edit – thank you everyone for the wishes! I feel like I’m already in a room up to my neck in flowers and cards.
Short version – I was told today that I need to have open-heart surgery as a matter of priority, which means in the next couple of weeks. Yeah I know, it sounds like a joke and I kinda wish it was. I’ll be in hospital for a week and the recovery process will take 3 months but I could be back on the computer as early as 4-6 weeks after surgery. I will be preparing enough content for the BCA FX course to auto-release while I’m out of action, so that’s going ahead as normal.
I’ll do my best to get the other Kickstarter rewards out but chances are that shipments for physical rewards will be delayed by 6-8 weeks. I’m really sorry about this but I’ll do what I can before the big day.
That’s the gist of it. For a longer version, read on..
OK so I was born with a faulty aortic valve that hindered the proper flow of blood through the heart. No big deal really, heart murmurs are quite common and I had an active childhood. When I was about 14 my chest tightened up, vision clouded over and I collapsed on the sports field at school. To cut that story short, I underwent surgery to push the faulty valve aside (effectively destroying it), allowing blood to move through the heart a bit better. That surgery was done entirely via a small incision in the main artery above my right leg.
That fixed things in a way, but throughout my life at the peak of exertion my heart would tell me when to back off, and I did. Even so, I’ve always stayed in shape, been very fit & active, competed in martial arts tournaments, loved walking, running, playing squash, climbing, hitting and throwing stuff. Even 3 years ago I was at the gym 3 times a week and in pretty good shape.
However, in the past couple of years there’s been sharp decline in my cardiovascular system. It’s at the stage now where I can’t even walk 20 metres on flat ground without stopping to recover for 10-20 seconds. Anyone who saw me at ComicCon last year might have noticed that instead of marching briskly around from booth to panel to pub to hotel, I was frequently pausing for breaks. You know something’s wrong when octogenarians surge past you in the street.
Today the cardio specialist at the local hospital showed me the differences between my heart and a perfectly healthy one. He carefully explained how my aortic valve (the ruined one) is now all crumpled, complicating the flow of blood. After walking for 30 sec there’s not enough oxygenated blood being distributed around my body and I get an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and that tightness in the chest from so long ago.
Anyway the long and short is that they’re going to split me down the middle and replace the shitty valve with an artificial one. Blood naturally sticks to metal bits so I’ll be on blood-thinning medication for the rest of my life. The upside is that after recovery and rehabilitation I’ll finally be able to run, hike and cycle again! That’s something I’m really looking forward to. Anyone for ComicCon 2012?