Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Body deformities: Part I

Are you deformed? I am! Both inside and out. Now I'm going to tell you about it.

*warning* If you are the type of person who gets all squeamish when a blogger talks about things like "cysts" and "polyps" and "cataracts" and "feces-ridden bed sores" now would be a good time to bail, 'cause I'm about to get all kinds of real on you, minus the bed sores thing which, if you're actually interested in, you can find here and here and here.

Let's start discussion on this fun topic with a story.

When I was spewed forth from the (pretty?) loins of my mother, all seemed to be in order. I had the expected number of fingers and toes. I was not retarded.* I had no visible deformities. And, let's face it, I was already incredibly handsome.

However, my parents noticed something wrong about one day in. My eyes had something weird going on. One of them seemed cloudy. They called over the nurse. "Nurse," they said. "It seems like there might be something wrong with his eye."

The nurse looked me over cursorily and said, "Oh, you sweet, young, innocently naive parents. There is nothing wrong with this child. All babies have a strange cloudiness in their left eye. It's called being a newborn."

Though comforted by these kind, dismissive words, my parents wisely continued to bring up the issue. The cloudiness did not recede. Finally, they found a doctor who actually examined me. He looked at my eye more carefully and said, "your son's eye is screwed."

It was really messed up, that eye of mine.  Some disease I can't remember, plus a cataract, plus a lack of formation of some of the nerves or some junk. (I'm hazy on the details.  I was a day old.) 

As it turns out, groundbreaking research had just been conducted (this is research in 1980, by the way, which from today's vantage point looks a little bit like when a child brings you a drawing and says "it's a picture of a house!" and you say "oh, that's great!  I can see the... lines you drew haphazardly...") which permitted doctors to operate on my face.  At the ripe old age of two weeks, a surgeon cut a big hole in my pupil, removed the lens from my eye, and I was left forever maimed.  But, my eye didn't die like it would have had I been born any earlier, and now if some brutal thing happens and I get a javelin through the right side of my face or whatever, I'll have my left eye.  That's right, though I'll never be able to read, see a computer screen, drive, or recognize a human face, I'll still be able to see a bunch of blobs of color and walk around without hitting walls.  Which in all honesty I'm thankful for.

There's more to this story, but this is getting long.  So, this will be a multi-post series about body deformities!  Yay!

Stay tuned for a discussion of how my legally blind lazy eye makes me look vaguely like a serial killer.

Update: you can now find said discussion on Part II of the series which can be seen here.

*Lest you think me an insensitive beast, I feel I must mention that contrary to the thrust of popular culture which suggests otherwise, retarded is the technical term. Mentally retarded, to be more exact. (See pp. 41-49 of the DSM-IV)


  1. Wendel would like to log a complaint. He almost wouldn't let me read this post to him due to the gory details that were sure to follow based on the description which indicated that it could get graphic. However, upon further reading, it was found to be entertaining, witty, and overall awesome without much goriness at all (surprising coming from him, I know). While he appreciates the attempted discretion, don't fake it or you will lose all credibility in the blogging community (or at least with your one and only "blogging listener" who is lucky enough to have his wife read your posts out loud to him while he plays Mario 3).

    PS I can't wait for the series to continue. We hope this series lives long and prospers.

  2. Tell Wendel two things:

    1. Thanks for being my only blog "listener."
    2. Buckle up--every single thing (except bedsores) mentioned in my caveat will be featured in future posts. It's probably not as bad as I made it sound, but I just don't want to catch anyone with a severe polyp aversion unawares.

  3. As a fellow wonky-eyed person, I look forward to the continuation of this series!

  4. I always take comfort in knowing others who are also wonky-eyed. We should form a support group.

  5. I think your wonky eyes are what drew us to be friends initially. Just sayin, you wouldn't be Josh Weed without it. Also I found this blog post very entertaining and am now adding it to my blog roll. :)

  6. I am deformed as well. Only on the inside where people can't see. I have double ureters (the thing that connects your kidneys to your bladder - most people have one on each side, I have two on each side). So, you know, you're not the only freak. I just happen to be freaky in a way that does not make me look vaguely like a serial killer. :P

    And I am so looking forward to the rest of this series. Now don't go all ADHD on us - finish it!

  7. Jess--I'm glad my funk-house eye was the gateway to friendship with the Shums. Kinda makes it all worth it.

    J--That's an interesting deformity! Kind of cool. I'ma try not to ADHD myself out here. Working on next installment.... now.

  8. Dont worry Josh, you have more blog readers than just wendel!
    And if you want to hear about things that make you feel sqeamish (sp?) I will refer you to my bedrest blog posts which focused mainly on the deterioration of my cervix.
    Anyways, love your blog! Cant wait to hear more on this way interesting topic!

  9. Thanks! And thanks also for the awesome referral. As you could guess, there's nothing I love more than a good deteriorating cervix story.