Friday, October 8, 2010

Body Deformities: Part II--The creepiest face you might ever see

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!


  1. I am looking forward to further posts. I think that I might read it aloud, to myself, so that when Wendel faints and vomits (hopefully not in that order, or at least not in quick succession), you will still have a "listener".
    In the face of all this honesty on your blog, let me tell you that at first I just assumed that your eye was the laziest eye I had ever seen. Further interaction with you allowed me to perceive that there was something more going on than just laziness (sorry, eye. I really thought you were very lazy). But it wasn't until I asked you to play racquetball that I learned that there are serious problems with your eye. I guess growing up with two not-quite-legally-blind (but almost) people in the family with huge, thick glasses who nonetheless were "corrected" to near "normality", I just figured you were in the same boat. One bad eye, one very lazy bad eye, but largely corrected with glasses.
    How well does your right eye work?
    Oh, and I have deformities and malformations, too: mine just aren't cool.

  2. My right eye is basically normal. A bit of nearsightedness, but no big deal.

    Thanks for being my second blog "listener." I'm guessing I might be one of the few people on earth with two blog "listeners."

  3. Christopher LambertOctober 8, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I saw the post on facebook and had to see what you were talking about! You had me laughing the entire time!! Quite the visual image you painted with your choice of wording...I'm impressed!!

  4. Thanks Chris! Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Josh...I pretty much never get on facebook, but happened to today and saw your comment I had no Idea you had a blog. I almost forgot how funny you are! You almost had me believing that your parents re-used the contact. I miss you and Lolly. Hope all is well.

  6. These little issues we all have give us "character". Thank goodness, otherwise we'd all look the same and that would leave no room for fun conversations about our differences! Thanks for the post.

  7. I just realized that in the 3 1/2 years we've been friends, I had never heard the full story of your eye. I feel like a bad friend for not inquiring more about it. Btw, it really is not that noticeable. Okay, in the second picture it is, but in everyday interactions it is not.

    Also, I really believed that your parents resused the lens for a minute there, which would have been pretty gross.

  8. Krista--We miss you too! Thanks for visiting the ol' blog.

    Kid--Very true!

    Ashley--Not a bad friend! And if I had told you in person it would have been really short and cursory anyway, so this was the way to go. (Photographic evidence makes any story better.)

  9. seriously, Josh, no one has ever told you this before-- but you TOTALLY exaggerate!! It is NOT THAT bad... I am with Chris thinking you had a very lazy eye until you told us about it. And I honestly think it is not that noticeable with your glasses.
    Although I did laugh at the creepy just had my second child photo..

    P.S. You KNOW I am too shallow to be friends with some REALLY creepy looking!

    P.S.S. Anyone else who doesn't know me, but is reading the comments on Josh's blog, and horrified that I just wrote how shallow I am,
    I was kidding. mostly.

  10. What a comfort to know that I meet your non-creepy-looking friend quota! You meet mine as well, incidentally.

  11. You and Henry should have pictures taken together, since he has a droopy eye-lid, and it looks a lot like your eye (although I knew you had problems with your eye, I never noticed the droopy of it until just now...honest). I think his is pretty cute though, and I'm considering dressing him as a pirate for Halloween, since he already has a bit of a pirate look to him due to the droopy eyelid.


  12. .

    Two of my siblings have weird eye things --- very different from each other, but both traced to a drug my mom was put on during those pregnancies. Any word on what caused yours?

  13. I hadn't noticed it. This is mainly because a.) I am so selfless and wonderful that I saw the beauty inside of you and it superceded any minor flaw that you might find upsetting to others OR b.) I am really a self-oriented person who is so overtly about ME ME ME that your eye didn't register in my ego-centric universe OR c.) I didn't have a chance to notice it because you pointed it out almost immediately after I said, "Hi, My name is Jennie. I am a teacher at this school" and you introduced your EYE first! "Hi. This is my eye and my name is really ironic for the position I hold at this school."

  14. Hi the blog. OK, I have an eye (left? right? which?? I forget...) that drifts inward somewhat when I'm tired and probably when I'm drunk. And the older I get, the more I notice my eyes are NOT balanced and one is more squinty than the other. But thanks for making me feel normal. I shouldn't bitch.
    :) Piper

  15. It's not funny, really it's not. It's just that you are so damn funny.

    I have the lazy-eye-in-photos weirdness, but like Piper, I got nothin on the molesting farm animals look.
    The Onion

  16. I know this is really after the fact but since I just found your blog, here I am. LOL I have goofy eyes too. They don't focus together but they do track unless I'm tired in which case they roll around in my head--or so my husband tells me. If I'm focusing on something directly in front of me I see two of everything in the periphery. This last bit was not discovered until I was learning to drive and just about scared my mother to death. I've just always seen that way. I had no clue it wasn't normal. LOL

  17. I really glad you're not bitter about any of this. I mean we've all got our "quirks" but this is really enjoyable to see someone just living and having the ability to just accept and occassionally make jokes about themselves.
    I mean I look like I'm frowning all the time...or like I'm about to kill the next person that looks at me (and believe me, people remind me that I look like that). But that's just my face, and I'm pretty happy on the inside! I know that isn't a lot but I guess I've "kinda" grazed what you deal with.

  18. have incredibly straight teeth....


    I love learning new things and physical deformities are so taboo, I enjoy your humor on the subject.

  20. For the record you are still handsome. Even with the wacky eye. LOL

  21. You are so hillarious. I love your blog. Oh and your wife is so beautiful! The eye is not so bad, maybe just a bit distracting during a conversation! : )

  22. This post gives me hope for my little Mac (9) that just had surgery on his crazy eyes 2 weeks ago. Should have had it when he was younger, but military doctors like to ignore things that are 'cosmetic'... though it's not simply cosmetic, it actually does mess with your vision if your eyes don't track together and if you have one eye that is turning off all the time! Sorry. Military doctors are not my favorite people--mostly because they are holding my husband hostage in England.
    I digress. Hope for my son... If you can land a hottie like Lolly than I'm sure my lil' heartbreaker will have no problems, crazy eyes and all.

  23. I've been stalking your blog for a bit....and there's no "email Josh Weed!" link on your page that I can find. I just wanted to let you know that the first link on your "body deformities" page actually goes to the second story...none to the first. It annoyed me....I figured you didn't know. :)

  24. OK, I'm crying because I just read your mother's day post, and now laughing because of this post. My daughter has got body deformities up and down, and I hope that she takes it with the same sense of humor you do!

  25. I was checking out music on Sally Deford's site and got hooked to yours for the beautiful music! Way to go! This post caught my eye because I blog about vision issues, specifically vision therapy, at I have a friend who was legally blind in one eye (amblyopia) and was able to overcome it through vision therapy. Your situation may be different, but it may be worth consulting with a developmental optometrist to find out:) You can find one in your area by searching the website of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development ( The surgery you didn't have may not be the only choice. . . Good luck!

  26. So... I have to admit that I ended up here cause I saw you on TV. After reading some of these blogs- I have made a totally binding executive decision that we are going to be best friends from now on. Or BFF's, if you are into the whole brevity thing. You are funny, I think I am super funny, so already we have something in common. I hope you are okay with my decision and our new arrangement.

    Now that we have that outta the way- I would like to share a little anecdote about wonky eyes and terrible parenting.

    My daughter, Sailor is 8 years old. She has been afflicted with The Wonkie's for about 5 of those years.

    When she was born there was a bit of controversy regarding her name. People did not share my enthusiasm for her just-weird-enough moniker. I took a personal stance of "If you wanna name babies, have some of your own, bitch." After a complicated and not very sophisticated game of Tin-Can-Telephone relay gossip and Through The Backbiting Grapevine, (which are games invented by and frequently played by my gaggle of crazy aunts) Apparently, one of them remarked to another- "They named her Sailor? Like "Popeye The Sailor Man?"

    I immediately went about trying to make her feel as foolish as possible by letting her know that I knew what she said. (It's important to remember that Sailor was still a newborn at this point) I made sure to call my kid "Popeye" whenever we were around said mean aunts.

    Then it just started to stick, and never un-stuck... We all but abandoned her given name completely in favor of the much classier "Popeye".

    At around age 3 we started to notice The Wonkiness. After about a year of eye doctor, voodoo potion makers, shamans and faith healer visits, the diagnosis was rendered. Acute weirdness on one side of her face. The doctor suggested some specialty eyeglasses that would force her eye to track away from her nose and hopefully make it so we could tell which one of us she was looking at.

