I learned a new medical term last week. Blepharoconjunctivitis. The basic definition is inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the eyeball) and the eyelid.
I wish I could say I learned the term while doing research for my current medical-themed book for Silhouette Special Edition. Unfortunately, I heard it from my doctor when I went to see her last Wednesday with my right eye blood-red, swollen almost closed, and leaking tears and goo (sorry for the image — I actually tried to understate how bad it was). She prescribed an antibiotic ointment I’ve used before that’s so thick I’ve always compared it to smearing axle grease in my eye, which makes it interesting trying to see through the resulting film.
I have to admit my eye bothered me for a full week before I saw the doctor. I have a chronic problem with my right eye being irritated and developing styes, so I just assumed it was my usual and treated it with eye drops I keep on hand. By the time I broke down and went to the doctor, it was pretty nasty – and it got worse during the weekend. I missed the monthly meeting of my local Romance Writers of America chapter that I was really looking forward to, and I spent the weekend whimpering and feeling sorry for myself.
Would it have gotten to that point if I’d seen the doctor earlier? I don’t know, but I suspect I waited a few days too long to go. As the mother of three medically-inclined offspring, I have an odd aversion to going to the doctor. Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know that I occasionally veer into rants about taking care of yourself — having your regular mammograms, physicals, colonoscopies after 50. Let me add a new piece of advice: see your doctor promptly when you develop a problem that needs intervention! I should start paying a little better attention to my own advice (and the long-distance counsel of my exasperated physician daughter — sorry, Kerry).
I did get a little writing done last week, peering through my one good eye and the hazy slit of the other at the computer screen I had to darken quite a bit for comfort. It was nice to have my fictional world to escape into since I couldn’t physically leave my house for a few days. My doctor heroine would be as exasperated as my doctor daughter if any of her patients were so hesitant to seek treatment, I’m sure.
As promised, I have a title and publication date for you for this story about the workaholic couple — a busy surgeon and a single-dad attorney — trying to find time in their schedules to fall in love. THE M.D. NEXT DOOR will be on the shelves in January, 2011. Before then, you can find THE DOCTOR’S UNDOING in July and PROGNOSIS: ROMANCE in September. (Click the Books Available Now tab for details on upcoming titles).
Don’t forget to enter your name in the June 1 drawing! Click the Enter to Win! tab for details.
Until you visit again — take good care of yourselves!