Last night before I went to bed I covered myself in gauze strips and band-aids so as to not stick to clothing or sheets, but after a restless night of gauze slippage, I declared that a Total Fail. This morning, Current Husband walked around the corner into the kitchen, jumped and yelled "AHH!" when he saw me standing in a black strapless bra and underwear, gauze strips hanging off of me, hair up in a pony tail, groggy-eyed and taking my first sip of coffee.
CH: "Nothing, you just startled me."
ME: "What startled you? I'm always in here."
CH: "Uh, the crusty gauze strips are a little scary. Like Frankenstein."
ME: "I can't HELP this, you know."
CH: "It's time to see a doctor."
And so I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment at 11:30 a.m. today. When checking in at the front desk, the receptionist took a good look at my huge is-it-nuclear-radiation-or-is-it-herpes rash and didn't really want to take my insurance card. "OH, your copay is $45? Keep it, I'll just mark it on the chart. You can write your check here." Because obviously she expected me to come out of the office in a HAZMAT suit and unable to write checks.
I went back to the exam room and they did the vitals, and then the PA came in. She looked at my chin and very seriously went "Hmmm" and "wow".
PA: "So this is the only place you have it?"
ME: "Oh no, there's more." (I open my shirt to reveal Alaska after a statewide forest fire)
PA: (flinches and puts her hand over her mouth) "OH MY GOD, why did you wait so long to come in here! Oh my God...where else?"
ME: (lifting shirt up) "Well it's here on my stomach, and there are these strips down the sides of my abdomen, and I have it on both hips, those are starting to weep, and then I have new bumps on my arm and my thigh, and I'm concerned about these new bumps on my cheeks..."
PA: (has backed away and is writing a prescription) "You are going on some hardcore Prednisone. And the next time you get even a small bump that looks like this, you are a High Reactor - you need to call us and we will get you on something immediately. Do you understand?"
ME: "Prednisone? Will this make me blow up like Jerry Lewis?"
PA: "It is a small price to pay to get rid of it."
And then the seriousness of the situation sinks in. This woman is willing to let me look like Jerry Lewis to get rid of this stuff. Holy crap, I could look like this:
I am now moving away from this:
And getting terrifyingly close to this:
Because my understanding is that Prednisone makes you blow up like someone is shooting air into you. Hello, poolside!
The PA said, "Do you have anywhere you need to be this week?" and I said "No, this week is pretty slow." She said, "Good. I want you to wear a tube-top strapless flowy dress, with no bra or underwear. You need to let these sores dry up and heal without friction on them." Then she added, "Oh, and with the Prednisone? You'll need to EAT. And I'm not talking about a Diet Coke and a bag of crackers. I mean actually EAT something."
Okay, now tell me the BAD news. Because you are one People magazine and a Project Runway marathon away from making me the happiest girl alive.
Here is what I was wearing the day I got into the chipmunk-clearing sumac:
I am sure that I whacked the mutant poisonous evil sumac, smacked at a bug on my chin, then used my right hand to adjust my left bra strap and then pull up my shorts, thus giving me blistering creepiness on my chin, left chestal region, and right hip, and then the oils just started spreading from there. Here is my post-trauma outfit:
That's right. It's Julie Ho, Don's wife.
I just need a scotch on the rocks, rollers in my hair, and a ciggie in my fingers and the look will be complete. And? I'm not wearing any underwear. And let me just tell you that this picture doesn't even do the patches justice. There is a huge red ring around each of these darker red areas, and they are scabbilicious. And they seep oil constantly, which is why I have my hair in a ponytail, because my hair keeps getting caught in it. My God, I'm gorgeous. And the farmer's tan from gardening? Even better. Producers of Real Housewives of Iowa? I'm waiting by the phone for my call.
In the interim, I'm too sexy. Too sexy for my shirt. I hope our dinner guests Friday night have strong stomachs and enjoy eating with Jabba the Hutt, because I may just be in my Princess Leia bikini to serve.
Well played, chipmunks. Well played. You little bastards.