Step One To See Like An Eagle

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Yesterday, I underwent the first of two surgeries to remove cataracts from my eyes. For some reason the idea of having my eye cut open spooked me beyond belief, and I was nervous going into it. The experience from home to home took about three hours, but the experience in the operating room about fifteen minutes.

I awake partially coming out of sedation and could see and feel the surgeon poking about in my eye. When he unstrapped my head and announced “its all over” the first words out of my moth were “everything is fuzzy.”

This morning, I had to see the surgeon again, I think he forgot to sign his work and wanted to check to see if he did. He told me the story about what I said and I told him the disappointment I felt about not seeing things sharp and clear. He asked if I were an Engineer. “I am,” I answered. “That explains it. Engineers, and doctors all like to see things sharp and well-defined.”

He told me to put my chin on the machine and my forehead against the strap. I did, and he began flipping lenses and asking which one is better?  After a few minutes of this he reported to me that the astigmatism in my eye before surgery measured 250, and with the new lens it is now at 100. So I guess I’m stuck with some astigmatism for the remaining few years of my life. He informed me that I could have chosen to go with new lens designed to end astigmatism at an out-of-pocket cost of $1450 extra per eye.  Of course I chose not to get an experimental thing like that with such an exorbitant extra cost.

He lectured further and told me that as my eye returns to its normal dilation things will get better. By then I will be complaining about the right eye as well. In the meantime, I now have a situation where I don’t need glasses for my left eye, but I need them for my right eye. I guess I have to cut my old glasses in half and try a monocular vision correction.

Eatin Chickin

Grampa Jim loved chicken and chicken soup.  Most of his teeth were gone, so he had a hard time chewing tough meats.  When Mom made chicken soup, she used the entire chicken in the pot.  We ate the soup with her homemade noodles. For chicken soup she cut the dough into long fine strands.  We ate the soup first. She served the boiled chicken parts for the main course.  Dad always took the breast; I always took a leg.  Gramps stuck to the wings, feet, neck, and head.  He thought he would be taking it off our plate if he took a larger part to eat.

By the end of the meal he had the neck sucked down to a pile of discrete vertebrae.  He did the same with the wings, and feet.  We all hated the boiled skin, so we pushed it aside into a pile on our plates.  Gramps always asked for the skin, remarking “You’re leaving the best part behind”.

Toward the end of the meal, Gramps attacked the chicken head.  He used the fine point of his pocket knife blade to pick the eyes from the socket, and eat the eye right off the tip. He never washed his pocket knife, he only wiped it off, folded it, and put it back into his pocket. I was with him at times when he used the same knife to cut fish for bait.

It was a short time before the chicken head was a bare bony skull; smaller than a walnut.   One would think that there was nothing more to eat, but we were always wrong.  Gramps set the skull down on the table. He lined up the sharp edge of his knife along the top of the skull. Then, SLAM. He hit the dull side of the knife with a karate chop. The heel of his hand slammed against the knife to split the skull in two.  Again, he used the very tip of the knife to pick out the chicken brain which was the size of a small pea.  Sometimes he had to pick a piece out of both parts.  The brain disappeared into his mouth off the end of the knife like it was caviar.

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