The last 14 months or so have been a bit of an adventure for me. I was considering leaving the clan for a while since I wasn't able to put much effort into it. I didn't think that would be fair to you guys. But you've convinced me to stick around.
The story thus far.. I found out in June of this year that I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve in my heart. And it had apparently been leaking for at least fifteen years or so. I was never one to visit doctors. Heh. I was a bit of an athlete as a kid and just assumed that I had become fat and lazy. It's the 'murican way, after all.
Things started going down when I got my wisdom teeth out last July. Have learned that if you have a bicuspid valve, you have to take antibiotics before dental surgery. I didn't know, so the oral surgeon didn't think it was required. That caused the first heart infection.. Had really weird symptoms and none of the emergency rooms could figure it out, even after four visits. Was told it was all in my head or that I was doing bath salts. One guy said I had lung cancer.
Around the end of May. I was taking a bunch of supplements and eating only organic foods and such. All the stuff that's supposed to get you healthier. Then took some probiotics for digestion. Also a very bad idea with that kinda defect. One of them, lactobacillius casei, found the hole and started eating away at my heart. Can't blame the little buggers, I suppose. Does sound better than their intended diet. Ended up in the emergency for that on my birthday. They decided I had a heart virus about five hours later. Was a fairly massive amount of heart cells in my blood. Then shipped me off to Vanderbilt in Nashville.
They spent about three days doing all sorts of tests. Was beginning to wonder if I had enough blood to fuel them. The echocardiogram was one of the coolest things I've ever seen though. They had it on a big screen television. Using sound waves to look inside my heart. Not sure if they had me on any drugs at that point. But parts of it looked awesome. Was a scene with a phoenix fighting a dragon. Another with a samurai guy practicing sword strokes. It was a pretty good movie, for black and white.
Once they found the valve, they decided my only chance was to replace it. It was hardened. Had options for live valves from a cow or a pig. But they wear out and need to be replaced every ten years or so. I went with a mechanical valve. Is rated for around 50,000 years and even comes with a free metronome. Always liked the idea of being part cyborg. Only catch is that I have to take warfarin for life and get my blood tested once a week to make sure it isn't clotting too fast.
They had to do open heart surgery to install it. As far as I know, everything went really well. Is some side effects to that kind of surgery that they don't tell you about though. Memory being the biggest thing. Since then, on a couple occasions, I've forgotten that I was talking mid-sentence. Heh. But other things have improved a lot with the new valve. I lost 50 pounds in three weeks. I wasn't fat after all. But with the valve, my heart couldn't filter water to my kidneys properly and it would just build up. My heart function is about 24% now.. I have to wonder what it was before.
There was another blessing after I got out as well. I was living in a fairly ratty place. Never had the energy to keep a full time job for very long. When I got back home, there was a large tree limb hanging out of the roof. Crashed right into the hallway. It had been raining a bit and caused mold to grow all over the place. Couldn't stay in there for more than a minute at a time because I would start coughing. Managed to break one of my supporting wires in the bottom of my chest from that. Luckily, that one didn't hold much pressure and they don't think it's at risk of causing any damage. So it can stay in there.
Ended up staying with a friend for a few weeks and found a much better living environment. The nurses from the nearby hospital used some local charities to move me in. Has an oven, and a shower, and heat, and ac, and the roof isn't caving in. Loving it here. Heh. Met some new friends that hooked me up with an air mattress, a bicycle, furniture, even some dishes and towels. People can be really amazing.
Anyway. TL:DR version. Had some heart troubles. Am now part cyborg. And I should be getting on a bit more, energy permitting. Thanks for the support and for being patient with me. See you guys in game.