29 July 2008

Day 10.

I guess I feel sort of obligated now to post pictures regularly. But I am starting to feel a little vain. And bored (as you can tell by my futile attempts to do something slightly different).


I went to the plastic surgeon again today. When he came into the room, he looked disappointed. I felt like I had failed him, so I said in (what I hoped to be) an encouraging tone , "It looks a lot better than it did, though, doesn't it?" He confirmed that much, to be sure, but he wasn't too happy about the way the healing's gone. I guess that he was hoping that he wouldn't have to see me anymore (for my sake, of course). And then he started massaging my face very agressively. In fact, "massaging" sounds like too pleasant of a word. It hurt. He said, "You hate me right now, don't you?" And didn't even sound apologetic about it. I nodded my assent.

Then he told me that in 4 months, he could do his revisions to minimize the scar, and told me to massage aggressively, regularly, until then. I guess to make the tissue soft, or something. BUT FOUR MONTHS? I have been thinking, "We'll just wait for this to heal up so it's not an open wound anymore, and then he'll laser that scar into oblivion! And this whole nightmare will be a mere memory." Putting a number on it like that makes it seem so much worse.

Ok, I didn't expect it to ever be "a mere memory." That would be idealistic, in a stupid way. But I did get this blessing the day after the attack: "You will be able to care for your wound properly and have no lasting marks." Which was pretty magical. Maybe the resurrection? Or maybe I just didn't/don't have enough faith. Regardless, I started to think of plastic surgeons as miracle workers, and my only hope. But Dr. Crofts gave me a scar treatment sheet that said, and I quote, "Plastic surgeons are not able to erase scars."

What a kick in the face.

28 July 2008

Day 9

Well. Here's what I look like today. I celebrated not having the IV in my arm by taking a shower. You could say it's been a good day for that reason.

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27 July 2008

"Amanda, please stop posting gross pictures to your blog." "NO! I WON'T STOP!"

Well, today, Day 8 (for appearances, not much different than Day 7), is the last that I have to do my antibiotic IVs. It's really too bad, you know? Because I have been getting accustomed to not showering (What? I have to keep it dry!), and also smelling like the medicine that's pulsing through my veins right now. I sweat antibiotic, I bleed antibiotic, I pee antibiotic. I smell it, I smell like it: I am the antibiotic. And although they may not sell this kind of perfume at the department store, it's not a bad smell. Just medicinal.

Despite the antibiotic capably conquering all of my bodily functions, it has not yet fully conquered the infection, which is STILL THERE. Especially in this 1 square milliliter area. I don't know how it has survived all this time. It must be very, very deep. Actually, I know because I can see that it's very, very deep. I can even stick the Q-Tip head inside of my face when I'm cleaning it out because there's a hole now that goes




to the tissue. Such is the nature of cellulitis. I guess I'm thankful for plastic surgeons? And yet at the same time, it's getting difficult to imagine what life was like without this facial laceration. And I'm not sure I would want to go back. Ok, that's a bit extreme. It's just that I've adjusted. Sort of. You know, I have accepted it, adopted it, assimilated it--and it's become a part of me. If that goes away, then something about me--something fundamentally me--also leaves. Is that what I really want?

The best part about today was that my church is from 9-12, and since I have to shoot myself up with drugs every 12 hours, I toted all of my supplies to do the IV during church. (I was due at ten o'clock.) All of the people in Sunday school thought there was a druggie in their mist. And then Brother Daniels, in the bishopric, tried to shake my right hand which was holding my spaceball antibiotic at the time, and the truth was revealed. Not to mention that David, who sat next to me in sacrament meeting, told me it was kind of hot when I was having him help me hook up. Which did not make me feel uncomfortable at all, strangely. Some people would be embarrassed by administering medication during church, but I'm ok with people thinking that I'm a heroin addict. In fact, I sort of enjoy that.

25 July 2008

Days 5 and 6.

I get to give myself IVs now! This is good news. For one thing, I don't have to go the ER. For another, I don't have to go the hospital. Unless my IV goes bad. Unfortunately, this scenario occurred this morning. I pulled the IV out last night after I finished because it burned, painfully. So today, two nurses examined my veins and poked me two times before they found something that worked.

"You have bad veins," they said.

"So I've been told."

I'm pretty sure my body fluid is basically antibiotic and nothing else. No blood or water left in me.

I got my stitches out! Hooray! Day 6. Also encouraging: the swelling is no longer in my eye. At least, I can't really feel it. So my face is looking somewhat normal again.

