Putting on make up is something that I don’t do a lot, well when you’re housebound, there aren’t a lot of people to see you. Before anyone says what about Adam, well make up is one of his pet hates. He constantly mentions it when we are talking about women on TV, so my laziness doesn’t bother him. I actually find it quite funny, as he constantly comments on skirts being too short, tops too tight and faces caked in makeup, as all of those things, could have been said about me when we met. Sorry, I digress, when I was putting on a fine layer of powder and some eyeliner, about all I can manage these days without making a total mess of it, I made a horrific discovery. I had brought a small mirror here to my desk so that I didn’t have to stand in front of the bathroom one. Placing the mirror on the desk, meant that I could see the underside of my chin clearly and what I saw was highly depressing. So OK, yes, I had sort of noticed in the last year the first sign of jowls, something most women feel depressed about as it shows we’re aging, but I quite honestly hadn’t expected to see them so soon. The mirror showed me quite clearly the sagging that has started to show in my neck.
All my life I have looked young for my age, and although I had seen some signs of premature aging in other places, this one really upset me. I quite honestly couldn’t really make any sense of it, why there and why now? Not being able to walk and really exercise as I used to, well, I accepted the rest of me not being exactly toned. Then I realised the horrible truth, it isn’t just my body that is no longer exercised, neither are any of my facial muscles. Being housebound for 9 years has a side effect of my not talking very much, add in the fact that I don’t eat that much, well all those once toned muscles are heading south. It appears I have discovered yet another side effect of being housebound.
This, though, I believe I can fight back on. I may not have the energy to lift weights, but surely to God, I can manage some facial muscle exercises. I mean how tiering can it honestly be, just pulling faces for a ten or so minutes every day. Trust me, it is amazingly knackering! I honestly don’t think, that I had hit the two-minute mark when I started to sweat and feel as though I had just run around the block. Every time I tried to move my face in any way, just even a smile, it hurt. Life has moved into a place I don’t recognise. Yes, I know that if you suddenly start using muscles you don’t usually, they don’t like it, but come on, your face? I guess that if I am going to have the slightest chance of turning back time, I’m going to have to start out a lot slower than I ever thought. The things that this stupid condition has done to me, go way further than the surface, being disabled, is only the start of it, and it just keeps going, and going, and going.
The biggest lesson that I seem to be learning from this process is, it never stops taking. That doesn’t mean that you can’t change some things, make some things different from the way they are “apparently” supposed to be, and it doesn’t mean that I am going to stop trying to rectify my face, of course, I’m not. If I did, well if I did, I wouldn’t be me, but sometimes it just seems so unfair and so hard to fight against. When you are first diagnosed, it is just the major things that you fear, those things that jump out of all those lists of symptoms. You don’t know how much I would like to take all those lists, off all those websites, and rip them to pieces. Over the years since my diagnosis right the way through to today, it hasn’t been those major things that have upset me, it has been the endless list of little things, my neck issues being the latest. It could as easily have been, the day I found I could no longer cut my toenails or the first time I found myself feeling totally lost, in a place that I knew, any of them will do, as all of them make a mark in your life, that you didn’t see them coming. All of them hurt, all of them mark a change no one ever told you would come.
Today I feel a hundred years old and I probably look it, which I know that I don’t. But when two minutes of using your face muscles to do nothing more than what they should, leaves you knackered, well how else am I supposed to feel. Yet life goes on and after a good nights sleep, I will feel better, maybe even younger, but I’m just a little worried that I won’t be able to smile, talk or eat. Well, isn’t that what usually happens when you over-exercise muscles, they hurt so much that you can’t even use them the next day.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 03/06/2014 – Still here
I can say already that this is going to be a day of discomfort, pain, and tiredness. It’s less than three hours since I got up, but already my backside is sore as though I have been sat here all night rather than sleeping, trust me I was asleep. In fact, I think I slept well, I don’t remember waking at any point or of even having one of those dreams where you know you are more awake than asleep, as the dream is more a commentary on something that has happened at some……