As you may have guessed, this past week wasn’t the greatest.
I woke up on Thursday morning (which was supposed to be a swimming morning!) with the right side of my face completely swollen. I went to the Dr., he prescribed Advil and hot compresses and sent me home. Next morning the swelling was even worse. I saw my own Dr., she consulted with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist and prescribed two antibiotics plus Advil and hot compresses. But – the ENT also said if it didn’t improve in 24 hrs I should go to Emergency and get a CT scan to make sure there wasn’t an abscess.
Saturday morning the swelling was the same but the pain was worse. Pain chewing, swallowing, yawning, just sitting there. I was exhausted. So off we went to Emergency.
It was a quiet day at Duncan Hospital Emergency. They did a CT scan with contrast, which means they inject a warm dye into you just before the scan and it shows your vascular system. It was a creepy feeling. Anyway – the CT showed no abscess, no infected lymph node (as the ENT had suspected), but cellulitis.
Cellu-who? I’d never heard of it, either. Cellulitis. Infection of the skin under the surface. And since it was on my face it was threatening all sorts of organs: lymph nodes, ears, sinuses, eyes, mouth, etc. The on-call Dr. immediately hooked me up to an IV of heavy-duty antibiotics, which would replace one of the oral antibiotics I was taking. But I am still taking the other oral antibiotic.
I’ve been back at the hospital every morning since, getting my IV of antibiotics. The swelling has gone down and the pain has mostly receded, but I have to be very careful not to overdo it. So of course this morning after we got back from the hospital I worked in the garden then made tomato sauce and chicken soup stock. And then I was so tired I slept for 4 hours. Lesson learned!
The one good thing to come out of this is that I’m really glad we have a good healthcare system, and that the staff at our local hospital are so caring and kind. I haven’t dealt with anyone rude or impatient. They recognize me now (not sure that’s a good thing), and I get through emergency registration fairly quickly.
Another good thing this week was my chat with Barbara Kingsolver on Monday. I managed to stay awake and alert enough to have a fabulous discussion that ranged from “writing while female” to how we learn to write without going to writing workshops or doing an MFA. Kingsolver was an easy person to talk to – down-to-earth, intelligent, and well-spoken. I’m looking forward to writing up my interview with her.
I also read Mary Beard’s “Women & Power,” which is actually a combination of two lectures she gave. It’s a quick read, but a good one – she introduces a number of good points about women and what power they do/don’t have, and she anchors it in her long study of the Classics – the ways in which the Romans and Greeks dealt with women. Very enlightening – especially if you pair it with Karen Armstrong’s “A Short History of Myth.”
Next week I’ll talk about something more interesting – the idea of the “unpolluted mind.” I just don’t have it in me to explore it this week. In fact, I’m going back to bed now.
Until next week!
Note: Today’s header pic is from Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain.