17 February 2010

When my face is this sore I find it hard to look in the mirror

I am at home sick today.

Not throwing up or coughing or suffering from period pain.

When I am sick, it usually means my skin hurts. Most of the times my skin hurts, I go to work or uni, and if it's sore on the weekend, I stay rested. I'd say my skin is sore 70% of the time, and for most of it, I've just got to keep going, because I don't really want to stop.

But today my face is sore. It probably doesn't look that different, but I can feel it is.

The right side of my face has become infected. It is a bit wet, a bit hot, very tingly, and I don't much like looking in the mirror or looking at people as it's probably yellowish.

Sometimes I wish my illness was more predictable. I've been feeling a bit sore in the body since Saturday, but have been taking antibiotics to alleviate the pain. My face has not been sore at all.

But today when I woke up, it was weepy and stuck to the pillow and very sore to wash.

Last night I was pretty tired, and my face was a bit too...smooth I guess is the word, probably signs that my skin may be on its way to being sore. Even though there were these small signs, there's nothing I can do to control it - it would either be sore or not sore today.

Sometimes I really hate it that when my skin is sore, my mind still functions 100% and I can still think, write (hence this blog), read, and I actually want to do things.

This is probably a bit too much information. But as I've said before, I'm going to be honest with you. And it's so hard to explain to people how it feels, or why I can be well one day and not well the next.

I should be and want to be alright tomorrow. I've had a massive sleep in the middle of the day today, changed my bedding, and taken panadol for pain, antibiotics for infection and zyrtec for allergies. That's all I can do really.

A little over a year ago, I had a really serious bout of infection on my face. It started at the Bob Evans concert at the Toff in Town. I could feel it burning and the infection spreading while the heat from the stage lights shone down on me. I was in lots of pain when I got home. I tried my best to sleep but it was too tingly and burning to sleep. I went to work in the morning, and went home in tears about 30 minutes later. It was the sorest it had been in ages (it's not often my face is sore, usually my legs get sore, then the rest of my body). I was due to go to see Bob Evans at the Northcote Social Club that night but I had to forfeit. The first time I've ever missed out on a band due to my skin. It took another day to heal and for the next few weeks it was sore on and off, eventually leading to a week long hospital trip just before Christmas.

In hospital I had my face bandaged like a mummy. Chux cloths soaked in saline and placed on my face four times a day.

It helped get my face better, but being in hospital takes so much out of me that it took the whole 10 - 12 day Christmas break to recover. A trip to hospital can certainly rid the initial infection, but lying in that plastic bed, having a drip attached to my wrist (or where ever they can find a vein - just typing this makes me squirm) and not being in my regular routine can make my whole body/skin weak and I may end up sicker than when went in.

Here I am last hospital trip looking like a mummy. As the nurse was doing the dressings, I made it more 'fun' by taking photos of the process with my phone.

These photos make me smile and a bit sad at the same time. I guess the reality of it is hard for me and others to take in.

Fortunately today's sore face will probably (I just can't predict) won't make me end up in hospital. I will continue to rest up and tonight I will have a bleach bath.

Tomorrow should be less painful and I'll be back to looking in the mirror and at other people :)


  1. wow it must be painful!
    especially if its sore to lay your face on a pillow at night
    hope it all clears up.

    what does a bleach bath do?
    i thought we couldn't put bleach on skin?
    i dunno why i thought it would burn it.

  2. Thanks Kimberly and Cotton Socks.

    The dermatologist recommended a bleach bath. It rids infection.
    I put half a cup of bleach in a full bath of water. So it's quite dilute. It doesn't hurt it because of the dilution. But if it was straight bleach it would hurt.

  3. Carly, you rock. Being able to get on with it and be cheerful even when things are not great is such a fantastic quality. And I think I was at the same Bob Evans gig at the Toff...Shame I didn't know you back then!

  4. I hope you are feeling better now, Carly! I am not so good with words and I can be a bit awkward most of the times...I guess the one thing I want to say is, you are so brave!

    I hope that comes out the right way. :)

  5. Thanks Robyn and Bowsnhearts.

    The Bob Evans gig was great - I saw him a couple of times since. I love him.

