Rotten Head

Small Z has always been germ-averse. Always. I have taken great joy over the years watching her flinch when someone coughs or sneezes nearby. So of course, when a kid she’d spent all day with at school commented at the end of the day that she’d had a horrible day because of a sore throat, she ran screaming from the school bus at a quarter to four, “I’m going to get sick because of that stupid idiot, noooooooo.” Cue: ingestion of raw garlic and vitamin c tablets.

It didn’t help. Two days later she was home from school; headache, sore throat and snot overload. She was trashed for five days. At which time it took down Small DB – who always gets these things harder and for longer. Then it was me. STUPID SCHOOL PETRI DISH MANKFEST. I was so mad. I felt gross, couldn’t work at the organic shop. And then what happened?

I choose to give you the long version. Luna wakes me in the mornings, between 6.15 and seven o’clock. If I choose to remain in bed she, in her turn, chooses to crazy dance across the bed while I shelter under the blankets with only my nose out for air. ERROR>ERROR>ERROR!

Naturally my nose is what her claws are able to access as she tries to make her point [boom, boom!]. I have scratches on my arms and hands from her that take a while to heal, but are not problematic, but the scratch on my nose… starts to look infected. I douse it with tea tree oil, antiseptic cream… ANTI-SEPTIC. You would think that might be helpful. But no.

The cut remains. It doesn’t look crazy. But I begin to see almost imperceptible discolouration above my upper lip, and near my lower lip on my chin. The same areas that succumbed last time. “I’m scared,” I tell M. “I think I might be returning to the land of PIZZA FACE.” He looks wary. After two days I can feel throbbing under my skin while I lie there in the night. This is Monday. I make an appointment to see a doctor, but can’t get an appointment until 12pm in two days time.

I have antibiotics left over from last time – the ones that finally fixed it – but I’m resisting taking them because the dermatologist who examined me said that if it ever came back, I needed to get a swab taken before beginning any medication – that way they could identify the infection. As soon as you antibiotic yourself, whether with ointment or pills, the swab will grow nothing – which is what happened previously.

Desperate to avoid PIZZA FACE I went into the clinic a day early and asked if a nurse could do the swab so I could begin the clindamycin. The woman on the desk said that wasn’t possible, but obviously saw my look of despair and moved my 12pm appointment the next day to 9am so that the swab results would be back the same day. Thank goodness. By the time I got through the next night and made it back to the clinic for my appointment my upper lip and chin were oozing yellow disgusting mank and I felt like I was walking through treacle. Fighting infection makes my body t-i-r-e-d.

Struck gold with the GP, who was both young and thorough (and Scottish – so the audible aspect was good as well) – swabs were done, as were full blood tests and extra clindamycin prescribed. So here I am now, housesitting (that’s another story) with a face that is slowly improving, but still feels tight and chapped and wrong. But the king sized bed, dishwasher and washing machine are all assisting in raising my mood.

Not a boat.
Not a boat.

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