Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ugly Herpes Lip

Without preamble: I found out this weekend that I did not escape childhood without being afflicted by the Herpes virus. Don't worry, there are no pictures. I wouldn't do that to you.

My mom used to get cold sores or fever blisters all the time, but I don't recall ever getting one until now. Unfortunately, I found out what was going on a little bit late.

Friday evening, we had plans to go see the Superman moving, and we got chicken wings for dinner. Jamie made me my special toned-down Buffalo wings. I've recently discovered that I now love Buffalo sauce, but it's still a bit too hot for me, so he does something to ease the hotness. 

I thought maybe I'd burned my lip. Those wings were still kind of hot from the oil, but surely I'd have noticed burning myself bad enough to blister my lip? Then I thought Jamie had used a different sauce for my wings, and maybe I had finally discovered an allergy to something. After all, I'm pretty sure I'd have noticed a wing leaking lava-temperature frying oil onto my lip. By then my bottom lip definitely had a gigantic blister over the whole textured center of it, and the whole middle was swollen I'd say times 3. Still, a cold sore never even crossed my mind.

The next morning, it was clear this thing was not a burn or an allergy- which I figured would have subsided by now. Maybe it was one of those things my mom used to get. I spent the whole day still kind of hoping things would get better, wishing it didn't hurt. Then Sunday Jamie got me Campho-Phenique on his mom's recommendation. I drowned this thing in that gel. It stings like someone is poking me with needles when I put it on, but then finally there is that blessed numbness that at least dulls the pain for a while, even if it doesn't stop completely. 

Monday things were almost pain-free and maybe the giant sore was smaller? Grunt and I biked to Petsmart. He was still itchy from our trip to Florida, and Sunday night I'd finally actually seen a flea. We went to get him some Frontline. Oh my gosh, is that a rip-off if I ever saw one. They don't sell in anything but 6-dose packaged, and they cost A HUNDRED DOLLARS!! I love my dog, but screw that! There is now a generic form of Frontline, still with the Filpronil ingredient, made by Sentry. I went with that one, but I still had to buy 6 doses. I put one on Grunt before we even left the parking lot. Only after I got home did I think what an idiot I was. Of course, had it WAY cheaper. Good going idiot girl.

Grunt ran all the way to Petsmart and back, without riding at all. We came home at a much slower trot, but he did it. He was still letting out happy howls periodically too, which said to me that he wa still having fun, and wasn't too tired to ride as long as I was willing to go slower for him. Going to the store, I stopped to let him drink from the stream, and he waded in it a little bit to cool off. Coming home, we had a longer potty stop at the park and he did some exploring along the creek with me in tow as he followed his nose.

Tuesday my lip hurt again, no matter what I did, but yes, it's definitely getting smaller. The swelling finally went down, but things were as visible as ever because the sore would turn bright white beneath the gel. That night I could kind of close my mouth to sleep. Until then I'd been open-mouthed the ENTIRE time. I was producing drool like a puppy dog sitting in front of a hot dog cart, which was highly annoying, having to swallow constantly. Ever tried to do that without closing your lips? You sort of screw up your chin like a big giant pout in order to suck your top teeth against the lowest part you can of your lower lip to get all that stupid extra drool in the right spot so your tongue can do its swallowing thing. Makes your face ache to do that all day long. 

Eating was a chore in opening wide to get the small cut-up piece of food into my mouth without letting anything touch my bottom lip, then using my tongue and upper lip to get it off the fork, and then chewing very carefully, trying not to drool or let anything fall back out of my open face. All while trying very hard not to be rude and make awful noises. Drinking? Oh no. There was no way I could put a cup near this face. I am VERY glad we save straws. Still, I can't use a straw normally either. At first I tried using one in the corner of my mouth, but then I figured out that just curling my tongue around the end of it, along with my top lip, works much better.

I would like to know how a lip can be simultaneously numb and stinging with pain at the same time? It's numb almost like a piece of tape were stuck to it or something, but it aches somehow with an internal stinging, and then a different needle-like stinging if I disturb things. It's weird. Also- how is it that my cold sore started as one great big giant blister, and covered the entirety of the textured part of my lip only, when everything I've read about them says they start as small tiny blisters or clusters of them that merge into one big one, and they are usually always at the edges of lips? Mine has also never once itched at all like I read it would. My blister was gigantic, but it never weeped as much as I would have expected it too, if it had popped or cracked open. Maybe it did it overnight? But then I'd have woken with crustiness when the liquid dried...

Sorry if this is gross, but the title did say specifically what this post was about.

