Does your face hurt?

It started with a bite. A mosquito bite on the back of the leg that seemed like nothing at all. But then came the swelling, the reddening, the blackening. Then came the daily trip to the doctor to change the tube in the leg. The daily change of soaked bandages. The inability to walk without leaning against walls and pain medication. Super antibiotics. Night spent sleeping in a chair because lying down hurts. A heating pad and long soaks in the bath.

Every movement of the leg tears the muscle where the infection has woven itself. But eventually it heals, and there is a purple, twisted scar.

This is MRSA staph. I’ve had it on my legs twice, my arm, in my ear, on my scalp in three places, and now on my face. Only by now I recognize it before it turns black. Now I go to the doctor before it becomes a volcano. My hair falls forward just enough to hide it as long as there is no breeze.

Well, this may be the regular staph. I’ve had that too. But they didn’t cut it open this time to take a culture. I caught it early enough, so there is just bactroban and antibiotics.

It is under control today. Looks like bad pimple today and I’ll go to IF+D today to make art and meet people. Before I couldn’t stand the idea of meeting anyone with this mark on my face. Will people want to buy anything from you if you looked diseased?

Vanity is a terrible thing. My father used to say, “Does your face hurt? Cause it’s killing me.” My face does hurt, and I’ve gotten little work done.

How productive have you been lately?

18 thoughts on “Does your face hurt?

  1. Oh, Marta, I’m so sorry! I had no idea the infection you were talking about was so bad. I should have sent good wishes sooner and often. Can you put a little round band-aid on it, would that make you feel better while you’re out?

    Hope it heals quickly.

    1. No reason you’d know. I debated writing about it–but it is obsessing me a bit and had to be put to a page. Makeup and Veronica Lake hair (ha! sort of) got me through the day!

      And it is healing. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  2. Goodness I’m sorry. That’s AWFUL. I didn’t realize when you tweeted about staph loving you it was something so serious. I’ll say a prayer for you.

    Get better soon. My uncle used to say nasty things like the “does your face hurt” remark, but he’s a moron so I never really considered him anything but just that. And I’ve been VERY productive lately. The #fridayflash piece I’ve posted is just the tip of the iceberg for me.

    Good luck today with sales and art!

    1. Thank you, Darc. It will get better–I just try, yeah try, not to think how this is going to be what kills me when I’m an old lady in a nursing home. I’ve seen the future and it is staph.

      I don’t think my dad meant to be mean, he just doesn’t think about what he says. He thinks it is funny, so… It is probably wildly silly and immature to wish he’d called me princess instead.

      And good for you! That is happiness. Keep writing! The iceberg is huge.

  3. I admire your perseverance Marta. Staying creative in the face of pain, illness, or hits to one’s vanity (like my bad haircut!!) takes courage and tenacity, which you seem to have in spades.

    p.s. I LOVE the snowflakes.

      1. JES hates the snowflakes


        Clearly I’m the only person in the room with a 5-year-old computer: the snowflakes slow it to a craaaaawwwwlllll. When I comment here during the holidays, I’ve learned not to look at the screen while I type; it’s too distracting to hit a key and see the corresponding character show up… 1… second… later…

        (While the above is true, please don’t change anything about the snowflakes. That’s faux/teasing/Grinch-style grumbling there. :))

  4. Oh I’m so sorry you’re having to cope with this! There is nothing good about staph. I’ll say a prayer that your healing happens quickly, and that things don’t get worse.

    And good for you for putting on a brave face and going out to make art and meet people. And I’m sure you don’t look “diseased.” Good luck with sales. 🙂

  5. Jingle

    for some reason, i ended up here, glad to see that you have a sense of humor, and doing well, better day in and day out.

    Hope that you have a great weekend.

  6. I had a weird staph infection a few weeks back, on a finger. But I SWEAR I didn’t touch anything when visiting here… Wait — well, I DID use the water fountain. But that shouldn’t count, right?

    Kidding again. Seriously, sorry to hear about the problem. Vanity is indeed a terrible thing, but another way to look at it is if it really completely incapacitated you, you’d never have become a writer and artist. At one level or another, we’ve got to be among the vainest people on the planet. (We’re just, haha, terribly neurotic about our vanity.)

    Unrelated to my staph infection, I have this intermittent “situation” which occurs on four fingertips — three on one hand, one on the other. I’m told by a couple of doctors whose opinions I paid for that it’s eczema, maybe it is, I don’t know. I don’t know anyone else with eczema, although I’ve heard about it. It’s just very difficult for me to believe that something as common as eczema has no real cause and no real cure, just treatments at the time it flares up. (The skin gets rough and dry, often cracks. It’s really not that noticeable itself, but it stings like hell.) The treatments all involve wrapping the area with a bandage of some kind. Because I’m vain, too, I tend to avoid using Band-Aids — too bulky, too visible. Instead, I use this prescription medicated tape, which is thin and translucent. If I had the eczema on a nice flat area the tape would be ideal, but on the hard-to-wrap fingertips… As I talk to people, or point out things on their computer screens at work, I can see the barely-controlled flick of the eyes finger-ward.

    (Misssy M currently has a funny post up about vanity, btw — she’s gotten braces.)

    Oh, don’t ask about productivity. I’m writing — that’s the important thing, I guess — but have felt VERY unproductive for a few weeks now.

  7. Miriam

    How awful! I’m glad it’s getting better.

    Productivity has been a bit low of late. It’s time for a list. Tonight: clear up kitchen, wash clothes, iron, write list of things to be done this week. Hope that helps.

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