Labret drama

I'm up early to drink coffee and vote before I go sit in an uncomfortable chair listening to irritating bings and tings all afternoon for "brain training." This is supposed to retrain my brain not to be anxious and panicky all the time. It involves having electrodes stuck to my head to even out the brain waves that are misbehaving. It has be done twice a day for 4 days. So far, I hate it. I'm bored sitting still, I'm tired being awake during the day, the tones are irritating, and the whole thing smacks of witchcraft. However, I've literally tried everything else and have nothing to lose but a week's worth of afternoons, and I'm a practical person at base; if something works, I don't CARE if it's a placebo effect or witchcraft. Anyway I can't have coffee an hour around any of it so I have to get up early for my fix. My labret (lip piercing) is giving me all kinds of fits. It swelled and hurt like feck to begin with, and the back of the flatback catches on my teeth when I eat because of the swelling. As with a tongue piercing, eating becomes cerebral. You have to micromanage where your food and jewelry are at all times at first because you don't realize how much you use your tongue and lip to push food around. I no longer notice my tongue stud so I remain hopeful this will happen with the labret as well, but meanwhile I'm having bigger issues with it.

Horror story: last night I erred in trying to bite off a piece of food (vs cutting it and setting it inside my teeth) and ended up pulling the whole gem through my lip. Not THROUGH exactly; it got pulled halfway into my lip and got stuck. (Note to self: micro gems are bad, m'kay?) I'm somewhat used to horrifying piercing issues (mostly in patients at work) so I didn't panic, but when I got to the bathroom and looked at it, my mouth was filled with blood and it was dripping down my chin. I laughed at myself because I thought "I look like a vampire who just had dinner." It was hysterical laughter, but still. What can you do. I surveyed the situation, washed my hands, put my thumb on the flatback, held my lip super tight, and pushed the gem back through. It had to go one way or the other, right? I rinsed my mouth with cold saline and put cold saline-soaked gauze around the post until the bleeding stopped, took some Motrin, and sat around with ice pack for an hour, and really the thing looks surprisingly good---it looked swollen and red anyway. Obviously my inclination with all these issues is to just take it out, but you can't do that at this point. The fistula would probably fill with goo and get infected. The jewelry lets it drain. So I have to leave it in anyway. Might as well see if it shapes up. (Plus...it looks adorable. I had five (5!!!) patients tell me over my three shifts this weekend that it was cute.)

But on top of that, with all this mucking about, a frigging cold sore has formed right at the vermillion border above the stud. I took Valtrex, but it really, really hurts and I'm pretty sure that a herpetic lesion above a fresh piercing that has just been traumatized is almost certainly a Bad Thing. And is neither adorable nor cute.

So today the fate of a nation hangs in the balance and I'm sort of glad I have this other stuff to occupy my mind so I don't just sit around freaking out waiting to see what happens, I guess. This election can make a person nervous.