Earlier this week I had a specialized CAT-Scan, in order to get the last bits of information needed prior to my upcoming heart surgery. The surgeon wanted to know if I have any arterial plaque built up, so he can clean it out while he’s in sewing closed the defect in my heart.
Basically, he’ll have me open, so might as well do it while I’m there, if it is needed. Reasonable.
Anyway, later today (unless the appointment is postponed), I’ll be meeting with my surgeon to discuss what happens next. I think I’ve discussed this before, right? Anyway, with any luck we’ll get the surgery scheduled as soon as is possible, so I can get everything arranged at work, and just get it over with.
So, why the rush?
Well, one of the reasons – among many – was that I want to be healed prior to “Faire Season”, which is to say, June through September. As you likely know, My Lovely Bride™ and I love attending Renaissance Faires in our area, and have many friends among the performers and vendors who also attend those events. If my surgery isn’t healed enough so that I can walk around the Faire grounds, that would make it difficult to go this year.
Thus why I wanted this surgery done as soon as possible, among other reasons.
Unfortunately, things have changed just a tad. Maybe you’ve heard about the COVID-19 virus outbreak? It’s kind of a thing nowadays, having started out in East Asia (Singapore, from what I’ve heard, but mostly known for becoming a huge issue in China), then breaking out to the rest of the world. Well, it’s spreading in my neck of the woods (the Pacific Northwest area on the United States), and that’s not exactly a good thing.
You see, while COVID-19 is very communicable, and has a fairly high death rate compared to many other viruses, most people can survive it with some simple precautions and common sense. Frankly, we weren’t really worried about it. My Lovely Bride™ and I are young enough, and mostly healthy (more about that later…), so we just stocked up on a few essentials (freeze-dried food, some water, and butt-paper). People were freaking out and buying everything up, so I didn’t want to find ourselves having to improvise after visiting the bathroom, if you get my meaning.
Anyway, turns out I have a big f*cking RED FLAG in my chest, when it comes to COVID-19. While I may not have much in the way of respiratory issues, I do have a rather glaring cardiovascular issue called Atrial Septal Defect.
Oh yeah. That.
Turns out, this little ASD issue makes me a prime target for COVID-19 infection, especially before, and in the first few months after, my upcoming surgery.
Okay, so that’s fine. We just knock out the surgery as soon as possible, while the virus is still barely an issue in my area, which should give me the best chances to heal without catching that pesky little virus, right?
Wait, it’s a bit too late for that. COVID-19 is already spreading quite quickly in the Seattle area, and has arrived in my particular area over a week ago. While common sense precautions are apparently helping to slow the contagion, it is already likely quite too late, as it had been spreading unchecked for over a week prior to being noticed at all.
That all said, I’m likely doing just fine, and will continue to do so. We are limiting our exposure to others, following the CDC guidelines for avoiding exposure, and that should be good enough. But, there’s one little problem in all of that, which you may have already caught:
Basically, that means keeping my exposure to 50 people or less, if at all possible. Large gatherings are out of the question, and guess what Renaissance Faires qualify as? The smallest Faires we attend usually have hundreds of people in attendance, and some have several thousand a day coming through the gates.
Normally, that’s a good thing, but in my case, this year, under these circumstances?
Not so much.
Anyway, so I let some of our Faire Family know that for the time being, we won’t be attending the local events. It sucks, because we were really looking forward to going to four or five different Faires this year, including the return of Glastonbury Renaissance Faire in Toledo, Oregon. Unless my surgeon and other doctors say otherwise, we’re going to have to stay home instead. I hope to find out what my surgeon has to say about it later today, actually.
Nevertheless, we’re planning for the worst, which sucks.
Well, there was one very nice bit of news that came out of this: Several of our Faire Family have offered to bring the Faire to us, to some degree. They will come to our house this July, and bring some of their wares, so we don’t have to buy it from them online, as we had been planning to do.
Yes, I know what some of you are thinking: “Aren’t you just exposing yourself to thousands of people, anyway, through your friends?”
Well, kind of, but also not so much. Remember, common sense precautions. We will simply be careful, as I’m sure they will be, because they aren’t stupid. Hell, I’m pretty sure at least one of them was a Nurse in a prior life. Regardless, it will be fine, and we won’t have to miss out on Faire entirely that way.
Of course, if my doctors think I can handle it safely… F*CK IT, WE’RE GOING TO FAIRE ANYWAY!… I’m fairly certain that won’t be happening, though.