Free game time delayed; scared fit

I had all intent to start the free 7 days of wow, and play this past week. Typical for my gaming lifestyle there was a hitch to starting on time and this time the reason is a doozie.

The house was going to be quiet and evenings clear of work distractions. I had cleared my work schedule a bit, and the kids were to be in bed early.

However I didn’t content with getting seriously sick, in fact a heart attack.

While going to bed late last Saturday I suddenly felt the tell tale numb left arm and hand, chest pain, dizziness, sweats, sore jaw, etc. A few minutes later we called the ambulance and it was straight to the hospital, all lights and sirens…no waiting. Paramedics confirmed the reduced heart function as we zoomed to the emergency department. A few scary hours later the incredible doctors had sussed that the heart attack wasn’t normal, especially given my youngish age; and they scheduled me for an angiogram (a camera on a long wire which is fed up inside your heart) a day later. Crap eh.
In the interim I sat in the hospital having a nerve wracking wait to find out if I was in real trouble, how much, and thanking my dumb luck to live near a good hospital.

Thankfully the angiogram confirmed it wasn’t a typical heart attack. Instead of the cause being blocked arteries and poor diet which is darn serious and totally life shattering, what I have is an infection in the heart and surrounding tissue; called myocarditis.

So now I’m home and recovering strength gradually. It’s been a week since the event and my strength isn’t back to normal, but it’s close; nor has my fear of exertion. Knowing that the anti inflammatory drugs are in my system should give confidence, although I can still hear the words of warning from the cardiac doctor very clearly – “take it very slowly. Or next time it’s likely worse.”

I’m told my recovery for this type of heart attack is far faster than normal heart attack, but it’s still two weeks off work and medication for three months. Little pain really compared to what it could have been. The minutes before the ambulance arrived and the experience of being wired twelve different ways to an ECG machine was harrowing. Tubes everywhere.

So I’m writing as a way to reinforce a promise I made to myself during the few days where I didn’t know what the diagnosis was – to improve my health and diet. Considerably. Permanently. From that day forward I’m going to reduce weight (I’m built like a typical nerd, round in the middle), eat better, and avoid junk. Where I choose to indulge it will be moderate. Controlled.

I don’t want to be one of the folk in the bed next to mine on Saturday in the Alfred Hospital. Triple bypasses, life long medications, painful processes, and scary procedures.

Saying it online gets it out into the world; where friends and family will see and understand. If I start to stray a little I hope folks will help reign me in a bit too.
Not that I think I’ll forget what a heart attack was like any time soon. Hopefully back to normal and continue to get fit next week.

Happy living, TyphoonAndrew.

The balance that a few strange days brings

These are strange days (and a post not really much about wow, but all about gaming life). My gaming took a dive on the week end when we went away briefly for a break over the weekend. Its by-the-by that is was family focused and also very much fun. I loved the fact we got away for a bit, saw some family, and was also looking forward to the Sunday and Monday night gaming. New level 90s have so much to do in Warcraft. Sunday came around and I played till late and crawled into bed just in time to rest before the working week. We had a slight hiccup on Saturday with the newborn’s health, but didn’t think much of it by Sunday night. It was great.

Monday started as normal and then my 5 month old was hospitalised and everything melted away to stress. You get a new perspective when your kid is in a hospital resuscitation room with a few doctors and nurses around, they all looked concerned, and the outcome was not clear. I’m not used to being powerless to help and the most useless person in the room, and when the doctors start saying those long sentences which mean “I don’t know yet”, you get stressed. I get it now; the stress about late reports, staff issues at work, or even playing an addictive video game is meaningless to the stress of a sick baby. It was a new experience for me as a new parent. Frankly I was telling the world to **** off until I knew more.

Now that she is home again my stress is far lower, and all the things I missed seem largely still irrelevant. A late report? Big deal. Missed a few meetings? Get over it. Nobody bloody died. I saw families in that hospital who have real issues to grapple and the trials which hit the average office worker are just silly by comparison.

What I hope is that I can maintain the apathy for how important these things actually are, as I noticed that I was communicating clearly and sharply when I was really stressed, and that communication got results. Being outside the detail granted a perspective and authority that I liked, and all that changed was me in my reaction to the stress of the events. I’ve always advocated a healthy work and life balance, and extended that to gaming too. Nobody should ever feel pressure to play when they have serious stress to deal with (duh). I did in fact play online on Monday for a short period, but all I thought about was family and it was to get to somewhere which was an escape. My brain needed to be distracted from what was going on.

I tonight is another game night where a week ago I was planning to play a lot. Now I’ll play it by ear, see how sick, stressed, etc the family is, and then perhaps login. What is odd is that before the weekend I would have also worked all night to complete a set of reports for my job, and now it really does seem immaterial. In terms of work, life, and game balance I think I’ve changed views a little. There will be weekends soon where I get to work overtime and give a lot of effort for my job, but for now relaxation is the order of the day.

Happy gaming, and good health.

Warlock farming

I noticed a cute trick a week ago that I had to share. Warlocks with a bit of Demo can sacrafice their Felpuppy for Mana return, then put up the Armour buff that regens health. This equates to huge mana and health return! I was farming the Elemental Plat for motes of fire and air, and had zero downtime. Zero….as destruction.

SB, SB, SB, ShadowFury. Deathcoil or Fear is something goes astray. That rocks! I know affliction can multimob farm, but I can drop 3 mobs in a sequence, faster than dot/dot/fearing them. 28 motes of fire, and 5 motes of air in 30 minutes.