It's been like a year.... I ended up taking about 50 days off like I said I would last May/June. It took a while to get back in shape to where I was, but I play better now, if anything. My playing load is somewhat less now, and I'm resting a LOT more during rehearsals, but unfortunately the sharp pain STILL comes, particularly on weeks where playing demands are a bit higher. The visual symptoms (redness/bruises) haven't occurred (very little at the most) since the year started, but that may be just because I'm resting my lips a lot more. I was hoping it would just go away, somehow, but nope.... I still see an almost pimple-like spot (except it's brown and very small) at the top of the lip (where it meets the face), and, I take it back, it doesn't really seem to affect an area anywhere but right where that "thing" is on my lip. If it's an ingrown hair, cyst, etc., I cannot see it or feel it. The reason it may not get irritated ALL the time is because it's so high on my lip. The top of the mouthpiece might only barely touch it, or at least get close enough to to make that spot get irritated when I play too much. I saw my physician once last October and told him about my lip, but he saw -nothing-..... but he's like 80 years old, and I don't trust his opinion there.... but I'm thinking of taking action again and trying a more specialized doctor again....but unfortunately I'll have to wait 'till this semester of school is over....blargh.... What I do know is that if I increased my amount of playing, my lips wouldn't handle it well. Last fall I had some issues arise (one day my upper lip just stopped working, and also quite a bit of pain in September due to the playing demands and not resting enough). It's most definitely not an allergy. I've verified it in several ways. Also, after re-evaluating my situation, I don't think anything was "wrong" prior to my bleeding sore. Any of the "pain" I had before THAT incident was just regular lip pain that comes when you play your trumpet way too much without resting. I think it was the excessive playing that caused the zit to get there in the first place, though. I'm still playing more than I would like.... I need chamber music credit and it's not every year that I can just join a brass quintet, so I'm doing that in additional to Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble....(at least I"m not playing 1st parts) Starting next year, I'll be only have to take ONE ensemble at the U of U.... yay.