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An Accident Waiting to Happen Part 2 or How I Lost My Eye

Story ID:7417
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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This is another stroy in the ongoing saga of an accident waiting to happen...

An Accident Waiting to Happen Part 2 – How I Lost My Eye…

When I say I lost my eye I actually mean the sight in right eye due to a trauma cataract.

This accident happen when I was about 14 and living by myself in Bly, Oregon.

My Dad, Ed Dishno, was falling timber in the woods near Kings Canyon National Park and my Mom was spending the summer with him in a small cabin in the village of Wilsonia. I had spent several summers there but this time I had a job in Bly as a projectionist and convinced Mom and Pop that I would be OK by myself. Mom set up a charge account at the grocery store just down the street from my house so I could buy whatever I needed. Mostly Franco American Tamales and Skippy dog food since my dog Wags stayed with me in Bly too. See my posting #6939.

All went well and I was making $2.00 a night at the theater. I was living by myself for the first time and enjoying it. I didn’t have time for any girlfriends since I spent all my time fishing and working.

One Friday evening after the movie let out I was walking home when I met a friend, Dick Wilson, who wanted to come over to my house.

I should point out that my two half-brothers, Bud and Frank were very musical and we had a corner in the house that we referred to as the “Music Corner”. Stacked in that corner were a bass viol, trombone, guitar, clarinet and a violin.

When Dick saw the violin he picked it up, took it out of its case and promptly started tightening the strings. I thought he knew what he was doing and would soon play a tune or two.

I was sitting next to him when the “e” string, the only wire one on the violin broke and snapped me in the right eye. It was just a glancing blow but it really hurt and immediately some fluid ran down my cheek. I thought it was just tears and didn’t pay much attention to it. Later that night the eye began to hurt and when I looked at in the mirror, the entire eyeball was red. I still didn’t think too much was wrong but over the weekend, it got worse.

By Monday morning it was really painful and I thought I should seek a doctor. I looked in the Klamath Falls phone directory, and found a doctor who dealt with eye surgery. He was called an Ophthalmologist and I added a new word to my vocabulary.

I didn’t make an appointment but found a ride to Klamath where I was dropped off at his clinic. As soon as I went in, the receptionist took one look at me, then ushered me into a darkened room. I thought they were making an awful fuss over a leaking eye but went along with them. In a few minutes the doctor (I have since forgotten his name) came into the room. He seemed very concerened that I had not seen him sooner and when I told him what had happened and that I was living alone in Bly, he seemed to understand. I think I told him that I would just as soon not let my Mom know about the accident right away. This apparently was OK with him but he did take down their address in California.

The doctor worked on me for about 30 minutes then told me to come back the next day. This presented a slight problem since I was from Bly but I never mentioned it to him. I just said I would be there and left.

Now I had to find a way back home so I walked about 5 or 6 miles to the highway to Bly and promptly hitched a ride home.

The next morning I had to repeat the process all over again and once again the doctor told me to come back the next day. This was repeated for 5 days in a row. I don’t know what all he did except one time he had his nurse hold my head still while he inserted a syringe filled with some sort of liquid into the eye. He explained he was trying to get the lens and the cornea apart as they had become stuck together. The only thing I can remember is that it didn’t hurt too much but I was distracted by his pretty nurse. She told me not to move my head or eye and she would try to keep the head from moving. She did this by standing by my right shoulder and clamping my head in a vise like grip. As I recall, she was very well endowed and she had one breast on each side of my shoulder. What better way to keep a 14 year old kids mind from wandering. It was probably by accident but I have never forgotten the experience.

When I went in for my Friday appointment, the doctor told me that he had done all he could do and I would be blind in that eye for the rest of my life. I thanked him for telling me something that I pretty much knew. I then went home, never to see him again.

A couple of months later I got a frantic call from my Mom, asking what the bill from an eye doctor was all about. It was then that I told her what had happened and for her not to worry after all she had weathered the loss of my finger, what is there to worry about an eye, I still had one good one.

Over the years I have learned to cope with being monocular. The hardest thing for me at the time was learning to shoot my 12 gauge shotgun left handed. The ducks and geese really got a break that fall as I couldn’t hit worth a darn. By the next season I had overcome my shooting disabilities by practicing with my 22 rifle on cans and gophers. I just goes to show how important some things in life really are.

Since the eye incident I have visited many ophthalmologists and they are all in agreement that at the time, there was really nothing that could be done. Now they think that there is still vision behind that trauma cataract and it possibly could be removed and a lens implanted. They say that it might take several operations since over the last 60 plus years, the eye has turned out because there is nothing to hold it on vision. I hope this makes sense. My answer to them is, I will just leave things alone. I call it my eye in the bank and if I ever need it, it will be there for me. I would certainly never do it for vanity reasons. If vanity played any part I wouldn’t let my body look like it does now. After all, I have a beautiful wife who loves me just the way I am.

A few years ago in little old Dillon, Montana I had the opportunity to meet someone I had been following for over 25 years. It was a concert violin player named Midori. She put on a performance at our local auditorium. Needless to say I was ecstatic to get to meet her. When she came off the stage I was the first to greet her and told her how long I had been following her career. I told her that we both had something in common and that was a broken “e” string on a violin. Hers happened when she was giving a performance before large audience in a concert hall. She was only about 14 at the time and during the performance the “e” string broke. With out missing a beat she stepped over to the concert master and borrowed his large violin and continued as if nothing had happened. After the performance the entire audience and orchestra gave her a standing ovation. I said my troubles with the “e” string were when it broke and destroyed the vision in my right eye. Midori then gave me a hug and got all wet as tears were streaming down my cheek. What a girl and I am proud to have a picture of her hugging little old me.