Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Humorous Times, and Sad

It is amazing what a family with a slightly skewed sense of humour can find to laugh and joke about amongst themselves when one of them has acquired half a face that does not work very well all of a sudden. And please believe we mean no disrespect to those people who do suffer permanent paralysis - our hilarity is based on incredible relief that what has happened to me is minor in the bigger scheme of things.

French children have a comment cassé (used in conjunction with pretending to shoot someone with your right hand) that is similar to 'Gotcha!', 'Serves You Right!' or 'Took a stance yesterday against something, and have been caught out doing it today yourself' which is relevant to my story today.

First, I had an interesting time trying to rinse my mouth out after washing my teeth this morning - needed one hand to keep the lips together to prevent the water leaving by the left hand side faster than I could put some in my mouth!

Second, I only realised once I was in the shower that my left lower eyelid was drooping sufficiently to be unable to make a watertight seal - and I was definitely not going to lose an expensive 'wear them constantly for 2 months without taking them out' contact lens down the plug hole. Hence washing my hair whilst keeping one hand over my left eye....

Third, having to tell LeeLee that on the recommendation of the Medical Expert I had to spend each and every day chewing gum whilst grimacing and making other unnatural shapes with my face and mouth. As a parent who has always lectured her children about people who insist on chewing gum with their mouths open like a cement mixer, and banning the said children from having it until they were old enough to be able to masticate WITH THEIR MOUTHS SHUT AT ALL TIMES - she thought this was definitely a cassé moment!

Fourth, I have decided that the plastic straw is the most underrated invention of all time. It definitely enhances your life by enabling you to not only be able to drink water and juice but also the essentials of life (ie tea) - when your mouth is unable to make good enough contact to the rim of a cup. Now in a household where the father got so fed up with used straws being left on all the surfaces around the house by the children, that he put the straws on the top of the kitchen cupboards out of their reach - LeeLee thought it was particularly cassé when the three of us went out to lunch today and I 'brought my own supply of straws' which I had had to ask Richard to get down for me because I could not reach them! Also, as the idiot who decided to make homemade chicken soup for dinner, I declined their kind offer tonight to fetch me another one - with dignity!

Fifth, one of the quirks of this palsy is that whilst your facial muscles are paralysed your hearing on that side becomes highly sensitive (someone in heaven has a twisted sense of humour me thinks!). This resulted in me being wide awake all last night because I imagined I could hear every proverbial 'small pin' drop!

Oh well, life goes on and Nic is enjoying her school trip very much. They have set up a telephone system which we can call at any time to listen to recorded messages left by the children each day - and some of these kids can talk for England (or should I say France?). Nic did point out to us that we would recognise her because she would be the only one speaking English!

On a sad note, we heard from my brother last night that their dog Jessica has had to be put down. Her wonderful finale was their last visit to the vet a few days before to discuss 'quality of life' for such an old dog - on their return they opened the car door for her just as a local cat walked past. Quick as a flash, she jumped out and was racing down the street after it - and they had the devil's own job to catch her! Way to go, Jess!!

Today would also have been our Mum's birthday (82 years young) and it has been a day to look back and remember all the good times. Digital pictures on the computer are convenient but at times like this, photo albums are worth their weight in gold.

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