I have surgery coming up later this month, and it’s guaranteed to be a huge fucking riot. I’m getting a myomectomy – feel free to Google that one, but a Google image search isn’t necessarily recommended – and though it’s not a life-threatening procedure by a long shot, it’s still a pain in the ass. Well, pain in the baby-bed.

If I was smart I’d just get my entire tumour-ridden womb ripped out, then let the surgeons squish it into a ball and slam-dunk it into the bio-waste bin (which in my fantasy is set up below one of those little plastic basketball hoops you can get at the dollar store). Unfortunately, I’m stupider than a piece of old toast, so I’m doing things the hard way.

Myomectomies come with a hospital stay, so I look forward to having my sleep disturbed by calls of “CODE BLUE” for a few days after my surgery. The last time I had a surgery that required any kind of hospital stay, it was for jaw surgery in summer of ’95. For those of us who keep time via video game history, the hospital had an SNES (equipped only with Mario is Missing, bloody hell) and my mother bought me game magazines filled with “Hot N64 previews!!” and reviews for Mega Man 7.

Magazines like this are a big reason I got into games writing. Blame whom you must.

Magazines like this are a big reason I got into games writing. Blame whom you must.

Well, technology sure has changed in the 21+ years since I’ve been parked in a hospital bed for any significant amount of time. Smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi undoubtedly keep patients entertained these days (as opposed to me watching reruns of the Mega Man cartoon and, Lord help me, waiting for updates on the Paul Bernardo trial).

Though I’ll have my smartphone with me, I also plan to finally get off my ass and buy a Vita. As God as my witness, I will never again find myself stuck in a hospital with nothing but Mario is Missing. I’ll be playing Persona 4 Golden, which I will indeed talk about on USGamer’s Axe of the Blood God RPG podcast if all goes as planned. Do you listen to Axe of the Blood God? Please do!

In all seriousness, if you ever find yourself scheduled for a big procedure or something else that’ll leave you laid up for some time, invest in as many games as possible. I learned the hard way that post-op depression is a very real thing, and one of the best ways to ward it off / treat it is to spoil yourself. When I had my jaw surgery, that meant renting as many games as possible after coming home. That summer of mushy food (mostly mashed potatoes and cheesecake) marked the first time I played Final Fantasy IV for the SNES.

Stepping down from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy IV was weird (especially since VI is masterfully translated, and IV’s SNES translation is … well, it’s something), but it’s safe to say I ultimately enjoyed myself.* One of my most vivid game-related memories is landing on the Moon for the first time at three in the morning and exploring its blasted, barren landscape while the rest of the house slept. Know what’s kind of creepy? Listening to Final Fantasy IV’s Moon Theme when the house is dark and you’re alone.

"Fuck off with that trumpet!"

“Fuck off with that trumpet!”

I don’t know if Persona 4 or any of the other games I play will awaken my eternal fangirl the way Final Fantasy IV ultimately did (though I expect my painkillers will help). I … kind of look forward to getting the chance to find out? Like, it’s kind of weird to say that because surgery itself is no fun, but I’ll be honest, the recovery can produce some weirdly peaceful moments like the one described above. I wouldn’t have been up and playing Final Fantasy IV at three in the morning if I hadn’t owned a couple of painfully swollen cheeks at the time, know what I mean?

*I like Final Fantasy IV so much, I finally did the quintessential fan thing and wrote an erotic fanfiction based around the game. I’ve been involved in online fandom since ’95, but only now am I truly part of fandom.

Um, don’t read that fanfic unless you’re 18+. OR ELSE I’LL TELL YOUR MOM. I’LL TELL HER YOU WERE READING ABOUT KAIN AND ROSA SCHTUPPING.

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  • p0lyph0nic

    Persona 4: Golden is wonderful. You will love it. Good luck with the surgery.

  • MattG

    I know this advice and have been there too. I spent months at home in pain waiting for my surgeon to assemble a team to work in my digestive tract in 2002 and passed the time with Zelda: Wind Waker. I had New Super Mario Bros Wii waiting for my at home after my second surgery in 2009 (and recorded a podcast the night I came home that I still don’t remember recording). I had two surgeries in 2014 and “rewarded” myself with Watch Dogs for PS4 and a Wii U with Super Mario 3D World. Absolutely, I completely recommend video games and hope you have a quick recovery.

  • #20

    I wish you well with the operation! Unless it’s over already, in which case, I wish you welled!

  • Kenny Riot

    You’re right…Surgery actually got my mom back into video games a bit.

  • InsertTokenz

    I’m a little late in posting this, but I accidentally wound up breaking my foot on November 5th, resulting in me having to be hold up at my parents place since it was easier to get around on one foot there as opposed to my own home. While I didn’t require surgery (thank heavens!), I was stuck in a reclining chair for nearly 5 weeks unable to do much as my leg needed to be kept elevated. Thankfully I brought my 3DS with Dragon Quest VII and a load of installed eShop games in order to pass the time with, and it worked pretty damn good all things considered.