I have been watching another blog of a woman with facial scars. She has posted videos, portraits, etc. and has had numerous television appearances. She seems to have embraced her new face. Indeed, it is a badge of honor as it is a visual reminder of the triumphs of her life. It is beautiful. I'm not there yet. I see myself every day and allow others to take my picture, and even speak publically to large groups. But I avoid looking at photographs or videos of myself. When I must look, I always have the same reaction, "That's ME?!" It's been 4 1/2 years and I keep expecting to wake up and look like my old self. I would love the wrinkles and sagging skin that come with life. Instead I have had two partial face lifts and my eye "done" without the usual pretty results.
But on the other hand, I love this new face. It is the look of the new me. I would not trade the miracles I have seen, the growth my family and I have done, and the AMAZING kindness I have witnessed. Some days I see beautiful women and I think, "Oh, that's too bad that they haven't had the opportunities I have had."
That is a strange thing about my stroke. It seldom is one way or the other. More often than not, I have mixed emotions. Even simple things do this to me. I LOVE Diet Coke. In the hospital, after I had worked really hard in therapy, I would get some in my mouth but then have to suction it out (I couldn't swallow). Now that I can swallow, the carbonation makes it come right out my nose-very comical! So I really miss Diet Coke. But on the flip side, I now am totally carbonation free! That is something I always should have been but never had the will power to even attempt.
My favorite, though, is the my stamach scars. I have around ten, not counting the staple marks. They are ugly and my whole belly has a strange look from all the surgeries/procedures. However, AJ often lifts up my shirt to count my "belly buttons" and it has become like a game for us. It makes me laugh every time. Also, my physical therapist suggested that I tattoo and pierce my scars and then always wear a bikini top. That, too, makes me laugh. That would be punishing to everybody who saw me!!
Most everything about this stinks! But, as my brother in law put it, "She get's all the good stuff!"