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Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
Those of you RMN insiders in the know/who've been around a while have probably seen me mention that I suffer from Crohn's Disease.

Crohn's Disease is no picnic at the best of times, and mine is not one of the gentler cases. In the next couple of months I am probably (almost certainly) going to have to have a bowel resection surgery that I've been actively putting off and delaying for as long as possible since I was first diagnosed, 12 years ago at the age of 13. The surgery involves cutting me open, removing the damaged section of small intestine where scar tissue from old disease is creating problems that medicine can no longer help, and then stitching the two ends of the severed intestine together.

This is some utterly terrifying shit.

As surgeries go, it's relatively "routine", but it's still terrifying, as is everything I've read about the recovery experience (it seems to involve a lot of shitting blood and being terrified to eat; I really don't look forward to being hospitalized, cathererized, any of that shit).

None of the stuff leading up to the surgery is gonna be pleasant, either; right now I'm chugging truly vile-tasting 8 ounces of strong laxatives every ten minutes and must continue to do so until I've finished a half-gallon of the shit and it's time to begin shitting my brains out, and I have been fasting all day and will continue to fast all day, all to prep for my colonoscopy tomorrow (probably the third colonoscopy of my life, at 25, happy happy joy hoy) to see just exactly how bad the damage is.

Edit: Forgot a prefix in this paragraph.
I happen to have a very strong case of general anxiety disorder which for various reasons is completely UNMEDICATED, so you can imagine how I'm worrying myself just about the colon scope. Will I get anesthesized wrong and never wake up? Will I wake up during the procedure? Will they find a bunch of cancer up in my colon? (Surprisingly, being a hypochondriac and having a serious disease AREN'T mutually exclusive! Actually the latter just makes the former worse, and probably vice cersa.)
/Edit: Forgot a prefix in this paragraph.

But colonoscopies I've done before, the surgery is new, more major, and much more scary. And honestly I wish it could wait until I was in better overall health (I'm significantly overweight and pre-diabetic; I've been severely underweight in the past, actually, due to Crohn's disease, but the disease doesn't present that way anymore, unfortunately, and my diet/lifestyle are awful and made worse by the disease) to do it, but I really can't wait. And here's why:

My most constant, pervasive symptom of the disease (which is, you know, a bowel disease, which used to actually have to do with my stomach for me in terms of symptoms) since September has been cripplingly excruciating genital pain every single day of my life. The damage that Crohn's has done is causing me to feel like my crotch is being physically destroyed because...well I don't really know why. My stomach doctor's made vague noises about "scar tissue" but hasn't really explained it to The last CT enterography I did showed no signs of any fistulae (thank God!) or other complications so that really has not been explained to my satisfaction, and I will probably want to bite the bullet and see a urologist before I commit to the surgery to make sure it isn't being caused by something not related to Crohn's disease.

TMI, much? Sorry, guys. Oh and I don't want to sound like I'm soliciting medical advice here; I'm not. I'd be the first one to tell people not to solicit medical advice or relationship advice or family advice on RMN. Just rambling/venting a little, I guess. This has not been an easy disease to live with and it seems more serious now than ever. A lot of people with Crohn's are really embarrassed of it and don't like to talk about it but I say fuck that. It's really shitty enough without being ashamed of it.

Anyway, for these reasons I'm going to be gradually tapering off from posting here for a while. Honestly, most of you have probably noticed that I've been gradually tapering off from posting here for the past few weeks. I've never quit anything cold turkey, so it'll probably take me a while to phase out checking RMN entirely, and barring the consideration of possibilities too scary for me to seriously contemplate, I'd be shocked if I didn't come back eventually because I honestly suck at quitting things period.

I'm also not taking time off from actual game design; I certainly need something that isn't unremittingly grim, unpleasant, and upsetting to focus on during all of this, and while I get plenty of creative outlet in the form of my Tabletop RPG design work, RPG Maker still holds a special place in my heart. So hopefully in the absence of posting/checking here I will actually spend more time making games. At least that's the plan. Posting on RMN has sometimes been a source of stress for me, and considering the status of my health I really need to minimize sources of stress. Beyond that, although it's not great timing for it, I've picked this year to really get involved in finishing (including art and layout), publishing, promoting and selling some original Tabletop RPGs that I've been working on forever. So even if my health was not in crisis, I have a lot of creative stuff that I should be working on--not least of which is actually making RPG maker games--instead of posting here.

