Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cold Sore Flashback

A couple of days ago, my body started growing a humongous cold sore, bigger than any I've HAD since I was in my 20s. In fact, the previous cold sores I've had in the last 30+ years were tiny ones, usually related to sun and wind on the boat. But this one is clearly a giant statement about the wreck in my body, a compromised immune system and of course the big "S" word: stress. Since I lead a consistently frenetic, stress-filled life, I am prone to blame this most recent ugliness on the ear surgery of a few weeks ago, a clear traumatic assault of cutting and chemicals and in my estimation a torturous experience. Call me wuss or purist or whatever, my body did not like what happened to my ear on January 29 when a growth was removed from my auricle and a piece of skin was cut from behind the same ear and attached by stitches to the place where the growth once lived. I've already related all the crummy details of that experience in earlier posts (here and here), so today I'm only going to talk about the latest development: the cold sore.

However, rather than focus on the negative aspects of the mess on my lip that is growing up into my nose, I want to talk about what a weirdly enjoyable day I had yesterday, a series of flashbacks that were almost hallucinogenic in quality. First, the cold sore itself feels like a flashback to when I was in my 20s and my lack of coping skills leaked across my upper lip in the same kind of mess that grows there now. Because I woke up yesterday feeling like I was getting the flu—lethargic and headachy—I decided to cancel all my commitments for the day. Cindy, too, was feeling punk and when one of her jobs was canceled, she postponed the others and stayed home too. Tuesday is normally our shopping day (to get the senior discount at the market), so our cupboards were bare which meant we had to get inventive. This was the reason for the second flashback.

Cindy found a loaf of raisin bread in the freezer. Yipee! All morning, I ate raisin bread toast soaked in butter, something I used to do in my teens when I stayed home sick on a rainy day. Back then I could eat a whole loaf of raisin bread, and I almost did that yesterday. I wasn't exactly hungry for lunch so I took a nap—well 2 naps, first a real nap on the bed and then a second nap on the couch where I tried to read (I'm reading The Year of Living Biblically ), but I guess all the butter and bread turned into a sedative in my system, and I drifted back to sleep. When I woke, Cindy was thinking about dinner: Flashback 3. Our menu from the bare cupboard: mac & cheese, frozen corn, steamed broccoli, and little cups of chocolate chips for dessert. Does that sound like a college meal or what? At least that's what I ate when I was 18 or 19 and in college.

We ate dinner watching a NetFlix DVD which was the source of Flashback 4. Actually it could be called Flashback 4, 5, 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 . . .ad infinitum because the movie was Across the Universe. Have you seen it? It is simply marvelous, a must see for anyone who grew up in the 60s, anyone who is a Beatles fan, anyone who wants to understand my generation, who hates the idea of a war on the other side of the world, who loves humankind and knows that All We Need is Love. It was an incredible 2 hours and 15 minutes of time warp.

The tingling-itching-burning on my lip notwithstanding, I relished my day of FLASHBACK.


1 comment:

Annie said...

Good for you! I always get a special kind of blue when a cold sore erupts, sounds like you made the best of it. I think the severity is likely linked to the procedure on your ear and it's interference with your nervous system (where that particular virus typically lies dormant). Oh the wisdom in listening to your body, when it was so clearly begging you to slow down and take a day, and what a day you had. . .stuffing yourself with raisin bread, napping and flashback flick. . .nicely done!