Lip service

Hey everyone!

I’d like you to meet Hildegard, my newest house guest:


Hi Hildy! You’re looking particularly repugnant this morning, I must say.

For those of you new to my blog, I get cold sores in bulk and I’m prone to naming them and then blogging about them not only because I’m a freak of nature but because, other than “Jon & Kate Plus 8” and “Octamom,” there are no better Google key words than cold sore to guarantee an orgasm of blog traffic and a healthy erection of your blog stats.

In case your interest is aroused, there are other Google key words that hit the G spot as well, but I’m going to have to think long and hard about them as I can’t recall them off the top of my head at the moment.

For those of you who have been here for awhile and are accustomed to seeing my anatomy in various stages of distress on a routine basis … I’m sorry.

Hildy came to visit yesterday and parked her big, fat, ugly ass on my lip, one week before we’re due to leave for San Francisco for our tenth anniversary celebration. Seeing as how my cold sores last anywhere from 2-3 weeks, I fully expect to pack her a little suitcase of her own, chock full of Valtrex and Lysine and Zovirax. I hope she doesn’t need her own airplane seat, the miserable little shit.

I have had just about enough of Murphy’s Law. Would someone please find Murphy and revoke his legislative powers? Because otherwise, I am going to beat him senseless.

Let’s recap, shall we?


Remember Millicent? She was Hildy’s twin sister who dropped in unexpectedly this past March, on the same day I was due to volunteer in Helena’s classroom, take her to gymnastics, go to a meeting at Zoe’s school and substitute for Bunco, which exponentially increased my chances of being noticed and thus tackled and hauled off to NASA to explain how I got an alien sucked to my face.

Milly stuck around for, oh, about two weeks.


And who can possibly forget the one, the only, the incomparable Bernice?

Not me!

Bernice was the badass mother of Milly and Hildy and, I’m pretty sure, every cold sore that ever was since the dawn of time. She came to visit me on July 4th of last year, exactly six hours before I was due at a picnic where I was to be meeting Nate’s friends and their families and friends, about sixty people total, for the first time. Right before we left for the picnic, I snapped this photo and cried.

Bernie sucked the life force out of me and overstayed her welcome by three of the longest weeks of my life. I never did get around to sending her a thank you note for the scar she left me. After DEAR BERNICE, SCREW YOU, YOU BIG, FAT HAG, I just had nothing left to say.

Who else gets cold sores like these? The kind they don’t show on Abreva commercials lest their entire viewing audience leave their TVs to vomit? The kind that swells up half your face and gives birth to dozens of canker sores and causes your ear to throb and your eye to ache and, in general, makes you want to slam your face against the pavement until it falls off?


Anyone at all?

To put it in terms that Google key words understands, being a pulsing, throbbing member of the trend setting community sucks and blows.

Multiple times.



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65 thoughts on “Lip service”

  1. Avatar

    Oh *ouch* Andy! Hildegard looks like one mean beeyotch. ๐Ÿ™ I’m so sorry she decided to visit you right now!!!

    Hoping that she departs your face with plenty of time before San Fran!!!

    Oh, and I have *fervently knocking wood* no experience with cold sores, but Hubby gets canker sores with great frequency and he swears by lots of yogurt to cure them.

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    Oh no!! Always at the most inconvenient time! I always recommend L-lysene. Do you take that? Marvelous for healing cold sores and ulcers and stopping them from reoccurring. Seriously!

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    I agree with Esther, L-lysene. My son suffers with them but fortunately not to the extent that you do, but if he remembers to take L-l regularly they aren’t as frequent or as debilitating. But I guess you’ve tried everything. Lets hope Hildy doen’t take after her mean mother.

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    Ow! Sorry, I hope it passes soon. I go through periods when I get them fairly often and then periods where I don’t get any. Stress seems to trigger them, so I try hard to be as lazy as possible.

