Medical Update

By the time you see this post, I will have learned all about this information for a day or so, but I didn’t want to post officially about it until I had had a chance to absorb it all. So, here you go:

My heart’s broken.

Apparently, I was born with a congenital heart defect (discovered 51 years later), wherein I have a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of my heart. There are plenty of big words to exactly describe this, but it comes down to this: Blood isn’t flowing properly, and the right upper chamber is having to work roughly 150% more than the left side, due to blood flowing improperly from the left to right side. This is causing the right side of my heart to expand, and… well, let’s just say this is leading to a bunch of problems.

So this has to get fixed. The question is, how? There are apparently two ways to do this, The Easy Way™, and The Hard Way™. But first, we need to know a bit more information. Basically, my Cardiologist needs to get really good imaging of the hole itself, which will require taking an Ultrasound from behind my heart.

That means they will have to do it from inside my esophagus. So, for the second time in as many months, I get to have a doctor put their tool down my throat!

Anyway, all joking aside, once they get the imaging they need, we’ll know how to proceed. If the hole is a simple one, with clear sides most of the way around, we go with The Easy Way™. Which is to say, they shove a cable up an artery in my thigh, all the way into my heart, which will then allow the doctor to implant a permanent device which should seal the hole.

But, if the hole doesn’t have clear sides (such as it is too near to another wall, giving the device little space to grip onto, rendering it useless), then we have to go with The Hard Way™ of fixing my issue:

Open. Heart. Surgery.

Yes, that’s probably as bad as it sounds, and something I really, really hope to avoid. Using the patch (The Easy Way™) method, my downtime should be relatively short, with few chances for complications, and a really good chance I’ll be better than new in no time at all!

But The Hard Way™ means they have to crack open my chest, breaking/cutting ribs and the sternum to get there, then actually cut open the heart itself to stitch or otherwise seal closed the hole, then put me back together again. Downtime… I have literally no idea what that would be. I’m guessing it’ll be measured in weeks, at least. The risk of complications are significantly higher, going to spend some time in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (might as well be Disneyland!), and my recovery will be much, much more difficult.

The good news (frankly, that’s in short supply right now, but I’ll take what I can get) is that my doctor in this case is the Director of Adult Congenital Defects for Cardiology in my region of the country. In short, he knows what he is doing, and I’m in good hands. But I’m not worried about his hands, nor his skills and knowledge.

I’m worried about the next shoe to drop.

You may be aware that since late August, I have had a non-stop parade of medical issues either cropping up or being discovered. This all started with swallowing issues, that led to my diabetes being discovered (by accident, really), then this heart flutter showed up, which turned out to be caused by a freaking hole in my heart!

What could possibly go wrong next?

It’s actually kind of funny, because at the same time as all this was going on, my brother Beoulus (co-host of the “Pixels & Dice” podcast, and member of the “Knights of the Tabletop” podcast) had some surprise medical issues also crop up. It’s almost as if we’ve been trying to one-up each other, to see who has the worst medical issue!

I think I win. If his body tries to out-do mine again, he’s probably a dead man, and we can’t have that! Especially since we’re counting on him to keep the podcasts running!

Wait, what?

Yep, that’s right. I have no idea what the future might hold, but I do know I have a little bit of time to prepare. So Beoulus and I are working on getting episodes of “Pixels & Dice” recorded through the end of 2019, and I’m doing the same with “Roleplay Domain”. We as a group have already finished “Knights of the Tabletop” through January 2020, so that’s fine for the moment. I am also trying to finish up some blog posts through the end of the year, as well, so this website will continue chugging along as usual for a few more weeks, at least.

Now then, I will be teaching Beoulus and Ten how to record the podcasts, in case I am not able to do so. I still plan to edit and upload the podcasts, though. The odds are we will focus on keeping “Knights of the Tabletop” chugging along unabated (mostly by trying to record several more months of KOTT shows before I have surgery), and try to continue “Pixels & Dice” if possible, but perhaps on a bi-weekly or even monthly schedule (whatever Beoulus is comfortable with). The blogs will come back, if and when I can get back to them.

Now then, I haven’t even discussed my Twitch channel, because this will be the hardest hit of my creative endeavors. As I move forward, I see myself having to step further and further away from Twitch, since it is such a time-sink, and rather taxing on my health. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but until I have recovered, I may have to stop livestreaming entirely.

So, yeah. That’s my great and wonderful update. I’m sorry, and I know it sucks, but I’m doing the best I can to keep the content flowing, while also focus on my health. Frankly, though, I can and will shut everything down here, if it means being healthy again.

2 comments

  1. I hope that out of the two options, it’s the easier of the two. However, if it does end up being a case of open heart surgery, although this is very daunting, it’s a surgical process that is being constantly refined. My Father in-law had a double bypass around 1999. He spent over 2 weeks in hospital and had a lengthy period of convalescence. Ironically Mrs P (his daughter/my other half) had to have a triple bypass in 2017. She was in hospital for 5 days, was then discharged home and within a 5 weeks was attending a cardiac rehabilitation course.

    Yes, it is very tough for the first few days and sleeping is a bitch but your body heals faster than what you think. Plus the benefits to your heart are immediate once the procedure is done. Also the recovery period has other potential positives such as weight loss and an opportunity to change dietary habits etc. Anyway, I hope all goes well and that you have the time to get your head in the right place for whatever option comes up.

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