Sorry for my selfies
So … I wanted to explain something … to look at my website or Facebook page, it may seem as though I am vain, what with all the photos of myself … But there is a reason behind it.
When you have had a traumatic accident, and lose the use of your dominant arm like I did, you lose not only the use of your arm … but your self confidence, your sense of self, your dignity, your independence, your sense of future, your sense of being useful and worthwhile, and many other things.
Having to ask your husband or daughter to shave your arm pits or to wash your hair, or to to help you wash yourself, or or to dress you in your clothes, including underwear .. and so on …. is HARD. But you have to. And through that you really lose 2 very important things, your DIGNITY and your SELF ESTEEM.
In the first few weeks after my accident, I couldn’t shower, but couldn’t wash myself properly either, as I was so sore and couldn’t take my arm out of the wrappings or sling. My hair was so greasy and still had twigs and leaves in it from the motorcycle accident. My husband did wash it for me in the bathroom basin once. I ended up with a very sore back and it was a rushed job…. but damn it looked and felt better. I wore Bali style strapless dresses that I could step into. Every day. For months. I didn’t wear a bra for a month or 2. Even went to work bra-less as I was working 6 weeks after the accident.
Once the wrappings were off, the staples out and the medication reduced, I started becoming more aware of myself and the state of me.
Enter the husband … He was amazing. <3 He washed me in the shower, shaved me, fed me, dressed me, moved me and fussed over me. I was MORTIFIED at first!
Can you imagine standing there, naked, shivering, feeling deformed, and having your husband towel dry you. Everywhere … Go on, imagine it. Imagine every little thing he would see…<3
~ Let me tell you … I’ve always had very low self esteem. The sort where I would be invited somewhere, get dressed to go, then cancel because I thought they didn’t really like me, would hate my face or clothes or body shape, would not be interested in what I had to say .. sounds dumb. But it literally froze me at the door more often than not. When I was forced into social or work situations, I ended up overcompensating, and coming across as loud, inappropriate and annoying hehehe. ~
But, after being in hospital, having my jeans cut off and being rolled over showing the whole room my g-stringed butt, and being showered by a total stranger in the hospital and then having my husband and daughter take care of very personal things for me, oh and having work colleagues and friends go to the toilet with me to undo or do up my fly, I guess I started to lose the dignity, but in a manner which forced me to say … "WHO CARES. BAD LUCK FOR ME. GET ON WITH IT"
I had not worn makeup for weeks and hadn’t shaved my legs, hadn’t worn any “normal” clothes. So many little things that to you, define who you are and make you feel like yourself.
My husband shaved my legs and cut my finger and toenails. A stool in the shower helped me be a bit more independent there. For arm pit shaving, I would call out to whoever was free, my husband or daughter.
Makeup, well, I started mixing foundation with moisturiser (you could buy tinted moisturiser hehe) and I applied it like it was moisturiser. Powder was tricky, blush tricky, eyeliner and mascara … a lot more tricky. Remember, I was using my left hand. I’m right-handed. I practiced. I applied a lot less than I used to. I had to fix a lot of mistakes with a cotton bud. But eventually I got it to something I was OK with.
Hair …. well I could brush it. That’s it. My family were helping by putting it up in a butterfly clip on top of my head. It looked a mess for … months.
I’ll never forget the first time feeling like I resembled something of my former self. I was still in a Bali dress and thongs (flip-flops), but I had some eyeliner on hehehe.
I also practiced, with help of course, to put on normal clothes, like a singlet or t-shirt. It was awkward and challenging, but we managed to get my mangled arm into things.
Anyway, I digress ……..
Going through all these things makes you feel like a stranger. When you can finally feel like your old self, it is AMAZING!
Because I’m not working, I spend most of my time in my PJs or tracksuit pants, no makeup and greasy messy hair (I hate washing my hair now and put it off) so when I am going somewhere, have makeup on and hair styled (kind of) I want proof!
I take photos of myself. I want to show everyone how “normal” I look. And look at the photos when I’m having a bad day to remind myself I am fine. I don’t consciously think those things when I’m taking the photos though.
So anyway - please sorry for my selfies.
xxx Brachial Girl <3
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