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    im soo so sorry I get shingles and cold sores like that on my ear and face that make me wanna die so I can sorta sympathize I have photos too but aaahhh Thats ok. I just call myself swamp thing when I get it haha. (or leprosy girl) Im soo so sorry for your lip, That looks so miserable. They cant give you like abreeva to go with? or I guess that wouldn’t help huh? guess you see an infuktious disaster dr too huh? IM off to mine today he says its stress (no duh huh?) laziness work i see in a previous reply lol

  6. Avatar

    Youchie. I get them occasionally, but only when I’m super stressed. I have a tendency to suck on my lip when I’m stressed and they always show up. Ugh, bastards.

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    I am so sorry for your miserable visitor to appear right before your trip. I get them too – though thankfully, not as big – but they are certainly painful, uncomfortable and uuugly! Hit the lysine hard – it usually helps with mine.

  8. Avatar

    Just put some botox in that top lip and they’ll even out! You’re going to San Francisco, You’ll fit right in.

    But in all seriousness, I understand. Not quite the cold sore, but I get canker sores, in bulk every single month. I hope that Mildegarde hits the highway soon. She don’t know who she fuckin’ wit’! *laughs*

  9. Avatar

    My husband gets them on his top lip that make his whole lip swell. It always looks like someone punched him or he was making out with the vacuum cleaner.

    As a side note, your Google search lists have got to be a riot with your descriptive language. You should post them sometime.

  10. Avatar

    I found you (as I always like to say when ever you post your lip sore photos) by searching lip sore photos. It’s funny how we get them at the same time. I got a big one that almost missed my lip. It’s actually above my upper lip (in the parenthesis, if you know what I mean) this time. It’s healing now which means BIG YELLOW SCAB!!! I think mine are related to sugar. When i have a sweets binge or drink alcohol BAM! Painful, cracking, pus filled blister face.

    Cheers, sore-sister.

  11. Avatar

    I’m so very sorry. It sounds like stress brings them on, although not sure why you’d be stressed about your trip… hmmm… Hope this one goes away SOON!

  12. Avatar

    Those look downright painful!! And it does figure that they always seem to show up at the most inopportune times! I hope Hildegard finds a new home…fast!

  13. Avatar

    omg! you poor thing. i’m thinking maybe murder and mayhem all over hildy and crew. l-lysine everyday may help.

  14. Avatar

    No comfort to you, but yes, I get them, but NOT LIKE THAT!

    Mine feel like they should look like yours, but actually are pathetic little raised wimpy hillocks – definitely the poor irish relation of yours.

    Waving and sending happy get well thoughts……..from a distance, across the Atlantic Ocean!

  15. Avatar

    OWIE! I’ve had sores that bad, only a couple of times, and hope to never feel again that I look like a cross between Angelina Jolie after a bar fight and Mr. Ed. Hope this one goes by fast and you’re back to your usual lovely self before long!

  16. Avatar

    Oh wow! That’s terrible. I’m sorry that happened to you. Have you tried Aloe butter + l-lysine + tea tree oil? That sometimes does the trick, but you’ve got so much swelling I’d be afraid to touch it. Have you tried the chamomile-lavender tea bags like compresses? Sometimes they can help with swelling. At any rate, I hope she dies a quick death without scarring. (Vitamin C can help with scars, btw.) Anyway, just good luck, hope she dies quick and painlessly.

  17. Avatar

    No offense to Hildy and Milly, but Bernice really was my favorite…maybe because she was my introduction to your cold sore habit, as it were. But I know that Bernice wasn’t terribly nice to you and for that I will give her the cold shoulder the next time I see her…


  18. Avatar

    Ugh! I’m so sorry you have to deal with these awful guests. They sound awful.

    I hope you manage to enjoy your visit to San Francisco. I live in SF and if you start feeling self concious just remember that SF is full of all kinds of oddballs, eccentrics, artists, weirdos, and for the most part people are not very judgemental.

  19. Avatar

    Oh oh oh that looks so painful. But why have you given it a female identity? Really…. something as nasty, useless and painful as that surely has to be male?! Well… doesn’t it? Anyway, I hope he leaves you very soon.

