Now That’s Romance

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor for a routine checkup – which I admit I have been slack about, despite being cross eyed and wearing bifocals since I was a little kid. Thanks to this way-neat and not-covered-by-insurance machine that took a big picture of the back of my eye, I found out that at the ripe age of 31, I have glaucoma.

After a minor freak out, I hopped over to my old friend, the internet, and found out that it’s not a guaranteed conclusion that I will lose my sight because it was caught early and because I can get care to monitor the problem. I don’t have to start flipping out that I’m going to go blind. But I do have to accept that it’s not ok to slack off about going to the eye doctor, and I need care and attention to preserve my already-FUBAR eyesight.

Hubby was understandably worried, but I calmed down and we talked about the worst-case scenarios. What would I do for work if I lost my sight, what would we do differently – and then I realized:

Sarah: “HOLY CRAP. I wouldn’t be able to read romance novels until I learned Braille or found big huge large print books to read!”
Hubby: “Yeah.”
Sarah: “Would you read romance novels to me when I needed to be entertained?”
Hubby: *horrified look of momentary panic* “Yeah. I’ll read you your romances. But I get to laugh, right?”


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    azteclady says:

    That is true luuuuuuuuuuuuurve. Everything else is icing!

    *sending positive thoughts SB Sarah’s way*

  2. 2
    Mel-O-Drama says:

    Twu Wub.

    Hang in there, Sarah. You caught it early and that’s a very good thing.

    PS: Hubby’s a keeper, just in case you didn’t already know that.

  3. 3
    raine says:

    I was also diagnosed with glaucoma—ripe old age of 40.
    The doctor who diagnosed it added, “Yes, and if you live long enough, you will go blind.”
    Quickly found another, better qualified doctor who said “it ain’t necessarily so”—and I’ve been holding a steady pressure level ever since, carefully monitored.
    You’ll be ok.  ;-)
    And your husband sounds wonderful, lol!!

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:

    Thanks – I’d put him on my keeper shelf but his butt’s too big. So I let him roam the house in his Fabio-esque loincloth, unless it’s Kilt day. Then he, well, wears his kilt.

    Seriously – thanks for the reassurance. I know I have to be monitored and what all, which is fine. I can do that. The prognosis is not so dire, but dude. No romance? Heaven forbid!

  5. 5
    racy li says:

    Awwww! That’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard in awhile!

  6. 6
    Titsy McClure says:

    Bring out the medicinal pot! Whoohoo!

  7. 7
    Kaite says:

    Argh! That’s horrible about the glaucoma! But it’s also sweet about the hubby. I hope you gave him some sweet lovin’ down by the fire for being such a sweet guy!  ;-)

    Eh, if worse comes to worst, there are many, many places to get your books on tape. You might (if you’re really paranoid about the chance) research what your local libraries can do for you. Then you’ll know that, just in the highly unlikely case they can’t regulate your pressure with medications or whatever voodoo that they do, you won’t have to make poor hubby read trashy novels all the time. Besides, I’m of the thought that preparing for the worst means it’s less likely to occur. Isn’t it always when you don’t have the storm radio on that the tornado hits the trailer?

    I’ll be thinking positive Smart Bitch thoughts in your direction!

  8. 8
    SB Sarah says:

    I found a few sources for books on tape from earlier, unrelated research – and I found that RFBD needs volunteers to read materials aloud for books-on-tape purposes.

    I might have to go down to Princeton and read aloud some quivering loins and wildly flapping breasts.

  9. 9
    tisty says:

    thabks for the reminder Sarah.

    Both my parents where diagnosied with glucoma in there 40’s (20 years later both still have there sight!!!!) and we were told as the off spring of such a genetically withered tree we should start getting checked from 28 onwards.

    I’m 29 and skiving. After reading this I might make my appointment today :O!

    After all I have more to lose than you. NOT 1 of my loved ones would unstiffen enough to read me my romances and the ones on tape at my library are all of the old-lady-barbra-cartland-esq variety. Not a kick arse heroine in sight.

    *shudder* now that is just to scarry for words!

  10. 10
    Lila says:


    I’m sorry for the scare you are going through. You are really lucky to have caught this early.

    My mother is diabetic and is having problems with her eyes. I have already promised to read all the old Anne Stuarts (I think she re-reads Catspaw once a month) on to tape for her to listen to if the worst happens.

  11. 11
    Megan says:

    Hang in there long enough and cybernetic eyes will be an option. 

    But yeah, glaucoma’s scary.  I’m glad you caught it early.

    I too shirk doctor’s appointments (and don’t even mention the dentist).  It’s not fear, just laziness.  But I’m good about the eye appointments, because if I don’t go they won’t send me my contacts.

  12. 12
    Jackie says:

    Not to be mean or anything, but at age 31, you should get a second opinion about what we in the med biz call “suspect glaucoma.”  I suggest a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in glaucoma.  Your primary care physician of the local medical board can give you some names.  It’s not something to mess around with.  PS, I forced my husband to read a La Nora short story that was futuristic and he reported proudly that he didn’t ralph.  Your guy sounds nicer than mine!

  13. 13
    Elle (Vicountess Quimmeshire -- who also happens t says:

    Jackie wrote:
    Not to be mean or anything, but at age 31, you should get a second opinion about what we in the med biz call “suspect glaucoma.” I suggest a board certified ophthalmologist who specializes in glaucoma.

