As I reflect on Face Equality Week 2020, I feel the tug of a memory that made me who I am today. I believe it’s part of the reason why I am so passionate about my job as president at FACES and face equality.
This photo is from the day I went to the dentist and half of my face was full of Novocain for some dental work. No big deal I thought. However, after leaving the dentist my face was severely immobilized by the shots for several hours. It all brought back flashbacks from my younger days when I suffered an episode of Bells Palsy (when half of your face becomes paralyzed - sometimes permanently) and it was a big deal. I had forgotten what it was like to try to eat and drink with half a mouth. I had forgotten what it was like to try to smile and my face not respond. I had forgotten how petrified I was to speak to anyone but my family, because my speech was affected. I had forgotten what it was like to hold my hand over my mouth to keep anybody from noticing me drool. I had forgotten that wonderful black eye patch that I wore, because my eyelid would not close. I had forgotten my shame, however unwarranted it was. The brief time of paralysis from the dentist, brought it all back and amplified in my mind why I do what I do. It brought back some much-needed feelings to help me and guide me to make face equality a reality around the world. I was lucky that the Novocain wore off, but for many people it doesn't. The thing is nothing changed about me but my appearance. I'm still me...an extremely capable, smart, kind, and full person. Just some food for thought. #faceEquality #canYouSeeMeNow #cantJudgeAbookByItsCover #craniofacial #bellsPalsy