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< Piro >

Original Megatokyo Artwork for sale in the MegaGear store - including Grey Erika

"Inertia from a Dead Stop"

Friday - June 7, 2013

[Piro] - 08:11:28 - [link here]

In the past three weeks I've done a pretty good job of recovering from my heart surgery. I'm feeling quite back to normal... but financially things are a real struggle - that recovery is something that will take a lot of work. Getting things rolling again from what was essentially a dead stop has NOT been fun, but the good news is i HAVE been feeling more than up to it. Inertia is a pain, but i'm looking forward to once again getting it back on my side.

I've been working my buns off the past two weeks to get the Megatokyo Visual Novel project off the ground. That was a lot more work than I thought it would be but the Kickstarter is almost done. I am, in fact, working on getting back into comic production and getting back to work my backlog of comissions. I've also finally been able to put in motion the long delayed Dark Horse Omnibus edition of Volumes 1-3.

Thank you for all the support i've received in the months before my surgery, it's been a REALLY rough year and I appreciate your support. Like a large ship, it takes a lot of effort to get things moving from what was essentially a dead stop, but i can feel things moving - just need to keep pushing. :)

I've put up a new selection of 8 Original Megatokyo Pencil Drawings available for purchase in the Megagear store... There are a few iconic pieces in there - in particular, the original Grey Erika drawing from the In Search of Broken Wings series i did years ago. I think it's a pretty decent selection, so take a look.

< Piro >

"a different heart beat"

Wednesday - May 22, 2013

[Piro] - 00:11:18 - [link here]

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

< Piro >

"The Old Normal"

Monday - May 13, 2013

[Piro] - 22:48:33 - [link here]

Y'know, i had words for this rant running through my head all day as i tried to take care of things before heading in to the hospital tomorrow morning. I admit, it's been kinda fun saying to various people "Oh, i'm fine, i have heart surgery tomorrow" It's not often you get to say stuff like that.

Oddly enough, i actually feel much better today than i have for months... but that's just because i went off the beta blockers the other day and i'm not walking around like a zombie. I forgot what it was like to actually be awake most of the time. As I head into this cardiac ablation procedure tomorrow (take a look at some of my recent rants if you haven't already heard enough about my health problems since December) there is one thing that i take a lot of comfort in. For a lot of people (and i've actually heard from people who this is true) health problems often result in a change in their lives that isn't really ever going to get better. I could easily have had to face this chronic exhaustion and weary condition as my 'new normal'. This isn't the case for me because after tomorrow, if everything goes well, i should not only feel better, but i won't have to take the meds that slow down my heart and have given me months of experience i can use to write about zombies far better than i EVER wanted to. I should be able to get back to my 'old normal'.

Yes, please. My 'old normal' would be nice. Sure, i was a whiny emo pathetic moron, but at least i was able to DO things. I look forward to my 'old normal'. Please. Kthx.

I have left SO many things undone over the past few months, it's been awful. The only thing i seemed to actually be able to do well at all was sit down and draw. That worked out ok, i did some nice artwork during this time. But i'm ready to get back into the thick of things, i'm tired of being tired. For that reason, i have been eagerly awaiting going through this procedure.

I've had a flood of kind words and support about this over the past few months, and for that i want to thank you. I don't say this much, but i do honestly feel that Megatokyo has the best fsking fanbase in the world. It's one of the reasons i am so down on myself about things - for this fanbase, you guys deserve a lot more than i've been able to give over the past few years. Hopefully after tomorrow, i can do something about fixing that. More comics? That long awaited Omnibus and beach scene with mizugi action? A Megatokyo Visual Novel game perhaps?

Let me get through the next few days and maybe we'll see. :) I'll let you all know how i'm doing as soon as i can. Thank you very much for your support.

Piro

PS: i am kinda tired, it's late, and, um, i 'm not even gonna spellcheck thsi dmn thig, so please forgive any awkward in it. :)

< RayKremer >

Heart surgery success!

"Hearts, metaphorical and not"

Tuesday - May 14, 2013

[RayKremer] - 22:16:07 - [link here]

When I remembered the "my heart skipped a beat" line in comic [187] and pointed it out to Fred, his reaction was quite amusing. Idioms involving the heart are a common thing, many of them left over from primitive times when anatomy was poorly understood, people thought the heart was the seat of the mind and soul, and the brain was an unimportant squishy thing. In times like this though, the unintentional double meanings can be disconcerting. This morning as Fred went in for his surgery, it finally occurred to me to run an actual comic transcript search on the word "heart", and I must say, I'm a little spooked now too. Check these out:

[375]:
She has this unfathomable sadness that just breaks your heart.

[751]:
she *very* cute, make heart stop.

Fred might find himself agreeing just a little with [788]:
You think I don't know what you'd do to steal his heart? Oh, I know. I know what you'd do. But are you sure you want it that badly, Sonoda-san? It's a slimy, slippery thing.

And then there's L33td00d, where things get really creepy.
[9]:
3Y3 |\|33d j00 t0 g47z d4 d0c70r. 3Y3 g07z s0m3 b4d p4|n 1|\| m4 ch3s7, | n33d m4 p|11z!

[777]:
D4... d4 p41|\|...! [I think I feel pain in my chest.]
B4d... p41n... n33d... p1|_|_z... [Yes, it is pain. I probably should take my medication.]
uh33hh... -THUD- [No, I think I will fall down instead.]

[1211] takes that creepy and doubles down on it:
The heart may be strong but the will can abandon it. Have you not felt this yourself?
(Fred must have a hell of a strong heart to have lived with constant bigeminy without problems all those years, right up until a few months ago.)

[1148] gives us hope:
broken heart fix! 1000 yen.

[566] suggested something to think about during the ablation procedure:
His heart is up in the air. No one knows where it will come down.

I am happy to report that word has come down through Sarah that the procedure went well. If the swelling in Fred's heart finally starts to go down tomorrow, they'll know they hit the right spots. So finally, [301]:
Something had changed in his heart... just a little... and that was enough for now.

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