Wednesday was Jamie's day off, and he convinced me to skip Bike Bight and spend the evening playing video games with him after we had a very tasty dinner. He cooked meatballs with a delicious tomato sauce.

Today is Thursday, and my lip hasn't gotten back to the wonderful pain free-ness of Monday, but the sore continues to get a tiny bit smaller every day. It might not take up my entire lip anymore? Maybe that is an itty bitty sliver of textured lip color showing at the bottom? Today I woke with my lips closed again, but there was a sharp point in the scab. I've been putting on the gel, and then whenever I need to put on more for the lovely numbing effect, I'll VERY gently wipe at my lip to take off the very white extra stuff. It's incredibly gross. Apparently the term is "sloughing", as in, my sore was sloughing off the extra scab which wasn't protecting the wound, and this could happen because I was keeping it soft with the gel. Yay me? But oh so gross. This morning, though, after the initial gelling to soften the overnight crust, I wiped very gently and the entire thing came off. I was incredibly surprised. That part didn't especially hurt, but then there was bleeding, and I had to put more gel on it... and THAT was possibly the worse it hurt the entire time. Until the numbing kicked in. Boy did it seem to take forever that time.

Of course, I got a call to substitute for a bus route today. I accepted. I'd told myself previously that if supposedly 98% of the entire world's population had this virus, then they should all know what a cold sore is and there was no reason for me to be embarrassed. Hey, at least it was a more reddish lip-color now instead of bright neon white- that was a good thing. So out into public I went, this time among people I actually know.

The route was seriously easy with only a few stops. There were two buses for the school, and they'd just changed the routing around, so an administrator made certain everyone was where they needed to be. I didn't even have to pre-trip the bus, since this was in the afternoon and that bus had been driven in the morning. The kids looked like they were maybe 6 or 7 years old, middle elementary, little bitty guys. They were all SO ADORABLE. Relatively well-behaved too. 

I love kids. They were not shy at all about asking the very obvious question of what was wrong with my face. They did so very politely, in my opinion. I very briefly explained that it was a sore caused by some germs, and if they ever saw somebody with sores on their mouth like mine, to not share cups or eating utensils with them, and make sure they wash their hands all the time until the sore gets better so the germs aren't passed on to anyone else. That was the end of it, curiosity satisfied, and they all chatted with each other happily until their stop. Did I mention that they were adorable?

Now that I'm back home, I haven't put on any more gel. I put on gel in the bathroom at work, but the 30 minute bike ride seems to have made it disappear. The scab dried out sort of smooth, and moving doesn't make it crack or anything. It doesn't especially sting like needles anymore, just that underlying ache. So I guess I will ignore it and let it do it's healing thing by itself now that it no longer seems to need my help. 
I hope it goes away quickly.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We've been up to Fun!

This summer has been off to a great start! First, our vacation, and now, Grunt and I are up to bikey fun. Bike Night is the main event, of course. Last week the theme was Reggae. A Google search with that word shows a lot of images with red yellow and green. So I wore a green shirt and a yellow sweater over it, and a red bandanna. All i really knew about Reggae is that it's got something to do with Jamaica, so i also braided my hair all crazy, since you will never see me in dreadlocks.

WHEEE! Crazy fun.

I found out on that ride that I really don't care for Reggae music. I didn't realize it was so... slow. Kind of boring to me. Jamie tells me I like it in a modified version called inventively enough: alternative Reggae. Oh well.

Look we passed on the bike ride!

I definitely want to go to a race, especially if there are more crazy awesome bikes like this one!

I love coming home from bike night.

Then, I had a field trip! I took a summer camp class to Hover Park. They went crawdad fishing in the creek. I had brought a book, and I spent the entire day happily reading in the sunshine, stretched out in the grass with my new sunglasses on. After I warmed up, I took advantage of their great big gallon of sunscreen. I've never seen it in an amount that large! The pump nozzle on top was very convenient. 

At one point, I sat there untangling three of their fishing poles. They were made of dowel rods with yarn tied to the end, and a paper clip for a hook. Their bait was chunks of hot dog. I heard the kids name one of the crawdads King Craw, because it was enormous. I don't know if they ever did catch that one, but they sure tried.

The best part was a snack planned for the end of the day. The teachers declared the area around the grill off limits, and they baked bananas in tin foil, after slicing them down the middle and shoving some chocolate chips and mini marshmallows into them. They gave me one too! 
She called them Banana Boats.

And this is what they look like after you've scooped out the soft yummy insides. Little banana canoes! The only thing that would have made that day more perfect is if I'd had a blanket to lay on.

