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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is part 2 in a series of blog updates on my health status.

When I was about 14 years old and having a teenage crisis of confidence, I asked my mom why I had such a large head compared to other girls. I remember her turning around, quickly wiping her hands on her apron, and seriously responding, “Because you’ve got such a big, beautiful brain. Stop worrying about how you look and focus on how smart you are.”

So, imagine my dismay earlier this week when I got the results from my MRI, and the doctor’s report started with “Patient has an unremarkable brain.” Medically speaking, this is good news. The MRI did not reveal any serious issues caused by my mystery viral infection. But faced with the recent Bell’s Palsy diagnosis and my current crisis of confidence in how I look, this was rather upsetting.

I moved on from reviewing my online medical record to getting a snack. The next insult came when I realized I can’t eat with a spoon, at least not the way I used to do so. My lips can’t figure out how to move the food from the spoon into my mouth. It only took me one sloppy sip of water in the ER when taking meds prior to discharge last Saturday to realize I can’t drink without a straw. It took many days to learn I also can’t use a spoon without a bit of awkward slurping and wiping.

The final insult this week came when I realized I can’t pronounce the letter F. As many friends and family members know I love F words – farmers, flavor, fun, and farfegnugen¸ for example. At a time when I’m angry and fah-fah-fah-frustrated most of the time, not being able to say a proper, “FUCK!” is a powerful insult in this ongoing saga.