and tinkering with it A LOT. The following year I turned my dorm room computer, learned PHP, MySQL and created my first dynamic backend over Thanksgiving break. I did so because I was mad at all the boys in my life who viewed me only as a designer.

I’ve been using WordPress3 for at least some of my projects since 2007, and moved my sites from the severs in our basements to Dreamhost4 at the same time.

I write all my layouts in text editors one character at a time. I do a lot of modifications of plugins, and specialized function calls in WordPress5. I of course still do all my own graphic design and web design. I stay up to date on HTML6 and CSS7. However, since my migraine aura and likely a bit of Dyscalculia8 make it nearly impossible for me to learn object oriented code, I now mostly just hack lightly at WordPress when it comes to coding.

When I’m healthy enough and have the time I am happy to lend web development hand to other Chronic Illness WordPress based projects.