Bonorden chomping at the bit, plans a quick recovery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 11, 2001

There were hints that I had a vision problem.

Thursday, January 11, 2001

There were hints that I had a vision problem.

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For instance, there was the time I ran into County Coordinator Craig Oscarson, and called him "Commissioner." No. Wait. That was no mistake.

Or the time I left the house for work, got into my car, and discovered I was in the back seat.

Of course, there was the day I arrived at work with my undershorts on the outside of my pants. Oddly enough, no one mentioned it until the photographer took me aside and, in a hushed tone, told me, "Your Underoos are inside out."

Yes, I’ve got a problem. It’s called "Diabetic Retinopathy." It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood or fluid.

They say it’s not forever and should be gone in four to six weeks. Can you believe that? I mean, in that amount of time, the Mower County Board of Commissioners could give themselves a raise. (You’re kidding. How much?)

After three weeks of trying to work with half of one eye and a magnifying glass, and mistaking the ladies’ room for the mens’ at the Herald, I gave up.

No more karoke for me at Trader Exchange. I was a one-eyed Jack in need of help.

Fortunately, the good folks at the Mayo Clinic know what to do. It’s called laser surgery. The doctors who performed the laser treatment and a vitrectomy (don’t ask), say it was a success. I say seeing is believing and that hasn’t happened yet.

Lucky for me, I was accompanied by my very own personal care attendant. Actually, it was a friend I asked out on a date and she fell for it.

Basically, her job was to protect me. I told her at the first sign of a doctor slipping on surgical gloves, waving a flashlight, and telling me to bend over, she should grab my hand and run.

To patients navigating the mighty Mayo, a bond of trust between you and your companion is vital.

I did become suspicious of my friend’s motives when we were leaving the hospital after surgery and I walked into a pillar and suffered a mild concussion. It took her 20 minutes to stop laughing enough to help me up off the floor.

Perhaps our "blind date" (Dear God, did I really say that?) wasn’t meeting her expectations, and she was out for revenge.

Back home, my son took over and did a great job. I had some trouble with eye drops and kept dropping them in my nose. I didn’t need to see through my nose. My son was able to hit the target, which he said was no mean feat considering my eye was a much smaller target than my nose.

My daughter has been supportive, too. She calls me. Boy, does she call me. She’s like a telemarketer with a heart.

The grandchildren have a unique way of showing they care. For example, the first time they covered the toilet seat with Saran Wrap, it was funny. The next 500 times were simply annoying. I would have given them a spanking, but I couldn’t find them.

The other day, my co-workers at the Herald sent me a get-well gift. It’s either a plant or a sculpture of our publisher. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been watering it every day.

The mayor sent me a note but I haven’t heard from the Mower County Board. Enjoy yourselves, boys. You can run, but you can’t hide from this reporter forever.

Another caller wanted to know if I’d been fired.

Not hardly. I’m coming back with a vengeance. Until then, the Herald is in capable hands with my talented colleagues. Write on, good friends.

There is also some confusion about just what has caused my temporary loss of sight.

It is not Hysterical Blindness.

That’s something that could possibly happen if-God forbid-you would ever see Mike Ruzek in a swimming suit.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’m learning all sorts of lessons about life. First and foremost: don’t take anything for granted.

Also, don’t be too proud to ask for help.

Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and good deeds.

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. It’s faint, but I can see it.

I’m just impatient. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue comes out in February, I want to umpire another Oldtimer’s game at Taopi, and do all the other things, large and small, that I miss so much now.

And I have unanswered questions.

Like was my friend really the six-foot, blonde bombshell she claimed to be, and would she really have carried out her threat to give me an enema if I didn’t behave? Plus I’d like to ask her what happened to my watch and shoes.

That’s all. I have to go check the toilet seat for Saran Wrap and, just in case the experts at Mayo are wrong, I’m going to eat some more carrots.