Tag: retinal detachment

Family Far and Wide

So I was at the ophthalmologist’s office, getting my yearly exam to make sure glaucoma hasn’t kicked in, or that my retina hasn’t detached (again).

In any case, the nurse looked at my chart and said, “Hey, we have the same last name.”

Now, the only people I’ve ever met with my last name are cousins or aunts or some other semi-immediate family member. So this was a little surprising.

The nurse made me go through my family history, and we discovered that we have the same great-grandfather (!). Yes, I too am impressed that I was able to remember the name of my great-grandfather. Try it sometime — it isn’t easy.

According to my subsequent Google research, the nurse and I are second cousins. She was California-born, which makes sense in that the largest population of Salvadorians (outsider of El Salvador, of course) is right here in Los Angeles. And she assumed, naturally, that I was also a SoCal native.

“No,” I said. “I’m from Wisconsin.”

Consider her mind blown.

Yes, the nurse was impressed that our family name had made it all the way to the American Midwest. But then she added that some of her cousins (my third cousins?) moved to Melbourne a decade ago.

“I talked to them on FaceTime a few weeks ago,” the nurse said. “They have these El Salvadorian kids who have thick Australian accents.”

Well… crikey.

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Later, I told my mom about running into my second cousin, the nurse. Mi madre really wasn’t that surprised.

“Your great-grandparents had eighteen children,” my mom said.

“I’m guessing they were very Catholic,” I said.

“Yes, so you were bound to run into a cousin someday.”

OK, that’s true. But I still thought it was kind of cool.

 


Blurry

A couple of years ago, I had to a take a brief hiatus from the blog because I was recovering from eye surgery.

After my eye healed up, I foolishly thought that I would not have to worry about my vision until I was well into a bitter, memory-addled old age where everything on the body starts to go and I begin ranting about how kids today are disrespectful brats who don’t wear any damn clothes.

But that was before I found out that eye surgery weakens those orbs floating in your head. As such, your odds of suffering something as random and bizarre as say, a retinal detachment, greatly increase.

And so when I started seeing floaters and bright blue flashes, I figured that it was not God passing along visions and premonitions to me. It was indeed my retina detaching.

My surgeon says that I caught it in the nick of time. Apparently, I was about two days away from going permanently blind in one eye. If I were a traditional Latino guy who never went to the doctor, that would have happened.

But I seem to have gotten it fixed. It’s too soon to tell, but the prognosis is good.

In any case, my retinal detachment is the reason why the posts may become more irregular over the next few weeks. I’m hoping to maintain a regular schedule, but I can’t promise.

At the very least, my misbegotten retina has prevented me from attending local Latino happenings. For example, I was going to write a truly witty and insightful piece about the National Pork Board’s recent contest, where several Latino chefs got together to dazzle epicureans by showing off everything they can do with pig.

I was invited to cover this event, but I declined because I had a checkup scheduled. My doctor wanted to see how the retina was healing up, and we spent time reminiscing about how he stuck needles into my eye — good times.

So all I can tell you is that the post covering the contest would have been full of insights about the importance of food in Hispanic culture, and loaded with funny and/or poignant quotes from the winner, and layered with Seinfeldian jokes about how much Hispanics love pork. Oh, and there was going to be this truly amazing metaphor that would have singlehandedly gotten me shortlisted for the Pulitzer. Trust me, it was gong to be spectacular.

Instead, I missed it, and I’m stuck squinting at the computer.

Damn my eye.


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