Just A Little Personal Notice


Hi Everybody,

As some of you may be aware, I am going in for Bariatric Surgery (in particular a Sleeve Gastrectomy) this Friday (February 22nd, 2019). I am doing this as a direct consequence of my underlying Polycystic Kidney Disease - my kidneys are down to less then 10% of function and so, in an effort to make myself eligible for a transplant, I need to loose some 50kg / 100lbs, and my doctors all say this is the only practical way. If all goes well I sound be released from hospital the following Wednesday (February 27th) and be “fully” recovered some 5-6 weeks after that - assuming the kidneys don’t “pack it in” in the meantime - and then we can start considering donors for a transplant.

The reason I’m telling you all this is not to garner sympathy, but to say to anyone who lives in Sydney (Australia) or who may be traveling there over the dates mentioned above: I’ll be in the Royal North Shore Hospital at St. Leonards (I don’t know which room - ask at the front desk :slight_smile: ), so feel free to drop in and say “Hi” - my family doesn’t live near-by so I’ll probably be bored out of my skull and I doubt they’ll let me near my laptop or let me use the wifi if they do.

I’ll also say “Thanks” in advance to all the well-wishers and all my friends here on the Syrinscape Forums - I’ll try to let someone know how things go so they can relay the info. I hope to be back on these boards in a week or so, but I’m going to let my healing take precedent. So that also means no updates / bug fixes / whatever to any of the DOEs, the DOR(s), or anything else people may be waiting on - sorry, you’ll just have to be patient.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see everyone as soon as I can.


Matthew J Black


Sending best wishes! Wish I was closer! Denver, Co isn’t so close to Sydney I’m afraid… If you do get the opportunity to chat while you’re recovering send a note and I’d love to at least call you to check in!


Hey @Dulux_Oz, on behalf of all of us at Syrinscape we wish you a speedy recovery! our thoughts are with you. Sadly the UK is a bit to far away for me to visit, but if you do manage to sneak your laptop in then you know where I am :slight_smile:


OK! I’m gonna try and get there!!! Not actually that far away from me AT ALL!

If I came on Friday the 22nd would you be just hanging round waiting… or is a couple of days later better?

Let me know!!!

ALSO: Definitely keep us updated here AND have chats in general, there are people from all over the world on here at various different hours! @Steve @HECook


Well, the surgery is scheduled for Friday, so I suspect I’ll be completely out of it on that day. Probably best if you leave it for a day or two, but yeah, as I said, drop in and say “Hi”.



Reckon you’ll be able to post from your bed… kinda… “Help! Come! I am BORED!!!”?

Nathan (fellow Dicestormer) is keen to come and visit with me too. We’ll bring dice!


And money (I’m taking my Poker Cards with me) :grin:


Good luck Matthew! Get well soon!


You visitable @Dulux_Oz?


Not now - I’m back at home.

Full details tomorrow :slight_smile:


Excellent news!!! So glad to hear.


Hi All,

So, I’m out of Hospital after my surgery (sort of - details to follow):

Unfortunately, the operation was not completed. What happened was I went under the knife Friday morning as planned - they cut me open in five places across my belly (picture the points of a flattened pentagram with the head right at the base of the sternum, the two base-points just above and to either side of my navel, and the two arm-points on each side of my torso just under my ribs) - each cut about 1 cm / 0.5 inches long. From there the procedure is to retract (that is, pull aside) the liver so as to get access to the stomach, with the intention of cutting and stapling off 80% of the stomach and then pulling the “excess” out through the cut under my right ribs.

It was here that things went south - as they retracted my liver they discover two lesions on the liver (and one on the oesophagus). While I wasn’t the least bit worried (when I was told about these) because I know that liver-lesions, etc, are a possible side-effect of my PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) the Docs had never worked on a PKD-patient before, so fearing the worst (Cancer) they grabbed some biopsies and backed out of the operation.

