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.