All In Favor… Say “EYE”

December22/ 2020

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December 22, 2020


All In Favor… Say EYE


When last we gathered at this cyber cracker barrel to ruminate over Life’s Endless WHYs … I mentioned I would be having kinda major Eye Surgery.  A Cornea Transplant in my right eye to be specific.


At that time I had had two previous Cornea Transplant surgeries over the past six years that had failed for various reasons.  I’ve also had detached retinas in both eyes.  One 32 years ago … the second three years ago.

How many Internet Legends do you know that have had Four major eye surgeries?  Howsabout SIX major eye surgeries.

Yep … since we last met I have had, not one but, TWO Cornea Transplants in my right eye.   Duke Eye Center was having a Pre-Christmas Two-Fer / BOGO.

In the course of Cornea Transplant 2020 #1 it was discovered that a detached retina surgery 32 years earlier had left a hole in my right eye that would prevent a transplant from adhering.  A 2nd surgery would be necessary to suture that hole.  So last Tuesday we underwent that procedure.  Happy to report that results thus far are exceeding expectations.



32 years ago – two weeks before “Kid” would be born – I spent a very long night flat on my back in a local hospital contemplating losing the sight in my right eye.  I didn’t.  The Duke eye surgeon told me then that I was genetically predisposed to having my retinas detach.

Sure enough … 30 years later – with “Kid” deep into her third Trimester with ReRe and YaYa … his prophecy came true.  ANOTHER very long night contemplating the loss of sight in my one remaining “good eye” – since by then my first cornea transplant had reduced me to 20/60 in my right eye.  Again … I didn’t.  If all of this is confusing, it is because it IS.

A high % of “you people” are of my generational subset …

I’m sure many of you are accumulating your major medical “adventures”. ….. And have accepted the likelihood of more to come.

At a Christmas Party last week attended by a dozen “of us BBoomers” … my “eye surgery stories” took first prize for “lets compare what ails us”.

Being in “Twilight Anesthesia” while two guys cut a hole in your eye and do stuff inside it and you can hear them talking about it does make for a spell-binding narrative.

In case you are wondering … 2nd place went to the fella who hit a pothole on his bike and did a full face plant on asphalt … wiping out a shoulder, breaking three ribs, a jaw and multiple teeth.  FWIW… I voted for him!

Let me go on record saying the staff at Duke Eye Center are pretty darn AWESOME.

I appreciate that some of you are deeply in-bred to Despise All Things Duke … for perfectly logical (???) reasons related to “something JJ Reddick said” or “because Christian Laettner …” or a very long list of Crimes Against Nature “that Coach K surely committed”.

I would never attempt to extract that cantaloupe-sized tumor from your colon.  May you carry it with you to the grave.

But everyone I have dealt with “at Duke” over many years – clerical – medical techs – surgical teams – and World-Class Surgeons have been Awesome.  The old joke about “What do you call the guy that finishes last in his Med School class?” – Answer = “Doctor”.

That guy does NOT get hired as a surgeon at Duke Eye Center. For that matter …nor would DR JILL BIDEN.

The four Duke surgeons who have operated on my eyes over the years have all performed literally 1,000s of delicate eye surgeries over their careers. Yes, Robert My Car Guy has repaired 1,000s of automobile engines over his career and maybe there is a simple comparison of “professionals who know what they are doing and do it very very well … many many times.”  I am in awe of such repeatable expertise.

I once asked a surgeon friend of mine if there were surgeons he knew that he would NOT want to operate on him or on his loved ones.  “Absolutely” he quickly replied.  YIKES!

In a discussion with a now-retired prominent corporate attorney, he noted that in the many many voluminous contracts he drafted that involved the transfer of many many bazillions of $$$$… he was responsible for the absolute correctness of every word included in or omitted from each of those contracts.  Maybe he did not “toe tag” his “oops” like a surgeon might … but his reputation and professional future was at stake in each situation.

Is a surgeon / attorney  allowed to “have a bad day” or be distracted by any number of external factors in his Life beyond that OR / boardroom in that moment?

Looking back over my unfulfilling career in corporate America… I never felt that what I was doing “really mattered”. Yes, I contributed to some entity’s “bottom line” but so what?  Over the past twenty years “here” … I HAVE felt that some of my random musings / perspectives might make a positive difference now and then to some of you.  I prefer to think so …


Sort of Related …

In the past twelve months … FOUR long time Friends – Real Ones…Not the Facebook kind – have been diagnosed with various serious forms of cancer.

This time a year ago none of the four were aware of what was to come.  One – My Dear Friend Albert Long – was diagnosed and passed away within the span of four months.

Three high school classmates are into advanced stages of Alzheimers / Dementia.  WE ARE NOT THAT OLD !!! … Are We?


As has been well documented here … I no longer pay the slightest attention to The NFL or to The NBA.  Have not watched one down of The NFL this season with no intention to do so.  My reasons for this decision might surprise you but I’m not even going to get into it. Maybe someday …

I DO still follow Power 5 College Football.  This has been a very bizarre season for sure.  All the usual controversy over WHO makes The Final Four notwithstanding … the three games should be compelling.  I don’t have a “My Team”.  I just enjoy high-scoring offensive Football amid all the rampant hypocrisy.

NC State’s 8-3 “Got To A Bowl” fine season would normally be reason for Pack Pride EXCEPT that Mack’s Men beat’em and are going to a “Major Bowl”.   Waiting 60+ years to go to a Major Bowl and fans not being able to go is weird.   I read today that several of Mack’s Men are Opting Out of the bowl game.  Thats too bad…

How many of you know that there are THREE competitive Professional Bass Fishing “Tours”.  They hold tournaments on many of the same major lakes / rivers but each is a separate entity with its own competitors.  How they measure “success” is different … one does “your five largest fish” … another does “how many total fish and their total weight”.  All three practice Catch & Release so bass populations are not depleted. The competitors remind me a lot of NASCAR drivers and PGA Tour pros.Brandon Palanuik

I even have a “My Guy” among Pro Bass Fishermen. He is Brandon “The Prodigy” Palanuik from Coeur D’lene Idaho .

Brandon uses a Skeeter bass boat and a wicked side-arm casting style that Don Drysdale would envy … and is considered among the best at “using his Hummingbird electronics”.  His girlfriend’s name is Tiffany.  “The Prodigy” was Angler Of The Year (AOY) in 2017.

FWIW … I can name more Pro Bass Fishermen than I can ACC Basketball Players.  “One”would be More.

As of today – December 22 – I CANNOT name ONE current ACC Basketball Player on Any ACC Team. … Not A Single One!  … THAT factoid woulda won you a bar bet even five years ago.


More BobLeeSays … CLICK HERE!


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