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Nick Curran Posts

PRK: Day 2

After my pain and discomfort started increasing last night, I took a vicodin at around 8:00 and hit the sack at around 9:00. I awoke this morning at 8:00 feeling the best I had since the operation. Good thing, too, as today was the day the boys and I had tickets to our annual Vikings’ game. I was able to go out tailgating, and the our spot in the shade treated me well. I tried taking a walk around the lot, but the sunny areas proved too bright for my constantly dilated right eye.

We walked to the game, which was nice, but by midway through the first quarter, my eye started to feel uncomfortable again. I left at the end of the quarter, went home, and took a long nap after icing my eye. I spent the rest of the afternoon napping and relaxing, the eye feels much better now, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when I’ll lose the contact lens I’ve been wearing for the past two days!

All in all, today was much better than yesterday.

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PRK: Day 1

I arrived at Fairview Southdale yesterday at 11:30 am to check in and take a valium. After a double check of my refraction, the doctors were ready for me. At 12:30, they brought me in to the operating room, where they had me lay down on a table and hold a football. They then confirmed with me that they would be working on my right eye (thank you!), and taped the left shut. They gave me some numbing drops, and propped my eye open. No more blinking for the next five minutes!

The most uncomfortable part of the operation came next. Unlike Lasik, which creates a corneal flap before the laser surgery begins, in PRK they do a “surface ablation.” They took a device that looked like a dentist’s drill but with a brown bristly head, turned it on so the head started spinning, and pressed it against my eye. My eye was numb, but they were really pressing, and that kind of discomfort doesn’t get numbed away. It wasn’t painful or anything, just sort of traumatic. Then they did it twice more. Yikes!

After that they gave focused the laser on my eye. “Are you locked on?” “Yup, good to go.” What followed was 15 seconds of clicks and pops while I stared at a red dot surrounded by a bright white ring. With the clicks and pops I could detect tiny flashes, which I assume was the laser doing its magic. One of the doctors counted down, “You’re 5% done. 10% done… 50% done. 95% done.” Done. “OK, you can blink.” I could already tell my vision was improved.

Then they put the contact lens “bandage” on my eye. Yuck. A plastic eye shield (like a pirate’s patch) was taped over my eye, and they gave me a bunch of drops. I went home and slept for a few hours, and since then I’ve just been moping around the house and marathoning The Office. I saw the doctor again last morning, who said everything looked “better than good.” Since the surgery, I’ve been napping and moping around while taking advantage of excellent care. The eye has been very uncomfortable, but getting better consistently. I think the worst part is the damn contact lens, but it could be the healing of the surface ablation.

Everything has been about what I expected or better so far. I’m really looking forward to getting the contact out and seeing what the healing vision bring.

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PRK: Day 0

Three and a half hours until I go under the laser – specifically “Wavefront” PRK. I’m excited, a bit nervous, and extraordinarly curious about what life will be like without glasses or contacts, provided all goes well. Today they’re doing the right eye. Next Friday, they’ll be doing the left.

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Funnest Day Ever

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My bachelor party was last week. I can’t fully describe how much fun it was. We had a blast playing paintball and dodgeball. Relaxed at my place for a bit, enjoyed a cigar on the roof, and went out to dinner at Figlio. Some of us even got dressed up.

On the field and court, a couple of the boys learned the value of the cup, and for the next few days many of us were incredibly sore (dodgeball is very demanding!). That aside, the day was injury free!

I think my favorite moment came during the last game of paintball. The field had been narrowed down to Jason and me versus Marc and Carlos. Pinned behind a tree, I found myself caught in the crossfire from Marc and Carlos, with Jason in a similar boat. J started firing on Carlos, and I saw Marc’s bright white head sticking out from his hiding spot. In a few seconds, Jason shot Carlos, and I nailed Marc. Walking off the field, victorious, I went to shoot of my remaining paint only to find my gun already empty. I won the last game of the day by hitting the last guy in with my very last paintball! A very cool coincidence!

All in all, the day was just fantastically fun. I felt truly touched to be surrounded by so many good friends. Thanks to all of you, and especially to Ryan for putting the day together!

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The Return of the Tray

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Ah, guys’ weekend. Poker, cigars, cocktails, volleyball, football, wakeboarding, basketball, jet skiing. Almost constant nonsense (see: updog, literally, and marshmallow welts… I pinch). Strange sights and movie parroting. It really doesn’t get any better than that. This year was especially memorable, as a classic chapter from one of our past guys’ weekends was reopened… and finally slammed shut.

