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.
Sadly, 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)