I know it says “Funny Friday”, but just pretend like you didn’t see that. Sometimes, when you’re out of town, your house floods and you get behind on a lot of things. You start rocking back and forth in your chair, singing Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” under your breath while your children cower in the corner and your husband hides in the garage.
Then you put on your big girl panties and start writing again. You realize it’s time for Funny Friday when Saturday is almost over. But that’s okay. You just keep swimming.
So a couple weeks ago, I was one nut short of a sundae, running around like a crazy person trying to get ready to go on a family road trip. Naturally, that’s when my 5 year old’s face started swelling like she had some deadly shellfish allergy. But she doesn’t.
It was super gross. It started as a little, hot swollen area right in front of her ear. Then it got bigger and turned a sickening shade of greenish-purple. She told us it was her punishment for unhinging her jaw and crying too much. (that’s what we call it when she cracks her mouth open and screams)
After a day or so, she started running a fever and had a bluish, swollen eye. It looked like someone worked her over with a baseball bat. Thoroughly freaked out, I took her to the doctor – roughly 15 hours before we were scheduled to launch on our family RV trip.
After three long hours in urgent care, a facial sonogram and blood work, it was determined she had a very bad lymph node infection. Fantastic.
This was after a slight scare that she might have mumps. As in; “the disease no one gets anymore” mumps. So word spread like donuts and every doctor in the building popped in and stroked his goatee while palpating her giant abscess and murmuring to the others in hushed and conspiratorial tones.
But it turned out to just be an infection. Not mumps. And it wasn’t an abscess, so it should be safe to go on with our trip. I’ll just tell you right now that I had about a week of nightmares that involved her cheek exploding or popping like a pimple. It haunted me.
These photos were taken before the real carnage transpired. This was only the beginning. And they don’t even do it justice at that time. I could never seem to get the right angle to really display it in all its macabre glory.
But I digress. Rewind to the day we got home from the doctor. She did not want to take the antibiotics. (Disclaimer – I am normally anti-antibiotics but in some cases, modern medicine is a miracle and a blessing. This was one of those times. It was the first time Hope has ever had antibiotics, so I guess we’re doing pretty well)
She resorted to balling into the fetal position and clamping her mouth shut with the determination of a tiny pitbull. It was the first time she’s ever completely refused to do anything. This is the conversation we had while she was still in a fetal ball.
Me – Hopie, you have to take this medicine. It’s going to make your face get better so you can eat again.
Hope – Why, Mommy? That stuff tastes like doo doo and pee pee and diapers. (dry heaves and then makes a spitting sound)
Me – Because you have an infection and it’s really important that we take the medicine to kill the infection so you get better.
Hope – (indecipherable groaning and whining)
Me – Come on, Hopie. You have to take it. The doctor said we couldn’t go on vacation unless you take your medicine.
Hope – (lifts up her head and smiles) I have an idea. Can’t I just put on a hat and cover the boo boo and go anyway? Then the doctor won’t know.
Me – Unfortunately, that won’t work.
Hope – (ever the stoic problem solver) Okay, well it’s almost to Halloween. What if I dress up like Belle or Hotel Transeelvania…(pauses) or a Chinese lady.
Apparently these are all costumes that will fool people into thinking you don’t have an abscess on your face.