I decided to take a selfie this morning. I look pretty good. I walk like Quasimodo and mumble “Oy” under my breath a lot. My chest hurts … not only the new incision, but the implanted breasts my surgeon built a few years ago.

As I feared, they’ve taken a serious hit in the course of this mess. Putting on some kind of support garment helps some. Between my chest (new incisions and old incisions), my back (new damage, old damage, calcified damage) and the oh my God itching … it’s a symphony of sensation.

But I look fine. My hair hasn’t (yet) fallen out. It has thinned, but not completely disappeared and I’m glad I didn’t precipitously cut it off, though there were times in the hospital when it was stuck to everything, in my bandages, my food, my mouth … it was a very hairy world for a while. At that point, I was sure I should have gone for pixie cut, just for the ease of maintenance. And not having it adhere to absolutely everything.

selfie - marilyn - me 4-27-14

The discrepancy between how I look and how I feel is more than a bit weird. From the mirror, out peers a healthy-looking woman who can’t pick up a small dog or a frying pan and creeps around the house hunched over mumbling imprecations, mostly in Yiddish.

Garry and I have discussed this, how strange it is when you look fine but don’t feel anything like you look. How do you deal with compliments when everything hurts?

Answer: You say “Thank you! ” Then you smile, showing as many teeth as you have remaining in your mouth.

As Garry says, “It’s all packaging. As long as the package looks good, print the legend.”

Categories: Health, Humor, Life, Medical, Photography, UPDATE!

Tags: , , , , , ,

43 replies

  1. I hate taking selfies – it never feels comfortable for some reason and I love to take pictures – go figure 🙂


    • Maybe you don’t like the way you look. I feel that way about audio recordings. I don’t like my voice, even though others do, I don’t. It took me a long time to accept my appearance too. Finally, I’m okay with it, but it took a LOT of years!


  2. I understand the feeling of being so physically sick inside, but you do radiate beauty anyway. 🙂


  3. Reblogged this on Kentucky Mountain Girl News and commented:
    KMGN: Loved this so much just had to reblog. Hope you enjoy it, too.


  4. Well, you do indeed look [freakishly?] fabulous for someone who’s been through the wringer times ten like you have; the best I can wish for you is that you will miraculously soon feel unbelievably like what you seem, visually! And so I do. Be well, be safe, and most of all be loved and happy. All good to you, dear Marilyn.


  5. I meet with a group of people every week who have chronic invisible illness (we also knit and crochet, so we’re not sitting around bitching about how awful we feel ^_^). We all look hale and healthy (most of the time) but deal with chronic pain every stupid day. Several are cancer survivors who, I’m sure, can relate to your post. But we can all relate to looking much better than we feel. It’s difficult to convince even doctors that the outside is not representative of what’s going on underneath.


    • Yes, appearance-induced blindness in medical professionals. It’s ridiculous because they, of all people, should know better. I’ve had people attack me because I have a handicapped pass and I don’t LOOK handicapped. And there are so many of us who have invisible problems that are painful and debilitating. Bad enough but to also have people question whether or not you really have a problem is beyond infuriating. I don’t even know what to call it.


  6. Yaaay, very happy to see you with a camera in your hands 😀
    I know that feeling very well, and up until recently I wad always trying to hide away my true feelings and hide behind a fake smile but not anymore. People ask me how I am and I give them full-on report. I guess they will stop asking soon XD I just don’t hold back anymore, really I am the one in fricking pain and I have to make YOU comfortable. Fuck that.

    I got carried away. Hugs


  7. I can’t imagine the physical sensations are you feeling. It’s to hurt and frustrate you a lot. Hang on.


    • Looking good and feeling bad tends to make it hard to convince people from whom you need help that you really NEED help. Otherwise, looking good is fine … it’s the pain that’s a bummer. It’s getting better. Just too slowly for me. I would like a few hours without pain. It’s sort of a dream of mine.


  8. So happy to see you smiling – sorry your insides aren’t smiling too : )


  9. Even though you feel like crap, you DO look great! I think you have mastered the art of the selfie. I’m not even trying to go there, feeling good or feeling crappy. And Garry has sage advice there, at the end. Wise husband of yours. 😀


    • Honestly, taking a picture of yourself is no different than taking a picture of anyone, except for having to use a mirror (or having REALLY long arms!). As for looking good, it’s sort of puzzling, but I’m not sorry. I’m not even wearing makeup, but I’ve got some color. I have been unhealthy for a long time, but there are definitely changes — positive ones. Hard to be sorry about that.


  10. Reblogged this on KSFINBLOG : Global Analyst and commented:
    true thoughts


  11. You look great! I wish I could master the art of the selfie!


  12. Garry has some pretty good advice. So keep listening to him. I noticed you had your arms elevated to take the picture. That must have hurt like hell or you are indeed healing.


  13. I’ve not been through what you’ve been through. Not even close. But I did break a few ribs a while back in a skiing accident. From all outward appearances, I was fine, totally uninjured. But woe betide the person who went to hug me or slap me on the back. And sneezing, coughing, and/or laughing were excruciatingly painful. So I empathize. But don’t worry. You’ll be feeling as good as you look in no time.

    Of course, I don’t have the hair problem. Mine up and left me a long time ago!


    • I think broken ribs is about as close to what I’m feeling as you can get without having had your sternum cracked open. For me, SNEEZING is the worst because I am an epic sneezer and never sneeze once, or even twice. No, I set international sneezing records by which time I’m just hugging my chest and moaning and of course, sneezing. Ow.

      My hair has up and left me several times, but it has always come back. I don’t know if I’ll be so lucky this time. It’s thinning fast and I’ve developed a paranoid terror of hairbrushes 🙂


  14. My thoughts exactly… FEEL BETTER EACH DAY! (Hugs)


  15. This image is very powerful actually, Marilyn, because it is such a mix of parts. Yes, you look good – very good, in fact – but your facial expression, to me, hints at fragility and pain. The contrast with the very competent and capable-looking hands and arms, the distancing (for obvious reasons) of the camera works extremely well. You look beautiful – but not happy exactly. xxx


  16. Very well thought and very aptly put post 🙂


  17. You DO look pretty good on the outside. Just remember to smile. You can even use my phony sincere TV smile. Think of something funny. Me doing the electronic bills.


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