Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

The Eyes Have It (by Kate Hardy)

As this is a medical authors’ blog, I know I can talk about this subject without everyone going ‘eeep, that’s scary and ick, shut up’ :o)

So. Eyes. If you’re squeamish about the subject, please don’t read on. (I’ve already been told off by my family – firstly for not telling them there’s a problem until after I saw the specialist (I didn’t want to worry them), and secondly for grossing them out with medical stuff.)

At my last eye test, the optician was a bit concerned about the pressure in my eyes, but he was even more concerned about what he said were narrow angles of drainage. Basically, if they don’t drain the aqueous humour properly, I could end up with an episode of glaucoma that severely damages my sight.

Not the best thing for a writer.

And, OK, it might be just a little bit scary.

So he referred me to the ophthalmologist for a closer look. (I know medics have a dark sense of humour, but I think eye specialists have the darkest one of all! Luckily it was a joint appointment with my littlest, who nudged me and said, ‘Mum, he said he was joking…’, because I missed him saying that!)

I had my eye appointment last week. It was fascinating. Three lots of drops – one to numb them a bit, one for staining (and sadly it didn’t leave me with yellow eyes because I would really have liked a zombie selfie) and one to widen my pupils and make it easier for him to see.

And when he used the slit lamp, it meant I got to see my eyeball from the inside. I always have the retinal photograph done as part of my eye test, and I find that really interesting, but this was really spectacular. I could see all the veins, the little floaters and everything. Awesome.

july mri scanSadly, I don’t have a photograph of that. (But I do have an x-ray plate from when I had my MRI scan to check there wasn’t something nasty on my acoustic nerves – that shows my eyes as well, and I love this photograph! Proof that there is indeed some grey matter in Kate Hardy’s head.)

Anyway. The upshot is that the angles of drainage are indeed too narrow. It’s not the sort of glaucoma that can be treated with drops, sadly – it’s the rarer kind that needs surgery. A laser peripheral iridotomy, to be prescise. Basically they drill a couple of holes in my irises and that means the fluid can drain more easily – a bit like the extra hole in your bathroom sink which stops the water overflowing.

Oh, and brown irises are thicker than blue ones, so it takes longer to drill the holes.

(I did say look away if you’re squeamish!)

I’m actually planning my next Medical at the moment. And I’m dying to switch the setting from a maternity ward to an eye ward, but I have a feeling my ed is going to veto it on the grounds that my readers will find it too icky… What do you think? Too icky or not? :o)



22 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It (by Kate Hardy)”

  1. Yep, I am holding up my hands here and confess that I fall into the category of folk who find eyes icky. No idea why as not much else bothers me but eyes …(you can imagine the expressive shudder!)
    All I will say, Kate, is that you are being very brave. I’m sure the op will go well but still it must be a little bit scary. Do keep us posted so we know what’s going on.

  2. Awww…your grey matter is in the shape of a heart in that picture! Fits you to a tee!

    I’m not squeamish at all, hence the cutting and trimming of many of my medical scenes by my editor (I feel for her having to read some of them). In that one area, I really have no filter, because I find medicine and the human body fascinating.

    So glad they’re able to give you those extra holes and save your vision. Medical technology has certainly come a long, long way! Let us know how things go, Kate!

    1. Ooh – I never noticed that before! That’s very cool – thanks for pointing it out. I’m with you on the fascination – I wanted to see my c-section when my son was born, but DH vetoed that as being too gory. (What a wuss!) Will keep you posted xxx

  3. Kate, nothing much leaves me feeling icky, but…eyes? On the other hand there are ways to make sure the “eyes have it” by having a heroine or hero going blind. You don’t have to go into all the icky bits of the eyes and still slide a little eye awareness into the story.

    1. Nancy – I do have a blindness story in the back of my head (though it wouldn’t work as a Med as the heroine is an artist) 😉 Thanks for reminding me about that one! (And I did think that the eye thing would be too icky…)

      1. My sister is an artist and she is going blind–she has a wonderful mentor working with her who is helping her do a show before she loses any more sight.

    1. We certainly are – and I always go for my regular eye exams anyway. Even more important now 😉

  4. Kate, how fascinating! I’m not at all squeamish about eyes, but knees… I’ve written a hero with a dodgy knee (what on earth possessed me?) and found myself cringing every time he did anything that might damage it any further. I made a promise to myself that all future heroes and heroines will have strong knees 🙂

    How wonderful that they can not only pick these things up, but correct them as well. All the very best for your op, and please let us know how things are going.

    1. How interesting that you find knees squeamish! (I hate to tell you this, but the book that went to my ed last week… ahem.) It’s amazing what they can do nowadays. And thanks – will keep you posted!

  5. It sounds scary, Kate, but I’m absolutely sure it will be fine and you’ll be up and about in no time! Amazing that they can do this!
    I think I was the world’s most squeamish nurse…

    1. It’s meant to be one of the safest procedures, so I’m fine. (I’d be far more worried about what my stepmum’s partner has to have done – he has AMD. Needles. Eeep.)

  6. Kate,
    I never doubted you had gray matter! I watched my husband’s eye surgery one time it was fascinating and icky at the same time. I think a book about eye surgery would be great. Maybe the next one instead of changing in the middle of the stream on this one. Good luck with your surgery.

    1. LOL, Susan – that’s not what people say when I have blonde moments! 🙂 I probably do need to have the hero and heroine working together for a change…

  7. As someone who went through laser surgery in my eye for a torn retina, I am here to say – I feel your pain! Laser is hot, hot, hot, and they tell you to not blink – well how in the world is a person supposed to not blink when they’ve been told not to! And I had no idea my eyeball could be pushed on so much without popping, I swear. They said look this way, look that way, look up and down, I totally lost control of my poor eye, but I tried to cooperate. Too much sharing?
    You started it! LOL.

    Hey, does this mean you can become a pothead for medical purposes, Kate? Kidding. I’m kidding folks…

    1. Hugs, Lynne – and I do think that’s the thing that I’ll find hard. Though apparently they can put a lens in your eye to stop it? (That was weird, too – he put a lens in my eye this time, and I’ve never worn contacts. He also pointed out that my reading glass prescription is so tiny it practically doesn’t exist!)

  8. I’m with Susan – fascinating and icky. Having helped in eye ops as a student nurse I’m here to tell you every time they poked or prodded an eyeball or cut into it I had to squint and make a yucky face….but one of my fav wards was the eye ward.
    Good luck with the op, Kate – you’ll be in and out and all fixed up in a jiffy!

  9. Eyes are cool, but yeah they squick me out. However, I wear contacts so I can touch mine no problem and that mostly freaks people out. The most recent was when I was driving up the interstate from New Orleans to Memphis and my contact popped out. I grabbed it with one hand and placed it back in. I was in the thick of traffic and no way to pull over. My RT room mate was seriously impressed. LOL

  10. I would like to read a book that had eye surgery in it provided that the outcome was good. However, I do not like to read about blind characters, blindness scares me too much.

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