The Australian Medical System is one of the very best in the world (relatively cheap, efficient, safe, thorough, and generally all-round just plain ‘good’), but as it is Government run there have been very, very few PKD patients who have been able to convince the “powers-that-be” to approve a Gastric Sleeve on the public purse; I’m the first that my kidney specialist has heard of and he basically said to me “good luck” when I told him I planned to organise all this. Oh sure, if you’re willing to pay for it yourself then they’ll do it for you just fine, but it runs to about $20k and I just don’t have that much. So I’ve spent the last 18 months seeking approvals and talking to various medical specialists and basically just getting everyone’s “sign-off” so that I could end up flat on my back on Friday morning with my right arm full of needles and tubes and my gut on display to the whole world (OK, to all the doctors and nurses, etc, in the theatre - same thing :slight_smile: ). I think now that I’ve shown it can actually be organised my kidney doc has a half dozen more people in a similar situation to me that he’s going to run through the “obstacle course”.

So that’s were we were - an op about 80% done suddenly abandoned while the biopsies went to the lab. Being a Friday they weren’t looked at straight away and so I sat around all Friday afternoon, Saturday and then Sunday while I waited for the weekend to be over (and healing up, or course). Monday late morning they came back to me to say that the biopsies had been negative / benign (as I knew they would) and so there was nothing for me to worry about - but they had to reschedule the Gastric Sleeve for a later date - and they couldn’t tell me when. So all day Monday in the ward (with some very cute nurses, I must say) and finally yesterday mid-morning (Tuesday) that came back and said that - tentatively - they were rescheduling me for Friday March 8th and that I could go home.

I got home late yesterday afternoon (its about 450 km / 280 miles from the hospital to home at the moment) and now I’m waiting for a confirmation as to the new date of my surgery. In the meantime my five cuts are healing nicely, and while I can’t lift more than about 10 kg / 20 pounds, I feel pretty good (if a little frustrated) - although I tire-out pretty quick - a combination of the failing kidneys and healing up from the op.

So thanks to all the well-wishes and friends here on the Boards. I’ll let everyone know when I go in again.



Oh my gosh… on many levels!

Sorry we didn’t get to meet you in person, but glad to hear you are ‘alright’ for the moment I suppose.

As I eluded to in our emails, I have a very close friend who had the exact same procedure you were supposed to be getting done, with REMARKABLE success = totally changed life. It wasn’t an easy experience, but well worth it.

I wish you ALL HEALTH! And definitely keep us up to date.

Meanwhile… GAME ON as much as you can!

AND most importantly… THANK YOU for your positive presence on these forums and your AMAZING work on helping integrate people with Fantasy Grounds into the world of Syrinscape sound!


Round II

So, they’ve finally let me know about the re-scheduled gastric surgery.

I’ll be admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital (Sydney, Australia) on Tuesday, April 30th. My actuall surgery is scheduled for Friday, May 3rd, and my expected release date is Wednesday May 8th.

So, if anyone’s in Sydney around that time then drop on in and say “Hi!”.



Just in time to miss the FGU Kickstarter. I hope all goes well


Yes, I know - PITA that :frowning:


So, here I am in hospital, waiting around for 3 days until the Surgery (Friday 3rd) and then another couple of days before they let me out (prob. Wednesday 8th).

FYI: Ward 8b, Bed 10 (the one with the straight jacket - cause I’m already bored :frowning: )



Any update? Wasn’t the surgery yesterday? Fingers and toes crossed.


So, its now late Sunday afternoon (local time) - call it 07:30 UTC. I didn’t actually get into surgery until late Friday afternoon (approx 05:00 UTC Friday). The surgery itself went well and the docs were/are very pleased - so I’ve now only got 20% of my stomach (organ). :slight_smile:

The complications with my underlying kidney problems means that I’ve been in ICU every since - they’ve been monitoring my Potassium levels (quite closely) trying to determine if I needed to go on dialysis to get rid of it - Potassium effects your heart (as in “heart attack”) - and they’ve finally decided that, no, at least for now, I’m still dialysis free. - YAY -

I’ve really only recovered my energy levels in the last couple of hours, so I thought I’d better drop people a line :slight_smile:

So they’re now packing me up and moving back to the “general ward” - 8b, Bed 7. At this stage I still expect to be here in hospital until late Wednesday morning (local time).

The INet connection SUX so all I can do is write the odd email/post/whatever - thank God I’ve got a couple of movies on my laptop.

So apart from all that I should be back firing on all cylinders in 5-6 weeks.

Thanks to all the well-wishes and to all those who’ve been thinking of me - I really do appreciate it. And thanks especially to Gwydion for the flowers - they really brightened the room. :slight_smile:



Thanks for the update, glad to hear that all went well. Wishing you a speedy recovery!