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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Getting through the days

Like the lyrics say in Jackson Browne's song "The Pretender", I find myself getting up and doing it again, going to work each day. I am so glad to have a job, and the folks I work with understand my half-day schedule (half-days due to fatigue still hanging around). Some of the items I have found useful to get to and from work with are:
-an umbrella (if it is warmer than 50 degrees outside), to keep the sun off my head and neck. The hats worked in the summer, but now the sun is so low in the sky a hat just doesn't cut it (unless I go to the beekeeper's bonnet a good friend suggested earlier on this blog!).
-bottled water! On my second day back, I went tra-la-la to a meeting in another building and forgot the bottle of water on my desk. Lucky for me, there was an oasis in the form of a colleague who stored water in her file drawer, so I was saved. One bottle of water per day, and I refill it at the fountain when I need more. Don't save them for more than one day, though - there is research on how nasty those bottles get if you try to reuse them long-term!
-a home-made scarf. When the temps are lower than 50 degrees, I use a scarf I made with a yard of thin fleece material. It is heavier than a dressy scarf, so it insulates against the sun's heat that comes through the car window (sun equals burning sensation, folks - I have extreme motivation to keep my radiation site covered). The scarf also cuts the cold wind that for some reason blows most of the time here in Omaha. The fleece doesn't require any hemming (unless one would want to hem it),and is washable, so I can get the burn cream out in the wash. I carry it whenever I leave the building on cold days - it may look weird, but I am coping the best way I can. Besides, we all need that conversation opener, right?!
-small spot mirrors on my car's outside rearview mirrors. Yes, I am still exercising my neck each day, but these little doodads help while in traffic. Any increase to field of vision is a good thing.

Now that I am meeting up with folks that haven't seen me in a while, I am getting used to people looking at my face to see how it has changed. I don't mind - I know they are caring how I am doing. But the people on the street that tend to stare need to check out this really cool site created at the University of Michigan: Let's Face It Take a look at it yourself, and share with your boss/human resource director/healthcare provider. There is a lot of support information there for anyone that has a facial difference, or that knows someone that is experiencing being different. I really like the quote on the first page:"To support a person with facial difference, look them in the eyes and smile at them". Good advice!


Santa Claus said...

Hang in there!

Please spread the word that I am resuming my blog at


Teresa Hartman said...

This has to be a first in all my years of blogging - Santa has left me a comment!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Teresa!

cool that you link to the let's face it site. While it's not "permenent", I get outbreaks of ezcema on my face. And, when one's skin is oozy, puffy, red and scaly, it's hard to feel attractive. Well meaning folks suggest wearing make up to cover it up. Not an option as that just makes the ezcema worse.

It's always good to count one's blessings and treat others as individuals of worth even if they don't match up with the standards of beauty.

It can make it hard to go out in public. So I really appreciate those folks who do.


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