Tuesday, September 30, 2014


This prediction, from the twenties, came true.  But also a set of Burma Shave signs are in the Smithsonian:
Shaving brushes
Soon you’ll see ‘em
Way down east
In some museum
Burma Shave

A few years ago a routine eye exam disclosed that I have glaucoma.  I was given eye drops to use, but they didn’t lower the eye pressure enough to stop the damage happening.  So I got a minor operation during which tiny slits were cut into the upward side of my eyeballs, where the eyelids hide them, and treated to prevent them healing closed.  My eyes constantly leak a tiny amount of the liquid inside them and the pressure is thereby dropped.  That’s kind of a long explanation, and I knew there must be a word for that operation, so I don’t have to describe it to my other doctors.  I finally learned it last week: trabeculectomy.  Cool word, though it takes some practice to master.

I bought this really big goose, almost thirteen pounds, from Bar 5 Poultry Sunday morning.  A part of me feels sorry for him, gone suddenly headless and stripped of his feathers; but if it weren't that humans are meat-eaters, he would never have lived at all, to walk in the sunshine and snatch rich green grass with his bill - Bar 5 is very humane to its critters. So thank you, goose, and God bless him to our use.

Yesterday evening eleven of us feasted on him, sang a song to his curious ability to keep us solvent (“I’m saved from penury”) and prayed to St. Michael the Archangel, whose feastday it was, to continue his work of casting into hell the evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the destruction of souls.

Then we watched an episode of Secrets of the Dead called “Resurrecting Richard III” on PBS  In it a young man named Dominic Smee, with exactly the same severe scoliosis of the late king (King Richard died in 1485 and his bones were found under a parking lot two years ago in Leicester, England), was taught to ride and fight with medieval weapons and had a gorgeous shining suit of fifteenth century armor made for him.  The idea was to see how that physical problem hampered his – and the king’s – ability to ride and fight.  Answer: surprisingly little! The main problem was that the distortion of his rib cage made him somewhat short-winded.  The armor in fact offered support to his twisted spine, and he found the high-backed wooden medieval saddle easier to ride on than a modern English saddle.  See what actually trying a physical action can prove as opposed to reading a description?  Just another reason I love research!  Tanya, Becky and I are hoping Mr. Smee will be in Leicester next March when we go there for the reinterment of the King in Leicester Cathedral.


Linda O. Johnston said...

I always enjoy learning new words, Monica, but sorry to hear yours is connected with a difficult situation. Sounds as if your trabeculectomy did you some good, though!

Dee W said...

My sister just had titanium stents inserted in her eyes because they could not get her glaucoma under control. Our grandmother had the tiny slit surgery in 1966 when it was new. She spent weeks in the teaching hospital as they monitored her. My sister was in and out the same day. My how things change!

Betty Hechtman said...

It sounds like your dinner was a big success. I hope it brings you a good year.