  20. Avatar

    OMG! You poor thing. Three of those mf’ers in one YEAR? I get ’em on my upper lip but I usually get 18-24 months in between the lovelies appearances.


  21. Avatar

    USE RELEEV! I get them like that too. I’ve found that if I start using Releev right when I feel one coming, they’ll only get about 1/3 that size and be gone within a couple of days. Unfortunately, I discovered this product about a week AFTER I got one that large…right before college graduation ๐Ÿ™

  22. Avatar

    yes, i get these, and yes, they’re that swollen sometimes. i get them on my upper lip, and i look like a monster for about 5 days. i’m just getting over a particularly bad one right now. it started about a month ago, actually, when a very small sore that never blistered b/c i caught it early with abreva and valtrex. but then, a week or so later, i went to the beach and wasn’t very healthy, got too much sun, etc., and the sores came back with a vengeance!!! it’s been 14 days since the second outbreak, and the scabs are gone, but my lips is a little scarred — mostly puffy where the scabs were (not swollen — the swelling’s gone — just puffy in two little areas). it’s so annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’ll have to wait a few months, i’m sure, until my lip is back to normal (i hope), and then i’ll probably get another one ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Avatar

    Oh my god, I get these, too. And not usually just one, I get 4 at a time, always on important days when I least can afford them, and always when I must be on the lens-end of a camera. I feel your viral pain, girl.

  24. Avatar

    Ouch. That sucks. I hope your friends went away in time for vacation. And, despite your pain, thanks for sharing G-spot blog words.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, your family and all your ‘friends.’


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    There’s a prescription drug called Acyclovir (maybe mis-spelled) that I take every day in order to avoid people like Bernice from visiting me. At Kroger or Wal-mart (stupidest pharmacists ever – use Kroger) pharmacies you can pick it up as a 4 dollar generic. Totally worth 4 dollars a month to keep the baddies away; and it works! I never get them anymore; it’s wonderful!

  26. Avatar

    I had one years ago that was worse that Bernice and lasted for about 3-4 weeks. I don’t get them much anymore, thank goodness. If I do, they are small and go away within days.

  27. Avatar

    Just read this entry. I hate myself when I laugh at other people’s pain so right now I’m feeling very guilty. But I guess you asked me to laugh by writing the blog so I’ll get over it. Too bad these things are so funny when you have one.

    And wow, that one looks particularly painful. But I’m with Esther (comment #3) about using L-Lysine. I used to get nasty cold sores although I can’t say that I ever named them. I take 500 mg of L-Lysine every evening and that usually keeps them at bay. If I do start getting one, I increase to several times a day for a few days — that usually makes them either go away or at least keeps them from getting to be more than a little sore followed by a small scab and then gone. Much easier to live with.

  28. Avatar

    Please talk to your doctor about oral acyclovir. Even if I only take it during outbreaks (and also using acyclovir ointment), it speeds recovery by MILES. But my outbreaks were so severe and painful that I am now on a daily dose of acyclovir and it suppresses outbreaks almost completely. No side-effects, in my case. Good luck.

  29. Avatar

    Thanks for posting this blog. I just started getting one yesterday after starting my new job (and dating someone new!). I was feeling pretty down, but read your blog and your humorous take on bernice et. al made me laugh a little. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ My own fat friend is growing ever larger, let’s name her Beatrice. I usually take l-lyseine everyday and haven’t gotten one in a long time, but my immune system must have been at 0. I’ve been taking massive doses of l-lyseine since yesterday and am praying for it to go awayyy as I have a date tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™
    Anyways good luck with Hildegard, and hope you enjoy your trip as best you can! Keep us posted.

  30. Avatar

    I am sooo sorry for you. As I look at myself in the mirror with my two unwanted visitors I can now remind myself that there are people who are worse off than me with cold sores. My visitors came on Christmas Eve and tried to ruin my Christmas. I woke up today and found two more. Yea!!! Now I have a total of four on my lip. The worst outbreak ever!!!! I read all of the comments and I appreciate you and everyone who posted. It has helped me sooo much!!!! I am going to call my doctor to see about getting some perscription medicine and try the Lysine, too. Be blessed!

