Cold Sores

Let's talk about 'em.  I hate them.so.much.  I have one right now and they make me cranky.  They throb, I can't smile or laugh, eat or drink without feeling the pain.  They blister over and I wake up with little spots of blood on my pillowcase.  I have to throw out all my lip glosses and chapsticks and get a new toothbrush.  It's one of the lovely gifts my husband gave to me:)  I get these bad boys about 2-3 times a year, usually when I am really stressed or really sick.  In the past 10 months I have had 3 already.  Not cool.  Meet my friend Valtrex that helps the pain (and humiliation) slowly subside.  And it costs a pretty penny, too.  Try $15 a pill!  But, worth it.

And, I can not believe I am going to post pictures of the dreaded event, but here goes...

It's like Botox gone wrong
Please don't have nightmares from the picture!  
I have not a spot of make up on and that thing growing on my face is terrible!!

These pictures are from my first attack.  It was in April 2006 after living in NYC for a few months.  I woke up one Saturday morning with my upper lip the size of a golf ball and freaked out!  This was my face we are talking about and I had NO IDEA what had happened!  Patrick thought it might be a cold sore, but he had never seen one so swollen.  He had to leave to go to school, so I decided to go have it checked out and hopefully get something to help it.  Remember, it is a Saturday, I am somewhat new to the city and have not established a doctor. 

I put on my jacket and walk down to 3rd Avenue to hail a cab uptown to the nearest ER.  Once I get through with the novel of paperwork, I am taken back and put in a tiny closet of a room and wait for the doctor to come in.  After an eternity, the doctor makes her way and spends all of point 3 seconds with me.  She takes one look at my lip, rolls her eyes (not really) scribbles something on a prescription pad and explains that I have a cold sore before she walks out.  My mind is screaming at her!  "WHERE ARE YOU GOING!!!???  This is my face!  It is deformed and I have no idea why!"

Defeated, I grab a cab towards the pharmacy by my apartment and set myself up for another embarrassment.  At the pharmacy counter, I hand the technician my prescription and step aside to wait.  After a few minutes the tech calls my name.  ("Wow.  That was fast.")  She then explains to me that the doctor has prescribed Abreva, an OTC cream.  Embarrassed, I buy the cream and go home to lock myself up for a week.

As you can imagine, the Abreva didn't do a thing and I had to ride this one out.  I couldn't work and I didn't really leave the apartment.  My face hurt so much!  

Damn you cold sores!


Michelle M. said...


Melissa Hirschi said...


I've had them forever and mine come out when I get sunburned, sick, windburned or stressed. I swear I get them from even thinking about them.

I've tried every remedy. The only thing that has helped me is taking a multivitamin all the time and lots of L-lysine and Abreva when I feel one coming on.

And why do they have to be on your face? This big horrible sore that everyone notices and comments on.

Sorry you have one. I feel for you!

Fashionably Kate said...

I'm sorry.
I've never had a cold sore, but I get it's nasty cousin the "canker sore" ALL the time. {I know not as bad because it's inside the mouth}.

Glad you're enjoying the music! :)

Alana said...

Carly, I used to get cold sores CONSTANTLY! Really bad ones, too. Ever since my discovery of L-lysine I haven't had one for 10 years! Yes, no joke, 10 years. Whenever I feel one coming on- you know how you can feel it starting- I take 2-3 lysine and do that a few times a day until I'm positive it has retreated. hopefully, that's not an overdose but it will stop it from coming! i promise! it changed my life! they are miserable, aren't they?


Feeling your pain Carly. Thank you for so openly and honestly sharing it with all of us. I agree with Alana the lysine helps as a preventative and removing wheat/gluten from your diet can make a HUGE difference as well.

The stress is completely a trigger. The above treat our body's response to the stress. Makes sense to treat the soure, stress, on a consistant basis right? A combination of meditation, yoga or an alternative form of relaxation that works for you on a consistant basis (massage, walking, whatever works for you 2-3 times a week) your body will begin to rebuild its defenses so that is can handle most everday stresses without the grim cold sore reaction.
Sending you healing energy and love!