My heart surgery
I'm fine. But I haven't talked about this until now
I had surgery on September fifth (the day after my birthday) to repair an ascending aortic aneurysm. This is an inevitably fatal condition which is almost always asymptomatic, so people who have it often have no warning before it kills them. Thus, I was very lucky to have it diagnosed (seven years ago) and ultimately repaired.
This period has been an intense and emotionally trying one for me--not to mention physically excruciating. Thus, I chose not to publicize what was happening; I needed my privacy to deal with the experience.
The surgery went like clockwork, but I had some heart rhythm problems afterward that kept me in the hospital an extra week. There were a few trips to the ER once I was discharged, as well. The first day I was home I was too weak to make it up the stairs, so I slept on the couch, and for weeks I was able to walk only short distances--a few meters initially, later half a block at a time--and could not lift more than five pounds without risking rupture to my sternum. I came home with a three-page list of drugs I was on, from anti-arhythmics to blood thinners to more exotic things whose ultimate purpose I never learned.
A number of people were highly supportive during my recovery, and I still haven't figured out how to properly thank them. I may never be able to do it to my own satisfaction.
I still have a few issues to sort out, ironically with my eyes and balance, but it's no longer fair to keep this to myself. I'm out and about again--doing the Cryptic ConFusion con last weekend, and Boskone in a couple of weeks--and it's not fair to surprise people with this particular piece of news. And anyway, it's now in the past.
I'm happy to be back in the game and writing again. 2009 should be a good year.