Fade research: chapter 40/41

This is the research I compiled regarding the huge spoiler for Fade chapter 40/41. For those of you who have read the series, this is regarding the thing that has major personal ramifications for one of the characters. Note: the research behind this cut may be uncomfortable for anyone who has particular feelings on the topic.


Note: if you follow my blog on Goodreads, I posted this there as well on April 22, 2013. In fact, the rest of this post is a direct copy of that entry.

April 22, 2013 blog entry:
I’m on a livejournal group called little_details — it’s a pretty cool place where you can go and ask questions about specific things you haven’t been able to find answers to in your research so far.

I noticed a request today that I happened to know a lot about due to recent research (about medical procedures that would follow the injury Boyd had in Fade 40).

I wrote a long reply with a compiled timeline of information based on what I’d learned in my own research and included some of the many sites and links I’d found. After I finished, I realized I didn’t want to lose the information for the future, and thought it was possible someone out there might be curious about what DID go into the follow-up that isn’t covered between Fade 40-42, and the epilogue.

Here it is below if you’re curious. Note that the person was asking about what medical procedures would be expected following the loss of an eye. This was my response:

I was recently researching this actually and this is what I found, along with links to sites that have photos. The term you need is ‘enucleation’ for removal of an eye.

Once the person’s eye is injured, the doctors will determine whether they can keep the eye or whether it has to be removed. I think the preference tends to be toward keeping it, however depending on the severity of the injury they might remove it. One reason they sometimes remove is people can have sympathetic reactions with their other eye, in which their good eye will go blind due to the bad eye being blind. Also, some people experience pain in their eye that never fully goes away. After a point, they have to determine whether quality of life is worth keeping their eye, when they can’t see out of it anyway.

If enucleation is the way they’ll go then this is the timeline (compiled from timelines/info from various sources)

**enucleation surgery takes 1-2 hours
**at the time of the surgery, they place an orb implant in place of the eye into the socket. This will never be removed. It is basically an orb which is about the size of the eyeball but doesn’t go out as far as the normal eyeball did, so that a person can’t fully close their eyelid on its own, and you can see a bit of white/red of the orb (depending on how recently their surgery was, I believe)
**most patients have a bad headache for 24-36/48 hours after surgery. they have to take a Tylenol every 4 hours to help

Note: He may have bloody tears for a bit after the surgery– this is normal.

**the patient has to wear a compression bandage over his eye for 5 days (I have seen one or two sites that say 48 hours but I think that was for kids)
**he will have to have his eye checked 5-7 days, 1 month, and every 6 months after surgery.

what he’s NOT supposed to do following surgery for 10-14 days:

**lift more than 10 pounds
**strain or rub his eye for up to 14 days following the surgery
**run the shower on his operated eye for at least 10 days
**bend forward to do things
**wash his hair with his head bent forward
**sustain any knock to the eye

he SHOULD wear glasses or an eye shield for protection when going out.

he will not be able to see full eye movement of his artificial eye in the mirror with monocular vision. the only way he could ever see that is if he videotapes himself straight on, looking in all the directions.

**He will have to take oral antibiotics for a week as well. also, later when he gets the pressure dressing off, he’ll have to use eye drops and other medications for awhile– including oral and topical antibiotics.
**2-6 weeks post surgery (and honestly most places said 6 weeks), he would be able to look into getting a prosthetic eye. those are usually painted to look like the normal eye. when a person is wearing it, typically people can’t tell or might think they have a lazy eye. minor movement of the eye, like during conversation, works well, but larger eye movements like suddenly looking to the side might have a lag in the fake eye responding.
**the fake eye is basically like a really giant, really thick contact lens which is placed over the orb implant. that orb implant will never be removed.

Note that most places say to remove the artificial eye as little as possible, so as not to contaminate it. As far as I can tell, most people leave it in for long periods at a time. As a result, for instance when he wakes up from sleeping, it would still look like he has both eyes.

However, for times when he does remove the eye, it functions like a contact lens. The artificial eye includes the iris and pupil but also a large portion of the white of the eye– it’s larger than the opening in the eyelid and fits over the orbital implant. I would have to check again how it’s stored when not in the eye but I think it was something similar to how contact lenses are stored.

