People in this day in age would call this photo a “selfie”. Basically…what that means is, that I took a close up picture of myself posing!
In this particular picture, I'm not trying to lure you into reading my blog by using these bedroom eyes, like I usually do. This time I want you to focus on the large red PAPULE that is beneath my lip on the left side of my face……. I just want to scream “HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING”!?
When I woke up and saw this “big daddy”, I was horrified! It looked like I had been hit in the mouth with all this swelling….only it has a pustule on the tip! Naturally, I thought it was just a pimple…again. But, as I do with most things in my life, I started worrying that maybe it wasn't JUST a pimple. After all, I'm too old to be getting these, and this one is burried pretty deep into my skin.
Could it be more? Is this my body's reaction to a much bigger problem? Should I be seeking the help of a medical professional?…
Well, I made the stupid mistake of looking it up on line…. Yahoo medical answers..or something like that.
During my research, I found so many things it could be. It was clear that this certainly was no pimple. Even if the doctor says its a pimple (after I get a thorough medical exam and lab draws), I've decided I'm going to start using different terminology.
I'm tired of apologizing to people for having to look at my acne when they are trying to make good eye contact, during a conversation with me. I'm tired of covering spots on my face with my hair, my hand, or my tongue when I talk, so people don't have to look at these monstrosities!
I decided today I would start using the word folliculitis, and start holding my head high again. Somehow, when you have a diagnosis, people feel sorry for you and it's accepted. Im going to use this terminology ALOT around my loved ones, in hopes that if someone's gossiping about my chronic acne, that they will put this to rest by saying something like… “You guys shouldn't talk about her like that, she has something called ACNE VULGARIS, which is a disorder of her pilosebaceous follicles. What your seeing is just a small case of folliculitis, which is a side effect of the disorder”!
VOILA! In an instant, instead of being the butt of people's jokes, I will again be in their prayers!
BUT WAIT! What if this wasn't my real diagnosis? I hadn't exactly been examined! Then my brain started really thinking… What had I done in the last few days that could have caused this?……I GASPED! No, it couldn't be!…
A couple of days ago, I had been using a rusty razor to shave my legs. I didnt realize it until it was too late. Could I have cut myself without knowing, causing a systemic infection, that is now manifesting itself in my follicles? I immediately thought, I could be in real trouble!
I went right back to view the online medical answers to my questions. Turns out, rust can harbor bacteria that causes tetnus (Clostridium tetani for advanced users)! It enters through a deep wound and produces tetanospasmin which messes with your nervous system, causing muscle stiffness and spasms…. These symptoms are capable of occurring within 24 hours!!!…
I did feel a little stiff in my shoulders! Plus I thought I smelled clostridium when I was lancing my wound this morning! Luckily, before I got too carried away, I read on. It would be hard to get this bacteria on my razor in my house, because its found outdoors in soil, dust, and animal feces.
I was starting to relax, until I remembered that I recently went on a week long camping excursion!! Could this be the razor I took? And if it was, I couldn't rule out that a raccoon, or a random bird or chipmunk didnt get in my bag! I'm sure all it takes is one dropping!!
After reading on, I learned that it would really be rare for these circumstances to ever arise, and that rust itself is not dangerous. After all rust is just oxygenated iron!….. I don't know what that means exactly or the what the safety implications are….. BUT, if I live through this lesion…..
I've got a new name for my band….. “The Rusty Razors”!