So to summarize the important points:

* Having Crohn's Disease is seriously awful. Fuck my life.
* I'm leaving, kind of. Gradually and probably temporarily.
* Don't expect me to stop posting immediately, but expect my rate of posting to continue to decrease.
* I am not quitting the actual making of games; hopefully quite the opposite.
* As bad of an idea as it probably is for my physical/mental health in the long term, God-willing, I will be back eventually if and when such a time comes that I'm actually feeling better/have less health-related shit to deal with. I can't quit you, RMN.

My posting might actually upswing from the past couple weeks as I monitor this topic, but I wouldn't count on that, and I'd anticipate it continuing its pattern of dropping off significantly in the coming weeks.


P.S. For those of you for whom I volunteered to test (JParker and Mateui, off the top of my head) I apologize for this. I might still be able to help out, in spite of all this. Like I said, it's nice to have distractions to a point. But I guess don't rely on me overmuch.
Good luck, Max! I don't know what you're so worried about. You'll be fine!
That seems very, very terrible.
I really hope that after the surgery and recovery period things will get better for you.
When I was in hospital care for a lung collapse (twice actually...) I could not do ANYTHING creative on paper or the laptop. Mainly due to me being jacked up on pain killers and being tired from all the exercise I had to do (while having suitcase full of air connected to my side). I think I spent about a month for the first treatment just watching a shitton of downloaded movies (I'm thankful that they're all good and not limited stuff you'd watch on a 24 hour airplane ride.).

It was an interesting experience though, just waking up after an ambulance ride to find 4 veteran looking doctors in front of my bed writing shit down in their clipboards asking me all these questions. It was out of House or something. Though after the surgery there wasn't like, "oh you're all patched up, bye." I still had a tube stuck inside me and they ended up pulling it out the old fashioned way. Felt like someone pulling a sword out of me, really crazy experience. Not trying to gross you out or anything (your post is grosser), the topic just reminded me of a major hospital visit, so yeah. Good luck and all that.
Damn bro, keep your head up, man! Best wishes from here.
amusing tassadar, your taste in companionship grows ever more inexplicable
Good luck, Max!
Let us know how everything goes, if you feel like it!
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
Painful sensation in your crotch? Well, I guess we should cancel our Valentine's Day plans, Max. I'll try to make it up to you later, though! <3
We will miss your contributions on the community, temporally of course. So wish you the best, take care man ;)
Buck up and get better dude! Best of luck with the surgery and life!
Good luck, and be strong! From what you said, everything seems to indicate that you'll be fine (I guess that's the point of the surgery).

Since you dismissed medical advice, I recommend that you seek a therapist to help you overcome this phase, as your stress coping strategies seem rather inefficient.
I'm a dog pirate
Best of luck - hopefully everything works out. I think the time away will help you relax and get in a better frame of mind too.

Also, just throwing this out there: the first person to start stuff in this thread will face some negative consequences.
*reads post*

*ensures Deck and kentona aren't looking*

*takes a deep breath*

In all seriousness though, you're in good hands and I really don't see an issue. Chillax and see you on the flip side.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
Christ, and I thought I had awful health problems. A flatmate has Crohn's so I have a rough idea of the symptoms, but I never knew it could get that bad.

Best of luck, Max.
Remember when I actually used to make games? Me neither.
See yuh. I hope you get better.
Having digestive orders of my own, I can definitely sympathise with what you're going through.

I've had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies and all the other scopies you can think of. I've even woke up during two of the colonoscopies and to be honest, it wasn't that bad. Just a little wierd.

I've also had multiple major surgeries and I too suffer from an anxiety/nervous system disorder (hurray for valium!).

The most important thing is to rest and to remain vigilant in keeping in contact with your doctor. After I had my foot basically rebuilt and my arm put back together, I had a serious withdrawl problem from the pain killers (I'm not supposed to take them to begin with because of my pancreas problems). But by staying in contact with my doctor and doing my best to follow his advice, it all eventually was over.

