Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, August 23, 2004

Failure of the Day: The Armpit of My Discontent

Warning: This is disgusting. NOT. KIDDING. Maybe not Cabin Fever disgusting but relative to the cake and ice cream relationships most of y’all got with your bodies, it’s pretty nasty. Do not read this if you don’t want to know about my latest battle with the horrible things my body does to me.

Remember late last year when I got a full-body rash? I still don’t know what caused it. It was pretty gross but Chris sponged oatmealy bathwater over my inflamed skin like a trooper. Ah, those were the days. I’d fucking love a full body rash just about now.

But it’s a whole new year and that calls for a whole new biblical-seeming plague. Nancy—Now Featuring: Boils! On my armpit!

Until this morning I only had a vague idea about what exactly a boil is. I think I thought it was a blister kind of thing. It’s turns out, though, no. It’s not blistery at all. For starters, boils are caused by staph infections, not some sort of skin irritation. Also, they’re HUGE. And red. And painful. And they make you really, really kvetchy. The raised part of mine is about the size of an olive, but that’s not the showstopper. The part of the boil that is under the skin is about the size of an egg. It feels like I’m holding an orange in my armpit.

Now, “lump” and “armpit” are not concepts that sit peacefully in a girl’s head; we’ve all been poking around for lumps there for decades already. I knew it wasn’t a lump though—it’s a bump (or it was, before it became a grapefruit) and that’s an important distinction. It’s the difference between a quick lancing and so long boobs, hello chemo. I was definitely in the territory of the former.

I called my very cool internist at 9 this morning and she told me to come in at 2. She really is awfully cool. She poked at it, confirmed that it was a boil, and pronounced that it was too “immature” to be lanced just yet. This was good news because I am even less clear about what “lancing” entails than I was about what a boil is, but I am pretty damn sure that it would hurt. Instead, I’ve got 10 days of antibiotics and loads of hot compresses—a bargain by any standards.

I’ve been trying to narrow down how I got this…I suppose it could have been the massage…is that possible? Does anybody know? I assume the sheets on the massage table were fresh but I couldn’t say for sure. It was a pretty fancy little spa, but I suppose you never know.

And for the record, Chris is, as ever, a prince about all this. A mercifully ungrossed-out prince. I seriously don’t know how he does it…I’m grossed out and it’s my own damn armpit. Marriage lesson #1994756: love being blind is nice and all, but true love has no gag reflex.


Post a Comment

<< Home