When I reached the age of 60, my body started requiring several new replacement parts. So, recently, I’ve endured some of the unique joys of aging: knee replacement surgery, colonoscopies, and most recently, cataract surgery. And they call these the Golden Years? Yeah, right!
I’ve never claimed to be the bravest man in the world. I never served in combat zones like both my parents did. That said, I’d like to point out I did attend an all-boys’ military school (grades 7 – 12) in which I had to march with a gun in several parades. So, that’s on par with serving in ‘Nam or Iraq, don’t you think?
I’m pretty sure I’ll never win the Pulitzer Prize in Courage. (Or is it the Nobel Prize? I always get those two confused.) For decades, I’ve struggled with two longstanding crippling phobias. First, there’s my chronic fear of snakes. If you want to know why, just read my article called I HATE SNAKES.
But my single greatest fear is my morbid anxiety about anything – or anyone – possibly slicing into one of my eyeballs. Okay, make that my second greatest fear. I just remembered my terrifying fear that Trump might actually get re-elected for a second term. But a close second has to be my eyeball phobia. In fact, just typing the word “eyeball” makes me a little queasy.
How severe is my phobia? I’ve worn glasses for the past 25 years. In all that time not once did I ever consider switching to contacts. Just the thought of peeling contact lenses off my eyes grosses me out. To this day, I still can’t go anywhere near a pier where people are fishing for fear someone will cast their line and somehow hook my eyeball.
Recently, it all came to a head – make that an eyeball. That’s because ten years ago, my ophthalmologist told me I had early stage cataracts in both eyes. Eventually I was going to require surgery. If you’re curious as to exactly what happens during cataract surgery, don’t ask me. Go look it up yourself. I don’t have the stomach to read the graphic details of what actually happens during this procedure. I’d probably faint before I reached the third paragraph.
On the cover of the eyecare firm’s brochure it shows a smiling older woman supposedly happy to have regained her youthful eyesight. But tucked away towards the far back is a section with the header “MAJOR RISKS OF CATARACT SURGERY” (these exact words). These include swelling, infection, double vision, droopy eyelids, something called ghost images – the list of possible adverse side effects and complications goes on for several paragraphs. And then the copy sneaks in at the end, “and in rare instances, blindness or even death.” Holy crap! What did I just sign up for?
I am so squeamish about anything dealing with my eyes that I even have trouble looking at a Magic 8 Ball toy – because it reminds me too much of a human eyeball. I know, something’s wrong with me.
For weeks leading up to my surgery, several supportive friends told me they’d had the same procedure, that it was a breeze, and how glad they are that they did it. I learned the typical cataract surgery only takes 20 to 45 minutes – so, roughly the same amount of time it takes Domino’s to deliver my cheese-stuffed pizza.
I want to thank all the kind people who gave me calming words of encouragement. This list, however, does NOT include my racquetball buddy Raymond, who told me – and I’m not making this up – “I hope your doctor isn’t Dr. Witherspoon. He lost his license after he caused several people to go blind as a result of his botched surgeries.” Raymond decided he’d share this traumatizing story precisely one day before I went in for my operation. Thanks, buddy.
Here’s a fun fact sure to keep you awake at night if you’re contemplating cataract surgery: You’re CONSCIOUS during the entire procedure as they slice into your eyeball. Well, sort of. You’re sedated, but technically you’re still awake. That’s because they need to keep you conscious in order to ask you important questions like, “Are you feeling any pain?” and “Which eye did you want us to remove today?” and “Did you remember to sign the liability release form when you checked in today in the off chance Dr. Witherspoon is still hungover and things take a turn for the worse during the procedure?” At least that’s what Raymond told me.
Every year since that initial diagnosis, my eye doctor has reminded me the dreaded day was coming. Last week, after ten years, that frightful day finally arrived. I went in for cataract surgery on my right eye. And in two weeks – assuming I haven’t gone blind, died, or fled the area in a panic – I’m scheduled to go in for the other eye.
You should see what I did to the other guy! Uh, no, not really. This is a selfie I took the next morning after my cataract surgery. I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking: “Tim, I’ve never seen you look better.” Um, thanks.
Thankfully, they drugged me up so much that I had no idea what was going on during my procedure. But just to be on the safe side, as they prepped me, I described my extreme anxiety to the attending anesthesiologist and asked her to administer the maximum “knockout” dosage medically permitted. If it might accidentally cause me to lose my memory of all events that occurred since the year 2016, I told her I was totally okay with that.
I would now like to describe in gory, graphic detail exactly what they did to me in that operating room… but I can’t. Because I don’t remember a thing. Later that day, other than a very mild achiness around my eye, I felt totally fine. The doctor was a miracle worker.
