However, as I mentioned in a previous post, it wasn't until *after* I found out about Yoga Girl and her black whole that I realized that our last proper family photo had been taken when I was pregnant with The Girl.
A friend pointed out to me that kids don't care about *how* their Moms look in their photos, they just *want* pictures of their Mom. They want to have pictures of her to remember how she looked, or bring back memories of their childhood. If we (or, rather me) don't take those pictures, then our children don't have any.
I actually *hate* having my picture taken. Ironic, I know. But, it's true.
So this year I set out, after my wonderful friend Dirty Diana messaged me offering to do family photos for us this year - that I would *make sure* that I would be in more of our photos. I jumped in more of our photos in Disneyland and I've been trying to take pictures of us - even if they are the kind you take from above that people take of themselves for myspace and facebook.
A few months ago in August, I did photos in the photobooth while Jenny Jen Jen and I were at The Jeff Probst Show.... I was super excited about them - and wanted to post them... but something was wrong. Aside from the fact that I'm not really a fan of my face.... my left eye looked funny. I thought may be it was the make up - too dark? (YES!!!!) - and perhaps making it look.... odd?
Then last week I did photos with Dirty Diana and she was doing a single headshot of just me for the blog, etc... and she showed it to me on the back of her camera - and... there it was: a wonky eye.
I came home, didn't mention anything to anyone... but I went into the bathroom. I started looking at my face, at my eye, and then I notice..... the entire left side of my face droops. You don't *really* notice it unless I point it out while you're looking at me.... but in photos - as above - it's more than obvious.
You can see (in the picture I included above) that even when I'm trying to actually look up - so my eye should be more open naturally - it just doesn't open.... it just kind of hangs there. When I smile, the left side of my mouth doesn't go all the way up.
Then I started trying to use my facial muscles to make silly faces, pull my lips this way and that.... and, guess what? The left side of my face can't/won't do what the right side of my face does.
So, I went to the doctor and had a battery of blood tests and some strength tests. Word today is that I suffered an episode of Bells Palsy. It's sounds way more serious than it actually it. It's usually caused by trauma or illness that affects the 7th cranial nerve, which then causes facial weakness of even facial paralysis (hopefully not permanent). Medically, it can be brought on by a virus, Epstein-Barr, Herpes Simplex-1, or certain autoimmune disease, etc..... I have none of those. Oh... and yes - it also has a higher rate in people with diabetes... but in spite of my size, I have thus far tested to NOT be diabetic - just thought I'd clear that up. lol
So, it's not a common cause, but Bells Palsy has been known to be caused by stress.
My doctor has known me for over 12 years..... he knows me, he knows my parents, my knows my children - he even knows El Capitan. He did blood work and tests... and in the end, he said he felt the reason for the onset was stress. He's looking into the very remote possibility that it's related to a significant bout of Viral Meningitis that I had in the summer of 1998. But he thinks it's stress.
Because I first noticed the signs back in July (which was a series of tingley/seizure types things around my left eye) - it's too take to treat the nerve with steroids. Now I have to rely on doing facial exercises and time to heal the nerve which I'm told regenerates on it's own.
And..... I might also just have a droopy eye. A fat ass, a broken heart, and a droopy eye and half a smile... yup - that sounds about right after ten years of marriage. lololol
As I drove away from the doctors office, I thought to myself how first El Capitan broke my heart and then... he broke my face.
Now, let's take a good hard look at me - sure.... i'm responsible for *how* I handle my stress. So, by that measure, I'm partially to blame for my cracked grin. I can accept that.
I just don't know what to do... right? Like, I can't keep trying and trying and trying.... my biggest stress is not knowing how the hell i'm going to support us. The future is just... so scary to me. It keeps me up at night.
I'm working now - but.... I literally get less than six hours of sleep and I'm horribly behind on work (as many of my clients will tell you) and I'm just not able to stay on top of it all. And... it's decent money while I'm making it, but the truth is - this is my last weekend to really *work*. After this, it rains too much to keep shooting family sessions outdoors. Which means in a few weeks I won't have any money coming in.... except for child support. So.... that's scary.
THAT is stressful.
It's been quite the week.... lows, low and lower.... then some happy spooky highs... and then right back down I go - with half a smile on my face while I do it. lol
I just keep thinking that something will break loose... something will shift or change or get better.... and if it doesn't, now I have to find a way to *make* it better - but in a less stressful manner. Mostly, I'm just trying to start off the month being grateful that while today's news sucked... or rather, sagged - it's not the worst news in the world, it isn't life threatening and... thankfully, my kids don't care if my smile sags. I'll just be turning to my right for all future pictures for a very, very, very long time... bwahahahah.
Also, I'm fairly certain this takes 'dating' off the table. hahahahah