A few days ago, I noticed that the tip of my nose hurt.
"Bummer." I said to Sam as he walked by. "I think I have a little cut inside my nose and it's really sore."
"I hate those" he replied on his way to find the ice cream.
I looked closely in the mirror, but couldn't see a cut. Hm. Well, whatever. It'll heal.
(2 days later)
My nose was still hurting. If anything, it was hurting more. It was actually agonizing. It hurt more than when I got my nose pierced. I was starting to get a headache from the constant ache. Every time I made any sort of gesture that caused my nose to move or - GOD FORBID - come into contact with anything, I would flinch. And then as I walked past a mirror, something caught my eye.
The end of my nose was red. And swollen.
"What the fuck!" I was not pleased by this development. I marched outside to find Sam. "Look at my nose!" I demanded. He put down the nail gun, propped his sunglasses up on his head, and leaned forward, peering intently, examining my nose from all sides.
"What? I see a little brown dot."
"That's a freckle. RIGHT ON THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE RED AREA THAT IS SWOLLEN AND BULBOUS."
He looked dubious. "Well, it's maybe a little red." He put his sunglasses back down and lifted up the nail gun. Hm. Kinda hot. It would be better if he was wearing a tool belt. And maybe a tank top or- No, stay focused!
"Ugh. Never mind. If this was your nose you would be more concerned. I am in a lot of pain, here. If my nose just falls off tomorrow, don't be surprised." I turned on my heel and headed back towards the house.
"I'm pretty sure your nose isn't going to fall off." he called after me as I stomped into the bathroom. Definitely red and bulbous. I looked like a drunk. And I hadn't had a drink in ages. It must be a sign. I poured myself a glass of wine and lay down on the sofa to contemplate life without a nose.
(the next day)
I woke up because the baby was crying. The baby had been crying every hour or two all night long, I was exhausted, bleary-eyed, and dizzy. In the dark, I stumbled over to the bassinet, picked up the baby and nuzzled him like I do every day - and almost dropped him on the floor, the pain was so extreme.
"Oh my God." I turned and went back to the bathroom where there was a bright light for close examination of what was obviously A PROBLEM.
The end of my nose was swollen and dark red. What the hell! Had I been stung? Bitten? Shit - DID WE HAVE BED BUGS????? I sat on the couch trying not to cry, because then my nose would run and I would have to wipe it. I didn't think I had the pain threshold for that sort of thing. At 7:45am I got in the car and drove to the clinic, which opened at 8am. On my way there I called and let them know I was coming. They didn't have any choice in the matter. This was ridiculous.
When the doctor came into the room, he very sweetly pretended he didn't notice my nose. I pointed it out to him. He looked puzzled. I told him how much it hurt. He turned on his little light-thingy and started shining it around up inside my nose, while I silently prayed that I didn't have any boogers. "I don't see a head." he remarked casually as he wheeled his stool back over to the computer and started typing.
(Side note: one of the great joys of being a doctor must be the fact that you get to coast around on little stools all day long.)
"A head? What head? Who's head? Ahead of what? Why does my nose hurt?"
"Cartiledge is not supposed to be stretched - it doesn't have a lot of give to it. So any time your get any sort of blocked duct and the tissue starts to swell," he looked at me "like when you get a pimple, it's going to hurt. Probably one of the most painful things I have ever experienced!" he said cheerfully as he turned back to the computer..
I sat there for a beat.
"Are you saying my nose hurts because I am getting a zit?"
"Well, I hope you get a zit - for now we are going to deal with this two ways."
Deal with WHAT? The zit? I could feel the panic rising in my throat. Oh my god, was he going to pop it? No. No no no. Absolutely no. My nose really would fall off. I was going to stand up and walk on out of here-
"We are going to use topial antibiotics, and also oral antibiotics to get rid of the infection."
The panic evaporated, and I sat there with my mouth hanging open.
"I have to take antibiotics for a zit. Seriously?"
"Yep!" He was so damn cheerful about it. "Let's clear that up. Some people use hot compresses to relieve the discomfort, but that might draw it up to the surface on the outside of your nose. Don't want to encourage that - if you're lucky it'll come out INSIDE your nos-"
"SAY NO MORE." I interrupted. "No hot compresses. Gotcha." I was mortified. I had just driven down to the clinic because I was getting a zit. This was a new low.
I got home and tossed the prescriptions on the counter. Sami raised an eyebrow.
"Uh, okay. So what's up?"
"I have a flesh eating bacteria."
"I'm kidding, I'm just kidding. I'm getting a zit. It's infected."
He stared at the stuff strewn across the counter.
"You have to take antibiotics for a zit?" he was incredulous.
"That is fucked up."
We sat in silence for a minute.
"Do they charge a co-pay to diagnose a zit?"
"YOU ARE NOT HELPING."
While I was diagnosed with Cellitis and not MRSA, I am being treated with an oral antibiotic that is used to treat some staph infections (SMZ/TMP) and also applying Mupirocin ointment. I will be following up with my doctor, and hopefully this is NOT a nasty MRSA infection. Much love to everyone for the information shared - it is important to be very aware of staph - a nasty, nasty infection indeed.
12 hours ago