    As for me getting on with it - I guess I just need to. It's with me for life so I must see the funny side.

  6. Thinking of you Carly, hope a good rest and bath does the trick!

    I love your honest posts. I can't believe that you are in pain 70% of the time, yet are such a positive person who shares so much of themselves with other. You are very strong.

    xx Polly

  7. Thanks Polly. I guess the pain varies though - it might be that my 'everything' hurts, or that my face is sore like today, or that I have a sore spot on my leg that is weepy underneath my stocking. So yeah, I feel pain a lot, but fortunately it is not all too bad :)

  8. You really have an amazing spirit Carly! I hope your skin feels better soon and you get some relief :)

  9. Holy crap, dudette.
    Just this afternoon I was googling how to balance out my receding chin with a hairstyle.... how thankful I am now for my painless skin and basically everything...
    Sucks that out of such an awesome thing (being in the heat from Bob evans lights) can have such long-lasting and painful repocussions.
    Love the mummy photos, the fact that you keep a sense of humour about yourself while stinging all over, I salute you.

    Keep sharing! I love reading!
    Love from Verity (Vhalcyone)

  10. Carly, your smile is inspiring! Hope you are feeling better very soon. Can you send me your email address through the link at the top of my blog? Would like to send you a note. :)

  11. You are seriously awesome.

    My ex bf has a skin condition where his body rejects it. It makes it scaly, itchy, weepy and very uncomfortable. But it's nothing like yours. I really wish I could show him your blog when he gets down so he can see how amazing you are at just living your life, and not letting anything get in your way.

    You are an inspiration :)

    I hope you feel better soon xx

  12. Hey Carly!
    I am a moderator of Blog This and I just added you to their members list.....
    I started reading your blog and I think we go a little bit back.......
    I think we follow each other on Myspace?
    I'm Miss Nicky?
    I remember your photos with Darren Hayes right!?!?!??!


  13. Hope you're feeling better Carls. It's nowhere near on the same level but years ago I had an infection in my earlobe so bad that it radiated over half my face (bad reaction to cheap earrings). I nearly lost my earlobe from it. But basically I know how much it hurts to smile when you have that sort of pain going on so it does my head in that you can stay so positive.
    *hugs* Love your attitude and wish I was more like you :3

  14. Get better! It isn't the main focus of this post but I just wanted to say that pain that isn't visible is it's own kind of terrible. Am enjoying your blog Carly!

  15. Hey everyone

    thanks for your messages :)

    I feel a lot better today though my face is still a little sore. No more infection though!

    Nicky - wow, that is such a coincidence - I was thinking about you the other day when I visited my Myspace.

    Teacup Grunge - show your ex boyf if you like. Do you know the name of his condition? It sounds really painful for him :(

    Ruby's Raiser - thanks for the compliment about my smile. Emailed you and received your email. Will write back soon.

    Kitty Express - ear infections can hurt and if they get really bad you can end up with cauliflower ear like Mohamed Ali - my ear specialist told me this and it convinced me to get rid of my cartilige earring.

    Verity - it's important to have a sense of humour!
    Glad you enjoy reading.

    Anonymous - thanks for reading. Invisible pain is hard, even though mine is visible, it's hard to explain it to people.

    Everyone's comments made me feel better :) Thank you

  16. You poor darling :( you must hate people "feeling sorry for you" but my heart aches when I read how much it hurts


  17. Hi there, you are a survivor and very brave. Hang in there. Your story inspires a lot of people, me included. xxx

  18. She wore it well - thanks for your wishes :) I don't mind good wishes, but without sounding condescending, people worrying about really minor, superficial things annoys me at times.

    Faux Fuschia - thanks for reading and feeling inspired. Hope you are well too xx

  19. I hope this never happens to you again. Geez. I want to say poor thing but somehow that doesn't suit you. I am so glad you write all this stuff, Carly, things we all either go through in our families or fear we will or are just clueless about. Please keep on because it lifts us up. After I read your blogs I say hmm that's cool or aah now i understand, but what I walk away with is that things can be okay. Ichthyosis is a godawful strong force to deal with, and you give us power over it. Thank you.


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