May 29

Another good week

It’s been quite nice here in Ohio since I last wrote.  That means when I’m not working I prefer to spend my time outside.  That can involve helping Connie in the yard, visiting with friends on the patio or sitting in a folding chair at Colin’s baseball practice.  

There’s nothing to report on my surgery yet.  They still have to get “clearance” from the insurance company.  

When there’s more time or news I’ll write again.  

May 19

A Plan

Right-hand turns are safer for most people.  Think about it.  Some people actually will make 4 right turns instead of 4 lefts.  When I worked at IBM one of my coworkers, Paul Carrick, showed me a different way to the office.  He said there were fewer traffic lights and it was a safer route.  While I could see his point it seemed to be a greater distance.


With me being a monocular driver you would think that this would be the way to go.  It’s actually not.  Since it’s my right eyelid that remains “drawn” my comfort level with right hand turns isn’t what it used to be.  Your peripheral vision and depth perception should not be taken for granted.  Every time I make that right turn I’m either too fast, too slow, two wide or running over the curb.  I often hear sighs or giggles from the passenger seat, but that’s to be expected.


No need to worry.  The newer Taurus and other vehicles in the Wagner compound are still in good shape.  That is, as far as my driving ability is concerned.  We did have a starter leave Grant stranded in the ’01 Taurus, which will forever be known as the original “cool car”.  He was at a friend’s house and this event may have led to a learning experience.  Then again, he is 17 and knows much more than I do.


This past week included a visit to my Neuro-Ophthalmologist, Dr. Katz.  Whom you may remember the story how he had open heart surgery just prior to my last scheduled visit.  It was early February and he had Dr. Collins taking his place.  The interim doctor coached me on how I should be assertive with Dr. Katz when he returned.


So then, on Friday morning, Connie and I made our way to the morning visit.  Assuming we would be there for hours, we were pleasantly surprised when he walked in only an hour after our scheduled appointment.  He took a number of measurements and talked with us for quite a while.  Then I let him have it (sort of).  I was in full “pitch” mode.  I told him how we should go about getting my vision closer to the real normal.  I told him that I could do pretty much everything, even golf.  Connie looked at me and laughed.  I said, “this is really more cosmetic than anything.”  What a stupid of a thing to say.  Even I laughed at myself.


After much thought he said that he would suggest the following approach.  A “plan” if you will.   Since 3 of the 12 cranial nerves were permanently damaged, you can see how this would not be a quick “fix”.  While this can never truly be fixed, the hope is to make the most of my current condition.  This means “straightening” my eyes, for at least my forward gaze.  The peripheral vision will still be double.  The straightening will be done by recessing and resecting muscles around my eyes and moving some tendons.  Because of the number of muscles involved, there will need to be 2 surgeries.  This will be done as an out-patient and the actual surgery should take less than 10 minutes.


Then there will be a final surgery to lift my right eye lid and possibly lift my left one.  The latter should be  easier, since it doesn’t have as far to go.  The former will involve the placement of a string.  It’s a procedure known as a “Frontalis Sling”.  For all of you aspiring or budding ophthalmologists, you can find the definition and step-by-step video on the internet.  (what can’t you find out here?!)  I watched the first five minutes and got a headache. 🙂  This will allow my lid to lift when I raise my brow.  Fortunately, there are no wheels and pulleys involved.  You can just imagine how this could get hideous pretty quickly.  Well, looking at the bright side, because that’s the only we should look at, I will be able to use both eyes again.  YEAH!


Hopefully, by April 1st of 2013 I will back to the next new normal.  And, yes, I realize that last sentence is not grammatically correct.  It’s like taking 3 right turns instead of two lefts and a right.  I know, it’s confusing.

May 07

I’m just not feelin’ it

The favorite thing these days is to change the radio station in my car. I don’t always notice them going for the button until it’s too late.  It’s the whole right side, right eye scenario. They’re catching on that I’m going to change it back.  As I’ve told them “it’s MY car”.  They have pointed out that I think everything is mine, at least when their mom’s not around.  When they want to change it we’re usually less than 5 minutes from home and there’s usually other people in the car. Inevitably, any other passengers will hate the selection made.

Why can’t we all just get along. I was informed through the media this week (I know, I know, you have to consider the source) that Rodney King is the person that made that saying famous. I thought it  was me.
Colin, our 12-year-old, got in the car this week and went to change the channel. I said, “dude, what are you doing?”. It was a new cool song that I knew both he and I both liked. His reply was, “I’m just not feelin’ it”.  My kids crack me up.  If we go through a meal without someone laughing something’s not right.
This week I’ve caught myself getting more comfortable behind the wheel.  It feels good to have that sense of the old normal.  On the other hand it concerns me. I don’t want to become complacent.  There are enough driver’s on the road that are complacent. I wish they would all be as aware as I am but with 2 good eyes.
I wonder what the drivers think when they pull up next to me on the right.  Last weekend Connie and I were headed to Jess’ volleyball match and there was one of those drivers.  As I turned my head, the extra 45 degrees that are required, I noticed him gawking.  He was either checking out my wife or wondering “what the hell is that guy doing on the road?”.   The light turned green.  We went our separate ways and I’ve never seen him again.  At least not on purpose.
This has been a great week for kids activities. Our oldest, Grant (17),performed in the pit orchestra for the high school production of ” Anything Goes”. Jessica has one of her last volleyball tournaments and Colin has a baseball tournament.  My week ended with me washing my own car.  Boy, did that feel good.  Last year, at this time, I could barely SEE my own car.
Before all of that Connie’s emailed was hacked. It really was quite an ordeal that precipitated the following note.
Subject:  Please, Don’t Send Money
Connie’s email has been hacked.  I apologize for the alarming note that was sent from her address this morning.  If you didn’t receive, please disregard this note.  If you did, please don’t send the hacker any money.

She’s not in any London (UK or Ohio).  As a matter of fact she’s mowing the lawn, here in Hilliard. If you’re feeling benevolent, just slip a few extra bucks in the collection plate this Sunday.

All is well with our Wagner’s of Hilliard.  Sorry for the alarm.  On a positive note, it’s been great to hear how many of you care.  Thanks.
As you recall we see humor in almost everything. I probably should be more concerned, but “I’m just not feelin’ it.