It was either the shortest hospital stay ever for me, or the longest wait ever.
I woke up looking like this. It's a little hard to see, but yesterday I had infection on my nose, my forehead and my cheeks.
It's been a difficult decision whether to post pictures of me at my worst on this blog.
I guess it's a little like posting nude photos of ones self. But with me I'm not sure of how much I should give away before it becomes sensationalist or gory or like the 'Weird Medical Stories' TV show.
And then there's the idea that there's a gross factor for the more perverse readers/stumblers of this blog.
I have decided to share my experiences with you as a form of education. I have not edited these photos with retouching tools, other than cropping them. I think the full face shot is too Freddy Kruger.
I guess what my face looked like yesterday is not something that we see everyday. Even I get shocked when I get this sick. Even I don't want to look at myself.
The people we are used to seeing look normal, smooth skinned, made up, beautiful. And the photos we share with the world are usually the ones we like the most, where we look our best.
This is me at my rawest. Not many have seen me like this.
I know it sounds a bit holier than thou, but because I sometimes look so yucky at my worst, it makes me so disappointed when I hear people worry so much about their image when they look absolutely fine.
It took three face-washes before I felt and looked comfortable enough to go to work.
I was very sore the whole time I was at work. I can't really explain the pain - it hurt when I raised me eyebrows, smiled, touched my face, when the wind blew... and so on.
I decided that after three days of face infection, I should go to hospital.
I told the lovely triage nurse in emergency I didn't want to stay in hospital. Unfortunately there were no dermatologists on duty, so I had to wait to see a regular doctor.
I was there for a long time. For five and a half hours.
The pain I felt on my face, the shivering I was experiencing, and the anticipation of a hospital stay made me very fragile. Even though I've done this so many times, it's still difficult to get sick like this.
Fortunately one of my good friends was working so she spent some time with me after her shift, and this cheered me up.
It was good to talk to her, despite being in hospital. And I take comfort in knowing I can look my worst around her and still be accepted.
The emergency ward can be a lonely place on ones own.
Here is me in the bed after I had eaten a rice cake. The cheesy coating went over my face like a powder puff. We couldn't stop giggling.
When I finally did see the doctor, I received an IV shot of antibiotics. This is an every day procedure for some, and I know it's not too severe in the scheme of medical procedures, but I really don't do needles very well. The inflamed skin combined with the tension of knowing I'm going to have a needle makes for very hard to catch veins.
The hospital now has volunteers in the emergency ward - to talk to patients, to bring them magazines and to make the experience better for them. I had a nice lady hold my hand and she made me think of good looking guys and shopping when I had the needle. I think at one stage, me squeezing her hand was more painful than when the needle was being inserted in my other hand!
The IV antibiotics made me feel a lot better, and I am now on stronger antibiotics than the ones I took throughout the week, plus some cortisone ointment for my face.
After my hospital trip, I feel and look 200% better.
When I got home last night, I bought Indian takeaway and found a parcel on my doorstep. It was my bear jacket.
A week too late for the party, but it certainly made me smile.
Thank you to everyone who sent their wishes and helped me out. I appreciate you so much :)