And this is simply Laurie being Laurie, lol.
I looked for some pictures that could best show what my smile truly meant to me, and of all the pictures I found, these two showed it best. In particular because the side that's really shown is the same side affected.
I know the pictures are a little dark and grainy, but that's what happens when one doesn't have a scanner and has to instead take pictures OF pictures :) Still, I think you get the general idea.
Shortly after the birth of B is when the Bell's Palsy hit. I had no intention of allowing my picture to be taken, and didn't think any existed until I began cleaning along a bookcase I hadn't touched in many years. Tucked away in a stack of other long-forgotten pictures were the next two, taken at a family party.
I suddenly remembered my mother had taken these, along with a few others, and had given me copies later on. It was a Sunday morning when I opened up the envelope and looked at my face permanently fixed in an awful position, and I began to cry. Over what I had lost. Over what my children and husband might very well have to look at for the rest of their lives. You cannot imagine what it was like to look in the mirror day after day, full on (unlike these pictures which don't show quite how bad it was when not turned to the side), wondering if I'd ever be able to smile again.
Healing has most definitely been slow, and it's not finished yet. I have much of my smile back, but not enough for me to yet feel comfortable having my picture taken. Still, I used my little webcam to take a few for you today, just so you all can see the difference a few years has made.
Notice...I still have great teeth :) I'm praying for the day the corner of my mouth will finally turn up. The really good news? I can still make silly faces!