And so, I’ve fallen off the planet once again.

It’s not exactly like nothing has been going on, It’s just that my unparalleled boringness was eclipsed by my aggressive laziness. My vacation in Hawaii—which I returned from a month ago—still remains woefully unchronicled. Instead, my precious hours have been consumed by gambling and collecting bellybutton lint. Except for a few minor items . . .

For one, my eternal tenure at Leapfrog Online has been trumped by an apprehensive incumbency with Peak6 OptionsHouse. My years with Leapfrog were great, but my wanderlust was simply impossible to ignore any longer. Besides which, the slow dismantling of much of the arcane incantations I disseminated there, ensured my eventual obsolescence. And the protégé I left them is far more sane, so if they’re not celebrating my departure, I’ll have to visit once in a while to remind them why they’re better off without me.

Which I’ll attempt often, provided I’m alive to do so. Hawaii rendered me rather crispy, and combined with the lack of sleep from the long flights, and dehydration brought on by lackadaisical flight attendants, I almost did my best imitation of a narcoleptic. What began as an evaluation of the ferocity of my sunburn, ended with me in the ER for possible heart failure. Apparently, like a little old man swooning in the heat, my cardiovascular system can be knocked awry by anything more strenuous than catching a fleeting glimpse of some stairs.

And last weekend I went back to the ER because I tried playing ITG for half an hour. My suspicion rose after six songs left me slightly lightheaded. By twelve songs, I knew something was amiss when my favorite lung complained bitterly of misuse. Half an hour. Not two years ago, I’d stomp on a metal pad for seven hours or more with nary a thought. I would have simply ceased heaving my wretched carcass about, if my heart hadn’t been stuck at twice its normal speed for four hours afterwards. Half an hour of exercise should never trigger four hours of heart palpitations, periodic dizziness and mild chest pain. Of course I waited too long; by the time I got to the ER, my EKG was comparable to an older one they had on file. I’m still going to have them forward it to my cardiologist just in case.

My ulcer is gone, with only some remaining irritation in my stomach lining. What concerns me however, is that the doctor noted my stomach is misshapen, apparently because my heart is compressing it. I have dextocardia, so the larger left ventricle of my heart is turned toward the right side, and most people have their stomach on the left, so this new information is disconcerting to say the least. And once again, I’ll have to ask my cardiologist what this means in the long run. Am I finally turning into a “heart patient” after all these years? I am out of shape compared to a year or to ago, and I am getting on in years, but normal people don’t have this happen to them until they’re twenty or thirty years my senior. That’s what living with a heart defect is like, folks.

I used to take my limitations for granted, because I never had any before; now I don’t have that luxury. It’s depressing. I haven’t quite been living in denial for the past two and a half decades since my surgery, but I had a longer run than I had any right to expect. Almost twenty-five years symptom-free after a major open-heart surgery? Twenty-five years I probably never would have had anyway? I’m grateful for it, and while I clearly don’t anticipate kicking the bucket any time soon—I’ll get a freaking heart turbine if I have to—it’s become too obvious to forget I’m not like everyone else.

In other news, I saw Inception this weekend. I may write a longer review later, but for now: it’s excellent, go see it.

Until Tomorrow

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