Day 5, because I forgot. Honestly, I'm not longer feeling a need for daily updates. This is encouraging, and a good sign. I was wearing the EXACT same clothes as the day before. YES!

In other news, I am becoming a vampire, since I'm supposed to avoid direct sunlight and cannot yet wear sunblock.

23 July 2008

Day 4.

Amanda L. Stoddard as herself
Kaden James Wright as "Jacks"
Ashton Parker Wright
Victor Isaac Graves

No animals were harmed in the shooting of this film.

Due to a low budget, more accuracy could not be resolved. But, here's a picture of a Jack Russell Terrier, the vicious scallywag, for the benefit of your imagination.

Some of you [dear readers] may be asking, “What was with the raccoon, baby, dumpsters, etc.? Why all the lies?” And you may feel betrayed.

My motive was to tell people a good story. There’s nothing heroic about trying to pick up a dog. In fact, an unprovoked dog attack is not only pathetic, it’s also unfair. But . . . if I was attacked by a rabid raccoon while trying to save a baby in a dumpster in a less-developed country? That is both interesting, heroic, and totally worth the surgery that my face will most likely eventually require.

Oh, and this picture is DAY 4.

Day 3.

Ok. Update:

I saw the plastic surgeon, who picked the scab off my face, said he was worried about where the infection "eroded the superficial layers" and spoke of the possibility of future "revisions."

My face is not a paper.

His office was also a "medical spa." When he finally came into the room I was waiting in, he was wearing flip flops and cargo shorts. Very casual, and a little unsettling. (I'm thinking, "Are you sure you know what you're doing?") He does have an apparently thriving practice, and an M.D., so I should have a little more confidence, but I'm not exactly a breast implant patient. (And--most likely--never will be.) Come on. I mean, what else do plastic surgeons do? When I came out, his dogs were there. Two very large and very beautiful Great Danes, actually. He showed me a trick he taught them. He says "Dance," and they jump up on his shoulders, becoming very larger. Dogs in a doc's office? Ok. But at least I discovered that I still like dogs, despite my history with them recently.

I was in the ER twice getting antibiotics through an IV. Two different antibiotics through an IV. Today the plastic surgeon told me to go back to the ER again to get more (I was expecting that he would give it to me in his office, or at least fill out the order for IV therapy form), and I really, really did not want to go. I am beginning to hate the ER. And no, that is not too strong. So I went and told the registar, who luckily did not admit me. He found Dr. Patten, miraculously, who treated me in the ER before, and he filled it out. So I went to the IV therapy clinic, which was a lot more abandoned than the ER, thank goodness. No crazy traumas there. And they showed me how to do it myself. So now, I'm giving myself IVs. Also, for the first time ever.

It is 5:42 AM right now and starting to get light outside. I have been up since 3:21 AM because I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Oddly enough, I'm having trouble sleeping lately.

I sent an SMS to my host dad in Moscow and we chatted online for a while, so that was good.

That is pretty much all I have to say.
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21 July 2008

Day 2.

This is a rather attractive picture. Well, comparatively. I didn't want to freak anyone out by accentuating the:
oozing pus,
horrible swelling,

and other symptoms of cellulitis.

It's true, my face was infected. I woke up and my eye was practically swollen shut, dry pus and blood, etc. It was pretty ugly. So I made yet another trip to the Emergency Room (this time at a different hospital) and had an IV for the first time in my life. The IV is still in my arm which makes it impossible to bend it very well. So I had my roommate put a hairtie in for me. (Thanks, Heather.) And then she threw up because my face is so sick. (Actually, I am not sure if she really did. But it's possible.)

How exciting.

And I have to go back tonight.

How exciting.

And tomorrow I get to see a plastic surgeon.

How exciting.

All because of a raccoon. And a dumpster. And a baby. In danger. Or, alternatively, a dangerous baby. (And a couple of innocent-looking young cubs.)

Ok, that's not true. But I will elucidate more about what happened for all the curious souls soon. In a surprising, and hopefully comic, way.

Also. The only reason this is good is because it's a good story. And because I have some nice friends. I hear that storytelling is a good way to deal with trauma. So says this hokey website: http://www.eternalwhisperings.com/.

No, but seriously.
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20 July 2008

animals can be unkind

On the left, my pre-hospital exploits.

It was my first trip to the ER. How exciting. (Oh, and by the way, I do realize that my zipper is down in this picture. I can't really help it. For some reason, on these pants it WILL NOT stay up. It's broken or something. But I still wear them.)

