331. All Smiles


Last week I was on the treatment table at acupuncture and CMD said tentatively, “I know you’re scared…but it would be better if I worked on your hand…”  And then she gave me a very winning “trust-me-I’m a professional” smile.

I immediately started whimpering and wriggling to indicate, “No” and rubbed my left hand vigorously with my right to indicate that I have been doing the acupressure self-massage she told me to do in lieu of the actual poking.  (That particular limb hurts a lot when it gets poked.)  She laughed at my reaction and I began laughing, too, which was good since it distracted her from any more talk of working on my hand.

Oh….” She said, leaning closer, “I see your face needs work.”  My facial weakness has improved, but when I show more emotion my mouth gets more crooked.  So she immediately set about unwrapping new needles and putting them in my face.  I close my eyes for face work since she’s told me it’s better if I don’t look anyway.

If I smile for a picture my mouth is reasonably symmetrical, but when  I just smile during the course of the day it can be quite lopsided.  I don’t really care, though – the smile is a low-priority symptom in the grand scheme of things.  I would rather attend to the weird numbness on my face, anyway – but hey, if we’re prioritizing I’ve got a whole other list of symptoms I’d fix first before that.

I’ve just assumed that my smile will improve as a byproduct of time and acupuncture.  As the right side of my face has improved, though, I’ve appreciated its restoration as it caught me by surprise.  One random day I touched the right side of my face and told Mommy, trying hard not to cry, that I had forgotten what it was like to have a body part that feels like this.  Honestly, it’s the most “normal” feeling part of me.

It still doesn’t function 100% in the smile department but thankfully I’m surrounded by a bunch of people with beautiful smiles that I appreciate liberally. I went through my camera pictures trying to find my favorite smiles and they were disproportionately Peter-heavy!