I still wanted to bring Grunt to Bike Night, but he wasn't really ready yet. He showed that he was willing to run next to the bike, and I wanted to test him out on a real ride. I decided we should go to a park really close to home- only 1.3 miles away. It would be a nice short trip to start out with, and there was a creek that Grunt could drink from and stand in.

He did great! After a bit, he howled less, but he did that for quite a while. My favorite part was when we went through the underpass tunnel- he broke out howling again and it was incredibly loud and echoed awesomely.

At the park. Yay for a wet butt to stay cool. I found out Grunt isn't a fan of swimming. He avoided deeper water even though he could see me standing in it. There really wasn't a great place to go in and out of the creek- it was rather steep. Next time, we'll go to the waterfall, where there is a nice big shallow part before the falls.

He was tired on the way back. 
Grunt ran a full mile back home. When I stopped to offer him water, he sat down. I had him jump in the trailer. When we took off, he howled objections like always, but then he got quiet and seemed to enjoy the rest of the way home. Success! I thought.

I substituted last-minute for another field trip. We went to a mini carnival in one of the fairgrounds buildings. I decided to take myself out of the rotation for tip assignments. I highly enjoy them, but as soon as I've been assigned a trip, it hangs over me in an odd way. I worry about what day it is because I don't want to miss it. 

Tonight, Grunt and I went to Bike Night! 
With that first ride having gone so awesomely, I sort of had expectations of similar behavior for this trip. Grunt ran so happily to get there. He ran constantly for 3 whole miles. Then we got to a road that had the tiniest of sidewalks- not enough room for the trailer, much less enough room for him to run beside me too. I had him get in, and I successfully pedaled us BOTH up the hill. Hooray!

Grunt spent most of the ride howling. We tried to start out with him trotting alongside, but it was pretty clear that he was tired. Turns, out, he wasn't tired enough to stay quiet. I was embarrassed, but it was also fun. I mean, he didn't sound like he hated life, he's just a Beagle, and Beagles howl. It's what they do. We stayed at the back of the bike parade, and everyone kept saying it was "awesome". I gave up trying to tell him to be quiet. It felt stupid when the moment later, someone might be "talking" to him anyway. As far as I can tell, no one minded his near-constant happy howly noises.

Grunt rolled in the grass during the park pause, and then again quite joyously at the end. He was ready to run some more on the way home. He made it a mile before Jamie called, off of work. He was on his way home and wondered if we'd beat him there. The answer was no, but Grunt had been slowing down noticeably. I had him hop in the trailer again and we zoomed down the hill. He'd run another mile. He howled some more, but then sort of lapsed into silence with periodic outbursts of one or two howls.  One of those outbursts actually startled me, and I had to laugh at him. 

I think Grunt's favorite part of tonight's trip, other than getting to roll in the grass, was the sausage at the end.

I can't wait to see what other kinds of fun things happen this summer!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Florida Vacation

I had a bunch of stuff written out about our trip, but I decided it was boring, and incorrect anyway. My memory sucks. Instead, here are some pictures with narration instead.

FRIDAY, May 24th, about 5:30pm

The boys got the front for the most part. Occasionally I would drive, and sometimes Jamie stayed back here so he could sleep stretched out.

Grunt is spoiled. See how he gets 2/3 of the whole backseat?


Being funny. Grunt was desperate to bring his toy, so finally we said yes (he ignored it the whole trip, I guess he just wanted to pack his things too). The froggy is riding his collar, and did so for about 5 minutes until the mount got sleepy again. Grunt thinks car trips are boring too.

Sonic Drive-In for dinner.

Grunt is hungry too!



Dawn. Still going to Texas.

The pass-though in the seat to the trunk was kind of handy.

I never get tired of seeing these. I might have to put mini wind flowers in a garden someday. I wonder if I can get solar ones, so they spin all the time, like those creepy flowers that dance constantly in the tiny pots?

Guess where we went for breakfast.

Egg in a basket.

Grunt doesn't eat on road trips. I learned this in the exodus to Oregon, and this time I decided to not even try. He ate what we ate, for the most part. 

Yay a jawbreaker! This one is on a stick for handling convenience.

Jamie and one of our friend's "rats on stilts". She has 2 Italian Greyhounds. They are all at once creepy in their boniness and adorable in face expressions and jumpiness. BOING!!! We had yummy pizza lunch in Texas.



Guess where we stopped for breakfast.


I got the front so Jamie could nap.

After nap. Awwwwww.

Grunt gets the scent of Florida!

Florida woods.

YAY! A yard!!!

Spent with Grandad.


