Winter Break Ending

Well, winter break is about to end. Classes resume tomorrow! I can’t wait to get back after the past few weeks I’ve had.

The beginning of break was great. I wasn’t able to report this before, but I was actually promoted to Production Designer on the set of Steven Saylor’s, “Bodies,” and that was a huuuge bag of responsibilities. 12 hour days that end with coming home and doing four more hours of work, day after day until Christmas break… literally, until Christmas Eve! But, the work I was doing I felt was fairly strong (considering I’ve never had a position like that before in my entire life) and I was really grateful that I had taken my Stage Makeup and Costume and Prop Tech classes with Maggie and Janet here at UArts, because they genuinely prepared me for both roles as Primary Makeup Artist and Production Designer in ways that otherwise I would not have had a clue. Those electives have proved to be infinitely helpful to me, so far. ☺

When I got back to New Hampshire on Christmas Eve it was great to see my whole family, even though I was so exhausted from working so much. I was also able to show them a lot of my work and they’re kind of flabberghasted by the whole thing, naturally… I mean, I was raised a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world, and now I’m on a film set in Philadelphia, about to graduate from college. It’s small and independent, but to them that’s like being the first person to set foot on Mars and they couldn’t be more proud of me. Ego boosts are always welcome!

However, what was unfortunate about the break is that within two days of my coming home, my mom came down with a really bad stomach bug, so I spent a lot of time making sure she was okay. She had a major surgery in that area over the summer, and she’s never really been 100% ever since, so I was really worried about her. She still wasn’t better when I had to leave just three days after Christmas to come back to clean up a set for “Bodies,” and that was hard. But the set clean up went well thanks to Dennis.

Dennis and I have been dating for a little over three months at this point, and it’s been soooooooooo sweet and good that I don’t even want to spoil it by talking about it so I just won’t. But he is AMAZING, as he was when we were friends, and it just feels great to have a partner who I can mutually trust, love and respect.
New Years was pretty banging, I suppose… the day before the eve, Dennis, Sandra and I had some drinks and kicked back. Then the next day, the three of us caught, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which was INCREDIBLE and everyone needs to see it. It packs the best punch of punches.

The next day, January 2nd… I woke up with this terrible headache that was just all over my neck and shoulders and horrible. All my lymph nodes were the size of dimes, and some of them were visibly like, standing out of my skin. It was horrible. I had a really sore throat as well, but not in a scratchy way, in a muscle way. It was awful. I thought I had a sinus infection. I went to work and warned Steve that I’d have to go to the doctor at some point to make sure I was all right….

I woke up the next day at 6AM having only slept for three hours feeling like I couldn’t breathe. My throat was so swollen that it was hard to take breaths. So, I went back to the ER and they diagnosed me with a severe sinus infection and gave me some drugs to help the pain and kill the infection… that worked for about ten hours before I realized it was getting worse, despite the friggen pain killers they gave me- the highest dose of Ibuprofen they can give you- and after tossing and turning for another measly three hours, I went back to the ER again at 6AM the next day. That time, it was a little more serious. The on call doctor found an abscess growing in my throat and told me that if they didn’t remove it that day it was going to fully block my airway and I was going to die.

Now, I’m TERRIFIED of hospitals. The only thing that trumps my fear of being inside a hospital is having a licensed doctor put a needle in my body. They wanted to go behind my tonsil with a long needle and drain this thing. I was like, death. Thank God Dennis was concerned about me and he left work when I said I was in the ER and came to be with me because if he wasn’t there, I have no idea… I mean, I had to be awake for this procedure, and they were so affronted by my defensiveness and clear fear of them and distrust that they weren’t telling me ANYTHING about what they wanted to do to me, or what options they had. When he got there they finally told me they go in first with Litocain to numb the back of the throat- and my gag reflex is as jumpy as I was, so that was a project that was supposed to be one stick, but ended up being three. My throat was so swollen that when they pulled the needle out each time, the Litocain ran out of the hole and down into my stomach. So that was exciting… needless to say, they had to do the procedure without me being numb. Again, due to my sensitive gag reflex, they had to attempt to drain the thing three times. They finally got as much as they could, left me alone to spew blood for a half hour, and gave me an IV- another fun experience I’d never had before- which they pumped full of steroids, pain killers, and an antibiotic for the infection, Cleocin. They prescribed me eight bottles of the stuff to consume over the next ten days and sent me home.

So, for the next several days, I slept pretty much constantly. Dennis was great, making sure I was okay, making me food, stopping by when he could… it was great. Sandra was also wonderful. I made her my assistant on “Bodies” before this whole thing happened, and she filled my shoes on the set really well. They rarely had to call me to ask me questions, and while I was doing work from home, organizing and planning things for the next several days, she was the one going to set for me, and she was great.

So… six days into the Cleocin, and something great happened. I had woken up for the first time feeling no pain and cleaning my apartment. I was planning on going to work the next day and feeling healthy, at last… starting to feel like myself, again. I got naked and went to hop in the shower- hello body wracked with hives! Literally thousands of bright red hives all over my entire body. I jumped out, called the doctor, and had to go BACK to the emergency room after leaving Steve a sobbing voicemail to explain why I wouldn’t be into work, yet again, the next day. Turns out, I’m really not supposed to have Cleocin. After four days of steroids and Benadryl, I never will again.

My poor mother is also about to be admitted to the hospital, because something DID go wrong with her surgery, and that is why she was sick. So I feel pretty horrible for coming back to work and leaving her there. Thank God she has my brother and my grandmother. Jesus.

And here I am, alive, though still fairly spotty from the allergic reaction. And classes start tomorrow! I’ve lost ten pounds from the stress and lack of eating and sleeping, and I’ve been going back to work for the last three days. I can’t wait to jump into my classes and forget I was ever admitted to a friggen Hospital. And trust me, if I wouldn’t get yelled at for using the other F word there, I’d be using it.

Welcome back!

Jan 17, 2012 | Comments (0)

Jaimie Fortin
Writing for Film and TV '2012
Bedford, New Hampshire

Hullo-- I'm Jaimie and I have been blogging for UArts for the last four years. :) I'm a senior now, and while I enjoy screenwriting, I've taken a special interest in makeup as well! My hope is to me a Primary Makeup Artist on film sets or for a television network, and write my screenplays on the side to sell. I hope to go to Cosmetology school next year to get an official degree to help me secure a day job in that field. I also enjoy history, serial killers, folklore, and Drag Queens! :D