Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Then And Now...

On the left is what I looked like a week ago, on the right is what I look like as I write this. (Well, not exactly as I write this, more like fifteen minutes before writing.) As is apparent, vast improvement in appearance, what isn't so apparent is the vast improvement in seeing.

Last week I could discern light and dark, and some shapes, though the shapes appeared as blobs. This week I can actually see things in my peripheral vision. Which is quite maddening. Have you ever tried to look at something in your peripheral vision? As soon as you do, it's no longer in your peripheral vision. You have to look away to see. If that makes any sense.

Spent the morning on the phone and online with the short term disability folks at both work and at the insurance company which the company uses to cover us. I talked to a couple of really nice people. The empathy one gets after eye surgery is most interesting. Much more so than the last couple of surgeries I had. Geez, since I retired from the Air Force I've had more surgeons poking and cutting me than in the first 46 years of my existence.

Which reminds me of a funny story. Well, it's funny looking back at it.

Ever had an ingrown toenail? No fun, trust me. It got bad enough that the family doctor said that he'd need to operate on it, simple thing really, I won't bore you (gross you out) with the details. Suffice to say it was out patient surgery under local anesthesia.

I'm not a big fan of needles, truth be told, I don't know anyone who is. Oddly enough, when The Nuke was young, she took great pride in not being scared of needles. During one of the family permanent change of station moves, we went to the clinic, shot records in hand, to be inoculated against whatever pathogens awaited us at our new duty station.

Turns out all of the progeny needed three shots each. The Naviguesser went in, got his shots, and came out rubbing his arm in some pain. Then The Nuke went in. When she came out it was with a swagger. I swear, she was swaggering like some 15th Century samurai. She proclaimed to the waiting room at large, "That was nothing! Didn't hurt at all!"

The WSO decided that she was not going to accompany us to our next assignment and that she would simply stay right there until we returned. (Bear in mind, she was only seven at the time. The Nuke was nine.) The nurse pointed out that she couldn't do that. The WSO wanted to know why, the nurse said, "Well, if you stay right here," gesturing around at the clinic, "you'll have to get a shot every day."

At that point The Nuke lost her patience and proclaimed to the nurse, "Geez, my sister is a big baby. Go ahead, give me her shots!" This was accompanied by her rolling up her sleeve to get another shot.

Needless to say, reason prevailed, The WSO got her shots and off we went.

Anyhoo, back to my ingrown toenail (why do I keep wanting to type "in ground pool"?)...

I went to the hospital where the family sawbones awaited. (He was an awesome guy, had his own airplane, I still remember the number "44Q," which he always called "fo-ah fo-ah Kwe-beck" in his very old school New England accent.) He had me take my shoe off (left foot) and hop up on the table. He had this wee nurse, she couldn't have been much over four-foot nothing and 95 pounds dripping wet, who was there to assist.

Doc pulled his syringe out, I swear it was as long as a baseball bat and twice as thick, drew the anesthetic into it, did the tappy tappy thing to clear any air bubbles and then proceeded to impale my toe with that giant thing.

"Ow," I said. Which drew a "look" from the nurse. A look which said, "Man up, you big wuss." So I did. After a certain interval the doc tapped my toe and asked if it was numb. I said, "Yeah, feels numb."

At which point the doc commences to slicing open my toe outboard of that ingrown toenail (again with the in ground pool!). I'm watching all this, fool me, and when the blood started to run, I realized that I could feel the scalpel slicing through my flesh.

The top half of me came up off of the table like a freaking jack in the box, with me howling in pain, and screaming at the universe for the agony which was in it. At which point the nurse, all four foot nothing of her, 95 pounds dripping wet, grabbed me by the shoulders and slammed me, yes, slammed me, back onto the table. She again gave me a "look."

Doc, for his part, just kind of chuckled and said, "Who-ee, guess it ain't numb enough!"

No sir, no, it was not anywhere near numb enough.

But he remedied that, he later told me that he gave me enough anesthetic to knock out a bull buffalo. He also fixed the toenail, which has looked strange to this day. I swear, the nurse must have cursed my weakness and the weird looking toenail remains to remind me not to be such a wuss at times.

So while the "demon eye" in that left photo was rather off-putting, I just shrugged it off. I mean yeah, I've had worse...


