Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More like a chipmunk

So let's talk about Nie's post yesterday. I'm sure you read it since, well, it's amazing to read every word she writes. Amazing to feel like a vicarious part of her recovery. Amazing to see the positivity she possess despite what are probably daily set backs.

But yesterday's post I felt like I really truly understood a bit of what she is going through.

2 years ago I developed Bell's Palsy in the right side of my face. For 3 weeks every square inch of the affected side of my face was painful and droopy. My face looked like melted plastic...no tone, no movement, nothing. I carried a baby washcloth around with me because my eye leaked and drool feel out of the corner of my mouth. And while it wasn't excruciatingly painful like burn recovery is, it was, to me, horribly disfiguring. Looking at the mirror brought stinging tears to my eyes. Tears that would not stay put in my right eye because my dumb nerves refused to feel them coming and command the muscles to tighten up to keep them in check.

I felt horribly ugly and then horribly ashamed because I thought that my looks didn't matter that much to me. But they do. I've never thought of myself as terrifically beautiful and so I didn't know of my own personal vanity.

Waking up and not seeing the same face that you are used to is H-A-R-D. And I don't know if I ever would have really understood that fact until I'd gone through this. Which is probably why Nie's post struck me to the core and made my heart hurt for her.

And while everyone around me says that my face has recovered and they can never tell what happened to me, I can. I see a slight droop on one side in photos. I see a lack of symmetry in my smile. I see looseness in one eyelid that is non-existent in the other.

And it reminds me of that pain.

So, while my ordeal was more like the gestation of a chipmunk than an elephant, I too bear the stretchmarks.


Megs said...

I had Bell's Palsy, too. Frightening thing that was. It is indeed a hard thing to not have a body that looks and behaves as it once did.

Robyn said...

I can't believe that was two years ago!! I agree that no one would ever know you'd ever had it... it seemed like as soon as your movement came back you looked just as beautiful as always!

dad said...

I think you are not only beautiful, you are georgous!!

The day you were born was one of the best days of my life.

To be with you and your wonderful husband, i.e. ear doctor is a blessing you will someday really appreciate when you have your own little one.

Reb said...

Katie, thank you for sharing your personal story. I'm not your dad, I'm not your neighbor, I'm a blogging buddy who see's you through pictures. I think you are beautiful too. And I do get to read some of the thoughts of your heart, and that my dear is beyond beauty! Thank you for introducing me to Nie all those months ago when you had the auctions. That's when I discovered her blog and yours, and my life has been better since!

allimarie said...

I've been reading your blog for well over two years now, and I've NEVER noticed (said with sincere honesty!) anything but how incredibly beautiful you are in your pictures!! Stunning actually!!

made sweet said...

what a sweet post. so good to get to know someone better and hear how they overcome struggles. thank you so much for sharing.