    Fast forward 5 years and we are still calling her that. One day, I was having an especially rowdy argument with my mother-in-law when she suddenly accused me of being a cruel, mean mother. I was dumbfounded. What on earth had I done to be labelled cruel AND mean? So, I said- "WTF are you talking about?" She then told me that making fun of my child and her deformity (as you call it) was very evil of me. I still had no clue what she was talking about. After much cajoling on my part to get her to elaborate- she finally shouted "It is heartless that you would nickname my granddaughter "Popeye" to humiliate her about her eye condition! You should be ashamed of yourself!" And suddenly, I was.

    You can imagine my chagrin upon realizing that my husbands family actually believed that I had re-named her for my own amusement AFTER she was diagnosed with The Wonk. In that moment, I truly hated myself.

    It had never even crossed my mind that the nickname Popeye is a totally inappropriate name, given my child does indeed have a POPEYE. I was embarrassed until it dawned on me that she was the A-Hole, not me. Her ENTIRE life she has been called by that name. Long before the nose gazing eye had even been discovered.

    Now, out of pure spite- I call Sailor ONLY Popeye when we have the great pleasure of spending time with my husbands side of the family. I'm pretty sure Popeye is cool with it.

    BTW- those dumb, expensive glasses didn't do jack. So, The Wonky Eye lives on.

    *Moral of my story* Nicknames are often self fulfilling prophecies. Don't re-christen your children with names like Dork, Crap Bag, Nerd, Hipster, Under-Achiever, Stripper, horse face or psychopath.

    I think that was the longest comment on a complete strangers blog I have ever written.I understand if after reading this rambling, weird and most likely rife with typo's comment, you decide not to be BFF's. I will be very disappointed, though.

    1. my age? Too old to be using the term BFF for sure. I'm in the earliest of my 30's although, I like to pretend I'm forever 17. 1997 is my favorite yearof all time. I think the 90's were awesome. some people who know me may say that I am forever a 13 year old boy citing my extreme clumsiness, general lack of maturity, and an awkward sense of humor that makes everyone uncomfortable around the dinner table as very plausible examples. I have replied to this message 3 times already only to accidentally erase it at the very end. let's hope that you haven't gotten all of those half baked messages sent on accident. I am pleased to hear you've accepted my best friend forever challenge. things might get a little bit rough, I a a housewife from Salt Lake City. I hope you realize thatmeans I'm absolutely insane. totally my husbands fault. He gets to jettison us everyday and head out into the real world and have adult conversation. while I am stuck at home raising all of these darn children we decided to have. plus, I have to pay attention to them, take care of them, and feed them, too! all in one day! then do it all over again the next day! the time I've spent as a house wife has certainly made me an eccentric, to say the very least. there are always weird, mildly dangerous and just plain bizarre things floating around on, near and in my head. however, no one said being my friend would be easy, they only said it would be worth it.

    2. I assure you that all grammatical errors, lack of capitalization, missing spaces between words and typo's were completely deliberate. Definitely not the result of voice to text gone awry.

  27. I was in a car accident when I was 15 and the airbag did some major damage to my eye. Fast forward 18 years and it doesn't track normally. People whom I have known for years though are surprised when I tell them I am blind in that eye. When I look in the mirror or at photos of me its kind of all I see. I have never thought about surgery to correct that and maybe it's time I did. You are not alone in the creepy wandering eye club. Thanks for the post.

  28. If I met you in person, and you said "my eye is weird", I'd say, "hey! Mine too!". I'm legally blind in my right eye. My eye has enough vision that it still tracks, but I also had a birth mark that hung over my eye, it's been removed, but I have some scaring and very little eyebrow on that side. Fun body deformities. :)

  29. I'm late into this conversation and wish I'd found this blog years ago before my own failed eye surgeries and resulting anxiety and depression. Years of awkward conversations with people talking to my eye instead of to me as a whole person has turned It into an issue of uncomfortable self-consciousness. My problem came later in my life...after battling years of eye-illness that took a toll on one eye and wiped out the sight along with causing severe Ptosis. Your photo looks identical to my own eye sufferings (although I'm female).
    I really get frustrated with family loudly and openly pointing out and asking questions concerning my issue at big family dinners in front of crowds of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations across lengthy dining room tables instead of privately. Obviously I'm very sensitive about it. I wish I could make light of what I'm stuck with as you do. It made me smile to stumble upon your blog and brave photos. Thank you. It's so helpful to know others successfully battle similar issues in life and can laugh at them, and your post gave my heart a little lift tonight. Bless you. :)