  1. Encouraging to read that there's been improvement in that thar I. Haven't had the ingrown toenail situation yet but my dad did...there was a needle involved, maybe as big as yours but his toe was numb when the doc started slicing and dicing. It healed up darn good but just took time.

    1. Everything takes time.

      Yes, I am encouraged by the progress.

  2. We used to call folks with a single eye issue, ol Gotcheye. Something my folks said.

    Getting stabbed in the digits was a Japanese torture, at least we were told so by those who knew. I had some warts burned off when I was a kid. The needle hurt so bad, that I tensed up, and when he withdrew the needle, the juice squirted right back out of the hole. "It can't' be that bad", says the doc. I just about let go of my self control.

    I had a school teacher that told about getting his warts burned off. The doctor told him to drop his pants, and wait right here. "The wart is on my hand, doc." The doc went digging in a closet, came back with a cymbal. Put it on a stool, and told him to sit on it. My teacher said, "the wart is on my hand doc." The doc growled at him, and he hopped up on the stool. The doc clamped a big welding electrode to the cymbal, to ground him out for the electric burner. I thought it was funny, until I got tortured by the doc when I got mine burned off. Not a happy day.

    Take it easy and get better.

    1. OW!

      These days I believe they freeze warts off. That sounds like old school medicine with the cymbal and all. Again I say, OW!

  3. Is the center vision going to return in time? I pray so.

  4. OK, so I new see the comparison to Professor Moody...lol
    Glad to hear things continue to improve. At least you were able to get rid of the adhesive tape residue...acetone can do miracles.
    But the pupil is still looking pretty dilated...just keep doing the silly drops...they do work, it just takes time.
    And good luck with the disability folks, every time I had to file for short term disability, I was back to work by the time the $$ showed up. Glad to know they were at least pleasant to talk to. Customer services seems to be rare these days.

    Keeping up the good thoughts and prayers you are pronounced cured on Thursday.

    1. Progress is being made, no retrograde motion that I can "see."

      Yeah, the cash won't show until I'm back at work probably, but as long as it shows.

  5. Debra Reynolds (doorkeeper)October 9, 2018 at 7:00 AM

    Hoping and praying you're well soon, with no more problems.
    I had ingrown toenails (inground pools, LOL) on both large toes and had to have 1/3 of each removed. As I remember it, I got a total of 9 shots in the two. The shots were the worst pain ever. Although picking the gauze out of the nailbeds and dried blood later wasn't fun either. Funny, wearing my steel toed boots helped--because nothing touched the toes.
    Hope your disability and all paperwork goes well, too.
    Because even though this stuff makes funny stories--it's no fun to live with. My fav is when I fought for 9 months to avoid paying a bill for "my" prostate exam. I could not get it through their heads that I do not own the organ. So, I guess I'm the only woman you know with a prostate. It's small and lumpy, but normal ;)

    1. Oh yes, the joys of trying to educate bureaucrats in, in... Well, anything really.

      I had an indignant phone call from our medical ensurer once upon a time that they were most definitely NOT going to pay for the removal of a second gall bladder as their book said humans have only one of those. I assured them that I indeed had only one and that it was gone. Had they thought to ask the hospital why they were charging for a second?

      "Um, um, we'll call you right back." Which they did, seems a second doctor was in the room when my gall bladder was removed, he figured, "Oh well, I'm here, might as well get paid for my time." Not so fast, hospital withdrew the charge and also disciplined the doctor. That last bit I thought was nice. Being stupid and/or greedy should have consequences.

      So, are the other ladies jealous of you having that unusual organ? Just curious.

    2. I, speaking as a lady, certainly would not be jealous of another's prostate...from what I have observed over the past 40 mumble years of being in the health care field, prostates lead to being prodded in the butt on a regular basis, and all become cancerous to some degree or another...and when you do live long enough that that does cause difficulties, it spreads to the bone, which is VERY painful...way worse than in-grown toenails, and harder to prevent.
      So, no, I would most certainly not be jealous of another lady's prostate. Besides, just think of all the testing she would have to go through to prove that 1) it really was there, and 2) that she really was of the female variety. The paycheck at the end of all that bureaucratic slog had better be HUGE bucks and even then, yea, no...not jealous.

