While most of my “looking Good” conversation is out the window…especially when eating in public now! There are a few things that I’ve done to alleviate the concern of my clients and my friends. Sometimes I wonder if I should make the effort to look healthy, as if that practice might give people false hope, however I find it helpful to look good for myself. Fake it til you make it, baby. This summer for the 1st time in 25+ years I got a tan. Not only did it feel fantastic to lie in the sun, but it felt even better to recieve all the compliments from my friends and family about how good I looked! Back in my old corporate job, I used to dress up alot, especially when I didn’t feel well and had to perform at work. The same practice serves me well in being powerful around my symptoms with ALS. Can I get a “You look Marvelous!”?
Just yesterday I had a frightening experience as I was getting ready to speak to my Letip networking group…I could barely apply Mascara as my right hand shook from the effort to hold the brush. This is yet another milestone in the disintegration of my hand stregnth, the last one was a day in July ( I forget the exact day ) at 11:30 am exactly: as I was writing in my journal I lost half my right hand strength.My penmanship hasn’t been the same since.
Now -”What’s the Point?” you might be asking…and there are actually several:
1) Don’t take today’s functions for granted. Appreciate the ability to hold a coffee mug and to eat in public with out a bib.
2) No matter how your day begins it can alter in a moment~ I got 2 new clients out of that speech! ( and I can barely speak )
3) Vanity may be out the window but there still is something to taking care of yourself as practice – no matter what condition you have it’s very difficult to succumb to doom and gloom when you know you look great AND more importantly you are taking care of yourself. Don’t spend too much time mourning the aptitudes and strengths you may be diminishing, spend a bit more energy honoring the wellness that you have.
Concerning our last point: A tip – once your hands are too weak to style your hair daily~ I can do it sometimes but when I’m tired it’s too difficult to hold my arms up ~ you can find some old school resources to assist you. For example – I can no longer hold a hairdryer so today I bought a traditional Hard Bonnet Hair Dryer on my hairdresser’s advice…and I’m thrilled! I can sit and write while my hair gets dried and curls up beautifully.
So- Vanity does fly out the window fairly quickly when you are dealing with a neuro muscular issue as drooling becomes common place and your emotions hit the wall as they do from time to time when you’ve been told there is an expiration date on your forehead…when I am tired my emotional lability kicks in. FYI- Emotional lability is when one has an inapropriate emotional response to a mild stimulus, bursting into tears when you drop a pen for example (often being unable to stop crying) or laughing hysterically at something mildly amusing. Your loved one’s will understand when you breakdown in tears over a dropped fork. Everyone else can just deal with themselves.
Take care of yourself ANY WAY YOU CAN.