Okay people. I just had the most amazing thing happen last night. You just never know where rescue is going to come from. Those of you who’ve been reading since Christmas when I was in Vancouver may recall the issues I had with blocked eyelash follicles. Those of you who weren’t around, I’ll recap.
While I was doing The Drowsy Chaperone in Vancouver at Christmas, I started to get these blocked eyelash follicles. What that is is make up or something gets into the eyelash follicle and it can get infected and/or cause a sty (lump) to form. Then you have to get antibiotics and use hot cloth compresses for 20 minutes 4 – 5 times a day to shrink it. And the sooner you can get to it, the better. Well I wear a lot of make-up as Aldolpho and about 2 weeks into the show. I felt one start in my right eye. I had had one before so I knew what to do. I started compressing but it got worse and worse. It was right in the middle of my right eye, underneath the lid. Eventually it grew and came to the outside of my lid. It was so large (and painful) that the upper part of the lid wouldn’t fold over the bottom part and the eye couldn’t even open all the way. It got so large, it altered my eyesight and the vision changed to the point where I could no longer read with both eyes open and would sometimes loose my balance. Here is a shot I took of it back in December.
So now I’ll power through the rest. Another one developed on the left eye, then another one started on the inside of the right eye. It was horrible. I went to three doctors, and we tried drops, ointment and pills. I had gotten into the habit of cleaning all of my brushes and make-up every night after the show. I thought maybe It was my make-up but I had always used MAC. I got rid of any old pencils, mascara, etc.
Anyway, once the show finished, they eventually went away except I still have a lump in my right eye that no one can actually see except me. And you can feel it if you touch it. And the vision eventually returned to normal. But it was a nightmare and I was thinking “what happens with the rest of my career? How can I work in the theatre if I can’t wear make-up?” Plus I knew I would be doing Drowsy again 85 times.
So cut to this production, we start the run here in Edmonton and everything seems fine so I’m thinking good, it was a fluke. Then about 3 days ago, I take off my make-up and head home. At home, I’m in the bathroom and I look in the mirror and see the my left eye is a little puffy and red at the lash line. OH GOD!!!. I feel it and it’s tender. Off we go. Over the next two days, it’s getting puffier and I can feel the lump forming at the inside (close to my nose) at the lash-line. I’m trying to tell myself I can handle it but I’m envisioning the next month ahead of doctor’s and compresses and blindness. Getting pretty down. So I go in to work last night and before I put my make-up on, I decide to just do a compress. As I’m compressing, the head of wardrobe, who is already awesome in my books, comes in to get my pants that she has to preset. She sees me compressing and asks what’s up. I give her the reader’s digest of this in 5 sentences, and without missing a beat, she starts to pick up every piece of my make-up, then putting my hand on her hand (that’s holding the make-up piece), she tells me whether my body is reacting to it or not. Apparently she has honed that skill, which I’ve seen before, of being able to be the conduit to feel whether someone is sensitive or allergic to something through energy. She went through all of my make-up and assessed that it’s none of the make-up. Then we went to the cleansers. The spirit gum remover was not great but was not the cause (for all you laymen, spirit gum is what we use to glue on wigs, moustaches, etc.), the soap I was using was fine. Then she picks up the mineral oil which I use before the cleanser. It’s a great make-up remover. I’ve used it for years. You just put some in your hand, rub it all over your face and it dissolves all of the make-up, plus it’s natural. Then you use a gentle cleanser and voila. So she picks it up and does the touch test and immediately goes, “Whoa!!” She puts it down, opens it up and dips a finger in, then does the test again. She almost fell over from the imbalance. All this time, it was the very thing that I was using to get the make-up off, the stuff I would rub harder into my eyes to get the make-up out of the follicles and it, THE MINERAL OIL, was the very thing that my body was trying so desperately to tell me I was allergic to and purge from my body. She said my body was trying to get rid of the mineral oil and tell me that it’s toxic to me and I didn’t know it. All the time in Vancouver, I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed it in.
To add insult to injury, a day or so before that, I had the passing thought, “I wonder if it could be the mineral oil. Naaaahh!!! I’ve used it for years.”. But, my children, better late than never. And as soon as she said it, I knew it was true. I felt instantly relieved. So, needless to say, that shit went right into the garbage. So part of my day today is finding some new cleansers. I will buy several and bring them all in for Lorraine to test on me. Then take back whatever doesn’t work. Hallelujah. Now I just have to let the left eye heal in peace.
Though it was a horror show to live through, thinking my career was going to be screwed in some way, as I play a lot of roles that require make-up, I’m fascinated by the way the universe sends you balm when your ass is truly hurting. Thank you universe. And for the record MAC make-up rocks the universe and I’m so glad I never doubted it.