The patio of Moe's, a Mexican burrito place like Chipotle. It's built in what was first a McDonald's, where I used to work in high school.

We had Moe's burritos, or in my case a taco salad, on the way to the West coast to visit Jamie's dad.

Jamie's dad works at Buca di Beppo, so guess where we ate dinner?

The only picture of our roommate that is available. 

Ugly duck that lives in the retention pond. We stood in the backyard and threw it some stale bread.


On the way to the beach!

There was a lot of wrestling going on. It didn't stop even in the water.

And sometimes wrestling results in injury. Jamie's dad thought he poked him in the eye. Jamie's reflexes work!

Finding a seafood lunch.

In the fish tank of the Wharf, where we ate. We had their varieties of fish tacos- delicious! I forgot to get a picture before devouring commenced.

Cute bathroom :)

Back at dad's house...

We went back to Grandad's that night, stopping on the way to have dinner with my Grandma and Aunt Maryellen. We had Sonny's Barbecue, which could not have been more perfect. Sweet tea, corn fritters, mm mm mm. I gave Grunt my ribs- I would not recommend the dry rub variety.


Have fun with the squirrels!

In the Daytona Beach mall, Mr. Dunderbak's looks exactly the same as always. 
We had an amazing lunch here. Jamie was almost certain he'd gotten our roommate convinced to move to Florida when he took a bite of his sandwich. I had an adorable fat little sausage called knockworst- the yummiest hot dog ever. We also enjoyed onion rings and potato cakes. Onion rings are sold by the foot at Mr. Dunderbak's!

We went to lunch to pass the time waiting for our glasses to be done! This was one of the big items on our to-do list of Florida capers. My roommate and I both needed new glasses- his were too short to hook his ears properly and fell off a lot, and for me it's been.... 4 years!

The exam was quick and painless- we didn't even have to get drops in our eyes and wear those stupid paper and plastic glasses. 
For once, the doctor answered my question about the flippy "one or two?" part of the exam. When in doubt on the choices- choose the option where the letters are larger and clear, rather than the one that makes them super-clear, but smaller. I only had two of those indecisive choices- one in each eye. Otherwise the choice was incredibly obvious. It felt too easy.

The people at 20/20 were awesome as always. For the first time, I ended up with a pocketful of cute frames to choose from as we browsed the store. I nearly ended up in children's frames, but they were a TEENSY bit too narrow for my face. Unfortunately, men's selection was limited to one or two sections, but Jon picked out very nice glasses. Jamie helped us both of course.

Here are mine! 

After our first visit for eye exams, we officially went on a hunt for cupcakes. Our roommate Jon said that my cocoa butter lotion reminded him of frosting, and that made him want cupcakes. After the words were spoken, we all wanted cupcakes.

It's harder than you might think to just find a cupcake. Most bakeries only sell breads or pies, or sell out on cupcakes if they do make them (that would of course be their goal, but it makes getting some for us difficult). 

Finally, the search led to the Sweet Spot. Ironically enough, it's right next to Bellini's in Deland, where a TCBY used to be. We bought out all of their cupcakes (15).

There are twinkie, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate, peanutbutter cup, and chocolate cheesecake flavors. One strawberry cheesecake did not survive the trip home.
 >.>    <.<

We enjoyed other desserts too :) 
Jon made me oatmeal cookies, and we had all of this giant watermelon during our visit. 


Our last day in Florida, but we still had things we wanted to do. We left Grunt at Grandad's for one last time, to go out and enjoy ourselves.

We just HAD to stop and get an ice cream sandwich for $1, especially after seeing Sweet Spot, which reminded me strongly of this cute little place in Flagler Beach.

Driving along A1A to dinner.

<3 Sapporo Japenese Steakhouse. 

We go there to see the French chef JP cook for us on the Hibachi tables. I had scallops, Jamie and Jon had tuna steak.

Saying goodbye to the yard?

The car awaits.

Stalling, saying goodbye.

Look how big our Christmas tree got!!


It rained almost the whole way back.
We had breakfast at Bob Evans, where I made sure to have some biscuits and gravy with my waffle.

This is where Sapporo leftovers were finally pitched. I had a second meal, but there was still some after that. We picked out meaty bits before abandoning the leftover rice and veggies.

When I wasn't driving, I was kind of bored.

Finally it stopped! Here is some flooding from the rain.

And the sun set with us still driving. We made it back right at midnight, I think. We carried up one armload each of whatever we happened to grab. Then, I'm pretty sure we all collapsed into bed for 13 hours of true sleep. I was asleep, so I can't be positive about that. :P

And so our vacation ends.