Friday, January 4, 2013


Most of the time, stroke affects one side of the body, weakening the muscles of that side. As we all know, my left side has been affected, that means the muscles in my face, throat, arm, leg, toes, etc... As a result of this I had to be restricted to thickened liquids while in the ICU, because my ability to swallow was so affected, thickened liquids are disgusting, trust me, you never want to experience this particular form of torture, if you're looking for refreshment, you will not find it in the form of thickened liquids. the left side of my face was the most noticably affected, other that my totally ineffective arm, of course, I could not strike an even smile, making picture taking an anxiety inducing eperience, because I would end up looking at a picture of myself that crumpled what was left of my self-esteem. Then Christmas day came...

Here's a little back story first: One day when I was about 13ish, I was watching Growing Pains, getting a little bored because the only cute boy on the show was way too old for me, and onto the set walked this REALLYcute blonde boy who captured my attention and affection for the next 30 years of mylife, yes, I have a die hard crush on Leo DiCaprio, it's true, I'mm not ashamed,In fact, I will swoon over him openly to anyone who will listen, he's cute and, as far as I'm concerened, talented, and only getting better as he ages. So, my friend, Amanda was staying at our place for a few days leading up to Christmas, and she kept waving my present in front of me, taunting me with it, it was something framed, so I was perplexed, what could it be? She was obviously excted about it, so it must be some thing really cool. She is a very talented artist, so I was thinking she had drawn me something.

Christmas morning came, the grown ups drug themselves out of bed and the kids enthusiastically ripped into their gifts, at one point, during a lull in the gift opening process, Amanda bursts out with, "Liz! You should open your gift" Obviously she was too excited to wait any longer, I was excited, because I know when you are that excited about giving a gift, it's something pretty incredible. She plopped it on my lap, I was intrigued to say the least. So, I started slowly tearing the paper off of the bottom of the gift and as it fell away, a scrawled signature appeared, over a very familiar, cute, pair of lips that I instantly recognized, a squeal of delight slipped out of my mouth, it was an autographed photo of Titanic-aged Leo, "He touched it! He touched it!" I squeaked over and over again, there were so many photos being taken at that moment and my delight was so great that I didn't have time to think abuot pointing my good side towards the cameras.

The photos that have come back from that moment have shocked me, my smile is now even, when I'm not trying, after months of face and mouth exercises and electrical stimulation, I am now able to present a confident, even smile to the camera, as long as I'm not faking it! I can now move forward in life, confident that my smile is not freaking people out, the way I see it, if my face can even itself out with a little work, then so can the rest of my body!


  1. Happy new year, Liz! I hope this is your best year, yet. That happy photo of you radiates joy and beauty!

  2. They're both beautiful pictures, but it's amazing to see how far you've come!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year, Liz. I think the most beautiful thing about that second picture is the glee shining from your face. Happiness begets confidence, it appears. How wonderful!