I am not an animal! Why Cold Sores Should be Judgement Free.

Further to 2016 being the Year of Not Being Half Arsed I decided that I probs needed to move on from the pineapple profile or that other grainy selfie I took of myself, unkempt with a layer of camper trailer dust and a glass of champagne in my hand. Yep, probably needed something a bit more professional or at least less drunkard. Here’s how the conversation went with myself:

Me: I’m going to book a photographer, get a bit tizzied up and have some beautiful profile photos taken of myself.

My face: Nah, sounds like too much trouble. * develop raging cold sore*

Me: I hate you. *smears on more cold sore cream*

Yes, I am afflicted with cold sores. I get them on my lips, beneath my nose, even in my nose. But it’s not the pain, the burning sensation, the swelling, the moment when the blister bursts and the mopping up of what surely must be toxic nuclear sludge from your face that really hurts… No. It’s the JUDGEMENT I get from people who DON’T get cold sores.

Cold sore
My affliction in full flight.

That’s right. The smarmy bunch of gits who believe because they don’t have herpes on their face, they are somehow better than the rest of us.


Here’s how my day goes when I have a cold sore:


“Good morning Herbert.” is how the stereotypical greeting from my husband, Herbert being the sarcastically affectionate name for my cold sores. He then makes a show of giving me a metre-wide berth lest my face herpes jumps on to him. I won’t be surprised the day I wake up with a cold sore and he is dressed in top to toe hazmat gear.

I have a shower and then prepare my face for a day of silent judgement. This might involve covering the cold sore up with makeup, or, more likely, completely giving away all attempts at looking presentable in an effort to take the attention away from my face herpes, and rather to the general air of slovenliness I project.

Then there’s the moment I try to hug my children whereupon they immediately bolt, screaming: “Don’t let the yucky virus touch me!!!!!!”  Cue silent sobbing.

School drop off:

After unsuccessfully trying to convince Sussie she can be dropped off at the front gate and walk in by herself, I walk through the school and have conversations with parents’ foreheads, as they all (every single one) stare unwillingly into the very eye of Herbert, their fear of whether Sussie should be quarantined from the rest of the kids and whether I have been rubbing myself up against a leper clear on their faces.

I leave after another humiliating episode of “Don’t kiss me with your yucky face Mama.” Never gets old.

Rest of the day:

Stay at home and avoid contact with other non-infected humans with the blinds drawn, rub cold sore cream vigorously into my face and wonder whether I can do school pick up with a paper bag over my head.

paper bag
Courtesy: http://eleanor.activerain.com


And I don’t even need to go to work where you have to look semi-professional. That’s even worse as colleagues reach for their hand sanitiser  36% more than usual. I’ve even had someone offer me some whilst I had a cold sore. Didn’t know whether to yell “Get stuffed!” meekly say “Thanks” or just walk away, tears glistening.

I think you’re getting the disfigured face herpes picture here: having cold sores is hard enough, I don’t need the judgement and open repulsion people fling at me when I step outdoors. I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! Just someone with highly contagious, highly visible, pussy weeping blisters, standing in front of other humans, asking them to love me (from afar would be fine).

Afflicted with face herpes? Join my hashtag #getfuckedcoldsores.

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