Many years ago of a Saturday afternoon at the old Shell Lake estate, one of our finest did his brothers from other mothers the kindness of preparing them a snack. He grabbed one of Jack’s finest from the freezer, and popped in to the oven on a tray he found in Ma Kessler’s immaculate kitchen. Simple enough… until we discovered that the pan in question was none other than Pa Kessler’s prized NFL collector serving platter… and made of plastic to boot! 450 degree heat + plastic? The pan was melted and warped beyond repair. Over thirty years of game-time treats and gridiron memories up in smoke.

We’ve never really let poor Anthony live it down. Guys’ weekend (GW) is all about constant repetition. Repetition somehow makes the unfunny laughable, and despite T’s, “Why ya gotta bring up old shit?,” the old shit always seems to entertain. The melted tray is a story for which we all have a particular fondness, so it comes up even more often the rest. As was the case a couple of months ago while a few of us were dining in Tim‘s screen porch. During our reminiscing, someone wondered whether such a tray could be found on eBay. A laptop was produced, and much to our surprise, there it was! And only ten or fifteen dollars! We bought it on the spot, and immediately went in to hyperactively, mischievously scheming mode. One thing was certain: some funny stuff was going to go down at this guys’ weekend.

Soon after, Tim received the tray and a cracked extra that we hadn’t noticed was also included in the auction. Last Thursday before our departure, Tim re-listed the tray on eBay. The plan was to casually suggest that we all look for the tray, just out of curiosity. This is exactly what we did when Anthony arrived on Friday, and gosh, who woulda thunk it, there one was. And only $60! “Anthony you have to bid on this!” After a bit of cajoling, Anthony placed his bid. We let him think about it more, letting the anticipation and tension of the auction build over the course of the afternoon and evening. I even called Patrick and had him bid on it, upping the suspense! The auction closed that evening at $68.

Of course he won it, and the next afternoon we let him in on the joke. While Tim was in the kitchen cooking, he asked Anthony next to him to please grab a tray from the cupboard. There he found the tray we had planted, and the fun ensued. He walked around bewildered, asking, “did you guys see this?” while we pretended to be equally shocked. We let him stew for a few more minutes before letting him in on the joke.

It probably should have ended there. But there was the problem of that extra. What were we to do with it? That night during our regular GW poker session, Tim was back in the kitchen cooking pizzas again when I figured out exactly what to do: melt it! I grabbed the extra tray from its hiding spot, and while Anthony was in the next room dealing poker and smoking his cigar, Tim carefully melted the tray in the oven, then set it on top of the warm range while the pizzas cooled and pizza rolls cooked. Returning to his place at the table, Tim asked Anthony if he’d mind checking on the rolls in a few minutes. When Anthony did, we heard nothing but silence for at least two minutes. I have never wished for a hidden camera so much in my life. I can only imagine the look on his face as he saw the new tray melted just as the old one had been. Even when he did finally pop his head back out on the deck to tell us, “I don’t know how this could possibly happen,” his expression was hilarious.

We let him on in on the double tray joke, and we all laughed even harder and longer than before. Now the tray has been restored, and I’m sure the story is finally over. But we’ll be telling it forever, with a bit more embellishment each time. And that is Guys’ Weekend.

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4 Generations

74 4 Generations

I’m not sure what’s more remarkable about this picture: four generations of Curran men all together on one davenport, or that outfit my father is sporting. The glasses, the moustache, the baggy green tank top tucked in to short plaid shorts, complete with belt… it’s really something! I think I have my next Halloween costume lined up.

Anyway, it’s part of a bunch of childhood photos my dad just sent me. This might call for a more comprehensive project.

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Cut the Cake!

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My grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary on Thursday. 60 years of marriage (or almost 22,000 days, as my grandfather put it)! 7 kids, 22 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren (or nearly 68,000 diapers by my own baseless estimation).

60 years together and still happy as ever – that’s a remarkable achievement. And they’ve always been there for each other, all of their friends, and everyone in their family – certainly for me on more than one occasion.

For that we’re all incredibly grateful, and we look forward to many more years of their infectious laughter, sharp wit, and never-ending wisdom. We love you, Grandpa and Grandma!

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