I finally realized I was pretty. And it took smashing my face into concrete to make me realize it. Apparently people telling me that my entire life wasn't enough to believe it - it took nearly crushing my face to get it through my thick head.
Shame, CN. Shame on me.
I decided to start running again. Getting back into shape and retrieving my runner's world from the cobwebs of my mind, a way to reengage a part of my life that I have truly been missing.
What happened? On my, say, fourth or fifth run over a couple weeks' span . . . Face, meet concrete. Cheek first.
|Now, I see how pretty I was...|
And June 28:
|Almost unreal - except it was very real.|
And, yesterday - just before surgery to clear all blood and fluids from the severe hematoma on my left cheek, that wasn't healing on its own.
|Not aspirating on its own, instead remaining a severe |
coagulation of blood and fluid...
Finding myself wearing - a grotesque, gargoyle-esque - caricature of the face I had known, is terrifying. And it's not even much about being pretty, or being vain, or such - it is fear. Pure, unadulterated fear of ... everything. How I look, how my facial external and internal parts function . . . how I am able to eat and drink . . . it's like a punch to the gut (or, the face).
When I went to the ER, three doctors came to see me, amazed that the CT scan showed no broken bones. According to them - and as everyone who's seen me since has concurred - it is absolutely amazing that nothing was fractured. I agree, and am so grateful.
Not just for the hope of getting back the cheekbones I had and now appreciate (which, I admit, I desperately want back), but for the ability to drink without a straw and to eat normal food without only chewing on the right side, to have the dissolvable stitches inside my left cheek gone so I don't keep wanting to run my tongue over the little knot in them to hustle them along, to not have to sleep upright every night in the hopes of coaxing along quicker healing, to not needing painkillers or anti-nausea meds to soothe me, to . . . It's a long list.
Not being able to work for a month, not being allowed to lift anything even a little heavy or squat to pick something up (hello, server life, forget that for now) or wanting to be seen in public (most people have been kind or pretended not to notice, but some have not) or see even close friends. An immediate and, albeit hopefully temporary, time in my life, and a harsh one at that.
Being intubated and put to sleep to deal with a facial injury - despite all my bumps and bruises over the years due to sports injuries and other mundane traumas, not something I'd ever needed - being told that it will be at least another two weeks before the procedure (hopefully) proves effective, with another couple of months before everything is back to pre-accident form. Damn.
And, what if it doesn't go back to my normal? What then? Am I the brave new face I will have, or a self-pitying little girl thinking of what was? I guess we'll find out.
Stubbornly, I tried to eat salad today. It was probably a little "rough" from a texture standpoint. So my AARP-aged self has to take over when dinnertime comes around; soft foods only. Sigh.
Food - body - life. Inextricably linked and this time? This time I am talking about more than emotion linking with the others. This is about healing - and survival. And accepting the possibility that some things, whether physical, mental or other, may change more than temporarily.
That scares the shit out of me.
This pretty baby would have told me a very long time ago how pretty I would grow up to be - and how strong I was no matter what life threw my way.
|Pretty Little Me|
For now, all I can do is try my hardest to listen to her, and not worry about cheekbones, or eating baby food for the rest of my life.