If I’m not already the Village Idiot, I think there should be some sort of vote.

Boy, was I cocky.

I’ve done this six times already,” I kept saying to anyone who would listen. “This is all old hat to me.

Actually, it turns out, I’ve done it seven times. Re-reading my medical records, I’m on number seven. The fact that someone sliced open my eyeball and stuck their hands in just slipped my mind should have been my first clue that I’m not as smart as I like to pretend to be.

The surgery itself went well and they sent me home with instructions I’d heard six seven times already: Don’t do anything strenuous. Don’t bend over. Don’t pick up anything more than 8 pounds. Drink lots of fluids. Don’t eat anything too salty or too spicy. Get lots of bed rest – especially over the first week.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I wasn’t listening. I took a Percocet. Straight from the hospital, I hit the grocery store.

In the store, things got a little… expanded.

Mmmmm. Chicken. Boy, this is a strong pill. Ooooh, soup!

Everything in the deli smelled amazing. It didn’t hurt that I hadn’t eaten in sixteen hours. I ate 24 ounces of soup and a fried chicken breast.

I forgot to drink anything.

The next day, my neck disappeared.

This is why I should hydrate
Here’s a picture of me on the 19th, and on the 20th.

Me 7/19/09Me 7/20/09

I’m not the thinnest dude, but I could swear I had a neck yesterday. Puffiness and dehydration are opposites, aren’t they? Not on these drugs.

Drugs, Drugs, Drugs, Baked Beans, and DrugsIMG_0248

All of my clothes and jewelry got tighter overnight but I didn’t notice right away, because I was prescribed just under 48,000 different prescriptions. Some I take in one eye, some in both. Some 4 times a day, some three, some twice, and some once.

No drug can be taken within 10-15 minutes of any other drug. (They’re topical, so they have to “soak in” before another med can be taken.)

I have 14 alarms set to remind me of what drug I’m supposed to take when and in what eye.

You’d think with all the alarms I wouldn’t have the opportunity to get bored, but I did. I did anything and everything I could think of that required no physical exertion. I took photos from the sofa. I watched dust piling up on the electronics. I posted 800 tweets. I watched the bathroom get dirtier.

Boredom makes me stress over bills and my lack of employability. Inactivity makes me notice unclean areas visible from my vantage point. Usually I say Another day, another neurosis, but two at once?

Then for no reason whatsoever, I got The Toast Song stuck in my head.

To distract myself, I decided to clean house.

Cleaning house requires a little bending. Bending is a no-no, so I just cleaned what I could reach by standing, sitting, or squatting. It was half-assed, but I felt better.

Unfortunately, I was still bored. And stressed.

My wife was helping a friend move and I couldn’t be trusted around heavy boxes, so I was at home alone. Bored. Sitting on the sofa drinking Gatorade. That’s when i had the massive pressure spike in my right eye.

From inside it looked like an occular migrane. Colorful dots exploded all over the edges of my vision, but it didn’t hurt. What was happening was my eye pulling an Incredible Hulk move and was ripping open.


[Not Safe For Lunch Photos here, here, and here. ]

So I waited several hours before going to the hospital.

I wasn’t sure at first what had happened. Drugs are bad m’kay? I waited until my wife got home to ask her opinion. By then it was getting close to time for my next alarm and I was becoming aware of the the pain, and the scratching on the inside of my eyelid.

The pressure in my eye got so high that I popped two stitches.

Get bed-rest, and I MEAN IT this time!!!
If the pressure spike had come a day earlier, I may not have been healed enough to handle it. (Yay, steroids!) As it was, It was just a minor flesh wound.

I was told to go home and stay on the sofa. That was when Seattle had it’s hottest week in recorded history.

Nice paper-cut you gave me! Why don’t you just pour some nice lemon juice into it?

Holy crap it’s hot. It’s like Africa Hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kinda hot. And there I am, stuck on a sofa.

Delicate DropsAs the temperature climbed, I was faced with a brand new dilemma.

All of my medications need to stay between 60F and 80F to be effective. Cool DropsThe refrigerator is too cold and my apartment is too hot, so my wife sacrificed her cooler. She gave up cool water on the hottest day ever just for me.

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the ice packs she normally uses made the cooler a little too cold. It’s too warm to use nothing, and the icepacks are overkill. So I improvised.