He told me afterwards that I should not lift anything over 25 pounds or extend any significant physical effort for the next two weeks. Of course, I relayed to my wife that the doctor said to avoid any unpleasant physical labor for the next six months. So, it looks like this husband just got out of having to change the cat litter boxes and take out the trash for the foreseeable future – out of an abundance of precaution, mind you.
I just emailed my ophthalmologist to ask him if he could write a letter indicating it’s also not medically safe for me to empty the dishwasher, rake the leaves, make the bed, or assemble the gas grill during this time. I’d just hate for anything to set back my recovery.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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At View from the Bleachers, we take the safety of our readers very seriously. Read the extreme measures we’ve implemented to ensure every VFTB article is 100% safe and guaranteed never to inflict contagious laughter.
Dear valued View from the Bleachers reader,
It has just come to my attention this morning that there is widespread alarm, anxiety and fear throughout the country. No, I’m not talking about the fact that the universally panned film Cats is now available for home rental.
If you’ve not heard the news, let me be the first to inform you. There is this thing called the Coronavirus, also known by medical experts like me as the COVID-19 pandemic. This contagion is dramatically impacting how we all live, work, and in the case of millennials, engage in unprotected sex.
This is Dr. Timothy Jones. I’m Chairman, CEO and Executive Chef at View from the Bleachers – a non-profit organization (mainly because I suck at business). Perhaps at one time or another you’ve errantly read one of my blog posts. If so, please accept my humblest apology.
I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time out from reading the 400+ emails you’ve received in the past week from Petco, Walmart, Costco, Kroger, AT&T, the YMCA, and your local parks & recreation department – telling you how committed they are to your safety – so that you can read this message from View from the Bleachers telling you how committed we are to your safety. Oh, and AT&T belatedly wishes to apologize for their former advertising slogan, Reach out and touch someone. Please don’t follow their advice, okay?
Here at View from the Bleachers, I, along with the dozens of illegal immigrants that work here and mow my lawn, take the health and safety of each reader seriously – all eleven of you. That’s why I wanted to share the extraordinary precautionary measures we’re implementing here at VFTB (as we’re known by the Pulitzer Prize Committee).
First, I’m making sure to get at least 11 hours of sleep a night. Technically, this has nothing to do with the Coronavirus outbreak. I’m just not a morning person.
Second, I’m practicing safe social distancing. In fact, my wife takes this so seriously that she asked me to move into our garage – just to avoid the risk of being exposed to me – or having to talk to me – or make accidental eye contact.
As I write this heartfelt plea for donations, I mean, this update, I’m wearing three pairs of surgical gloves, two pairs of sweatpants, a snorkel mask and ski boots, all out of an abundance of caution. Admittedly, I’m sweating like a pig right now, but that’s the kind of sacrifice I’m willing to make to ensure each post I write is thoroughly devoid of any infectious germs – or humor.
To make sure my readers are protected, I wipe the keyboard with a disposable sanitary wipe after every paragraph. I also made the difficult but selfless decision to switch from my preferred Calibri font to Helvetica – widely believed to be the safest font in use today. I’ve even gone so far as to eliminate the use of filthy words from my posts, to protect my readers from being exposed to potentially pernicious language. If you ask me, that’s a big fucking deal. Oops. Sorry.
As a result of these safety measures, I am pleased to report that there have been absolutely zero known cases of any individuals dying from coming into contact with this humor blog. However, there have been isolated instances of unsuspecting people experiencing mild migraines or nausea from unintended exposure. Fortunately, most symptoms appear to fade once the reader closes their web browser – with the exception of a lingering sensation they’ve wasted valuable time they can never get back.
Finally, before we publish any article, each one goes through a four-step deep-cleaning high-pressure wash and spell-check, to ensure every post contains no residual bacteria or dangling participles. I consider this extreme measure worth it to protect my team of researchers and bail bondsmen.
As a reader, there are some basic steps you can take to protect yourself from possible infection from this website. First, keep at least six feet from your computer when checking your email. If you accidentally open an email that appears to have been sent from View from the Bleacher, press the DELETE key immediately and wash your hands for twenty minutes with soap and a new Brillo pad.
If you accidentally click on a link that takes you directly to a VFTB article like this – say you were drunk and had no idea what you were doing – don’t panic. Simply unplug your computer and quickly dispose of it into the nearest bio-hazard trash receptacle, douse it with lighter fluid and set it ablaze – preferably not in the living room or anywhere near pets.
Several readers (by which I mean my wife) have written to me personally, expressing their fears and offering their sincerest hopes and prayers that this contagion will be over soon. I eventually figured out they were talking about View from the Bleachers – and were worried about their own mental and emotional well-being.
I want to assure all my readers that, while there are no immediate plans to discontinue publication, I promise that none of you will die as a result of reading this column, at least not from laughter.