  31. Avatar

    Yeah wow.

    I know I’m a bit late to the party but I got a small one about two weeks ago, cleared up fine. Low and behold, I get sick a week later and another one pops up a day or so after I get my cold then I get home from work and another on is on it’s way. Haven’t had a breakout like this in years.

    Nice to know I’m not alone.

  32. Avatar

    Your blog made me laugh. I get outbreaks as bad as you – but on my top lip. It’s ridiculously bad and the Doctor’s are so unsympathetic. It’s like they don’t care that I could easily trip over my own lip because it’s so huge.
    I just overcame 3 weeks full of continuous cold sores, last week was my only cold sore free week and now I’m so paranoid about them coming back. I’ve even got Zovirax on now in the hope that if it turns out to be one I’ve dried it up before it can even rear its ugly head.

    Good luck with future outbreaks although by some miracle you might not get any more

  33. Avatar


    I get them half as bad as that, i say half because literally one half of my top lip swells that badly with the other side staying normal size. It is awful! But i do have a cure!

    I changed doctors, i would normally get these cold sores every 3 – 4 years & she gave me a 2 day prescription for ‘valtrex’. This medication is normally given to people with shingles but as my cold sore was almost a second person, she said to try it.

    Not only does it reduce the swelling but it also increases healing time dramatically. I would be lost without this medication! Hope this helps you, im sure they do another version of this drug if not this specific one where you are!


  34. Avatar

    I found your blog by googling photos of cold sores…and I have to tell you that I am now currently suffering from the mother of all cold sores, my upper lip is so swollen that I can barely talk, my entire right side of my face and ear hurts, and all of this 24 hours before I am supposed to go to a party and see the ex-husband for the first time in a long time…I think I am being told by this untimely cold sore not to go…but I have a fabulous costume and lost a bunch of weight and…I could cry….darn-it-all!

  35. Avatar

    Lol, I have this cold sore right now!
    But it’s going away ๐Ÿ˜€ !
    i hope its gone by Sunday!
    Sitting next to miss Maya Galakhova
    For the 2012 USA pageant show !
    Pray It will heal by then <3

  36. Avatar

    Yes, I know – I get them on my top lip. Glad there are others out there, thanks for sharing. I am a mutant at the moment so feel pretty sad ๐Ÿ™

    I take flamvir 1500mg straight away if I can it doesn’t get as big then.

    Take care Mxo

  37. Avatar

    I have only every had two other cold sores in my life with the last appearance being over 12 years ago (yed, I know, I’m blessed lol). Those last two were the typical red, painful, tingly, itchy type. This time I got the tiny clusters of blisters all over both the top and bottom lip! WTHeck?! They itch so severely, and today both of my lips are swollen! Those are my only symptoms this time….does that sound like child sure characteristics to anyone else and usually how long does it take for the blisters to break?

    I’m sorry you get these stupid lip swelling ones! It’s miserable!

  38. Avatar

    I have fought cold sores with no real relief for probably 16 years. The only time it wasn’t an issue was when I was on Acylovir for an entire year, and could not miss one day. When I went off the medication I started having almost back to back cold sores 2-3 a month. I used the Abreva cream and every other remedy I could find and nothing worked. You know how ugly and painful these things are and it was so much worse around my period time. By chance I found an article that promoted the virus as a fungus and enouraged Lamisil for up to 9 months to “cure ” the problem. I am a nurse and way to aware of the liver issues to think I would talk my doctor into this. However, I started thinking if there was any truth in this, would oral topical medication for fungus work? Then I found a patent someone had taken out for clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) 1% for the treatment of herpes. So I bought a tube. I started using it 4 weeks ago. I have had the signs of a cold sore starting for the past week but it has never broken out. Normally i get a 2-3 hour notice before I have full break out. I have always gotten very large nasty cold sores. I think there is something in this medication that inhibits the virus big time. I am so anxious to see what happens over the next month, but I believe i am on to something. Would make sense that this would be surpressed, there is a lot of money in cold sore medications that don’t really work, but are better than nothing. And this med is cheap. I have just spread a thin layer around my mouth, particularly where breakouts happen twice a day. You know what? You’ve got nothing to lose to try it. I have even seen postings against using this… with the explaination “this is a virus, not a fungus. ” I know it is a virus. I know this medication is working.