Trader Joe’s to the rescue, again.

I found other uses for the ice packs. Don’t judge me.

Bloated, Dizzy, Forgetful, and Wandering The Streets Alone

It finally cooled down yesterday, so I decided to take a walk.

It’s been two weeks since the surgery. (Four more weeks until the implant expands and “goes active” and I find out if it’s going to slow the progress of my blindness… or cause a problem of it’s own.) I’m healed enough to start doing “medium level” stuff, so I went to a movie on Saturday and had some friends over for grilled meat and steamed corn on Sunday… then rode to Tacoma to deliver a futon after. I told you I was bored.

Until yesterday, I’ve not been alone outside of my home in two weeks.

The surgery has rendered my glasses useless, so I popped in the contact lens in what used to be my bad eye, donned my black glasses, and grabbed my long cane.

The Long Cane: The Official Cane of Blind People(TM)

It’s a “tappy” style, collapsable cane. It’s the cane you think of when you think of blind people.

Long Cane, CollapsedLong Cane, Extended

I replaced the tappy tip with a “roller” tip. This keeps the tip from getting stuck in every crack in the sidewalk.
Roller Tip

The end of the handle has a strap that doubles as the cane wrangler. Nifty.
Strap, untiedStrap, tied

I took off around noon and got home around three. My right hand felt like I was jackhammering all day. I could swear it was still vibrating for at least ten minutes after I got home.

On the plus side: my neck, shoulders, back, and head hurt much less because I wasn’t staring at my feet the whole time. I’m not going to be able to see forever and I don’t want to waste it staring at the sidewalk, looking for tripping hazards.

I saw so much yesterday that I plan on doing it again tomorrow.

Oh, yeah, …and I’ve been eating spicy food like crazy.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Holy crap! I’m glad you’re okay and that the eye is doing better. And that The Official Blind Person cane is working out well.


  2. Posted by Alex on August 8, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Life without spicy food is no life at all.

    Dude, I know it’s your eye exploding and all and I should probably be more sensitive, but HOLY SHIT, that is the freaking coolest thing I’ve ever seen. And you got pictures! I am officially fucking jealous. I don’t have good pictures of my meaty bits.


    • Re: Life without spicy food is no life at all.

      …duh. Like I didn’t eat half a bottle of Tabasco, too.

      Like I haven’t been on this weird taco kick. (I blame Twitter for that one. That’s when it started. Before that I was on a pizza kick.)

      Re: good pictures of my meaty bits

      a. It looked worse before I drank a ton of water
      b. Those are the low-res versions of the photos.
      c. You should have seen me in the bathroom juggling the camera trying to turn my eyeball to get the shot.
      d. You took ZERO photos of your hip? You? YOU? She of a thousand cameras?

      I’ve tried to get videocameras in the operating room before but they always tell me the same thing: “You wouldn’t want to see that!” Pshhhh! I have too many scars other places to be squeamish. Less than a month after my fifth birthday a doctor let me help with some of the 60+ stitches on my knee. He “hooked the flesh” and I was allowed to “tighten the knot”. It was my reward for being so still and quiet for the six shots it took to numb me down.

      After that, I was a boy in the suburbs. I rode bikes and skateboards, I climbed trees, I jumped fences, I lit off fireworks. One friend accidently set another friends long hair on fire, there were BB guns and explosions, and fist-fights, and horsing around. I have the scars to remember it all.

      Then there’s the kitchen. You spend time around knives and fire, you get cuts and burns. Then there’s camping… and moving to a remote cabin on a horse ranch for a year (oh, concrete. I swear I’ll never leave you again!) …and just life in general.

      The most interesting lives require band-aids and antacids.

      – G


  3. Posted by Alex on August 8, 2009 at 9:56 am

    And by the way, you’re not the village idiot, you’re the village madman, which means you have moments of both idiocy and genius, depending on the phase of the moon. If I were you, I might start keeping an eye on that moon.


  4. […] my last update I healed up pretty normally, then I went out and enjoyed the summer (before surgery number eight) […]


  5. […] 20, 2009 Filed under: Uncategorized | Yeah, I got a little distracted. I had a surgery, an accident, and another surgery, and I’m finally healing […]


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