((Note for ICoS readers– Boyd leaves his artificial eye in a lot so in the epilogue, for instance, it was in when he woke up and walked over to Hsin. However, for similar reasons as are highlighted below, he often wears the eye patch when he’s going to be in crowded areas or when he just feels like it. He does have scars on and around his eye from the knife wounds.))


some things people mentioned who have lost an eye and/or what the sites say is common:

**while enucleation is actually a very safe surgery, emotionally it’s difficult for people to first get used to the idea of losing an eye
**eventually he will be able to drive– outside of 20 feet, everyone sees as if they have one eye anyway
**he may experience some weird things at first, like thinking someone else is there when he sees his own hand reaching into sight from his blind side
**he will have to learn to turn his head a lot more often in order to account for the lack of peripheral vision on his blind side
**it’s pretty scary/upsetting for people at first but they grow accustomed to monocular vision within the first few months
**some people take several months or a year to adjust to monocular vision, and have a hard time doing things like even going up steps etc because of lack of depth perception, but some people said they had zero problems and adjusted immediately
**some people never get over feeling upset about it but most people said that after awhile they don’t even notice they have one eye, and most people who meet them have no idea they have an artificial eye either
**one guy said that usually he wears his fake eye when out but he will accidentally bump into people on his blind side– he’s found that wearing an eye patch makes people more sympathetic/less of a jerk because of this. (as a side note he mentioned he found it is surprisingly popular with the ladies. but usually he doesn’t wear the eye patch)

There was also one teenager on a military site forum I found who said that he’d been fired from his jobs before because people learned he had one eye. He had stopped telling people about it and they assumed he just had a lazy eye and would get hired, but then later when they learned the truth he would suddenly “not be needed anymore.” Whether there are extenuating circumstances to his situation, I don’t know, because there are protections in place for those with disabilities, however we all know there can still be violations of peoples’ rights regardless of said protections.

This is a really good blog entry by a woman who lost an eye– she has visuals to show how she puts in her artificial eye: http://preppymeetsredneck.blogspot.co…

This explains what I said in more detail and also has pictures:http://www.rbsociety.ca/ntreatment.html

Check also http://www.beltina.org/health-diction… which, again, has photos and explanations of the surgery etc.

I recommend also artificialeyes.net for post-surgery information

Regarding stab wounds:

Article: http://lubbockonline.com/stories/1029…
Stab wound to the left eye and surgical repair: http://www.anatomicaljustice.com/cmi_…

These are stories of people who have had eye loss and could help you get a better idea for what your character would be going through: http://geelen.com.au/stories-of-eye-l…

The American Foundation for the Blind also has a message board which has a lot of information from people: http://www.afb.org/messageboards.aspx

This is a previous little details question which was related to stab wounds in both eyes and had good comments: http://little-details.livejournal.com…

There’s also http://www.losteye.com/driving.htm — that’s where I got the information on driving but you can find more information at that site.

In addition, there are a number of sites out there which are for companies that make artificial eyes or eye patches, and they might have more forums, message boards, or About pages that have even more information. And there are a lot of surgical sites that show you in detail how enucleation surgery is performed, what to expect, and so on. I left out a lot of the links I had for miscellaneous real life stories and articles because I thought it might get to be too much.

8 thoughts on “Fade research: chapter 40/41

  1. Lorraine September 26, 2013 / 3:52 am

    Thanks for explaining that Boyd had an artificial eye when he woke up in the morning. I wondered why he didn’t have one. I was trying to picture it while reading and envisioned a sunken in closed eyelid with scar tissue around it.

    At the time I thought that Hsin was even more awesome for finding Boyd sexy. It’s nice to know that with the artificial eye in place the scarring would be all that marred Boyd’s face, so he would still basically look the same, (not that that detracts from Hsin’s awesomeness).

    • Ais September 26, 2013 / 4:12 am

      Yeah that whole part was difficult to figure out how much to explicitly explain and how much to try to obliquely reference. We tried to find a good balance between the two but I suspect by the time we finish re-editing the series, we might tweak the epilogue a bit to make some things more clear.

      For instance, I think on GR someone wondered about the comment where Boyd said he couldn’t ever be Hsin’s partner again and thought that meant we were saying with Boyd’s missing eye he couldn’t fight. In conjunction with the scene in I think 41 where Boyd is wondering right after he wakes up whether or not he’ll ever be able to fight/drive/ etc again, that was a very understandable interpretation. When what the comment actually meant was in the civilian world he wouldn’t be able to get into military, law enforcement, or similar fields if people knew about his eye because it would disqualify him. So, if Hsin joined those jobs, Boyd would never be able to be his partner in the civilian military/paramilitary world.

      But Boyd did start training to fight again in the interim before the epilogue. He started figuring out what had to change in order to account for his blind spot. The epilogue was in Hsin’s pov obviously, but if Boyd had been privy to Hsin’s thoughts he probably would have told Hsin not to worry about him so much because he could handle himself. But that’s probably what Hsin would tell Boyd in return when he would stay up making sure he got home. So, really, they will always just love and worry about each other and want each other to be safe and okay.

