Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

A Face That Launched A Thousand Ships…

…in the other direction.

I felt a sharp pain in my eye on Sunday while in the shower, so naturally I assumed it was somehow my own stupidity, getting some soap or shampoo or facial cleanser in there, though part of my brain knew it was a different kind of pain.

Monday, I woke up to discover that what had been a couple of pimples on the mend had suddenly erupted.  As in, went the other direction in a hurry. Perplexed, yes. Eye? Still hurt. Kinda red.  Kept to myself.Made it through the day, came home, did usual life stuff, went to bed. Woke up on Tuesday, to discover worsened sores, and spots that had felt sort of like pimples on the verge? Turning into gaping weeping wounds. With my eyes now sporting shades of pink and red. Covered everything with makeup, went to work, again, kept to myself as much as possible, worked through lunch again, kept on trucking. We have a big new business meeting on Friday, so there was looots to be done.  A rep friend of mine stopped by, and upon seeing me, burst out with, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

And friends? That’s the bluntness and shock I needed to hear. (Let me note for the record my husband told me I should go to the doctor on Monday.)  Because I was minimizing it like crazy. My eyes were weepy and swollen, not to mention the sores I was sporting on my nose and chin, and while I could have just seen her behavior as overreaction, I was starting to feel so bad, I conceded I could at least get myself to a Minute Clinic, once I got some more work done.

The first Minute Clinic I went to was up by Roe & I-35, Roeland Park. Technically the closest to my workplace. Annnnd it turns out, they arbitrarily closed at 4 that day. So I punted off to 75th & Metcalf, only to be told by the RPAC there, who looked at me with a little bit of horror, that she could do absolutely nothing for me, and I should go to Sunflower Medical Group’s urgent care…. back over in Roeland Park. I was almost in tears leaving the CVS, because I’d just come from there, and blah blah blah, let’s just say, things were getting a little more fragile.

Can’t say enough good things about the folks at the Sunflower Medical Group. The nurse was extremely nice, and then the doctor – oh my goodness, it was like the Wizard of Oz himself came in to see me. A slight build, bald head, glasses, quite the jovial sort, and he declared I not only had pinkeye in one, but redeye in the other. His diagnosis was a staph infection (which can then cause conjunctivitis in your eye(s)), and we’re still waiting for the test results to make sure it’s not the crazy drug-resistant strain of staph.  In the meantime, I have eyedrops and an antibiotic that targets skin, and a few more bumps and blisters have popped up.

(Confidential to the checkout girl at CVS on 79th & State Line: Staring is impolite. Staring once, given my condition, I get it. But every time I looked away? Your momma should have raised you better. And I find it hard to believe that even in my condition, I am the only stare-worthy person to come up to your register.) It was all I could do not to tell her to get her fuckin’ camera phone out and take a picture so she could keep staring after I left.

To say I’m a  little brittle right now might be appropriate. I started wearing bandages to work, since I felt a little relieved this wasn’t just “Jennifer has bad acne” but my eyes…. oh lordy, if they’re the window to the soul on normal days, mine have been the portals to hell this week. And this morning, they were so light-sensitive, I practically crawled into work, having had to stop and cry from the sunshine,  and then resume driving like a little old lady – which you KNOW I abhor doing.

Needless to say, I’m not attending the new business pitch tomorrow, and I’ll be working from home.  My part in the meeting was less than 10 minutes, actually. Still tough for me, though. I understand getting benched when you’re out of commission, but my force of will is so much that I think anything’s conquerable.  Howver, I can see how the bandaged, weepy-eyed person in the room might leave an unintended impression, too.

I’ve learned a lot about staph infections, though – you can get them anywhere, anytime, the bacteria can live on towels (and you can spread it around that way), you have it living on your skin right now, in fact. But a bug bite, or scratch, or pimple, any sort of ‘opening’ can give it a new home, and if you’re weak (stressed, low immunity, etc.) it can flourish.  In fact, I think it can even be spread through blogs, so you should really Lysol yourself after reading this. And if you comment? Bleach. Twice.


  1. mosker

    Oh, I’m so sorry! Of course, now I’m afraid to leave the house. Or to be in the house, for that matter.

    I hope you feel (and look) better soon.

  2. bekah

    Dude, this is full of SUCK. Hard core, kick you in the gut and stomp your ass SUCK. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Here’s to hoping the medicine works super damn fast and your face reverts to it’s normal safe again.

    (Also, ask that checkoutgirl to text me that pic so I can I get in on the gawking, will you? kthnx)

    Get well soon, hun. Normally I’d add a little hug symbol here but… you know, infection and all. How about a friendly wave from across the room?

    *friendly wave from across the room*

  3. Carolyn J.

    You could’ve lost your eye(s). No foolin’. Staph is not to be messed with.

    Get a general checkup again after you’re well, if you haven’t had one recently. And get well soon.

  4. Emma Dog

    Jinkies, Jen. I’m glad you finally addressed it, and you’re on your way to a (hopefully) speedy recovery. I can’t say it better than she did, so I’ll just ditto Bekah’s sentiment about the SUCK.

    Sympathy and good monkey mojo headed your way (from across town)!

    Now where’s my bleach spray bottle? 😉

  5. joyce

    Jen you give a whole new meaning to giving someone the bad eye. Lord have mercy I hope you are on the mend.

  6. Leslie

    Oh, yikes, that sounds AWFUL! You poor thing. I can’t believe you continued to drag yourself into work. I’d have said “no way” to that. Hope it’s all over soon. (Looking for the Purell bottle right now.)

  7. shannon in oregon

    glad you made it in and are on meds now.

    about to commence the bleaching.


  8. Becky

    So sorry to hear that you had to go through that, but glad that you’re feeling better. How rude of that checkout girl to be staring at you, esp. in her line of work.

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