(Writing Joker Face made me think of Poker Face and now I have Lady Gaga stuck in my head. The Glee version, actually.)
Let’s talk about yeast, baby. Thrush has invaded our house. Well, my body anyway. I haven’t seen much by symptoms in The Boy, but I’m not risking that he would pass it back to me because it is a bitch. As an inexperienced nurser I thought the pain was my milk letting down. The searing, burning feeling-like-shards-of-glass are cutting through your boobs, armpits and into my back are not, in fact, the feeling of your milk letting down. FYI. That is the yeast. It also causes your nipples to be fragile which results in some wounds, sores and cracks. The yeast must go.
So, in 2010, at respectable places of medicinal practice, the best treatment they can give me is Gentian Violet. I’m sorry, did I transport back to Medieval times?? I’ll admit, I’m a little Kumbaya. I have deep hippie roots and steer towards the “natural, homeopathic” route. But we’re talking boob pain here, people. Gentian Violet is a deep, royal purple colored liquid. Apparently it is a type of topical anti-fungal. To treat thrush you paint this purple liquid all through the inside of the baby’s mouth and then cover your nipples and areolas. You nurse the baby on both sides so that the treatment has been sufficiently covered by both of you. Every piece of information given about Gentian Violet tells you in bold-faced letters THIS SHIT STAINS. Clothing, skin…dark purple.
I outright blame Gentian Violet for pushing me over the edge. It was not a pretty sight. Not just the sight of the purple body parts, but me crying for about 3 or more hours in the deepest throes of the night. Gentian Violet should come with a prescription for anxiety medication. I’m way too OCD to deal with the thought of purple staining everything. It was all-consuming in my mind. I attempted preparing for worst-case scenarios. I got out old, dark clothing. I put old, dark towels on the bed, the co-sleeper, and the changing table. But when the baby was having a hard time latching, after having his mouth swabbed, and I was squirting purple milk all over the place…I lost it.
The threads of sunrise brought my husband in to this scene: Mommy weeping with purple bulls-eyed breasts; Baby screaming bloody-murder, face completely purple inside his mouth and all around up to his nose, down to his chin, and to the creases of his cheeks.
Daddy’s first instinct was to laugh and call Liam Little Joker. Then he realized the gravity of the situation.
So, suffice it to say that when I called the doctor’s in tears and explained that I couldn’t do the Gentian Violet without a prescription for Lexapro…or Valium…. suddenly I’m able to use a simple pill to get rid of the yeast. Diflucan. And suddenly life seems just a little bit brighter.
(I want to follow up–for those of you who are curious–that Gentian Violet is supposed to be a more efficient, shorter treatment. It is supposed to take only 4 days and it treats both mom and baby, whereas Diflucan takes 10 days and only treats mom. Baby needs something else. APNO or liquid Nystatin.)