Monday, February 28, 2011

Showing My Face

It's true that when I first came down with Bell's Palsy (14 days ago!), I felt like crawling in a hole. I wanted to climb into bed and not get up until I was back to normal, if, indeed, I ever DID recover fully. I did have that option, and I seriously considered it. Dr. B. told me I didn't have to work any more. My job has always been a little extra something on the side, not really necessary to the maintenance of our family. I could have gotten someone else to teach my Primary class, and I didn't even have to let my online friends know about it. There were several reasons I decided to "show my face."

First, I knew I was darn lucky to have the affliction I did. I wasn't in pain, it wasn't life-threatening, it didn't affect my quality of life, I still had a normal range of activity. I felt like it was very vain of me to be having such an over-the-top emotional reaction. I thought if I just came out with it and admitted how I looked and how I felt, it would purge me of my selfish feelings and thoughts.

Additionally, I really enjoy the several retreats and conferences I attend throughout the year. At these I meet (in real life!) the friends I have made online. I could either miss these fun events and hibernate at home, or I could buck up and go anyway. I figured if I put my pictures up, people would know what was going on and be prepared for how I look. Then I could go to my events and not have to shock anyone or endure long explanations. I have a retreat in April that is coming up, so I had to make a decision rather quickly about how I was going to handle it.

Lastly, one of my facebook friends recently had an operation for cancer on his face. The way he explained it, it sounded pretty bad -- and yes, I had a morbid curiosity to see what it looked like! I figured if I told people I had Bell's Palsy they would want to see. I would, if I were them!

Writing about my Bell's Palsy and posting pictures on this out-of-the-way blog isn't exactly exhibitionist. I don't think very many people even come here. Only a couple people in my ward even know about this, and I haven't even told my parents or my brothers and sister (unless they have happened by recently). But if anyone DOES happen to have an interest in how I am doing, here it is.


adamf said...

Good to know how you're doing. I do pay attention. :)

Kathryn Skaggs said...

@ldstek posted the link to this post over on Twitter. It caught my attention immediately.

When I was pregnant, 19 years ago, I "came down" with Bell's Palsey. I've read through all of your post covering this topic before I decided to comment...

Can I just say, with all sincerity, that I have such a deep compassion for you right now. I was only 32 at the time, and I will admit I was vain. But never did I realize just how much until this happened to me! I will also confess that I would be just as devastated if it happened again, now.

As I've read through your posts I felt like I was reading my own journal -- if I had kept one. But what I can see, is your humor. Humor is what got me through the entire ordeal. And my friends. Friends that laughed at me and with me.

I remember trying to drink something while I was with a particular friend. She just started busting up! We both laughed until we cried!

About that blessing or yours... I had one, too. Just know, that your personal faith, IMHO, is as great as any priesthood blessing. If you dig BRM he says that "faith is the power of the priesthood". I like that -- and have hung on to those words for years.

Hang in there. You've done the right thing in reaching out and sharing your "adventure" with others. That seems to be a great key for getting through almost anything is life.


Bruised Not Broken said...

Hello, I wanted to comment and say thats its awesome you decided to post pictures. I came down with BP almost a little over ayear ago. after two weeks of having it I had severe shooting pains in my face and they put me on the anti viral medication called alcivar (Dont know how to spell it) the movement in my face started c oming back within 24 hours. Ask your doctor about it if they have not put you on it already. It really did work wonders. My facial movement was back to perfect after 2 weeks on the medication. Keep a brave face!