I’m writing a series on body deformities. You can read the first installment here.
This post is a continuation of that post. As I was saying yesterday, my left eye is legally blind.
If you’ve met me, you already knew this, though. Either that or you thought I might have cancer, or be on the verge of sprouting a tree out of my face.
There was a time when I was younger that you couldn’t tell that there was a problem with my eye just by looking at me. This was back when the muscles still tracked properly, and the lid opened fully, and it didn’t look like my left eye was governed by some kind of rogue homing system set on detecting a satellite in orbit above my head while my right eye was all normal. We’ll get to that in a minute though. First, the rest of the story.
After I had surgery on my eye at the tender age of two weeks in which the doctor removed the lens, my parents were put on strict regimen. They had to do two things to avoid causing my eyeball to fall out of my skull and onto my dinner plate some random Thursday evening later on in my life.
First, they were required patch my good eye for numerous hours a day. Had I been a little bit older, I might have liked to pretend I was a legally blind pirate wearing a flesh colored, yet totally obvious, patch. As a lad of a mere two or three weeks, it just made me scream.
Then–and this was the really fun part–they were required to pin me down and put an adult sized contact lens into my bad eye.
So, ideally, this contact lens was supposed to remain in my eye for several days–even weeks–at a time. However, my eye didn’t cooperate, and jettisoned the little thing on a regular basis, requiring them to pin me down yet again as I writhed in pain (baby eyes don’t like big-people lenses as it turns out) and insert that sucker back into my eye. I consider this repeated trauma the source of every bad thing that has ever occurred in my life, incidentally. So, no biggie.
–side story–My parents said that one time it popped out of my eye as I was eating cheerios, and I proceeded to eat the very expensive lens thinking it was a cheerio on my face. They found it in my diaper the next day. And reused it. (Okay, that last sentence was a lie. Though they might have been tempted to if my digestive tracked hadn’t torn it in half.)
All of this was an effort to get my legally blind eye in shape in the event that I got my good eye gouged out with a broken pencil or whatever. It was also to build the muscles so that my eyes tracked effectively.
Then, when I was in first grade, I had another operation. This operation was to fix the tracking in my eyes, but for reals this time. So, after being put under, then waking up and vomiting over and over and over and over as a result of the anesthesia, my eyes actually tracked properly! Awesome!
The thing is, I was supposed to have another such operation when I was 13. I didn’t. I’m now 30. Using basic math and and intuition, you can deduce that this means I went from normal eye-tracking at age 5 to needing corrective surgery again at 13 to looking like I’m recovering from a concussion and a hangover and a bee-sting to the pupil all at once at age 30.
One of the main difficulties with this progression is that I subconsciously function under the assumption that my face looks basically normal. I often find myself helpfully explaining to people that “oh, my left eye is weird–it’s actually blind” only to be met with a stare which says something to the effect of “on what universe did you think I wouldn’t notice the utter freakiness of that disgusting eye, which the reptilian part of my brain is interpreting as a signal that you are about to knock me out, throw me in a van, take me to your lair, and sew a suit out of my skin?” But then, of course, this person’s executive brain takes over and feigns surprise. “Oh, your eye is weird? I hadn’t noticed it… that much.” Some will even throw in a comforting phrase like “It’s really hard to tell that with your glasses!”
What’s that you say? You want to see a picture?
From a distance you see this:
|A normal looking 30-year-old father of three|
When you get closer, you see this:
|Psycho-Killer Dahmer Bin Laden I-Molest-Farm-Animals Face|
(Note the ridiculously untamed eyebrows.) You might be wondering if I was pissed off or sad in this photo. This was taken the day my second daughter was born, one of the happiest days of my life.
Need further evidence?
I rest my case.
The next installment will cover my internal deformities. Get ready for some incredible polyps and cysts!