The best thing you can do though is get rest. I can't stress that enough. Your body may feel like your worst enemy at times, but giving it rest will do it wonders. Keep your head up and get well.
You the practice of self-promotion
I wish you a successful surgery and prompt recovery! Don´t rush things and make sure that you get better before anything else. Don´t worry, RMN will still be here when you´re ready to get back to it. Best of luck!
A lot of that hit home for me too, so I hope things turn out well for you!
( ̄▽ ̄)ノ De-facto operator of the unofficial RMN IRC channel.
Best of luck to you, Max/Legion.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
When I was in hospital care for a lung collapse (twice actually...) I could not do ANYTHING creative on paper or the laptop. Mainly due to me being jacked up on pain killers and being tired from all the exercise I had to do (while having suitcase full of air connected to my side). I think I spent about a month for the first treatment just watching a shitton of downloaded movies (I'm thankful that they're all good and not limited stuff you'd watch on a 24 hour airplane ride.).

I seriously worry about being in so much pain/on so many drugs I'm unable to work because there is a LOT of work I need to do this year. I'm launching a company to publish my tabletop RPGs, I have a lot of convention appearances lined up, and yeah. Shit to write and publish. No fucking time to be sick. But no choice, either.

Speaking of media intake, I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls lately; compared to my real life, the difficulty suddenly isn't that bad.

What caused your lung(s) to collapse!?

It was an interesting experience though, just waking up after an ambulance ride to find 4 veteran looking doctors in front of my bed writing shit down in their clipboards asking me all these questions. It was out of House or something. Though after the surgery there wasn't like, "oh you're all patched up, bye."

This is pretty much what every major medical incident in my life has been like; tons of prep and preamble and "this is serious business" beforehand and then release afterwards being essentially "you're good to go, bye, get out of here". It's always a little surreal. Today was no exception. Arrival process: 30-50 minutes. Dismissal process: I managed to stretch it to five minutes, they were going for more like one.

I've had multiple colonoscopies, endoscopies and all the other scopies you can think of. I've even woke up during two of the colonoscopies and to be honest, it wasn't that bad. Just a little wierd.

I really dreaded that happening to me, was massively relieved when it didn't. I don't want to wake up with six feet of Sam Fischer's optic cable inside me and everyone in the room watching the "Butt Channel" on the monitor.

Anyway I had my colonoscopy today.

It wasn't that bad.

They didn't find anything unexpected (yet; still nervously waiting on biopsies), just the expected: colon is fine, but once they got up into the terminal ileum (last part of the small intestine) the stricturing was very bad. The anesthesiaologist rocked the house; I was out immediately for the whole procedure and conscious and lucid almost immediately afterwards. Very precise use of short-acting sedatives. Good job all around. (Nurses were less good; the trainee missed the vein on my right arm so nurse ratchet had to stab me on the left, but at least they both had a sense of humor i.e. cracked up at all of the macabre and or silly whistling-past-the-graveyard shit I had to say about the whole absurd situation.)

One thing I am learning about myself is that when I am in a stressful situation around normal people, I cease to be shy and reserved and just enter a hilarious level of no-filter. It helps when people laugh at the horrifying/hilarious shit I say. (Good examples were a precision IRL application of "That's what she said" (younger nurse said "only a small percent of {the colonoscopy instrument} will actually go inside you" I mean COME ON who could resist that one) and my response to being told some people are so afraid of the anesthesia they want to stay awake, "yeah who wouldn't want to watch their own anal plundering in real time on live HDTV").

Worst part of the whole thing was when my heart rate was jacked up before the procedure and the nurses decided the best way to get it down was to leave me alone in a darkened room with only the sound of my own elevated pulse to keep me company while periodically (every five minutes) the automated blood pressure cuff would CRUSH MY RIGHT ARM WITH ALL THE FORCE OF HULK HOGAN. This torture unsurprisingly did not lower my heart rate.

