What would you do if your fiancé’s first worst to you on a 5 AM video chat call are “What’s wrong with your face?” I was foggy and simply replied that I had no idea. It was the morning, I was still groggy, and maybe my face just needed to wake up.

Well, turns out my face had other plans.

This was my face. It looked like I got bonked by a frying pan right between the eyes. It looks like Mike Tyson jabbed me 100 times and I didn’t put my hands up once. I looked like Sloth from The Goonies. I looked like the Sloth from Ice Age the movie. Or I looked like Gothmog.

So what the fuck is wrong with my face? I texted my two of my sisters who are in the medical field and they both hit me up with the classic questions.

  • Do you have a fever?
    • No.
  • Is it warm to the touch?
    • Yes.
  • When did it start?
    • This is actually a little bit of a long answer. Last Monday I called a dermatologist and made an appointment for TODAY (11/23) because I felt something funky in between my eyebrows. I have a little bit of a history with facial problems. About three years ago I had to get a cyst removed from my upper lip. I got plastic surgery. I am just like the celebs. So I felt something on Monday, and it was growing slowly. I was doing my best not to touch it. Traveling for work helped distract…but that was until Thursday morning. BAM! may face implodes.
  • Did you do anything to aggravate it?
    • I mean I touched it and fiddled with it a smidge, but I didn’t tackle it with a knife or anything.

So what is this? My sisters came down with this diagnosis over text: CELLULITUS.

What is Cellulitus? Great question. A generic definition is that Cellulitus is that it’s A serious bacterial infection of the skin. Usually affects the leg and the skin appears as swollen and red and painful.

HEY, INTERNET, THIS CASE IS NOT ON MY LEGS. IT IS ON MY FACE.

I go to urgent care right after I land from Chicago. Yes, I had to walk through an airport at six AM and wait at a gate while looking like an airplane actually rammed into my face. Yes, I got into an Uber and rode home with the driver looking back at me like I was an extra in The Walking Dead.

So I get to urgent care and I explain what has happened. The PA is touching my face, touching all the sensitive areas and frankly gawking at this bubble on my face. Meanwhile, I am struggling to keep my right eye open and I just want to know what is wrong with me.

At this point in the day, my face felt like a bit of grass that has water build up under it. If someone were to cut me open, there would be a flood of…something. I don’t know what…but something.

I am screaming.

So I walk out of urgent care, holding my beanie over my head, with a prescription for some antibiotics. This is a glorious day. I have still not set foot at home from landing in Chicago. I am not at the pharmacy in a line looking like a dog who got stung by 1000 bees.

I get home, make myself some Ramen Noodles to feel better and see my fiancé when she gets home. She feels terrible, and is comforting. It is very nice, but I am still riling in uncomfortableness. Perhaps just a night’s sleep will help me.

SLEEP DID NOTHING!

I got up at 5 AM to see how I was, and I was no better. The puffiness now had a tingly sensation like a centipede was crawling over my face. I called out of work (which if you know me is a major thing) and took a seat on the couch. I made a promise to myself. If I did not get better after my morning medication, I was going to go to the Emergency Room. I can not go around looking and feeling like this. Something is wrong.

So I am warm compressing my face, watching some stuff on TV, doing some writing, and constantly touching my face and checking my reflection to see if anything has improved.

As you could guess, nothing improved.

Off we are, into the wonderful ER. Rolling in, looking like dough. My eventual mother-in-law dropped me off on her lunch break (which I owe her for) and now I am among all those seeking immediate aid. I get called in, explain the situation and give the my presumed diagnosis of cellulitis. After a surprisingly short wait, I get brought into the actual hospital and placed on a gurney in the hallway.

I was in a hallway with a view, let me tell you.

Within the first 30 minutes before anything serious happens, I see a women escorted out of her room unwillingly to go to physical therapy at a different location. The only question this women was asking was, “Is smoking allowed? Will be allowed to smoke?”

Later in the day, I get to witness a drunk man brought in and put on a bed perpendicular to me. What I learned from eavesdropping was that he was wandering on the streets obviously innebriated and someone called it in. He was brought in to sober up, but before anyone could get his name, he kept on saying, “I have to pee. I have to pee.” This man could not stand up, let alone walk, so he was lying in bed fully clothed. The nurses brought him a plastic container to pee in under towels because it was the only thing they could do. This man, did not want to do that. He tried to get up no less than five times, and he failed each time. He would get scolded to sit down and pee into the container, but he didn’t care. The only thing that motivated him was a nurse giving him his flip-phone from his backpack. After this point he takes off his pants, and starts peeing into this plastic container.

Did I see this man’s dick. Yes. Yes, I did. He had a hard time landing the ship. There was some oil spillage.

Bless the medical workers. This should not be there day-to-day struggle.

So I am sitting on this bed in the middle of the hallway. The various PAs, nurses and doctors are all coming over and going through their procedures. They agree with Cellulitis, and they also agree with my inner thoughts that I need stronger meds. They get me hooked up to an IV, and to antibiotics. Then I sit for five to six hours. I am just chilling with my phone, and an IV in my arm that I am petrified to move.

I hate getting an IV in. I hate the blood work from the vein. Can I go to being a kid again where they just prick your finger? I am not good with it. Whenever anyone takes my blood, I make a point to talk too much and stare at something off in the distance with the same face as a solider who has been through 1000 wars. When that needle goes inside of me, and that IV hookup is set, I lock me arms like I am the Terminator. I am a machine that can only move in lateral fulcrum movements. I am so fucking scared to rip it out. That has to be one of this things in movies that they make look a lot easier than it really is.

While I am getting fueled up with beautiful drugs, my fiancé came by after work and joined me for the last couple of hours. That was nice. We were dominating crosswords. Our dynamic word play got interrupted by a cat scan. The one real area of concern the main doctor had was how much puffiness and fluid was around my eyes. She asked (more than a few times) if I had my vision affected. I always answered that it was just uncomfortable and that was fatiguing to keep my right eye open for extended periods.

The doctor was so concerned about my eyes because if the bacteria involved with my cellulitis got into my eyes…that it would have been “very, very bad.” I did not ask what would happen if that happened because I did not want to put that bad mojo into the universe. Thankfully the cat scan came back negative.

Super weird thing about the cat scan. They have to feed your IV thing with a special sauce (I don’t know the real name) to help illuminate the vessels and one of the side effects is that it makes your entire body warm and it a sensation WAYYYY to similar to peeing. I want to thank the technician for letting me know before hand because if not, I would have stepped up in the first minute and probably ran out of the room in embarrassment.

So where are we now with my unicorn horn? It is greatly diminished. The puffing around my eyes is gone. There is a soft bump between my eye brows that is dwindling slowly, and I will be doing a very loud and violent victory dance when I can finally furrow my brow without it feeling strange.

It was a hell of a Thursday and Friday. Don’t recommend cellulitis on your face. I wouldn’t recommend it on a whole, but specially on the face. Otherwise you’ll have medical trips to various urgent care facilities looking like a crypt keeper.


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