      Incidentally, Boyd has two main scars on his left side: one less visible one that arcs along his cheekbone in a bit of a curve back toward his hairline (but it doesn’t extend that far), and a more obvious line that goes almost straight up and down from his eyebrow through his upper/lower eyelid and just about to his cheekbone.

      By the way, Hsin would probably think Boyd is sexy no matter what, even if he didn’t have the artificial eye 🙂 So you wouldn’t have been wrong either way.

  2. Lorraine September 29, 2013 / 2:25 am

    “By the way, Hsin would probably think Boyd is sexy no matter what, even if he didn’t have the artificial eye” Ain’t love grand!!!

    It’s good to know that Boyd was training. I figured Hsin would want to work with him to make sure he could defend himself if necessary, (and anyway, the training scene in Vermont was so hot that I like to imagine more of the same happening). 😉

    BTW, this is fun…you’re really awesome to indulge in these chats!

    • Ais September 30, 2013 / 1:06 am

      Yeah I suspect both of them would have wanted him to be able to defend himself. Boyd definitely would have wanted to prove that things hadn’t changed forever that night in Lisbon.

      Also– I find it fun to chat about these things, too 🙂 So thanks for indulging ME! haha

  3. Fina Lau January 1, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    This is good information to know 🙂 I wouldn’t normally read something like this if not from your entry. I looked on one of the link and found a really nice illustration of how orbital implant and prosthetic eye are placed. So, that’s how it works……..

    Like Lorraine, I thought Boyd’s eye was to be a sunken hole with scar. But your explanation is consoling (yeah, you still have your look Boyd!)
    And I assumed that Boyd thinking that he can’t be Sin’s partner anymore was because of his lost visibility. I thought “That’s too bad! Can’t he get some kind of robot-cyborg kind implant or something??” LOL
    He finally gained super fighting skills, it would be a shame to just lost it again.
    But Yay! Turns out he can still fight the same. (I’m actually curious if Boyd is to fight Kassian, who will win……. :P)

    • Ais January 2, 2014 / 2:20 am

      I had actually always assumed something similar as well because in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean they always show a big round eyeball as the fake eye. But when I knew he might lose his eye I did all that research to figure out what exactly that meant and was surprised to see how much I had been misled by mainstream culture.

      I definitely didn’t want anyone to think that Boyd had somehow become weakened by it, but yeah the wording wasn’t clear at all in the epilogue. As you said, he had worked really hard to get to the level of prowess he was finally at. I think the important thing is that physical disabilities, or other disabilities, could be a partial handicap dependent on the situation, but that it doesn’t lessen the value of the person themselves. That one of the biggest issues is discrimination from close-minded people or societal rules. That was what that was meant to be referencing in the epilogue but I think it implied something else instead on accident. Oh well 🙂 It will be figured out in editing, also I plan to address that a little in the Hsin/Boyd piece of the post-Fade anthology. 🙂

      lol I actually hadn’t given any thought to who would win in a fight between Kassian and Boyd. That would be interesting.

      I’m really happy if this gave you a better idea of what’s going on with Boyd! And if you learned something new through reading this (like I did when I was researching). To be honest, the idea of losing an eye or eyesight used to completely terrify me, in part because of the assumed vulnerability of it and I happen to also have a fear of losing limbs/body parts/senses in general, but after I read up on all of it I felt much better and realized I had been looking at it all from the wrong angle previously. Which isn’t to say it couldn’t be a huge hardship or isn’t a huge adjustment or might not make someone extremely upset if it happened to them– but that it doesn’t mean the person themselves are somehow less than they were before. Just different, is all.

  4. Fina Lau January 3, 2014 / 4:26 am

    Yes, that’s exactly my first assumption about artificial eye, from pirates movies where it can be knocked about and somebody can easily loose them. Turned out that’s just made up things for the purpose of entertainment.

    I feel bad about that teenager who got kicked out from work just because the employer found out he has a disability. If it doesn’t interfere with his work why does it matter anyway. if it’s office work I don’t see the significance.

    • Ais January 3, 2014 / 5:38 am

      I think the teenager might have been working at a restaurant but I can’t recall for sure. That especially doesn’t make sense because who cares if you can see fully if your primary job is washing dishes? I felt bad for him because he had always wanted to join the military or law enforcement but you can’t when you have one eye. (That was why Boyd said he couldn’t be Hsin’s partner in the civilian world, because at the time Hsin was working law enforcement more or less)

      My friend swears she knows someone who has an artificial eye like you and I imagined from pirate movies. I have no idea what the circumstances are for that to happen. Perhaps the person got the implant long ago? But it seemed to me in the research I saw that they never do that now. Everyone mentioned orbital implants from what I saw. But who knows, maybe some people do have the sort of eye we both imagined at first.

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