“You do realize you’re talking to the most vain woman on earth right?” I smile. Dr. H still does not find this girl funny. The Angel Miss C, his Office Manager, Patient Coordinator, Hand Holder and Angel Here on Earth, does laugh. We’re gonna be friends, I can tell.
He says when muscles in the neck are cut, pulled or manipulated in the way they must be to get to lymph nodes and remove them, parts of the face can suffer. As in mouth, eyes and that general “collagenyness” those of us of a certain age have turned into a billion dollar business.
“It will come back,” he says. I do feel a bit sorry for him. He contemplates saving lives and I contemplate how long before I can talk in public and wear mascara. If I can get my mascara on, ain’t nothing standing in the way. Dr. H pronounces droopy face could stick around as long as six months. Cartoon brakes screech in my head and my brain holds up a stop sign.
It’s a dance of which the good doctor is unaware. He says this will happen. My brain says, “Hmm, not so much.” He says this will hurt. I say, “It’s only a day.” The thing on which we agree—all will be well.
Wouldn’t constant chatter help mouth muscles? You know muscle memory? And talking has always been one of my favorites. The dolls are quick to point out other mouth exercises a girl can practice that perhaps she might use at a later date. All in the name of muscle memory of course.
What about droopy face? The man has an MD for a reason. The first days in the hospital I am surrounded by good actors. Sisterella, Middle Chicken, Baby Pea, The Goddess all say, “It’s not too bad.”
Oldest Chicken, the one to count on, says, “Yeah, you’ll be pretty pissed.” I’ve put him in charge of rehab—ghastly exercises for shoulder strength and truth telling. When I ask how badass the scar is before I see it, he says, “It’s right up there.”
“As badass as Wolverine?” I ask. Inside joke.
“Mmmm probably not that bad. But yeah, it’s bad.” We laugh like only mothers who took their sons to Ace Ventura, Caddyshack and Dumb and Dumber way before suggested age restrictions do. I know every time a wayward sophomoric movie trailer arrives via text it is a message from my firstborn.
Sisterella is there to remove the bandages. “You bitch, you got a free necklift.”
’Tis true, my neck is thin and sculpted. You may not recognize me out in public, with my twenty-year-old neck and wonky eye slathered in way too much mascara. I tell my cherished doll, “All you gotta do is get cancer my friend.” We laugh and wonder when I can have wine.
Oldest Chicken stops by yesterday and pronounces my face a little better, a little “liftier,” eye wider and mouth working better and better. I can count on him for the truth.
Funny how knights in shining armor sometimes look like five-year-old cuties with twinkly eyes and toads in their pockets, non?