I got sick of holding the frozen corn up to my face, what can I say?

Obviously it didn't do much for the swelling.

Yeah. Well, I was attacked by a bear. When I was camping in the dumpster. In Guadalajara.

Oh wait, that's a lie. Really, it was dog. A cute little jack russell terrier that I was being friendly to! Or that's what I thought at least.

Questions? Go ahead.
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15 July 2008

On the way to Hermitage (i.e. Being a Hermit . . .)

I have discovered that I have a genetic defect when it comes to transportation. It runs in the family. I often speak of a family curse, which limits reliable cars in our family of 5+ drivers to one.

I put the kickstand down on the bike I ride for the first time yesterday. Then I couldn't put it back up. I kicked and kicked and hurt my foot, which was wearing a sandal, but no success. So then, I started wrestling with the kickstand. By the end, my hair was tousled and my hands and legs were streaked with bike tire dirt--but no success. I figured I would need a wrench to remove the kickstand. I bent the metal up as much as possible with all the force I could muster and rode my bike to campus, kickstand down, in all its glory (avoiding grinding on all sharp corners or tall curves as much as possible).

And I wonder why I get strange looks from people nearly every time I ride my bike? Well, that's obvious. Something like this happens. Every. Single. Time.

Apparently my former (and future) roommate Amy was not aware of my inherent difficulties when it comes to transportation, so she innocently left me her car for the summer while she frolics and traipses in Guatemala for the summer (viewing the likes of San Pedro, pictured below). I said I would store it for her and use it on occasion, if the need arose. On the recommendation of my roommates who have coveted condo parking garage spots, I e-mailed the landlord about getting parking in the garage myself, and she told me I could have spot 52. So I moved the car there, but I failed to get a permit before that. It had been parked on the street. Since I hardly ever drive it, how was I to know that there was a boot on it since the 5th, and they towed it on the 7th? I didn't find out until I tried to drive it a few days later, went to the garage, and it wasn't there. I guess I should have realized that I needed a permit to be in the garage, regardless of whether my spot was designated by the landlord, since the parking enforcement is done by a contracted agency, University Parking Enforcement. But I went and paid the $150 for those money-suckers to open the dumb gate. And now all is well.

Well . . . I don't know about that. I am considering just staying inside from now on. Since I can't handle cars, or bikes, I am worried that eventually I am going to kill myself by walking too. So I am going to cut travel out of my life entirely. I will subsist as a hermit. This could solve a lot of other problems, as well.

10 July 2008

Just when you thought I'd stop writing about bikes:

Today, I was gloriously riding home on my newly acquired bike (thanks, Rachel!) and approached a depressed curve (it was like an inch high, I swear). I must have hit it at a weird angle, or something, because instead of going over the very manageable curb, the bike started to skid alongside of it instead. These bikes have minds of their own! So after a horrible sound of skidding, and crashing metal, the bike fell. But I didn't crash with it. Somehow I managed to remain standing throughout this experience. I'm not sure how. There was a guy in front of me walking, and at the awful sounds of potential injury, he turned and asked, "Are you all right?" I replied, "Oh, I didn't fall. Only the bike. It didn't want to go over the curb." And he looked at me weird, and I smiled. Then there was another girl who was walking in the other direction and must've witnessed the whole thing as she was chatting on her cell phone. I looked at her and said, "Wasn't that sweet?" And she looked at me weird, and I smiled. And that was that.

08 July 2008

The Run-Around

I don't have a printer at home, so I left around 8:20 to get it printed off and copied and whatnot in time for church to start at 9. So I sent it to the printer, then I went to the Tanner Building. The printer was alerting some sort of error, and not working. I called Tim and asked him if there was a printer I could use in the SFH, which is where he meets for the church (and right by where my ward meets for church), and he said no, but he thought there was one in the building I meet in. So I looked there, but he was wrong. Then I went up the stairs to the main part of campus to the SWKT, where I thought there was a printer in the basement area. There were three kiosks, a copy machine, but no printer. The JFSB was locked when I tried to use the one in there. Then I went to the Talmage, and the printer was offline for some weird reason. So I turned it off and on again, but it didn't help. Then I went to the JKB, and finally got it printed. And then I had to go back to the RB and find the room where there is a copier for our ward's use, and then copy it, and then cut them, because there were four on each page.

AND OH MY GOSH! By the time I got to Relief Society, the lesson was half over and no one really cares about the dumb bulletin that much, anyway. Hooray.

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