Cellulitis (or The Freak Forehead Infection)

***UPDATE: Please read my updated thoughts and experiences with Cellulitis here.

This post doesn’t EXACTLY fit into my blog vision but I do want to share about my freak forehead infection of last week.

Last Monday night, I spent a long night in the ER  for a very strange rash/’welt’ on my forehead. I’d woken up on Monday morning, took a beautiful walk in Florida. I was ready to start my work-from-Alex’s-home week right.

About lunchtime, I’d happened to take a look in the bathroom mirror and noticed that my forehead was raised, near my hairline. We’d gone paddleboarding the day before and I’d thought, maybe I’d missed sunscreen on my forehead. But this would have been totally unlike me – I am very careful to put on lotion with SPF every morning, especially when going to play outside. It didn’t hurt and wasn’t hot like a sunburn either. My forehead felt hard (like normal) but had a definite ‘ridge’ where it was raised and was pretty stiff. It looke more like I’d been whacked in the head with at 2×4. What the heck could this be??

I did some quick research online. When my search (‘raised’ + ‘forehead’ + ‘sunburn?’) didn’t return much, I put a bag of corn (Alex had no ice) on my forehead and went about my business. I’d noted where the ridge was and decided I’d involve Alex and doctors if it got any bigger.

Well, it got bigger. Much bigger.

It had maintained it’s size and shape for most of the day. We went out for dinner and I didn’t think anything of my dinosaur forehead. During dinner, I’d felt a pressure near my eyebrows, like a headache, and reached up to rub it. I got a BIG surprise. My swelling had grown to cover most of my forehead. At this point, I got scared. After a quick confirmation in the bathroom mirror, we left the restaurant and started making phone calls – to our parents, to urgent care locations. The parents said, get your butt to the hospital. The urgent care locations said they were closed. We ended up at the ER in Fort Myers that had the best online reviews.

I’d never been in an ER before and was unsure what to expect. ‘Think of a doctor office but with a longer wait’ was what Alex told me. We got to the ER at about 9-9:30 p.m. and finally left at about 1 a.m. During our wait, I had Alex take a picture of how big my swelling had gotten:

After finally seeing a doctor, we were told that I likely had Cellulitis. I was administered an antibiotic shot in my arm (OUCH!!!) and we were on our way with a sheet of paper explaining Cellulitis and a prescription for more antibiotics. Causes of Cellulitis are a small scratch (or bug bite) that has gotten infected and swells. I’d likely been bitten by a bug on Saturday (both Alex and I noticed a red, itchy bump on my forehead) and it got infected sometime within the next 24 hours.

While my infection didn’t hurt, it was absolutely unsightly. I felt like I belonged on Star Trek with this guy:

Thank goodness for bangs!

Over the course of the next few days, the swelling decreased and I was able to make facial expressions with my forehead again! Wrinkles! Woo!

Today marks the last day of antibiotics and I’ve given my forehead the ‘all clear’. It feels and looks normal again. I have my forehead and forehead wrinkles back!

Last Monday was a scary night and I felt lucky to be with Alex. In the last 5 years, we haven’t encountered any substantial injuries or sicknesses so this was completely new ground for us. He kept calm and comforted me when I was on the verge of tears, he was quick to research the best urgent care and hospital to take me to, held my hand the whole time and asked questions I hadn’t thought to ask. I’d never felt more like a team. He was patient, supportive and incredibly thoughtful. While I would have rather not spent one of my few Florida nights in the ER, I’m thankful that I ended up in the ER with him by my side.


Cellulitis (or The Freak Forehead Infection) — 14 Comments

  1. What a crazy story! Glad you’re alright. Those bacteria will get you when you least expect it. I’m glad for you too that you could be with Alex! ERs and medical emergencies are really no fun alone.

    Love your cute necklace in the last photo, too.

  2. I’m so sorry you had to go through that! So glad that it’s all better, you handled it so well.

    You’re so right that it’s important that you and Alex go through these things together and it sounds like you two worked wonderfully together :)

  3. Pingback: Final Friday in Florida! « lgsmash

  4. So bizzare! My dad has this – he developed it today. I’ve never seen anything so odd. Anywho, I’ve been trying to find out more about it and when I saw a pic of your forehead, I knew I had to look no further. Glad you look normal again and so glad that my dad won’t be walking around with a star trek forehead for the rest of his life. :) Thanks so much for the post. You’ve really helped us out!

  5. My sister has this right now. I can’t help but giggle everytime I see her. I feel bad, but it’s so silly. I am glad I found this, now we atleast know what the heck the lump on her forehead is lol

  6. Pingback: NOT Cellulitis On My Forehead « lgsmash

  7. i have a big mystery forehead lump also

    going to get it checked out in the er right now . thanks for this post it helped me alot iwas starting to freak out a bit lol

  8. Hey!

    I just wanted to thank you for the post. I had cellulitis last December and it was really scary. I must have gotten rid of the paperwork. I didn’t know what the diagnosis was for the longest time. Mine was terrible. My buddy called me the Italian Unicorn because it was right between my eyebrows SMH.. My eyes were pushed outward. I was laughing at the Star Trek pic 😂 He was making fun of me cause I call myself the Italian stallion hahahha.. But yeah it was brutal. Scary as fuck. I thought it was puss so I tried to use an alcohol disinfected sewing pin. Terrible idea. Caused a bit of infection. I wish I could post a pic but yours was in a better spot. Though twas terrible, you still had a beautiful smile 😃. Like you said, my facial features didn’t come back for like 6 days… Didn’t want to leave the house. Today, I have spotted celluitis again 😔. It’s in a perfect circle. Crazy. I hope it doesn’t get bigger. I have funeral to go to in the next couple weeks.. FUCKIN sucks. My dad. How do I carry his casket looking like a fucking star trek… This sucks. But I gotta go to the hospital prob. Thanks again. Sorry if that got dark. Just speaking my mind. Take care.

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