  6. Saw the eye doc yesterday. Nothing dramatic, as it turned out. Just an oil gland clogged. With macular degeneration in that eye, and my overthinking, my stress level was elevated."Am I going blind?"

    Glad you are on your way to recovery.

    1. The thought of losing one's sight certainly elevates the stress levels.

      Good to know it was nothing serious.

  7. I think your eye looks like it has come along well from what can be seen in two pictures, anyway.
    You're ruff n' tuff, Sarge...time, good friends, good food and rest is all you need.
    That and water...drink lots of water.

    1. Great strides have been made. Water? Isn't that the stuff they use to make hops and barley drinkable?

  8. Good to see that Sargeclops is on the road to recovery.

  9. I think you look more dashing with the patch. It also helps me from tearing up- which is my involuntary sympathetic reaction to any eye injury. Hope you're feeling even bettah when the great meet-up happens.

    1. The patch is far more dashing, but I only need to cover the eye at night. Then it's really just a plastic shield taped to my face.

      Things are progressing well!

  10. R U talking about man? Can't you see the pain and peril fo mucking about with surgeons and their cutting?

    I hope you find your way to the Good Place.

    Even though I like you.

    1. Hahaha! The Good Place, I get that.

      For some things surgery is the only option. Believe me, I tried to walk off the ingrown toenail, deuced painful it was!

      Thanks Cap'n.

  11. I am sure that this tale was more fun in the telling, than it was in the experiencing.

    Good to see and read that recovery continues apace.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. There are many things which are funny in hindsight. Not so much at the time of occurrence, as you so accurately point out.

      Also, I see you're using a Google-type ID now, that's going to take some time to get used to. But good on you!

    2. Does the type of ID make a difference in what you have to do to allow comments? It doesn't matter to me; I just switched because the Googly one is first on the list of options.


    3. Well, not really, but if someday the Any Mouse types threaten to overrun the kingdom, and they are rife in the outer provinces (older posts) then if I had to "ban" anonymous comments you'd be safe. But Tennessee Bud, L.J., and a couple of others would be left out in the cold. So far I haven't had much trouble with anonymous comments in new posts, just the old ones and after 7 days, ALL comments go into moderation, they only get published if I approve them. Most are spam, but there are a couple of readers who see something old they'd like to comment on. So if you comment on a post and you don't see the comment show up, check the date. Your comment will eventually show up. Unless you're pimping online casinos and moving services in Mumbai. (No really, it's a thing.) As is some yahoo who comments with the handle "Gmail Sign Up." As those comments are typically drooling nonsense, the address gets blocked. But your Googly ID or your Any Mouse comments are fine, whichever suits you.


  12. As a life-long sufferer of really bad allergies, I occasionally get a clogged tearduct. Doesn't sound bad, until you find out it feels like someone shoving a sewing needle under your eye (well, you have to imagine that, as I've never actually poked a needle under my eye.) Treatment? Hot compress over the affected area for an hour or so to soften the gunk in the tube and then carefully squeeze the duct. Ever try to squeeze your tear duct? With fingers the size of 2x4s? Yeah. Sucks.

    So far I've avoided in-grown toenails by savagely attacking any that start ingrowing. Which involves lots of cutting with toenail clippers, a sharp knife, poking and lifting with a sewing machine needle, and squeezing the affected area to expel all the unwanted parts. Then blasting the area with hydrogen peroxide and such. Weee. Home surgery. My friends think I'm weird.

    Glad you're healing up, hope the short-term disability actually comes through soon.

    Are you looking forward to visiting the doc on Thursday? I can see you trying to finagle an extra week off for good measure, as it sounds like your field of view is rather inverse right now.

    Shots, used to be scared of shots, until I got allergy shots. Built up an immunity to shots.

    1. All I look for from the doc on Thursday is, "Hey, you're healing up really well! Come see me next week."

      As to the time off, if I get it, that's fine. But I get the feeling that The Missus Herself will be playing chauffeur for the foreseeable (heh) future.

      I too now attack any incipient ingrowing of toenails with great vigor. I know what happens if I don't!

