Taunting the Blog Gods – a Tale of Ridiculous Sunburn and Edema

Taunting the Blog Gods – a Tale of Ridiculous Sunburn and Edema

Of course, since I said I’d bring you a recipe yesterday, the world had to smack down my intentions with the very weirdest of things. Forewarning: this is a weird medical thing, so the squeamish might be a little grossed out. There’s no blood or wounds, just oddness.

So, you remember my ridiculous sunburn right? The one I was super-embarassed about and did everything I could to treat and cover up? Turns out that this particular sunburn was too wily for even my pale girl kungfu and threw something at me I’d never dealt with before: facial edema.

All day Monday I had been slathering myself with BurnJel for the pain, plus I’d been wearing makeup to make my redness a little less embarrassing. That afternoon, my boss noticed that my eyes were looking a little puffy.  I chalked this up to a reaction to my lidocaine cream, so I took a good shower when I got home to get it off and took some Advil and Benadryl for the swelling. My mom and Bill suspected sun poisoning, but I thought they were probably overreacting since I didn’t have any itchiness, exceptional pain, or nausea.

As you can see, one side of my face was starting to swell, especially above the eye.
As you can see, one side of my face was starting to swell, especially above the eye and in my forehead.

I went to bed, expecting the swelling to go down overnight, but instead woke up to this calamity.

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It’s like my whole face had a non-bruised black eye. Bill said I looked like the aliens in Avatar.

Obviously, I couldn’t drive with one eye almost swollen shut, so I asked to work from home (yay for Macs making it possible!). As the day progressed, I took more Advil for the inflammation and used cold compresses under my eyes while making sure my head stayed elevated. My swelling began to subside, but was still pretty noticeable. I did notice that throughout the day, I had to use the restroom more than normal for my heightened water consumption. I think that this was my body trying to flush everything out, so thanks body! Rather than dosing up on aloe, lidocaine, etc, I let my skin be in case it was reacting to the creams as I primarily thought. I photo-documented my progression for Bill at work, in case he needed to rush me to the doctor.

Sitting on the couch, waiting for my remote connection with work to hook in, approx 9am.
Sitting on the couch, waiting for my remote connection with work to hook in, approx 9am.
Back to the couch with Bueller, approx 10 am.
Back to the couch with Bueller, approx 10 am.
Working in the office around lunch time.
Working in the office around lunch time. You can see here that the scar in the corner of my eye looks bruised from the swelling.
Iron Chef break while waiting on more work to appear, approx 1 pm.
Iron Chef break while waiting on more work to appear, approx 1 pm. My forehead can actually move!
Bed time, look how much better it got! Approx 8 pm.
Look how much better it got! Approx 5 pm.

So I went off to bed, with a little wine, Advil, Benadryl and mixed expectations for this morning. Would I wake up with another swollen eye or would it all subside overnight?

Good morning, less swelling!
Good morning, less swelling!
Almost back to normal at lunchtime today!
Almost back to normal at lunchtime today! I’ve only needed my cool packs twice : )

Now I’m dealing with extreme amounts of peeling as my forehead especially de-puffs, but there’s virtually no pain, just redness. I was a little worried that my under-eyes would be bruised from the swelling, but the darkness you can see this morning has faded a good amount. It’s very weird to look in the mirror to see a person that looks very much like you, but not you. I told Bill that this is probably what our chunky babies will look like some day: puffy, but definitely Manck-blooded : P

I think that I can chalk this bizarre sunburn experience to two things: the severity of my sunburn and my trauma allergy. My body was very shocked by the intensity of the radiation trauma, so it went it overdrive and pumped me full of fluid to speed healing and dead skin removal. I found several cases of this same reaction while doing research, and honestly I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened to my translucent self before!

Here you can see how extreme the difference was in just about 30 hours. My puffiest on the left, the current state on the right.
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Moving forward, I’m focusing on drinking lots of water (which is always a good idea), trying to keep my face clean, and protecting myself from further sun damage. It’s hard to not pick at the peeling, but the skin underneath is so fresh and still very red that I know I need to be nice to my skin. I’m using a simple moisturizer to keep my face hydrated and reduce itching.

So there you have it, do not tell the blog gods your plans, for surely they will laugh at your (now very puffy) face!

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5 thoughts on “Taunting the Blog Gods – a Tale of Ridiculous Sunburn and Edema

  1. Do not, do not ever gain 100 pounds … that’s what you’ll look like. So happy you’re so much better. Was truly worried. Now you and I can challenge each other for the worst facial injuries in the last six months.

    1. I’m glad it went down relatively quickly and that it never hurt too much. Seeing not-your-face in the mirror is bizarre! Hopefully I’ll be back to albino soon 🙂

  2. Good God, child, I’m glad that this post didn’t go up at midday yesterday, or I’d have rushed over there to take you to the doctor! Happy that it’s better; sad that we missed the recipe due to solar-edema… yikes! You’d better have sunscreen in both vehicles, every tote bag, in desk drawer at work and campus…

    1. Last night at the game I had on sunscreen and a hat even though it was dark out! I had several parents ask me if I’d been skiing when they saw my sunburn though 😉

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