20 February 2010

Hospital trip

Yesterday I went to hospital.

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 :)


  1. Oh babes, hope you feel better. A&E is a shitty place at the best of times, better to be home than there.

    p.s love, love the hoodie!

  2. Wow what a horrible time you've spent, I am so sorry to hear it. I am glad you are looking and feeling so much better. I love the bear jacket, it looks adorable on you! x

  3. Ouch, sorry to hear you've not been well. Volunteers in the emergency room sounds like a great idea though. And I love the bear jacket!

  4. So sorry to hear you have been so ill again Carly. I know what you mean about emergency...I was there for five hours the other day, with an IV, and then an admission. It's good that they have those volunteers, makes it just a little bit easier. I hope you feel HEAPS better soon, keep fighting xoxo

    Jess M

  5. Thanks everyone :)

    Mez - thanks! You're right, home is much better than hospital.

    KittyCate - you should get a bear jacket too. I am going to wear mine out with other friends who want to get their own bear jacket - it will be like a teddybear's picnic!

    Robyn - I think the volunteers make for a better experience. Apparently they are short on volunteers.

    Jess M - I hear you've been unwell too :( That's not good. Hope you get better - though your fighting spirit always amazes me. I will see you soon I hope xx

  6. So sorry to hear that you've had to go to the hospital, but so glad to hear you're feeling much better now. Thanks also for sharing your experience. I've always been wary myself of letting anyone see me when when I'm at my worst.. even my family (those who understand and know me best - It's always in the back of my mind 'I don't want you to see me like this' but it's just something that can't be helped or controlled). Reading your blogs are what has inspired me and given me the incentive to post more openly about my Ichthyosis, like you say to educate. Education is the key.
    Thanks again Carly. Keep smiling and love the jacket by the way :-)

  7. Hi Carly, thanks for sharing all your pictures with us. You are really an inspiration because you aren't scared to let people get up close and personal. It's a lot braver than a lot of people (like me for example) who can't open up to anyone.

    I do hope you are feeling better and I am quite frustrated at the medical care in Melbourne at the moment. 5.5 hours wait is simply not acceptable. They are making my partner wait 1 to 3 years for a toe surgery as well. We decided that we had enough as he was in pain everyday and couldn't walk properly, so much so that he suffered muscle deterioration around his calf area. We went to get it done privately.

    I love the bear jacket as well. It's so very cute!

  8. So sorry to hear you were sick. Glad to hear you're feeling better.

    I absolutely love the jacket too- that would put a smile on anyones face!

  9. So sorry to hear that you were feeling so sick and had such a rough wait at the hospital. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and being so honest about your feelings and your illness. Your selflessness is an absolute inspiration.

    You look so adorable in that bear jacket, I think you are going to be starting a trend! Fuzzy bear jackets for everyone!

  10. Thanks everyone.

    The 5.5 hour wait/stay is quite normal for a public hospital. While it is inconvenient, I understand the priority system. I was not dying, ans I chose to go to the emergency department of a public hospital. When I did get seen to, the medical staff were wonderful.

    There may be long waits but the hospital is great, i get connected with various specialists and the dermatology team allow me to be quite autonomous with my treatment. Plus I can't qualify or afford health insurance, so I'm happy to put up with the long waits. That is what my medicare levy is for.

    Twink - glad I've given you the inspiration to share more about yourself. It is a hard decision about what and how much to share. I feel confident sharing here because my readers are very supportive. I want to be honest, but not too attention seeking. Part of me wants to direct certain people in the direction of my blog so they can see what it's really like for me. As for education, i wonder whether what we write educates people who are genuinely interested and compassionate, or whether it grosses people out if they're not really interested.

    Bowsnhearts - thanks for tee compliment re the bear jacket. I want lots of people to wear them together so it will be a teddy bear's picnic.

    Aneets - thanks! I was happy when it arrived.

    Ruby's Raiser - thanks for your wishes across the seas :) Glad you enjoy my blog.

  11. So ok, now my browser lets me comment

    Simply, I think you're amazing. You always seem to come up smiling. I could learn a bunch of lessons from you.

  12. Hey, thanks for the comment on my blog the other day. Getting recognised is so werid but fun too, I think it may start to happen to you more as your blog gets more popular. I had chronic asthma as a child and spent years in and out of hospitals, in intensive care where doctors told my mum to say goodbye (I had a collapsed lung) so I know all about long waits but how great the doctors are when you see them. I'm lucky as I have mostly grown out of my asthma, but I do get a bad bout once a year or so. You are so amazing to keep smiling through everything, a real inspiration. Hayley xxx

  13. Oh Carly, you poor thing! Sounds like a nasty experience. You have such inspiring patience to be able to deal with your condition.

