Well, it's not every day you wake up with a different heart beat.
That is, quite literally, how it felt when i groggily came to as they were wrapping up things up my Cardiac Ablation procedure on Tuesday last week. Before the operation, i could feel my heart beating in my chest as a regular thudding that was, well, just normal for me. When i woke up, i couldn't feel that anymore. My chest was really... calm.
I didn't freak out about that or anything because I COULD feel my heart beating, but it was just different than what i was used to. I think i mentioned before that when asked if i felt the PVCs or "Skipped Heart Beats" (one every other heartbeat or so) i told him that i didn't feel them at all. Now i realize i was indeed feeling them - feeling them so often (every other heart beat) that i mistook it for my normal heartbeat.
After a six hour procedure which involved accessing first the right side of my heart through the veins and then the left side of my heart through a large artery, the PVCs were gone. When i was in recovery and could look at the telemetry monitor it was gratifying and odd to see that my heartbeat was completely normal and even. no small wave BIG WAVE small wave - just a steady progression of normal, regular heart beats.
It's been a week since my procedure and i finally feel pretty much fully recovered. It took longer to recover than i thought it would. I guess i shouldn't have been surprised, but i really thought i'd be up to speed by Friday... wishful thinking. What i had not taken into consideration was that after the six hour procedure that involved sleeves going into large veins on both sides and four sleeves into one particularly large artery on my right side (you know the ones where professional hit men can cut you open in the upper thighs and you basically drop your entire blood supply on the floor? yeah, one of those). there would be some healing time required.
First thing was that i had to lie flat on my back for 8 hours and not move. That was fun, but i was so tired and exhausted that i slept for a lot of it. The next morning I was able to sit up a little and actually eat relatively comfortably (trying to eat a sandwich while laying on your back is not exactly fun). I also was able kill some time playing a little Katawa Shoujo, which is something I knew I HAD to do while in the hospital.
Katawa Shoujo is a remarkably well done Visual Novel game that's been out for a while now and i'm sure you are familiar with it - if you are then you understand why ME with MY particular medical condition playing Katawa Shoujo in the hospital is such a hoot :)
If you aren't familiar with it... Katawa Shoujo (basically, 'disability girls') is a game about a protagonist who has a heart attack at the start of the game and finds himself in the hospital with long term disability as a result of his serious heart condition (he suffers from Arrhythmia, which is really a symptom not a condition, but i sorta know more about this stuff than i want to so i just let it slide). The protagonist ends up at a school that caters to students with disabilities.
Now, It SOUNDS like it is a game that could be horribly insensitive, but the fact is that it it isn't insensitive at all. In fact, it is remarkably tactful about the challenges faced by the characters with their disabilities and the fact that these are not the only things that define their lives and their problems. It's a great game with great characters and worth playing. Give it a try, it's a free download, works on Win/Mac and Linux platforms. There *is* adult content in the game, but you can toggle it off and can be easily skipped over.
(I would like to note that in the photo above i'm playing an unofficial android port of the game on my tablet. I apologize to the developers for posting a photo of myself playing it in this format, but given the fact that i simply could not set a laptop on my lap (kinda sore and healing in the lap area) i had to go with a version i could fit on my tablet. They cut open Hisao's chest to get at his heart, for me they went through my, um, lap. Sorry.)
Oh, why in the world have i been playing Visual Novels recently? I've actually been working quite hard on pulling together a Megatokyo Visual Novel Game project, and it's actually coming along quite well. I actually have a team of people already pulled together to work on it, and i should be able to give you more information about the project soon.
Like i was saying earlier, i expected to be back on track and up to snuff by Friday at the latest, but it really took a full week to fully recover. Today is the first day I've really felt like i'm OK. It took several days before i felt comfortable sitting up (kinda hard to do computer work when you have to lay down every 20 minutes) and i guess having that sorta work done on you really does knock it out of you for a while. Yesterday i felt pretty good, but today was the first day i felt fully recovered.
Now, i'm not entirely out of the woods yet. The excessive amount of PVCs were only part of the problem - the cause of it, really. My heart is still enlarged and as of a sonogram the day after the surgery, my ejection factor is still only 30%. I am still going to have to be on the beta blockers for at least six months to a year to fully give my heart time to recover and heal. I was a little bummed by that, because Beta Blockers slow the heart down and can make you weary and tired (they were one of the reasons i felt basically incapacitated for the past three months). The good news is that i actually feel quite a bit better with this new more normal heartbeat, even on the beta blockers. I don't feel like i've got permazombie going - my brain actually seems to be... functioning again. Sounds lame, but it's a noticeable difference. Of course, i might just be being delusional, but i'm not so sure.
So... i think i'm finally back on track. Feels like it. Things are a real mess, so much left undone or unfinished, i don't even know where to start. I haven't done a new comic in over a month, that will be one of the first thing's i'll try to tackle, i have comissions to work on, a Kickstarter to finish pulling together for that Megatokyo Visual Novel game, outstanding orders at the MegaGear store i have got to get in and try to take care of... I'm sorry that things have been such a mess since Christmas (they were before Christmas too, but i almost got a handle on it before i landed myself in the hospital) Thank you for your support and patience, i'm glad to be back in the saddle, and hope i can say thank you in the most appropriate way - with more comics and the kind of stuff that i can produce.
Maybe even a rant or two. :P