This past week has been a nightmare. I found myself in the emergency room twice and admitted into the hospital for a severe allergic reaction to a new medication I was taking for my chronic migraine. The rash I have covers my entire body. From my scalp, to the soles of my feet. Inside my eyelids and even down my throat. This post isn’t about the medical side of the rash, it’s about the beauty aspect of it.
These pictures were taken exactly a week apart.
I normally wouldn’t post a picture of myself like this. I have never felt so unattractive, or truly ugly. There is not a single part of my body that isn’t red, bumpy and swollen.
I have been debating on whether to blog about this experience because it is so fresh in my mind, and still so raw on my skin. The reason I’m doing this is twofold. First, although I spend a lot of time and money on my appearance, that isn’t what makes me worthwhile or beautiful. We are more than our makeup! It has taken lots of people telling me this over the past week to really help it sink in. There have been times in the past that I’ve judged a person by their appearance. I hope I won’t ever do that again. It’s been hard to be in public, because there are lots of people staring and pointing. It’s been especially hard when I’ve caught them staring and they were trying to be discreet. Then we were both embarrassed.
The second part is beauty related. The doctors in the hospital told me that large sections of my skin might blister and slough off entirely. For my entire life I’ve had good skin. I didn’t break out during my teen years much, I have occasional outbreaks now, but overall I have been blessed with good skin. It makes me physically ill to think that could all be gone. There is also the chance that over the next 3-6 months this might reoccur.
Since I’ve been discharged from the hospital, I’ve been home resting. Thankfully my skin is still firmly attached, but slowly flaking off like a bad sunburn. I haven’t left the house much except for an excursion to my local department store. I walked right up the nearest cosmetic counter and asked someone to help me find the thickest, best coverage foundation they had in the store. I didn’t care who made it.
I was delighted to find that Estee Lauder makes a full coverage foundation that hides everything. Everything from my rash to tattoos. The Estee Lauder consultant helping me was amazing. She pulled in two other ladies from other counters to make sure their lines didn’t offer a fuller coverage foundation. Then they went to work. They all huddled around like a team trying to suggest the best ways to help me feel beautiful. By the time I was done there was no way to tell I had any discoloration on my skin. It was a Cinderella moment for me. Straight from the ashes, or should I say “the rashes”, to beautiful and confident.
I don’t plan on wearing it all day, but I will be wearing it when I need to make an outing. My skin still can’t take anything on it for long periods of time. Even fragrance free creams and lotions make my skin itch.
My favorite part about cosmetics has always been that they make me feel glamorous. I love trying on new looks, falling in love with new colors as the new seasons come and go. Now, I’m glad to find one that makes me feel like me. To hell with the glamour! Here’s to feeling and looking like myself again.