One final word. I’m doing everything I can to keep you safe. But if you go around like my nephew Nathan doing stupid stuff like licking the handle of your grocery store shopping cart or shaking hands with everybody waiting in line for a refill at the pharmacy, that’s on you. Don’t come whining to me if you end up getting sick – ya’ hear me, Nathan?
Stay safe. And avoid my nephew Nathan.
Chairman, CEO and Executive Chef, MD, JD, MBA, BFD, IDK, OMG, WTF
View from the Bleachers Enterprises, Inc.
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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020
The older I get, the more time I spend at ologists. You know – the dermatologist, cardiologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, colonoscopologist, and, for reasons I’m still a little fuzzy about, my geologist. Recently, I had to go to the hospital for a minor procedure with one of those ologists.
While getting ready in pre-op, I was instructed to completely disrobe and put on one of those ever-so–flattering, open-in-the-back hospital gowns. To complete my ensemble, they required me to wear a stylish shower cap. Then my wife and the nurse barged in and this photo was taken. Between the nurse’s expression and my garb, this photo looks like an opening for an Onion News piece. So, I posted it on Facebook and solicited suggestions for an appropriately clever or snarky caption.
Below are just a few of the submissions I received, plus some caption ideas of my own.…
Nurse, does this hospital gown make my butt look fat?
Mr. Jones, Your results are in. Congratulations. It’s a boy.
WTF? Is that a… TAIL!!!!???
And that’s when the nurse noticed that Tim’s colonoscopy prep was still working.
Nurse, is it absolutely necessary they shave my pubic region? After all, I’m only here for an initial consultation about a mole on my shoulder. (more…)
I’m excited to announce that recently I went on a diet and have lost forty-five pounds (true). I didn’t follow any of those silly fad weight reduction schemes like the Mediterranean or Adkins or Weight Watchers or even serious programs like the Just Eat Cake Diet (still not sure how that one works). It’s actually a regimen of my own invention. I call it The Happiness Diet. And it’s incredibly simple because it requires only two steps.
Step One: Write down all the foods that give you happiness. (Take your time. Be thorough.)
Step Two: Don’t eat anything on that list.
That’s it. No other restrictions. If you follow my Happiness Diet exactly as outlined above, you’ll lose a lot of unwanted pounds (as well as any reason for living) – guaranteed!
Let’s practice how it works, okay? Let’s say there are two food groups. In Group A we have a slice of pepperoni pizza, cookie dough ice cream, a bag of Pepperidge farm cookies, and a glazed donut. In Group B we have kale, broccoli, lentil and carrots.
If you determined that Food Group A gives you more happiness, congratulations. You’re a normal, honest human being. However, if you indicated that you prefer the items from Group B, then you are – how shall I say this? A BIG FAT LIAR! Get off your high horse. Who else are you lying to? Your spouse? Your kids? You disgust me.
Here’s the important takeaway for my patented Happiness Diet. You must strictly avoid all foods that give you any pleasure – unless you’re training to be a Sumo wrestler. Then by all means, have another sleeve of Double Stuff Oreos. Or, if you’re the lead in a theater production about President William Howard Taft, who tipped the scales at 350 lbs., and for whom was built the largest porcelain tub ever made for an individual, then sure, you have my permission to hit the nearest Dairy Queen for breakfast.
I’m a little discouraged. You see, about six months ago, I joined a health club with all the latest fitness equipment. But in all that time, I have hardly lost any weight. And by “hardly” more specifically I mean I’ve gained five pounds. I have seen no improvement in my strength, flexibility or endurance since joining the club.
There are several possible explanations for these disappointing results… most notably perhaps the fact that I’ve only gone to the club five times – and three of those visits were to catch the game on their large screen TV in the juice bar.
But in my defense, there are many perfectly valid reasons for my slow start. First, I had to re-organize the Christmas decorations in the garage in alphabetical order. Then there was that project to restore several dozen art projects our kids made in elementary school, some of which were missing buttons and sparkles in critical places. And most recently, Downton Abbey started Season 6. It’s a serious time commitment, keeping abreast of whether the Earl of Grantham is going to lay off the under butler or the senior lady’s maid. I would not want to have to make that difficult decision.
My point is, I’ve been extremely busy lately.
Make no mistake. I’m not lazy. I love the idea of getting in shape. I’m just not particularly fond of the “working out” part. I love my health club’s many amenities, like the hot tub, sauna, and juice bar, which they call the “Barbell Bar.” Catchy name, eh? I’m just not crazy about the club’s complex fitness machines, some of which were clearly inspired by medieval torture instruments.
Oh, sure, we all may like the results of doing 50 chin-ups or skipping rope for 30 minutes. But no honest person can look you in the eye and truthfully claim they have fun doing it. If they say that, they are lying – either that or they may be having a brain aneurism, in which case call 911 immediately.