    2. Don't cut the nail so short, only square across, not down into the corners, and do not wear shoes that are tight across the toes...think cowboy boots and ladies high heels...they are a big no-no unless you enjoy ingrown nails. Square toed shoes are best.
      This is the end of this PSA :)

      Beans: "built up an immunity to shots" Heh! Yea, me too, except I had to give myself the allergy shot as Mom would faint at the sight of blood. The neighbor lady who was an RN came and using an orange, showed me how to do it. Going to town every week for just a shot was 15 miles one way, and wasn't happening according to Dad. "You want to be a nurse, give your own shot".
      I just hated the stuffed head, runny nose, itchy swollen eyesballs and 10 minute sneezing spells...the allergy shots worked great until I had my son, changed the hormones or chemistry or something...but by then I wasn't hanging out in hayfields so often.

    3. I really think Suz, that you should be the Chant's Chief Medical Officer.

      Talk to RHT447 over in crowd control, he knows where all the badges are...

      Which we don't really need...

  13. Wow. Hope your eye keeps getting better.

  14. Due to some risk of an inherited bleeding problem my sister and I had to have some blood testing done.
    I was maybe 10 or 12 and she's a few years younger than me.
    I recall watching the whole procedure of the blood draw and the blotting paper clotting time calculation with rapt attention and then I passed out and rolled out of the chair onto the floor.

    Although I have given multiple gallons of blood to the Red Cross, and I also used to do Pheresis, I have never ever again watched the needle go into my arm. (or any other part of the anatomy)
    Nor do I watch others get stuck, even on TV or the movie screen.

    I was getting a cortisone shot into my shoulder as a possible way to not have the surgery, and when I turned away from the needle I realized just a second too late that I could see everything clearly in the bright stainless steel of the towel dispenser.
    I was surprised by how calmly I told the Doctor to quickly push the trash can where I could reach it.
    Neither nausea nor passing out followed, but it was a near thing.

    Glad to hear that the healing continues.

    1. I tolerate needles, but can't watch. I will also comment on the jabber's technique if it's good.

      If I didn't say anything, means the jabber made a dog's breakfast of the jab.

      Inherited bleeding problem? Had a lieutenant who's son had that sort of issue, damned hard on the child it was. FWIW, the lieutenant was a good man hisself.

    2. My wife, the lovely Mrs. Andrew, would loudly say "Here comes the telephone pole" when giving blood. The older, more twisted techs would laugh. The younger ones and new donors would all turn queasy.

      I love my wife!

    3. Sounds like you are well matched!

  15. "I tolerate needles, but can't watch."

    Same here. I can will myself to relax, but have to look away to stay that way.

    Glad to 'see' your recovery is progressing nicely. It would be handy if you reproduce the left photo at will. Halloween is coming.

    1. Reproducing that look for Halloween would be cool.

      And no doubt somewhat painful!

  16. I definitely like the second pic. Looks like you're cogitating the whichness of the why. Praying that the vision continues to get better.

    1. I was in a bit of a contemplative mood. (And trying not to look too stupid.)

  17. I shall have to show you the scar from my shark bite someday. How did you get bit by a shark, I hear you saying. Lets just say I was in my early twenties, and put my hand in it's mouth, accidentaly. It was more of a rake, really. But I found out that when people tell you not to put your hand in a shark's mouth, they have a reason. Who knew, right? ( the scar is a whopping 3cm long )

  18. So a ninety - some odd pound nurse in a wet t-shirt was used to dissuade you from demanding more lidocaine. It was probably near the end of the fiscal year and each person only receives their original allotment. As for as the use of a basketball needle, well that too.
    When I had mine done (in search of the elusive idiopathic neuropathy) they used tiny needles but the injections hurt like crazy. Five or six all around the nail. The good doctor saying "you might feel a little pressure". Anyway it didn't work toward alleviating the pain. THEY DO NOT WANT to admit Agent Orange induced neuropathy. Every test imaginable will be inflicted before you can file and then you'll be turned down most of the time. It takes around three years to get help. Lots of guys much worse than me suffering for their SEA experience. Sorry for the rant.

    1. I hear you Dave, my eldest brother-in-law (Korean infantryman in Vietnam) suffers horribly from what the doctors assume is exposure to Agent Orange. He spends most of the year in hospital.

      I don't remember the wet t-shirt part, but then again, I have a thing for women in nurse's uniforms.


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