    That is really excellent advice.  I am not sure that I would start buying books in braille based on the findings of the “not covered by insurance machine” (probably OCT, or ophthalmic coherence tomography.)  The diagnosis of glaucoma usually involves some combination of elevated intraocular pressure, optic nerve head changes and visual field changes.  Early glaucoma can be treated with topical drops, laser or (in more severe cases) surgery.  I would definitely recommend that you get a second opinion from an ophthalmologist (M.D.) who specializes in glaucoma. 

    Good luck!

  14. 14

    SB Sarah,

    That hubby of yours sounds like a keeper.

    I don’t know what online resources you checked, but here are a few top-notch linkies for you:

    National Eye Institute at

    Medline Plus at

    Clinical Trials at"glaucoma"+OR+"early-onset+glaucoma"?recruiting=false

    Second opinion sounds like a smart choice if there’s any question…

  15. 15
    fiveandfour says:

    My husband’s cousin’s wife was telling us about how her husband will do the highlights in her hair.  They live waaaay out of the city, so her options are 1) he does it or 2) she drives a long distance to the nearest town and pays a lot of money for it.  My husband said, “His love is greater than mine.  There’s NO WAY I’d do that.”  I can say with 100% certainty that reading romance novels to me is another NO WAY situation.

    Your husband’s love for you is greater than mine is for me.

  16. 16
    Michelle says:

    Sorry about your scare.  As others have said with treatment you shouldn’t have a problem.  Just be careful with certain medications, esp otc meds can affect the pressure in the eyes.

  17. 17

    Sorry to hear about your scare, Sarah. I second the recommendation to get another doc’s opinion. Also, if they do put you on any meds, be careful to read up on the side effects. My aunt was put on a glaucoma med that made her massively depressed. Once she and her husband figured it out, she made her doctor switch her to another drug that didn’t have the same effects. It took them a long time to figure out what was going on because nobody realized that an eye drop could do that.

    Good luck!

  18. 18
    Carrie Lofty says:

    I just love how smart the Bitchery proves to be once again!  Kick-ass accountants, random eye specialists, lawyers, creative types – I mean, we have someone from everywhere on this site!  It’s like using the batsignal – mention a topic and lurking specialist just pops up!  And all unified by a love/hate relationship with feisty heroines and mantitty.  Awesome. 

    Good luck, Sarah.

  19. 19
    Holly says:

    When I was 15 I was diagnosed with diabetes and because of poor control issues, I developed massive cateracts in both eyes. (I was a freshman in HS too, and kids are so cruel) Speaking as someone who was nearly blind, I really do hope for the best for you. It’s a very scary thing to go through. See as many doctors as you need to, not just for a second opinion, but for your own peace of mind. You’re very lucky you have such a great husband. Would he help you snark on here too? He could be an honorary bitch.

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:

    Hi folks – thanks for the very good advice. I’m not running out to get myself a Braille library, but the diagnosis was a combination of factors, including increased pressure and variations in the optic disc plus family history. But you’re right that a second opinion is in order. Thanks very much.

    Damn, you bitches are smart.

  21. 21
    Keziah Hill says:

    Look after youself Sarah!

  22. 22
    Keziah Hill says:

    Or even yourself (sigh).

  23. 23
    Minawolf says:

    OMG that’s so something my husband would say.  Gotta love ‘em :)

  24. 24
    Jane says:

    ebooks.  as long as you don’t have the “DRM” restriction, you can get you computer to read aloud to you.

  25. 25
    AngieZ says:

    Don’t forget books on tape….  I doubt my hubby would read to me and as much as I wuv him, his ongoing voice would just not cut it for me.

    Seriously, it is good you caught it early.  If you were told you only need monitored for now that sounds encouraging.

    My daughter was recently subjected to one of those not covered by insurance machines as she took a blow to the head in soccer and lost vision in one of her eyes for a short time earlier this year.  Luckily everything is ok but now with the baseline pics of her eyes they can monitor itty bitty changes.  I think the machine was called optiscan or some nonsense like that.

  26. 26
    gigi says:

    Holy Shit, Sarah, you be taking care of those eyes, okay?  And momma bitch sez it’s supplement time!

  27. 27
    Susan says:

    That is scary. take care of yourself. I am glad you caught it early!

  28. 28

    I’ve been trying to stay off this fucking addictive blog for awhile, but I had to stop by after I heard about your diagnosis. I’m sending positive thoughts that you’ll kick glaucoma’s ass! You know, do that positive imagery kinda thing. Picture glaucoma as Bill Napoli and beat him to death with a pitch-black dildo weighted with lead. Make sure it has realistic looking veins though. That alone might be enough to defeat him.

    All my bitchety best to you and your hubby!

  29. 29
    Cynthia says:

    Sarah, take good care of yourself and just as a precaution, maybe you should stay away from snarking bad romance covers until your condition is stabilized.

    Some of those covers you guys have put on the Smart Bitches site are enough to explode anyone’s eyeballs. 

    Hugs and take good care of yourself.  There’s been a lot of good advice spread around here—we smart bitches all love you and want you to get better.

  30. 30
    SandyW says:

    I’m not sure what to say except take care of yourself, don’t get complacent about it, and know that there are a lot of people who care for you and worry about you.

    And of course your husband will read your choice of books aloud, if necessary. Because Smart Bitches don’t marry worthless men.

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