whiteout, Burning Man, Olympus Epic

I caught a crazy virus last week. A virus unlike other viruses.

After weeks of sleep deprivation/overstimulation at Burning Man and a pretty major case of the blues, my body was primed and ready for attack. “Come all ye viruses! I am your host. You can destroy me without a fight!”

It started out innocently enough. Body aches, fatigue. I was even RELIEVED at the thought that I could lay on the couch guilt-free and soak up all that Oprah and Dr. Phil…

But then the blisters came.

By the time I flew to Denver for a wedding last thursday, my tongue and gums were swollen, I had blisters along my throat, blisters under my tongue, and blisters along my gums.

Anything slightly “tangy” would sear my mouth in pain. (Water qualifies as tangy in my world.) Chewing was a spectacular torture, and when I spoke it sounded like I had a retainer in my mouth. My head ached around the clock and I was in a foul foul mood. I have became highly dependent/addicted to Advil.

The doctors say they can’t do a thing. It will have to run its course. BUT, they say, “I can prescribe this handy mouthwash that will numb your mouth long enough to get some food down.”

This is some of the most ridiculous stuff I have ever seen. It is a close cousin of novacaine and it basically numbs your entire mouth (including your lips) for about 15 minutes. Who wants to eat in that condition?

Last night, Matt was kept up by a mosquito bite that he kept scratching. He finally went into the bathroom and put the mouthwash on the bite. Presto! numb for long enough so he can sleep.

At least it’s working for him.

I write all of this becuase it SUCKS ASS and now that I?m finally showing signs of recovery, I thought it might add a levity to it all if I could talk/laugh about it.

I’ve been trying to listen to this illness, figure out what it’s trying to tell me. It’s speaking so loudly and colorfully my ears are ringing and yet I’m still confused.

It’s on a bullhorn shouting, “Slow the fuck down!” like a crazed policeman on horseback.

And me, I am running ahead in the distance wondering what all the racket is about.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Linda

    I just got through a stressful Christmas and am also experiecing blisters on my tongue and the side of my cheek. I have also been endulging in the chocolate that is everywhere in my office. It hurts to eat and even talk. I wake up and my jaw hurts because I’ve been clenching my teeth all night. I am thinking besides the stress it could be a new anti-inflammatory I’ve been taking for arthritis. I’m going to stop taking it and see if that helps. Of course, Christmas is now over, and I’ll never know if it’s the drug or the stress, but probably it’s both.

  2. Sandy

    My friend is experiencing the same horrible blisters. I’m so worried about her. It’s been going on for a week. She can barely talk. I’m a nurse in my forties. I’ve never heard of such a thing. sj

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