Read about days one and two here!
Okay, so more accurately, this should really be labeled Days 2 PM and 3 AM, but whatevs. You guys get the drift.
I’m not going to sugar coat it–last night was bad. I basically laid on the couch with ice cold Diet Coke cans pressed to each cheek from the time I got home from work until I tried to go to bed. Ice packs (or soda cans) are pretty much the only thing that makes me feel better. Heather mentioned I could try some hydro-cortisone cream for the itching, but anything that touches my skin (that’s not icy cold metal/glass) is torture. She also mentioned Benadryl, but of course, I had none. In retrospect, I should have just downed some Nyquil (which is my plan tonight).
Anyway, I tried to sleep. I really did. I had comfy pillows so that my face stayed elevated (it helps with swelling), and an ice cold washcloth to put on my cheeks. And sleep never came.
Literally. It NEVER came. The minute I took my makeshift ice packs off my face, it became too unbearable to sleep. But, I will say that I noticed a significant decrease in pain around 1 AM. Instead of the burning/stinging, it downgraded to tightness and itching.
I went and looked at myself in the mirror around 3 AM (yikes!), and noticed that my skin looked much less red (yay!) I also saw that I had huge patches of flaky, dry scales of skin that were begging to come off. I hope Heather doesn’t yell at me, but at this point, I was exhausted and hoping that the peeling meant that the end of my pain was near and I could go to sleep.
(Yes, I am wearing a shirt, MOM. And see how much happier my skin looks? SPOILER ALERT: IT WILL NOT LAST.)
So, I took a soft wash cloth, and with lukewarm water, I very gently washed my face with little circular motions. (I washed with only the water. Again, touching my skin with anything besides water hurts like the dickens.) Gabillions of little flakes came off, and I was getting more and more excited because I was sure I could sleep after this.
WRONG. My skin turned bright red again (yay), and the familiar old burning/stinging/itching trifecta came back.
(So, at this point, you might totally terrified to ever do this. Let me describe how it feels–like the worst sunburn you ever got. It’s not unbearable…but it is uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. It helps if you have something else to think about or do to take your mind off it, but when you’re trying to sleep, that’s all you can feel.)
Here’s a disclaimer/warning. If/when you get to this stage, do not pick at your skin or force it off before it’s ready. Picking/pulling the dead skin can result in discoloration. I tend to feel like washing your face is a little different–the dead skin is damp and is rolled away (rather than torn away).
At this point, it was around 4:30 AM, and I knew I wasn’t going to sleep. I think I realized that when I was curled up on the couch, cradling a bottle of ice cold sparkling cider next to my cheek.
So, I got up, got dressed, and went to work. At 5 AM. I know. Yuck. (At least I can go home early now and try this sleeping thing again.) I now know how Quasimodo felt. I felt like a free woman–getting my own coffee, going to the bathroom, and walking around the office since there is no one here at 5 AM. The minute 8 AM rolled around though, I slunk back to my cube and Diet Coke cans *cough* cathedral and gargoyles.
You can see how this was kind of a Day 2/3 combined. I feel pretty much the same today as I did yesterday. I’m still icing (with soda cans!) and still hiding at my desk.
My coworker said he thinks it looks a little better than yesterday–“You’re not so…like the lines under your eyes with the red..it’s not as red…”
I feel like I should be moisturizing or something, but I tried once this morning and nearly screamed. I guess making sure dead skin isn’t dry is kind of a moot point.
I’m supposed to have Valentine’s Day dinner tomorrow night (and bowling during the day), but if I’m still in the same boat on Day 4, I will be confined to my couch with my precious soda cans.
THIS POST HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY DIET COKE. DIET COKE–ICE COLD CANS FOR ALL YOUR CHEMICAL PEEL PAIN RELATED NEEDS.
PS: My SIL told me I was brave for yesterday’s post, and I think she meant GO PUT ON MAKEUP YOU ARE SCARING US. (OR not. She’s really sweet. She wouldn’t say that. Out loud.)
PPS: Okay. I have to admit it. My morning routine is down to like three minutes now. It used to be like forty. It’s kind of nice to not wear any makeup and not do my hair (since the thought of it touching my skin eeeek!) It probably won’t last, since, I mean, check the difference.