24 October 2007

Suffering from Bell's Palsy

I know I haven't written in a long time, but I've been kind of wrapped up in other things and not very motivated to write. But I saw something in Salon that really sparked me. I've been out of town for the past week at conferences, so I'm really late to this, but this letter writer who has Bell's Palsy is absolutely flipping her shit. She doesn't want to leave the house. She's trying to figure out what she did wrong to deserve such a horrible fucking tragedy. She's wondering if the universe is giving her a message.

Oy. It really pissed me off, so I was happy to go to the letters section to see how other people felt. I'm bummed that comments are closed, because I would have given her a lopsided mouthful! The letter is just dripping with arrogance and privilege. Bell's Palsy sucks, big time, but it isn't the end of the world. There's excruciating pain, it's hard to eat or drink anything, your eyes hurt like hell, people make rude comments and you make babies cry.

It seems like this person is most concerned about the last two symptoms. Here's what I say: Fuck it. If someone is so offended by the sight of your slightly contorted face, then they have a real problem and I feel sorry for them, because they must go through life getting offended by everything. And I make babies cry anyway, so I don't even know if my Bell's made it worse or if it was just my charm.

If she were upset over the pain and inconvenience, then I could sympathize. But even as I was suffering my intense pain from Bell's, I never felt sorry for myself. (Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.) Other people felt VERY sorry for me, like my mother, and all I could say was, "At least it's temporary. It's not killing me. Get over it!"

I'm reminded of my brush with boobicle cancer. I had a lump, I had a mammogram, doctor told me it needed to come out, and I was under the knife the following week. Everyone felt so sorry for me, wondering how I would manage with a mutilated titty that would most certainly be unattractive to possible suitors, and going through a divorce and all I didn't want to feel unattractive, did I? Again, oy. The surgery sucked, big time. I couldn't move my right arm for a long time. I still have stabbing pain in my boob, especially in cold weather. I had to wear a binder type bra while I was healing. And yes, I have a scar. But I'm not ashamed of it in the least. It's a sign of my present health, which I may not have right now had I not gotten that scar.

That's what I don't understand about women who get breast implants after a mastectomy. I've had really small boobs all my life, so having a mastectomy wouldn't really affect me aesthetically. (Physically, pain wise and ability wise, is another story. It's an incredibly difficult procedure to recover from.) So it kind of pisses me off when women in life-threatening circumstances still have the ability to decide that they don't want to live like me, flat-chested and happy.

This has turned into a long rant. Maybe it will get me blogging again. But things like this just really spark my fire. People just aren't grateful for what they have and need to wallow in self-pity, and I have no patience for it. Bell's Palsy girl: leave your house, grow a sack, and get a life! You're going to be a mother soon! Don't pass your neuroses to your child!


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