  39. Avatar

    I have a friend with a strawberry/pineapple allergy (she developed it in her 20s) who gets something similar…. if you havn’t already, I’d recommend a thorough allergy test.

  40. Avatar

    Seriously can not begin to say how relieved I am (sorry) that somebody gets coldsores just as bad as I do. Those who have the one or 2 dots.. I am jealous of even if they also do have the same virus! I have it literally all around my chin above my lip around corners face… and my lips get that big too. How do you deal with going to work etc? Because I work in retail and hospitality dealing a lot with customers and this has proper put me in a paranoid and self conscious state

  41. Avatar

    Last week I just started having a cold sore. Knowing that I had a hot First date (with the man of my dream), I panicked & looked on the internet for miracle cures to get rid of, let’s call it; “Madonna”. I applied garlic on it & Madonna was burning like an inferno. Madonna got really mad that I wanted to get rid of it, it decided to swell bigger than your dear Bernice. Madonna got sssssso huge & wouldn’t go down. I had to make an excuse and cancel my hot date! He rescheduled for the following week. Now I’m stressed out because I switched my strategy to finally giving up “miracle cures” ( I tried garlic, tea tree oil, lysine galore, vinegar… It made Madonna 100 times worst & turned it into what I now call “Adolf Hitler”) to use zovirax. But now Adolf is a huge repugnant yellowy puss infested nasty creature. I have seven days to get rid of it before my date. I’m praying!

  42. Avatar

    I’m dealing with one of these mofo’s right now I think. It’s my first one and I have no idea what to say. I’m 21 and look insane with this thing on my effing face.

  43. Avatar

    Well me right now i am sitting at the doctors cause i have had cold sores before but yesterday this one about the size of texas landed on my lip i do have pictures and so i spent the 16.00 to get abreva to help went to bed and woke to my whole lip huge all balloon like hurting you wouldnt believe how many people tell me different things to try like one person said a lime another told me perfum some i might be able to see others idk about.

  44. Avatar

    I’m so glad i came across your blog. I get coldsores just like you do. That abreva commercial seems like a walk in the park . Abreva..campho phyniqe. Lysine. Valtrex. Deniver. Nothing works for me. My coldsore just gets bigger and bigger till my whole lip is swollen.. i end up hiding in the house having to cancel plans. I love your humor and your writing. Good luck to Hildy n Milly in the future! God Bless.

  45. Avatar

    i have had one for 6 weeks now. Same -ish location on my chin. Every time i think it has healed, a new ‘tingly’ puss spot will appear in the morning. trying my 3 round of anti virals tonight. it basically heals and then a few millimeters away from the initial zone a new one appears. it’s just one giant red patch of flaky blistery, uneven skin. brutal. this has gone on for 6 weeks in the same general vicinity.

  46. Avatar

    Hi there Iโ€™m Meghan Iโ€™m from LA I get cold Sores Exactly like this! Mines on my upper lip and it swells just like yours Iโ€™ve had it 4 times 3 in the past two years. Actually I have it right now as Iโ€™m writing ! I just got back from the Doctor Who wants to send me to a specialist because they are so reoccurring and rule out cancer. Which is concerning but fingers crossed ! anyways Iโ€™ve never met anyone except you they get them like this and itโ€™s kind of nice to know thereโ€™s somebody else out there dealing with the same thing as me Although Iโ€™m sure you donโ€™t want to be dealing with it. I know I donโ€™t . Anyway thanks for your blog itโ€™s very helpful

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