Oh, and guys, when you get a colonoscopy you're pretty much completely naked while the (of course female but maybe that's for the best) nurses prep you and apparently sometimes in the absence of other surfaces to work on they will just use your crotch (covered only by a thin and much too short layer of un-tied hospital gown) as a shelf for wrappers, dressings, needles, tape, packaging, and so-on while they say fumblingly attempt to start an IV line. It's fucking awkward, and the opposite of erotic. Every time you reach down to drop something or pick something up, lady, you are brushing my penis. I don't know which of us is sorrier, or why this situation couldn't have been avoided. If it was a murse (like my friend John is studying to be) it would have been worse, because there'd have been the obligatory "no homo" level to it all. (Yes I know most of these people see butts and penises and vages all day and all night and don't give a shit; that's the medical profession for you. That's also why it's so funny.)

Also (again I don't know if any of you besides my brother in intestinal problems tpasmall have ever had a colonoscopy), but the instrument they put inside of you to take the footage is six feet long and over a half inch in diameter. I was completely unconscious for the entire process (Thank Jesus), but mother of God, from the way my intestines felt afterwards, it was not a gentle experience. Afterwards I felt kind of like a balloon. I really don't understand why "inflation" is a fetish for some people; scratch that, I don't understand why the "medical fetish" is a fetish. Honestly, nothing in the world is less sexy than hospitals.

If any of the above seems graphic, it really isn't: I'm sparing you a boatload of the nasty details, I'd say close to 99% of the possible TMI has been excised for your benefit. This was colon scope #3 for me since diagnosis at Age 13. They're not getting easier; I'm not getting used to them.

Now it's up to me to schedule for consultation and surgery, which I'm not looking forward to at all, but there may be time pressures in terms of health insurance. (Obamacare was a step in the right direction for people like me, who really can't safely not have insurance during their 20s when they can't fucking afford it, but it was not enough.) I don't know, for right now I'm trying to give myself a few days off from the whole "being a full time sick person" process and just relax and take it easy, because the past couple days were fucking awful.

In a livejournal sense, mood: tentatively/cautiously relieved for the moment. Music: none.


Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and so forth.

I just thought I'd update that I had not in fact somehow died to the colonoscopy (did I seriously consider that a possibility? no ,not really, but I was still SCARED of it). I will continue fading away from RMN forthwith. More gruesome/blackly hilarious medical updates here....maybe. Or maybe you'll be spared. I don't even know when my surgery will be yet, not exactly in a mad rush to find out (i.e. schedule it).
My dad actually had to get the same surgery way back in the day (he had TUMOURS INFESTING HIS INTESTINES BUUHUHH~) and has similar stories of how gross the process was, but he ended up being very okay afterwards and came out of it with a really awesome scar! He once told me he got it in a knife fight or something when I was really little...? Might've been a lion attack but either way I CRIED and then mom got really mad at him but in hindsight it was pretty hilarious and I've since made of stories about my various injuries and scars to freak people out. OTL Defs remember him telling me about the laxative drinking -- ugghhh it sounded awful, and I hope you're doing okay there. ;__;

I guess what I'm saying is try not to stress too much -- it'll all be alright! The doctors know what they're doing, and YEEEEAH the idea of being operated on is kinda... buuuuh scary (I've had minor surgery, and even that freaked me out a little), but just think about how much better you'll be feeling afterwards! Defs schedule the shit outta that (no pun intended) and get it over with ASAP. I'd say the build up and worrying over it will probably be worse than the procedure itself, so the sooner that's over, the better. ;__;

Also, clearly you're getting some good stories out of this. I quite literally lol'd at the "that's what she said" and HDTV comments, so good on you for having a sense of humour about it!

Another thing to remember is that it's okay to give yourself a break and just kinda... CHILL OUT and recover. Don't feel bad about it -- just do your best to get well, and then you can go back to full speed. Sometimes life happens, and you really do have to stop until you can get back to normal. I can't quite remember how long my dad took; if I recall, it wasn't that long...? He was able to get back to work in the space of a few months, I think. Also, the painkillers that you get from the hospital are usually pretty fantastic, and you will likely feel fabulous (as in, light headed and giggly or whatever) for a few days while the major pain wears off.

Also, if you have to eat jell-o or something for a long period of time because you can't handle solid food, pick the flavour you dislike the most. To this day, green jell-o makes my father instantly lose his appetite. OTL

Take care, man! I hope you're feeling better soon. This kind of thing is never pleasant to go through, and I'll be very happy for you once it's over with! <3
Good luck and get well soon! ;v;/
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