    The bear jacket - adorable! And with you in it even more so. I want one!! But perhaps I'll just wear my superted ears for now :)

  14. The wait time can be pretty nasty in A&E. When I had the staf infection in my wound after my cesar I was waiting for 7 hours in A&E (with my week old baby in my arms) before they were quiet enough to see me. I had to put Toby in his harness and strap him to me because I kept falling asleep from exhaustion and I was scared I'd drop him! Lmao.
    I felt sorry for them because they were so insanely busy, but at the same time I was exhausted and very VERY sick. The whole reason I went there was because my home visit midwife said I had to go straight away and that I should never have been released from the hospital like that. I guess A&E cop a lot of the overflow from busy departments who are just plain too understaffed.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing.
    You are extremely brave and I can't imagine how you must have felt when you got sick.
    Love your bear jacket! It is sooo something I would wear in winter sitting on the sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate all cosy!

  16. Thankyou for being so brave and for sharing your pics. And I love that bear jacket and you have such a gorgeous smile :)

  17. Hi Carly, Being an sufferer of Asthma, Excema and Hay Fever, (that used to flare up all at once) I understand the frustrations of not looking or feeling your best all the time. I also understand hating the 'pity looks' received from other people who are not educated about the condition, and the hurt they generate. I often spent weeks where my Excema would flare up and I was covered in weeping, bleeding welts from head to toe. I have the scars from burst sores and where I have been unable to stop myself from scratching to remind me. The only thing that would help was oral cortisone (I am allergic to the topical form), which blew me up like a balloon, and made me feel worse, swollen and bloated. My daughter, bless her heart, inherited the conditions also. Fortunately for her, I found goats milk soap at a fairly early age, and I am able to keep it under some semblance of control. But not before the kids at school nicknamed her, 'The Fish' because she 'has scales'. I find your honesty and willingness to talk about your condition refreshing. If only there was someone like you around when I was younger to let me know I wasn't alone. Thank you, Carly. You are an inspiration.

  18. Carly - your bear jacket is Rad. You look awesome in it. I hope you are feeling better now. I'm now following your blog - you are so honest and I think that is a rare thing these days - keep it up, I enjoy reading all your thoughts! :)

  19. Hi Carly

    I'm glad that you are feeling better after your hospital trip - I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like for you to have to go through. I think that you are in fact a real life superhero (an no it isn't just b/c of your adorable bear hoodie costume either). Hope that you are having a great start to the week! :)

  20. LOVE your bear jacket!! Love your bravery too, it's not easy sharing the down times and honest pictures online, but it's worth it. People like honesty and I think when blogging to share and educate it's really important to maintain that. I have one youtube vid where, I realised the other day, it kind of looks like my boobs are about to fall out...completely unintentional and they definitely don't, but that clip has had over a 1000 more views than any other of mine! Creeped me out for a while but I've decided I just can't worry about the people who want to be perverts, I don't share my story for them, I shall just keep focused on the people who appreciate me for less primal reasons ;P

    P.S. I'm catching up late, so I hope you are feeling lots better by the time I scroll further through your posts!! :D

  21. Hey everyone

    thanks so much for your lovely heartfelt comments. I am always amazed that people are reading my blog and are taking the time to comment, and that these comments are truly lovely.

    Cecile - thank you I always smile :)

    Miss Kitty - when my bear jacket didn't arrive and I had to scrap the SuperTed idea for the party, I did consider going as SuperCarly!

    Caf - Thanks for loving my bear jacket and my bravery! I often worry my photos are going to bandied around the internet and ridiculed. It's hard to decide what's educational and what's there to seek sympathy, or to shock. Haha about your boob clip - I think (hope) it's your personality and honesty drawing viewers in, not your boobs. I am feeling better now - definitely on the mend. By next week I'll be normal again. Well normal for me :)

    Brea - I am flattered that I am an inspiration for you! I wish there had have been someone like me to tell real stories about having this condition when I was young. Cortisone - oral and topical - is very difficult - it heals skin but nasty side effects. Hope your eczema is under control now.

    Miss Aimes - thanks for reading and appreciating my honesty :)

    Lorraine - thanks for the lovely compliment about my smile. :)

    Pepper and Baxter - I am encouraging everyone to get a bear jacket. I really want to wear mine out with the hood on. Even though I am 28.

    Kitty Express - sorry to hear about your nasty A&E experience. You shouldn't have been discharged so unwell. Plus you were a new mum so it all would have taken its toll. You are right - the hospital staff are so pressured and it makes it difficult on the patients.

    Susan - thank you :) I was inspired by your SuperTed costume.

    Fashion Hayley - I think it is so utterly cool you have found success from your blog :) I have not had any strangers stop me in the street again but I met up with a few girls from the Vogue Forums yesterday and they read my blog. Sorry to hear about your asthma and health condition as a child - it must have been very hard for you and your mum. Glad to know you're doing well now.

  22. You provide such amazing perspective. I'm sorry it comes at such a cost to you but I'm grateful for your courage in sharing. Thank you x


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