The luckiest man

The nice thing about writing a blog is I can say whatever is on my mind. I don’t know how many people read this, or what people think. I suppose some people agree and others would prefer that I eat a plate of nails – and the plate itself, just to wash down the nails.

Regardless, I enjoy this little forum to say what’s on my mind and exercise my First Amendment rights. It’s good therapy. I get pissed off at things from time to time; politics and some of what I read in newspapers give me more than enough material.

Well, today, nothing that anybody can say or do will piss me off. Give me your best shot, Democrats, Republicans and political commentators. It isn’t going to work.

To borrow from the great Lou Gehrig in 1939, Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. But not as lucky as I will be tomorrow, the next day and every day after that.

After years of struggle, my vision is back! I mean all the way back! When I get my next pair of glasses, I will have the eyesight of people half my age. It’s going to be about 20/25 in my left eye and 20/30 in my right. Not bad for a guy 60 years old. Heck, that’s pretty good for people who have never had diabetes.

I’m not going to fool myself into thinking I have beaten diabetes. I imagine someday that disease is going to hammer me over the head as it did with the late, great, David Broder. But right now, I feel as if I have the lead at halftime. Yeah, team!

Those who know me are aware of struggles with my eyesight. On a December day in 2003, I went into the Statesman office and informed my friend and colleague, Kevin Richert, that I would not see well enough to read letters to the editor. Minutes later, the director of human resources gave me this life-saving advice: “Chuck, go home and get well.”

It wasn’t easy, but I’ve done just that. At its worst, my vision was somewhere around 20/200 in one eye and 20/70 in the other. I could barely make out the big “E” on top of the eye chart and the second line was unreadable.

Over the years, I’ve gone through multiple laser procedures, and the vision improved substantially. A few years ago, I had eye surgery that put my vision at about 20/30 in both eyes and enjoyed that until last fall when my left eye slipped to 20/60. Uh, oh. Here we go again.

That was not the case, thank goodness. My doctor spotted some cataracts in my left eye, they were removed three weeks ago and yesterday I got a clean bill of health, and a new prescription.

 How lucky can a person get?

 But I won’t attribute all this all to luck. Peyton Manning is not a great quarterback because he’s lucky; he’s had a great offensive line blocking for him. Kobe Bryant doesn’t win NBA championships on his own. And I am convinced I’ve had a higher power in my corner.

 Almost a year after the leaving the Statesman, I had a five-way bypass surgery – something else from which I have fully recovered. The third day after surgery, I was feeling about as low as I have ever felt and ended up asking a chaplain to come to my room.

 The chaplain suggested I silently say a prayer – maybe the most simple prayer of all time. “Jesus, please heal me. Jesus, please heal me.”

 Well … the depression was gone and hasn’t been back since. Sure, I’ve had good and bad days like everybody else, but not to the level it was after my surgery.

 I cannot logically explain why my health has turned around so dramatically, other than to say a higher power has been on my side. For whatever the reason – probably to the dismay of people I tick off in these blogs – Jesus keeps healing me.

 That’s why I am the luckiest man on the face of this earth.

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