A New Nom De Plume

“To this day, the eye gives me a cold shudder.”

–Charles Darwin

The eye, the very thing that gave ol’ Chuck a case of the chills, never fails to give me a case of the warm fuzzies. I’m up to my eyeballs in eyeballs, and frankly, most days, I’m happier than a pig in slop. I believe I have an office with the best view in town and sometimes I get so enraptured by the beauty and complexity of this organ of sight that I get a little behind in my daily schedule because I just can’t stop staring.

I guess you could say that I’m an “eyeguy,” and in fact, many folks in these parts say just that. That’s a necessary qualifier when there are 4 “Dr. Michael Xs” living and practicing in the same town (and that’s not even counting the veterinarian down in Guntersville). The other three Huntsville-based “Dr. Michael Xs” practice gastroenterology, urology and pediatric dentistry. The dentist’s son plays on the same soccer team as my Number Two son. The gastroenterologist even goes to the same church I do, leading to even more confusion. Someone at church came up with the idea a while back of using “GI guy” and “Eyeguy” to help in communicating which one was supposed to be serving communion that month, lead the closing prayer, etc. That works fairly well, but that doesn’t stop his mail from coming to my office (our offices are only a block apart) or keep our many patients that we have in common from becoming confused.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve received calls at home from patients belonging to the urologist and GI guy–I guess they start at the top of the “Michael X” listings in the phone book and just keep going till they find one who’s a doctor of some sort. One time I called one of my patients who also was being treated by the urologist. He became confused and began telling me about, as we say in the South, his “prostrate” problem. I quickly reminded him that prostates were not my turf. We then went on to talk about his “cadillac” which needed removing. So far, I’ve not received any calls from the veterinarian’s patients.

So, I thought I would change my blogging nom de plume to “Mike the Eyeguy” and see what happens. I guess in hindsight (which we all know is 20/20) I probably should have gone with just “Eyeguy” from the start since that would have retained more of my anonymity and helped make me more mysterious. But now that the cat’s out of the bag and you already know my first name, I’ll go with “Mike the Eyeguy.”

I’m hoping that in the sometimes Mike-saturated blogosphere that the “Eyeguy” part will stick out a little, especially in crowded comment sections, and keep folks from getting me confused with all the other “Mikes” out there. There are, after all, a lot of us, including the “mother of all Mikes.”

So if you’re trolling the blogosphere and run into something written by “Mike the Eyeguy” that will most likely be me. And I hope you don’t get a cold shudder whenever that happens. I do hope that whatever it is you read makes you smile and say, “Oh, yeah, that’s the guy who is ‘just looking around and trying to put it all together.'”

But don’t worry, I’m not getting all formal on you or anything like that. Just remember, “you can call me ‘Michael,’ or you can call me ‘Mike,’ or you can call me ‘Eyeguy,’ but you doesn’t hafta’ to call me ‘Mike the Eyeguy.'”

  1. Ed

    Of course, you have the perfect logo or mascot – Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. Disney might not like it though.

  2. mike the eyeguy

    Hehe, you’re right, I hadn’t thought about that. Of course, I really “look like Larry,”and since he’s been dead so long, probably no one would care if I used his mug.

  3. DJG

    I would rather be Mike the Eyeguy than Mike the GI guy….just saying is all!

    Donna the loan gal

  4. mike the eyeguy

    Donna the loan gal–

    Do you know Mike the GI guy? He’s cool–a little quiet (unlike me), but cool. And extremely good at what he does from what I understand. Not that I’ve had reason (yet) to seek his services.

    My roommate at Harding became a GI guy. He told me one time he chose that specialty because he thought it would pay well and it would be like playing video games all day long. You gotta wonder about a guy like that.

  5. scott

    Which one are you again?

  6. mike the eyeguy


    Answer: See the picture at the top of this post.

  7. Jason Bybee

    Professional question for you: I wore Acuvue for years, but apparently they’ve discontinued the kind I used to wear. Now I’m in Acuvue 2, but they seem to dry out easily and often. Any suggestions?

    And, just for the record, I’d much rather see Eyeguy than GI guy.

  8. mike the eyeguy

    Jason youth minister guy,

    Yeah, you gotta have a good tear film if you’re going to wear AVs. Now that you’re pushing the Big Three-0, the tear film’s thinning out a bit (it begins…)

    There are several good “dry eye” CLs on the market. Ask your eye care professional about Proclear Compatibles and Preference lenses(both from CooperVision) or Extreme H20 from Benz.

    I would agree the average person would rather see Eyeguy (a little less invasive, if you catch my drift) and that the view for Eyeguy is more pleasing than what GI guy is looking at every day. However, GI guys get a lot of kudos when they fix your problem (“oh, what a relief it is”). I tend not to hear from satisfied patients, only the ones who “can’t see outta these dang glasses” I prescribed.

  9. Karen

    Hey, are you at Central? I know that’s where GI guy used to go (still is?)… he and his wife are friends of my sister and her husband, who also attend Central. Now wouldn’t that be a small world?

    Oh, and I like EyeGuy.

    And speaking of contact lenses, I don’t know anyone else who wears gas permeables… everyone seems to be in soft? Why is that? I love my Equalens.

  10. mike the eyeguy

    Karen said: “Oh, and I like EyeGuy.”

    Thanks (blush), you made my day!

    GI Guy and I both attend “The Mother Church” (Mayfair).

    The reason more folks don’t wear RGPs is that they are harder to fit (and for patients to adapt to) than soft lenses. But when it comes to crystal clear vision, nothing beats them!

  11. contratimes

    Aren’t RGPs assault weapons?

    (Perhaps it’s time for bifocals.)

    Good luck with the nom de plume (the plume that was no doubt created by the impact of those RGPs).

    Call me Magoo.


  12. mike the eyeguy

    Dear Mr. Magoo,

    Lest you think I’m dealing arms on the side, RGP stands for “Rigid Gas Permeable.” Did you ever wear the old “hard contacts” back in the 70s and 80s? You remember, the kind that when you blinked, always popped out in the most incovenient places?

    RGPs are today’s version but are larger, more flexible and allow more oxygen to the cornea than their rock hard ancestors.

    They also feel like rocks in your eyes when you first start to wear them. Tough it out like Karen, and you get the best quality vision that contacts can provide.

    BTW, Duke over Boston College 83-81–a real nail biter. Didn’t you do some coursework at BC?

  13. Karen

    Good to hear such nice things about RGPs. I know I like mine, especially since they are extended wear and I am totally blind without them (20/450). They also correct a slight astigmatism that my glasses don’t. I didn’t know they were harder to fit, although I know my brother-in-law told me I must have eyeballs of steel the way I can wear my contacts for hours on end.

    But enough shop talk. :O)

    Too bad you don’t go to the same church as my sister. That would have been neat. I’ll have to talk to her and see if she still keeps in touch with Mike and Kay(?) (I think that was her name.)

  14. contratimes

    Dear Yesman (you know, Aye Guy),

    No, I did not go to BC, though my wife did. I studied under Dr. Peter Kreeft (BC philosophy prof) when he was the visiting scholar my senior year at Gordon College on Boston’s North Shore (I took three courses with him). One of my closest philosophy program-mates was a BC doctoral candidate under Kreeft, and I (only once) sat through one of his graduate lectures at BC.

    There is only one reason to love any Eagles team: Doug Flutie. But I am glad that BC gave Duke something to think about.


    Magoo (Road Hog!) aka Gnade

  15. mike the eyeguy


    Flutie was there last night, along with the Pat’s owner and numerous other Beantown bigwigs.

    You should call up Kreeft and squeeze him for some tickets next time! 😉

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