Death by Puffy Face
While hanging out with Ben, my entire neck throbs with whiplash-like pains for no good reason. My glands must have been flipping out. Once at my mom's, she begs me to go to instacare so I don't get the rest of the family sick when they're over for the holidays. Ugh. I take myself, I end up seeing the same doctor that stitched up Ben's leg after my snowboard sliced him, strep test comes back negative, she gives me a prescription for gargle stuff to numb the pain in my throat. I'm so terrified that I'm going to swallow the stuff that I accidentally swallow some the first time I use it.
I wake up looking like the picture above (if you can't tell what's wrong, red face and puffy on the right side). I call my mom, half crying, half choking on my insanely sore throat, I try to explain to her what I look like and beg her to tell me what's going on. She says Em's sick too, so my mom and dad come pick me up and take both Em and I to instacare. It's hilarious now that I thought this first day was bad. Em tests positive for strep, I baffle the doctors and am given a prescription and told to keep gargling, take 4 ibuprofen every 6 hours, and it wouldn't hurt to take benadryl and claritin too.
I am not sleeping well, my face burns all night. I literally sleep with an ice pack on my face all night. I actually went to bed with hopes that I would see improvement, nope, way worse (picture above). Again, call my mom with the voice of a teenage girl trying to bear her testimony at camp, and now she sounds worried. She's at the dermatologist with Em, she gets his advice, and makes an appointment for me later that afternoon with him.
Ben kept me company and let me slaughter him at Boggle. (Side note: Has anyone seen the Conan commercial where he's acting like a nerd and he shakes his finger and says, "I play boggle!" makes me laugh really hard every time ... cause I'm a boggle nerd.) I'm way embarrassed to look half Amy half Sloth from Goonies in front of Ben, but it was so nice to have him with me. When I was laughing that I might not make it through this, he scoffed and said, "Yeah, death by puffy face," and when asked to promise that he would make sure they cover my bad side at the funeral, he promised they would cover the good side.
Dermatologist was so attentive and talked so fast. He told me to stop taking all medicines, wrote me a new prescription, gave me free samples of a $200 face lotion, and told me I had to call him in the morning better or worse. He said if it was worse, I should go get an IV of antibiotics. Friend for life, he gave me hope.
This was my most public appearance all week, and it was so depressing. Pretty sure I scared a little girl in the elevator, pretty sure people thought I was in the building for cosmetic surgery, pretty sure they were all thinking, "Whoa, she needs it."
No pictures, way worse than day three. If only there were pictures.
I drive myself to my parents, dreading every stoplight where someone will have the chance to look over at me. I call the dermatologist's office, leave a message, and wait until I hear from him to see what I should do. While laying on the couch, Jay continues to wander downstairs now and then, and with me right next to him, whispers to my mom, "How she doing?" My family was starting to write me off.
An hour later, I hadn't heard back. I asked my mom to call again so they didn't have to listen to shaky girl's voice again on the phone. We wait. I finally confess to my mom that I feel terrible, and I just want to go get the IV. She's got a lunch date with her mom and sisters and brothers-in-law; I'm ruining everyone's Christmas. I want to go soon so she can still get to her lunch fun. Right before we head out the door, the dermatologist calls back and tells me to go in right now and to call him afterwards. So kind.
Em and my mom and I go back to instacare.
The nurse, "Whoa, how long has your face been like that?" Vitals continue to be great and I continue to show that I don't have a fever. Pretty sure I did though at one point. Cold sweat, chills, then so hot you feel like you're going to puke, that's a fever right?
The IV = yikes. The nurse stabbed my right arm, but bent the plastic tube, "You have tough skin!" great, now I feel like an alligator. New nurse came in and stabbed my left arm, yowser, that did not feel good. I'm talking like crazy through the entire process and not looking trying to distract myself, and I realize I'm going into way too much detail about how Ben and I watched I Shouldn't be Alive, and it was about a boy who got attacked by a bear on a hunting trip ... "And he was alone, and it was dark, and it started to pour, and his thigh was flayed open, and here I am complaining about a puffy face ..." all said in a voice that was way too high and way too fast. The dang nurse agreed that I shouldn't be complaining. Em said I was being hilarious the entire time.
After the solution dripped its way into my system, they left the plastic catheter in, wrapped up my arm, told me to be careful not to pull it out otherwise they'd have to do put it in again, and see you again tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and possibly the next day (Christmas).
I laid on my mom's couch all day terrified that I was going to pull that dang thing out, terrified that I would never get better. I sunk into a deep depression thinking about my ugly face. I felt like a fool after watching multiple episodes of Fatal Attractions, a stupid show that quickly sucked me in about people who keep dangerous animals that end up attacking them.
My sisters did all of my Christmas shopping for me, my dad gave me a blessing that morning, I needed to focus on how great everyone was being.
Pictures below. I'm better! I still look ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as day four! Everyone at the clinic comments that I look better, later at the pharmacy after my prescription gets changed again, the pharmacist tells me I look so much better. I am told I don't need to go in for another dose of IV antibiotics on Christmas. Huzzah!
I feel good enough to attend my Grandma Bateman's Christmas Eve party, where no one comments on my face. Actually, my Uncle Mark asked if I had hay fever, and my mom just confessed that my Grandma thought I had cellulite on my face. Oh Grandma.
Almost all puffiness gone except for some lingering around my eye. I have a burn under my eye that my mom thinks came from a fever. At dinner, Em said, "You're back!"