Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for February 8th, 2023

Illness. Again.

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Folks, I am ailing.

On Monday morning, I woke up and saw that half of the left-hand side of my face was bright red. It was swollen, hot to the touch, itchy, and painful. I thought I was having an allergic reaction. I thought maybe a spider bit me.

It wasn’t that (though I may have been bitten by a spider; they can’t tell as my face is too swollen). It’s cellulitis. On my face.

What I’ve found out in the two days I’ve been treated for this illness is this:

It makes you tired. It makes you unsteady on your feet. It gives you horribly high temperatures (101, 102, close to 103 at one point, despite me normally being quite a bit lower than normal). It makes it harder to think.

The worst part of it is that my left eye is a slit right now. (Not infected, according to the doc I saw yesterday afternoon.) The bottom eyelid is swollen and red. The top eyelid is fine.

So, not only do I have to deal with being sick, I also have to deal with the knowledge that I look a sight at the same time. (Why I care about this, I don’t know. But I do.)

To make matters even worse, I suffered a fall Monday night, and it was an ordeal getting back up again. Took over two hours. I made at least fifty attempts, but my right knee kept balking and did not want me to get up. So, I was telling myself, aloud, “You have to get up. You have to get up.” And I couldn’t do it until my father came to check on me. He was able to help, thank goodness.

On the plus side, I did manage a short shower today. (That made me feel a little better, and I didn’t fall. I’ll take it.)

Later today, I am going in to see the folks who do my Warfarin levels checking, as that’s important when you’re on antibiotics as they can skew the results quite a bit. I then hope I can get the meds — two painkillers — the doctor prescribed yesterday. (He said that the hydrocortisone creams, even the prescription ones, would not help at this point. I have the OTC 1% hydrocortisone cream but it’s doing nothing.) Those are the two things I absolutely must do today…anything after that is gravy.

By the way, about an hour ago, I saw another of those spiders — a fuzzy black spider, possibly a Wolf spider. It was crawling on me. I killed it without thinking.

Now, normally even though I do not like spiders, I try to avoid killing them. I’d rather put them outside than kill them.

But in this situation, there’s no way I want a spider anywhere nearby. It’s possible that a spider bite caused something else to get into the skin of my face, and that’s what caused the infection. (It is a little better at the bottom of my face on the left-hand side. I wish it had chosen to heal the eye area first, though…)

Now, when I get sick, I almost never have high temps. I can get unsteady on my feet, but I usually think better than this. My reflexes are slower — they’re still decent, but it’s not what I’m used to out of myself. I have to be deliberate when I’d rather be floating above or at least walking confidently, cane at my side and unworried about falls (except on ice).

So, everything this week — my work, my writing, my helpful efforts with my family — is going to go by the boards until much of my face has healed. (That it’s both painful and itchy at the same time is very frustrating, too. You can’t scratch it because if you do, it makes everything worse. All you can do is lightly rub it.)

This is not how I planned my week to go. But it’s what I have to deal with, so I’ll do the best that I can.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 8, 2023 at 6:10 am

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