About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The beginning of my "eyebrow" series, part 1

This picture has nothing to do with today's post: I just wanted to put it in because of yesterday's enjoyment of watching the festivities of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and all the BBC specials.

To say that I have very sparse eyebrows is to be kind.  It's another result of this stupid, stupid illness.  In fact, I didn't know, for the longest time, that the reason my hair in general was thinning and falling out was caused by my CFIDS/ME.  Oh, this didn't happen all in one single day or even in a year.  It's been a decades-long process as this "imaginary illness" has silently been devastating my body (and my brain).

My quest for trying to "fix" my eyebrow problem has shown no bounds, it seems.  I've not taken an official count of the brow sets, pencils, shadows, gels and other paraphernalia I own, or other methods I've tried, in my quest to find an answer to this problem, but it HAS been a long road.

To give you an idea of how pathetic my brows are, here is a story for you.  I include it because I'm a strong believer in the school of "knowledge is power" and with this DD, we need all the power we can get!

Eons ago, I'd been going to a local person to get my hair done, and decided on one visit that I'd have my brows waxed, for the first time ever. The thinking (if indeed there WAS any real thought involved) was that with the peach fuzz gone, I could see just enough brow hairs to work with...that is, if I remembered to use a large mirror with a magnified side as well as lights.  Anything short of this was either an impossibility or, on the other side of the spectrum, the end result would show great promise if I ever decided to become a clown and go to clown school. Not surprisingly, my brows had become the longest part of my make-up routine - precisely because I most certainly did NOT want the clown school of brows.

Well, the person who was to do my waxing asked if I wanted to color my brows as well.  Did I?  Great idea, thought I!  However, there was a blip involved in this two-things-in-one-go method.  The "abuse" of my fragile skin, that is, coloring my brows as well as having them waxed at the same time, tore up the area and the result was burns.  

That night at dinner, my middle child, the one who notices the weirdest things, said, "MOM!  What happened to your face?"  Note, he said, "face"?  Said child was about eight years old at the time.  I started to explain that I'd decided to get my eyebrows done (trying to think quickly as to how to explain to an eight year old what "waxing" meant) when middle child might well have gotten whiplash from his head jerking around so fast from the double-take as he said, "you mean YOU have eyebrows?" and started to carefully check out my face with the same fascination he had when finding bugs in the woods or by a creek and tried training them to do tricks.  I might have gotten upset by such a statement but the innocent boy was just so genuinely surprised that I couldn't even feel hurt.

But what DID hurt was the unfortunate timing: I needed to renew my driver's license within the next week. The poor fellow taking the photos really tried his best to minimize the "wound look" which made it appear as if I were sporting two strange sets of brows.  NO makeup is good enough to cover that sort of facial mishap, and certainly not with the sort of camera that the State police used for those photos.  This was a MOST unfortunate driver's license, which I then had to carry for entirely too many years and caused MANY double-takes when, say, an innocent store clerk needed to see my ID when I wrote out a check.  I even got to the point where I'd warn people before they saw the picture, not wanting to be responsible for any more whiplash than absolutely necessary, but really, there was NO preparing for such a sight.  

So, brows have been a sore subject with me, especially in the last few years because as I get older, the brows get more sparse.  

As I said, this story shows just how much we need to be aware of what changes this DD can do to our bodies and is a cautionary tale which I've written about quite a bit in earlier posts: we need to be so careful with what we do to our skin, to our very selves.  Once this illness sinks it's teeth into us, we are no longer the person we were before. However, the bright spot is that knowledge is power and we need that knowledge and power in order to be armed to defeat the blasted enemy, and not allow it to break down our self-esteem nor our will to thrive!

The results of this eyebrow journey (sounds like so much fun, no?) will be revealed further along in what I'm calling my "eyebrows" series.  Given that we are living in the age of what I call the "eyebrow era," when brows are making brow people into almost celebrities, and wealthy ones at that (think of the fortune Anastasia has amassed!) and you'll see we're in the midst of a most unfortunate era for those of us with sparse brows.  I mean, it would have been so much easier on us if Mona Lisa's brows (or lack of them) were now in style.  Alas, such is not the case.  So, in my next post(s) I'll talk and give names of products that have helped me.  

Ta ta!  Till our next "talk." 


  1. While I don't have the DD (as you say), I do have sparse eyebrows. I regularly pencil them in. However, my sister has bushy eyebrows which she waxes. It's amazing how two sisters are unalike!

    1. Ah yes, Martha! I know how you feel, given how my mom and my daughter both have great brows, as well as hair. And so I addressed that in the newest post, My Great Eyebrow Series (joking on that last bit!).

      But now I finally understand why so many of those tiny cute eyebrow kits that you can carry around in a handbag often include waxing-type boxes in them: they always puzzled me! You've now solved a mystery for me...thanks! xx