The air is finally clean and I can breathe when I walk outside. It is crisp and bright (almost too bright for my ultra sensitive eyes), but is it so comforting to see the sun.
Though the air is clean, it is also dry again. For a few days we had quite a bit of moisture as snow storms came through the state, but at any other time, Utah is simpy a dry state. The dryness is challenging for my eye. With the facial paralysis, I still can't blink. I still have hope this will get better, but so far, I still have little to no functioning of my eye. The dry air irritates my eye in about 1.2 seconds, meaning the second I step outside, my eye is shot. I keep having people ask if I am in pain or not doing well. Neither is the case. I am doing great, all things considered. But, I often keep my eye covered or manually closed because of the over-dry air. So, if you see me holding my eye, no need for concern, I am fine, it is pretty normal for me in this weather.
Contrary to my eye, my mouth is making great improvements! I will be happy someday in the future to report it is back to normal, but I am not there yet. My smile muscles are coming back (which I am soooo grateful for! I miss smiling all the time!). My "chew" muscles are getting better and I am more easily able to chew food. I still have a harder time with liquids, but that is improving, too. I do find I still "drool" if I try to manage too much liquid in my mouth at once, but in small quantities (out of a straw) I can do just fine.
A bit of great news...my weight is back up to my pre-tumor surgery "norm"! I am not as toned as I could be, but as I regain my strength, I am slowing adding exercises to my routine. Many are as simple as calf raises while I cook, going up and down the stairs, etc, but it is a good start. So, why have I gained back my weight??? I can finally taste again, and food is SOOOO good! :) My dysgeusia, which has caused the metallic taste in my mouth for 8+ months has finally faded to the point where I can actually taste food about 85% of the time! Wow, exciting! Now when I eat, I want to keep eating because it tastes so good to me.
I am focusing on good foods, and my spinach & salad greens drinks and smoothies are my favorite. Add a little pineapple, lime or blueberry and these greens create a tasty, healthy snack. Love it!
I continue to pray for those whose lives are not so good right now. I am anxious to get updates from my sister-in-law so I can hear how our new Haitian niece is doing. Please pray for Valencia and all her countrymen, so many are still fighting for life. I know Valencia has a difficult transition ahead, but we are still so grateful she is here and out of the mess in Haiti. Pray and donate to the relief efforts if you can. My love to all.