Friday, April 12, 2013

Master of illusion.

I'm pretty good at covering things up.

Like I can arrange candy in a half-eaten candy bowl juuuust right so it still looks full.

I can put on a variety of spandex "body shaping" undergarments that will make you ask our friends, "Do you think Lori's getting too skinny?"

And acne, you better watch out. I am the queen of concealor.

I use a special mix of foundation, brush strokes, high lights and low lights that trick you into thinking I have the clearest skin on the planet. Your eyes dart around and your head starts to spin, confused with the feeling that I'm hiding something from you - because I am.

After covering up all these years - since around junior high - I've kind of become an expert.
Sad, being an expert in something you have no desire to be an expert in.

I know, waaah, waaah, waaah, everybody gets zits.
What I currently have on my face is not in the same league as zits.
It's cystic acne that comes in and out of my life in waves.

Horrible, horrible not fun waves.

I know when it's coming. I feel a big 'ol knot under my skin, usually around my chin area and most times there's more than one monster.

So today I am surrendering and doing something that I have to do. I know that all of the over-the-counter zit creams in the world can't begin to touch what is on my face. I'm going into my dermatologist for cortisone injections.

When I first started getting shots in my face I was young and pretty freaked out about it. Then it became routine, with the relief I would feel afterwards knowing how quickly the spots would disappear.

In high school it was a huge vanity thing but today it's more of a painful annoyance, I don't like not being able to sleep on my left side because I have a pimple that hurts like the devil. Plus...yeah...the vanity thing is still there too.

So I'm spending my lunch hour today as a human pin cushion. I'm a junkie who needs her fix and my dealer is my lovely dermatologist who I have been seeing here in Portland for years.

This afternoon we are dealing with three main offenders on my chin, and a straggler on my cheek that has taken up residence for a month or so. Since my hair is so long and curly it's been covering up that puppy but while I'm here of course it will be dealt with. And I've missed wearing a ponytail.

This picture doesn't do these evil bumps justice.

It hurts to be beautiful.
For reals.

A memory that leaves my stomach, as well as my face a little sore is one of going to get injections when I was around fifteen. My mom drove me to my weird little dermatologist (who you can read more about here) in the morning before school when face was in one of its worst states, a minefield, all painful and hot.

I had around twenty pokes that day to which the doctor commented was probably the most he had ever done in one sitting. Awesome.

On the verge of a breakdown I got into the car and slumped down in the seat. Mom noticed how extra-quiet I was, she knew things weren’t good. How could I go to school today looking like this? How??? I was a mess. She then did one of the nicest things ever, asking if I would like to take a day off from school and stay home. I burst into tears, “YES!” I cried, letting it all out in an big, ugly, crying mess. She probably doesn’t remember that day but I sure do.

I also remember that she took me to a really nice shopping center where I bought a belt and we got TCBY frozen yogurt – I was so happy I didn’t care what the store clerks or the yogurt people thought of my face. We had a nice, unexpected day together.

Today I do have to go back to the office for two more hours.

Bandaged up and back to work.
One of the guys asked me if I was ok, noticing my band aid.
I told him, “I cut myself shaving” which seemed like the natural thing to say.
He looked confused.

I’d much rather be shopping with Mom, licking a giant fro-yo.
But at least today wasn't a twenty-poke-day.

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