This is going to be a gross one

In my longstanding quest to keep this blog as real as possible and an accurate window into our lives, I am going to share a pretty funky aspect of being Katie today:

Cold Sores.

Or fever blisters, canker sores or whatever you call them. When I was about Big Kid's age, we had an all-day field day at elementary school where I got terribly sunburned. My face, especially. Part of that sunburn was the appearance of sores all over my face and in my mouth and throat. It was awful and I could barely eat for a week.

Since then, whenever my face gets sunburned, a blister pops up on my lip. It could be a small one, barely noticeable, or a huge one which looks like I got punched in the face. When I was in school it was awful. It really did a number on my self-esteem. I was always afraid that people would think that I have herpes (not that there is anything wrong with that - from what I understand lots of people do, but that is not exactly something a college student wants to advertise on their face). So I would wear dark lipstick and try to cover it up. Confession: I have even covered them with bandaids.

In the past several years, I have had a lot of dental issues and have had several fillings replaced with crowns. Every time I get a crown, a few days later, a cold sore pops up. Last week I had the pleasure of having two crowns - one on either side of my mouth. It has been a super fun week. We did it all in one comprehensive appointment. Instead of doing multiple appointments of drill...temp crown...permanent crown...drill...temp crown...permanent crown, we just knocked it all out in one very long morning - and as such, the dentist knocked me out. The sedation part of the appointment could not have gone better but after having your mouth open for 4.5 hours, I was very sore and very discombobulated with all the meds. I was completely out of my gourd for most of the day.

Since then I have had some issues crop up but nothing I could not handle until last night. The Engineer and I were out and I picked up a salted caramel mocha at Starbucks. I would take a sip: ow! Sip: ow! Sip: ow! It was painful to drink but when I pay $4 for a coffee, I really feel like I need to drink it. Why were my gums still so sore four days later?

Bedtime was even more uncomfortable so I finally broke down and took some painkillers that my dentist prescribed. I found out why that SCM was so uncomfortable to drink when I woke up this morning to sores all around my mouth - and on the inside of my mouth. Fantastic. Three different people asked me if I was allergic to latex and my choir director said that the exact same thing used to happen to her when her dentist would use a latex dam. Then this afternoon my sister informed me that she is also super allergic to latex. It was like a lightbulb went off. Could that be the reason that my lips would break out in sores every time I had work done?
The crummy thing is that I was supposed to work this afternoon and cover an interesting story about a floating WWII-era ship turned museum that is docked at a local harbor, but considering I am finding it hard to even talk and eat, I had to cancel. Plus, I look kinda heinous right now and honestly, this feels pretty close to awful. My face is throbbing. While the Angelina Jolie lips are an improvement, the cream smeared across my face ruins the effect.

So here is my question to you - are you allergic to latex? What do you do to combat that?

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