A recent post by Delana over @du jour named ‘Triple-X‘ got me thinking about my own Quasimodo moment. Delana was bitten by something that caused an allergic reaction and distorted her lovely face. But read the post – it’s quite funny – which I adore as this is truly no laughing matter, yet she maintains her sense of humor.

And I’m so pleased that she had the foresight to photograph the strange swelling. I didn’t look that far ahead when it happened to me. (I wasn’t blogging then or I probably would have.)

What happened to me, you ask?

Well, it all started as an effort to protect my face from too much sun at the beach. In and out of the water, wet hair slicked back off my forehead where bangs normally protected it, and I ended up with a nasty forehead sunburn.

The sun hat couldn’t be worn in the water, so I purchased a really high SPF sunscreen and returned to the pool. The fact that it swelled a little didn’t concern me much.

Then it began to swell a lot.

Before long I started looking like Roger, the Caveman Guy on Geico commercials, sans beard. It formed a crest – a landing shelf above my eyes. And boy did it ache!

I went to work anyway. I thought it would just go down eventually. I’d worked with a headache before.

As the morning passed and I looked down at the work in front of me, the fluid began to move. People started looking at me strangely. They had the ‘deer in headlights’ glare as they stared at me. I didn’t know why everyone kept asking if I was alright. And after assuring them that I was, would get the dreaded follow-up question – “Are you sure?”

Finally a friend who works beside of me insisted that I go to the ladies room for a closer inspection.

Still assuming it was the caveman eyebrow shelf that was causing worry, I announced that cavemen needed respect too. She said I didn’t look like a caveman any longer, that it was more like a character in the tv series, ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Instantly flattered, images of a svelte, strong foreheaded Linda Hamilton crossed my mind.

Then she added, “And I’m not talking about Catherine! You look more like Vincent!”


“Yeah,” someone added, “like a jungle cat!”


Time to check for myself. I ran to the mirror over the square sink in our little restroom. Shrieks followed. There may have been howls.

I no longer looked human!

It was if I had been bitten by a rabid lion and was turning into one. Forget werewolves – I was the were-cat – a lioness! And my hair sort of resembled a blonder version of Vincent’s. It was traumatic to say the least.

All of the fluid from my forehead was sinking downward enlarging the bridge of my nose, settling in each brow line, pushing my eyes out to the side – or at least it appeared that way.

I calmed myself, asked the postmaster if he could cover me which he immediately assured me would be no problem in a ‘yes, please go quickly before you frighten the customers’ kind of way.

I left for the doctor’s office without bothering to call. How does one describe such a thing?

I walked into the reception area sporting large sunglasses and bangs pulled low to help disguise the problem from passersby, especially children who may have been scarred for life.

The receptionist berated me for coming without calling until I explained that I couldn’t describe it sufficiently and felt just seeing it would be a better way to know what I should do next. I pulled back the bangs and removed the glasses.

Holy Mackerel! There it came again – the horror stricken, what has happened to you expression.

“Yes, I see,” she said as calmly as she could. “Just have a seat and I’ll tell him you’re here.”

It was really that scary!

I put the glasses back on and shoved a magazine over my horrific face. Luckily, I was quickly called to the back.

The verdict was that I was allergic to something in the sunscreen – the reaction heightened by the chemicals in the pool and the sun’s rays – not to mention whatever may have been in the ocean water at the time.

I was given a prescription for prednisone and warned that my eyes would probably swell shut within the next twelve to twenty-four hours and so I should probably take off from work.

Everyone encouraged me to take a picture. They all said I would regret it if I didn’t.

I wouldn’t hear of it! I never wanted to be reminded of the time I crossed species – or at least looked as though I did.

But now I know that my friends were right. I do regret not having a photo to post of it or at least to pull out and laugh over.

I wasn’t as brave or wise as Delana.

photo curtesy of Wikipedia

photo curtesy of Wikipedia

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