Friday, May 11, 2018


Also I do not skimp on soaking up the spring blossoms. 

Take care of yourself with that Bell's palsy, they tell me.

Honestly, I don't really know what that means. 

But here's something I do know. With a paralyzed face, I have to move slowly in the shower. 

I make sure the shampoo doesn't drip into the corner of that unblinking eye. Slowly, carefully I run a warm washcloth over the cheeks and brow with my untrained left hand as my right hand holds the left eye closed. I move gently and carefully so as not to flick water into an eye that doesn't know how to protect itself. 

After the water stops, my newfound patient and slow rituals continue. I towel carefully around my unblinking eye, gently pat down my unmoving face, brush hair and teeth gently, carefully slip fresh clothes on.

In a final concession to my palsied condition, I pull back my hair into a low and soaking wet ponytail, then slip my black pirate eye patch into place. It’s a visually jarring addition to my peaceful routine but I've come to love that patch. My eye is well protected.. I feel safe for the night.

I slip into my bed. The room is dark and very chilly. I tuck my legs up against my faithful dog who snores sleepily from her nest at the foot of the bed. She has already warmed my comforter. My husband is long since asleep. I lay my neat wet head on the pillow, tuck my hands under my cheek, and feel the cool breezes blow across my shoulders. 

I consider pressing play on my current audio book but decide to skip it. Everything is perfect peace right now and I hate to disturb it. I take a long last sip of ice water, relishing every delicious drop.  I know that I will wake up many times in the night, thirst crazed by my medications, and drink ravenously, but for now, this sip is perfect. 

Now I am ready to sleep. . 

And while I can't be sure, I think I have taken good care of myself. 

* * * * *

Here are all the stories about my Bell's Palsy, in order from start to, hopefully, finish:

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