Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - "Skin"

When I was a child sun screen was not a priority because as my dad proudly used to say "you have my Italian olive oil in your blood." I was raised camping, water skiing and snow skiing. Creating a nice brown glow that made my mother bristle as she applied her Solarcaine. As a teenager I was not prone to acne and had nice skin dotted with a few freckles. I would always be laying out with my pals soaking up the sun. Even during both pregnancies I had no stretch marks on my skin and after seeing my mom’s stretch marks, I felt very lucky I had good skin.


My skin was able to do its job until I was diagnosed at 29 with ALS. As skin ages, it becomes thinner, has less elasticity and decreased blood flow. The skin is one of the most important parts of the body. Its purpose it to protect us from pathogens, gives us insulation and regulates our temperature, to name a few. My muscles are all slowly shrinking which puts the nerves much closer to the skin, making it tougher for the skin to do its job. ALS also is much more sensitive to temperature, cold makes my spine ridged and heat zaps all of my energy. The skin is unable to help control this.


At 35 my skin started to make more drastic changes from aging. Now at 45 my arms jiggle, my breasts look like deli sausages hanging in the store front window, and I have no clue where my butt went. The years in the sun have added numerous sun spots and character wrinkles to my face and body. As we age, skin receives less blood flow and lowers gland activity. So my feet are always cold, I’m dealing with acne and a rare skin disease called Pleva. Pleva is tiny blisters on the skin like chicken pox, which are not attractive! The only real treatment is , get this, the sun! Beauty comes from inside and no illness or aging process can touch that. Every woman can be beautiful in her own skin.


My skin is hanging on for dear life and because it continues to fight, how can I let it down. I’m comfortable in my battle weary armor and proud to wear it. Inside I’m all woman and as long as I’m breathing I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit. With aging comes wisdom and a whole new definition of sexy.

34 comments:

Turquoise CRO said...

Yes, Tammy, beauty is on the inside and no aging or illness can touch that as well as we can seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee for ourselves because YOU are that beautiful spirit we come to seeeeeeee! You are beauty full outside and inside! if YOU ask me!!! xoxoxox

Chelle Y. said...

That was such a nice post, Tammy. I too have skin problems, although, it is different from ALS.

Looking at your picture, and seeing how beautiful you are, you would never know that you suffer from ALS.

betty said...

interesting that the thing we are told to avoid (sun) is what is the best treatment for this Plevna thing.

clare said...

Sun is good for eczema too - it's strange how the sun sometimes heals and sometimes destroys.

Excellent post, Tammy - interesting, thoughtful and strong. Now I see more clearly than ever why the air conditioning in your car was so vital.

Living Part Deux said...

I've learned so much from you about loving my body even when it acts like the enemy. Thank you, dear friend.

Who would ever guess skin is so vital? Today, because of your insights, I am aware of my skin and its functions, and am thankful it is doing its multitude of jobs. And my daily prayer for you has just been sent aloft, with so many requests for your skin - and for the preservation of your sweet, sweet spirit.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi warrior
a little magic for the weekend
"Life Inside A Cell"
Video-TRON-ics youtube
Wishing you a mighty fine day. Enjoy!

Jerri said...

Your spirit shines. Through your eyes, through your skin, through your experiences.

Your posts shine, too. Thank you.

paris parfait said...

Tammy you just amaze me with your positive outlook and acceptance of all these issues. Your spirit is so strong and bright, shining through your skin and all the physical problems related to ALS. You are the true definition of a beautiful woman inside and out, blazing a trail for the rest of us. xo

Colette said...

Your spirit, our spirit, is always whole, even if the body that houses it isn't. And your spirit shines bright and strong.

You are beautiful.

Verity said...

An exhilirating post to read, it just radiates with your beauty.

liz elayne said...

you are incredible. your words move me so much...thank you for sharing.

Helen said...

You have fought this disease for a long time my dear. What a spirit you have to deal with this. You are an inspiration for me.
xo

moira-anne said...

Tammy, you are so right about our skin and how important it is for us to take care. Your post is very touching and I feel for you so very much. You are a special lady and thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. Hope to catch yopu on Yahoo soon.

TI said...

I love how honest you are about ALS -- I am learning a lot about it just from reading your posts. And what you say about womanly spirit and the wisdom of aging because it is so so true. Your twin. oxox

Belle said...

Wow Tammy, I'll learn to be more appreciative and thankful by coming a reading what you have to deal with every day.

I so admire your "womanly spirit" and positive and lovely courage.

yak attack said...

Tammy, thank you so much for your transparency. You continue to amaze me with your total acceptance of who you are, regardless of how you appear on the outside. Yes, they are just chinks in the armor -- if only we could all just see battle scars that way. Thank you for helping to keep things in perspective for me. bonnie

lovegreendog said...

inspirational. i love these words you offer today.
"Every woman can be beautiful in her own skin." i needed that today.thank you.

tinker said...

Oh these words, Tammy - "I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit." those words are some of the wisest, most wonderful words written!
You know who I think of when I hear the words "lovely and amazing"? Yep, it's you; inside and out.

gracie said...

perhaps every woman makes her own contribution to the definition 'sexy'... we are each uniquely designed and uniquely illustrating 'desirable'.
Beautiful post about skin!

Amber said...

"Inside I’m all woman and as long as I’m breathing I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit. "--

You are awesome. This is a really great SS! It really makes clear how much our bodies and skin is so much a real part of our lives, and our spirits. We have to make peace, and take care, and be thankful.

:)

bb said...

*Inside I’m all woman and as long as I’m breathing I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit. With aging comes wisdom and a whole new definition of sexy.*

yes, you are awesome indeed! love to you x x x

Madeleine said...

you really are a warrior behind that beautiful amour of yours.......and indeed age does bring a new kind of sexy......with 10x more depth and understanding than that of its young counterparts.

i am sure that Dave doesn't mind rubbing a little lotion into your war wounds, though?

what a lovely refreshing and honest piece of writing....

i am gonna start loving the chinks of mine a little more i think,

Lots of love
Mad
xxx

acumamakiki said...

How fabulous! Because it's true, our skin really does change after we're 40 and if I'd heard what everyone told me when I was in my 20's (ahh youth!) than perhaps I wouldn't have had skin cancer (basal cell) at a young age. "with aging comes wisdom and a whole new definition of sexy" YES!

bella said...

Tammy, I loved reading this post. It's hard to imagine how badly the temperature affects your skin due to the ALS.
Beauty shines from within, and girl, you are shining.

dorinny said...

Wow! Honest and empowering! You GO girl! Thanks for this, muchly enjoyed :0)

Deb R said...

What a wonderful post, Tammy. I especially loved the last sentence. Yes!

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Beautifully written ... so much wisdom and positive energy. Lovely.

Lisa (oceandreamer) said...

is it ok that I cried reading this? It wasn't tears of sadness necessarily but tears from the power of your words. Your spirit, your tenacity, the complete and total wisdom you personify is palpable. I will forever love the last line.
YOU are the definition of beauty!
XOXOXO

Patrick Leer said...

Powerful and beautiful!
Patrick http://journals.aol.com/daddyleer/CaregivinglyYours/

Kathleen said...

Tammy..your strength and attitude with ALS is inspiring. In my field I think I have seen it all, and wonder how I would face a serious illness. Yet, over and over I witness this phenomenal internal power as you have expressed. I don't know about anyone else, but your sharing and writing is a gift that gently reminds us all to embrace, redirect and love..thanks

rachel said...

Deli sausages? That is hysterical. The skin thing sucks sometimes, mine is letting me down big time at the moment, starting to show the signs of hitting 40 added to years of partying. Hey ho!

Susannah said...

This is an incredibly inspiring post, T -

"Inside I’m all woman and as long as I’m breathing I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit." - YES.... i'm going to follow your lead x

Bedazzzled1 said...

You will always be all woman, m'dear. Keep on embracing that wisdom and sexiness.

::hug::
Nikki

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