I have a cold sore. I am irrationally upset about this. I have NEVER had a cold sore before. I have existed for 30.5 years, cold sore free; have lived through far more stressful times than this, had horrendous colds, been a little raver, been run down to the point of collapse, and at no stage has there been the merest hint of a cold sore.
At least my local Lloyds Pharmacist, who kept about 12 foot away from me and barely looked at my face before thrusting a tube of Zovirax at me, thinks it is a cold sore. If not, it is a bacterial infection and I should see my doctor. JOY.
Is it wrong that that seems preferable to HERPES? I have had a bacterial infection before – a memorable dose of Cellulitis which struck me down on the first weekend of my new job when I was due to represent my company at an exhibition at the ExCeL centre in London and instead sat forlornly in my hotel room, slightly off my face on masses of antibiotics prescribed by the local A&E, with my Cellulitis ridden foot that resembled something you’d find on the end of an elephant’s leg rather than a human’s, elevated, waiting for my poor Dad to drive all the way from Birmingham to collect me. That gives you a tale to tell believe you me! Cold sores do not. ‘Hey – the Herpes virus has been lying dormant in the nerves on my face for three decades but I’LL TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK! BIG OPEN COLD SORE!’
I like being physically clean. James will confirm, if you ask him, that this verges on OCD-esque at times. I cannot cope with the idea of being grubby. If I have had a night on the tiles, I cannot sleep a second night in the pyjamas I lay my poor pissed self down in. They go straight in the wash the next morning. My best friend Liz A will attest to my being traumatised when we visited the Dorset Steam Fair (I didn’t know such a thing existed either. My friend Laura tells me this can actually be a real hoot of a weekend but my memories are not pleasant) with my work one Summer and I came back to the B&B one evening with actual smuts of coal on my face. I had to exfoliate. And on the one occasion so far that I have been to Glastonbury, I put my entire head under a cold water tap (apparently – I don’t remember) and WASHED MY HAIR IN COLD WATER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOST RAINY GLASTONBURY YET because I couldn’t cope with the thought of how dirty it was. And I also, having used the let’s be honest grim toilet facilities at Glastonbury for two days, became so fixated on the concept that I smelt of wee (mine and other peoples) that I had to wait until my tent-mate Hannah had gone to sleep and then scrub myself all over with the best part of a pack of baby wipes before I felt I could sleep.
So how in the name of all that is FRAGRANT have I got HERPES?! I am so distressed by this. And I am panicing wildly because I kissed James at least twice yesterday to congratulate him on completing the Birmingham Half Marathon and I shower kisses on Blake ALL DAY LONG because I am so desperately aware that by the time he is 10 the last thing he will ever want is for his Mum to kiss him. So I am trying to pack in as many as possible now because that fact makes me sadder than I can say.
So not only so I have Herpes, I could be a spreader of Herpes. DOES. NOT. MAKE. ME. FEEL. CLEAN.
I know they have nothing to do with cleanliness. I know they are a common thing, probably passed on when someone kissed me as a child (SCREEN YOUR FRIENDS BETTER MUM AND DAD SOMEONE HAS *gasp* HERPES) and Alexa Chung gets them loads according to my friend Sophie, but I am still upset. Because they don’t exactly look pretty and they actually bloody hurt (‘tingle’ MY ARSE) and so I am going to sit and eat my simple dinner of Quinoa (like an ARSE) and feel grubby and sad *sob* and hopefully get a grip.
dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused