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"Judgement" is a bad word for a necessary process

Monday, December 10, 2012

While the judgement of others is often distressing, judging ourselves is essential to progress. We have all heard the old saw about insanity being defined as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Yet how do we change if we don't carefully examine our actions, reactions, attitudes, and honestly decide if we have done the right thing, handled the situation best?

The whole process has to start with what we did wrong, which is usually manifested in a negative result. For some it's eating the wrong thing. For me it's usually saying something I shouldn't. Very few of us eat the Reeses thinking it's the right thing to do, and are anguished when the scale judges us with a "surprising" opposite. We KNOW it's wrong but do it anyway, and then we concentrate on the negative feelings engendered by doing something wrong. Our society these days, however, concentrates on not "hurting our feelings", but there is no chance of improvement with that.

I liken it to a sports team. After every game, the players go over the tapes of the game. They don't do it to make themselves feel better, and they don't concentrate on all the good plays so they don't have to deal with the bad ones. They look for every single failure, and they figure out how to do it differently next time. If you watched a quarterback throw a ball behind his receiver time after time, you wouldn't feel inhibited about thinking he isn't doing a good job. You'd wonder why he doesn't practice doing it the right way, a million times if necessary. The coach isn't going to say "Oh you poor baby", he's going to say "get to work". And that work isn't going to involve how well he pats himself on the back every time he throws the ball to the wrong person. It's going to involve actively, carefully, intentionally practicing in a careful, precise way, the right moves over and over and over and over until he gets it right. If he doesn't he will lose his slot to someone who is willing.

Careful weight loss doesn't involve competing with others. It's not like only 100 people can lose weight this year, can you be one of them? It doesn't involve any special talent, any gift not available to every single person alive. There are probably some people who would do better with that pressure, but I'm sure not one of them.

At the end of every day I take an inventory of my day. I take note of progress, but I also note everything I could have done better. I cannot take back words I wish I hadn't said, but I can note the situation and figure out how to do better next time. I can decide that I need to avoid certain situations, that I need to have a better attitude in certain situations, that I need to ask for help in certain situations. And then I go about the process of how to do those things. What words can I say to myself when my mother is pushing every button I have? While words cannot make me fat, the aftereffects sure can. I need to see the signs of impending trouble BEFORE they happen and deal with them, rather than wait until after and wonder why why why. I have met many who believe that it doesn't matter what they do as long as they feel appropriately miserable about it, that the misery is sufficient penalty. Personally I'd rather do without it.

I do not judge others, not their bodies or their hair or their cars. I do judge myself, but it's an inventory rather than a self-flagellation. In that lies progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RICHARJ 12/27/2012 12:26PM

    ITs rare that I respond to 2 blogs on one person's page, but you sure do have a way with words that sort of hit you in the chest and you say to yourself...YEA! and I NEED to take action NOW and I can and will do this....Thanks I appreciate your gift! emoticon

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SHARON10002 12/21/2012 11:14PM

    emoticon blog! Loved your summation. So very true. Wish I were more consistent in doing everything I need to every day.

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MTPOETNH 12/17/2012 11:16PM

    I loved this blog - it has made me rethink how to review my day. I like the analogy to the sports team reviewing the tapes of the game to help them recognize where they can improve. I do like to focus on the positive aspects of my day and feel guilty when I have made "less than healthy" choices. You have put a very positive spin on "self judgement" as being an inventory. emoticon

I agree with Hungrywoman2- your last statement says it all.. emoticon

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JOANNS4 12/14/2012 9:29PM

    A very good blog to remember to help ourselves and not judge others. Thank you.

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 12/14/2012 1:29PM

    Your last statement says it all. emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/12/2012 4:57AM

    After my morning weigh-in, I can look back and explain the results. My weight is alright. It could be better. This has been a busy week. Leaving early three mornings has changed my routine. I exercise in the morning. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I will go back to my routine.

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ILOVEMALI 12/11/2012 4:00PM

    I can so relate -- thanks for the insight!

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MKELLY72 12/11/2012 10:10AM

    I love this blog! It can really relate to so many things in our lives. I think you just helped me to take a different angle on something that I have been struggling with as a parent with one of my kids.
Thank you so much!!

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CELIAMINER 12/11/2012 9:37AM

    Thanks for this thoughtful and thought-provoking blog! It's too bad the word "judgment" has a negative connotation. We could use the work "assessment," but it doesn't go far's just a tool in the process, so "judgment" will have to do, as long as the self-judgment is used in a constructive, instructive, gentle way.

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/10/2012 8:33PM

    Judgment is part of human nature. It does not need to be destructive or vindictive. Judgment is how we discern and you nailed it on the head when you said that judgmented allows you to take inventory and make progress.

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 12/10/2012 7:54PM

    While I think it is a really good thing to do a 'personal inventory', I don't think it is a good thing to be taking anothers 'personal inventory'. Not that I think you're doing that, but I do see that a lot on the web and I find it disheartening. Because when we take anothers inventory, if we don't be gentle with our words, we can beat the person down instead of building them up. We can make the battle so difficult that they give up the battle. While we can't supposedly "make anybody anything" I don't fully agree. Cause words hurt, words break spirits. So, words, whether to ourselves or others, need to be used constructively, and not like a battering ram. And, I think that is exactly what you were saying in your blog: encouraging (constructive) inventory taking.

By the way, I absolutely loved the message in your blog. It's an EXCELLANT blog.


Comment edited on: 12/10/2012 7:57:27 PM

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WATERMELLEN 12/10/2012 7:43PM

    "Careful weight loss doesn't involve competing with others. It's not like only 100 people can lose weight this year, can you be one of them?"

"While words cannot make me fat, the aftereffects sure can"

All round great blog, but these were the two passages which really resonated with me!

Judgment as inventory is not a bad thing: it's essential. If we don't evaluate what we've done, how can we ever do better??

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My body or my face?

Saturday, December 08, 2012

I think it's Catherine Deneuve who is credited with the comment that at a certain age a woman has to choose between her body and her face.

I am thin now, and at my age (over 60) thin means a gaunt face. I have just had a facelift to try to even out the creases, and the surgeon sucked some fat out of my hips and injected it into my face to try to plump it up, to fill in the big creases. With age my skin has gotten thinner, and gravity has done it's inexorable work on pulling it all down. I don't want to gain weight to fill out my face, but that is the choice. I look at older faces now much more than I used to. Thin older women look younger than their heavier counterparts, but the faces of heavier women do look better.

Of course, we older women are much rounder around the middle. Left the face and migrated to my middle. I remember my grandmothers both patting under their chins, which was supposed to "break up the fat". I remember these chin straps they wore to bed in hopes of getting rid of the sags of age. I am eternally grateful for modern surgical techniques to restore some semblance of youth. But as the doc said when he removed the stitches, gravity picks up right where it left off.

I am sure that when the swelling goes down and I can see my cheekbones again I'll be thrilled, but oh to have that dewy, plump skin again! More fat would fill it out, but I'm not willing to have the round body (like Catherine Deneuve now has) in order to improve my face.

It IS a choice: my body or my face? I'm choosing my body.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 12/21/2012 11:12PM

    I do believe we each know what we want or need for our bodies. I also believe in the aging process. I feel that our it's designed that way for a reason . . .

I do use EVOO exclusively in my cooking and in food. I guess it must help. I don't have any proof, but you can look at my picture.

I do hope that once your stitches are out and all is healed that you are happy with the results. I know it's probably hard to tell anything right now. We'd love to see before and after photos.

I'm too chicken to go under the knife for anything that is not life threatening! emoticon If it were painless and they could take fat from one area to plump up my face, I'd let them take it from my mid-esction. emoticon Why not kill two birds with one stone?!

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    I say if a woman.....or man.... wants to have plastic surgery of any kind, that is their choice and their business. I hope you're happy with the end result. We all know our bodies and our private thoughts, you have to do what's right for you. If I could afford when the "time" comes, I would definitely consider it as well.

I'll have to check out the coconut oil suggestion from singinfatlady as well.

Best of luck; I'll be watching for before and after's as well! Pat

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ILOVEMALI 12/10/2012 2:22AM

    Have a speedy recovery!

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SUZYMOBILE 12/9/2012 9:25PM

    At this point, Nell, I know that I look far better with clothes on than not, yet I have no desire to tuck or trim or suck parts of my body away. I just want my clothes to fit and to feel good. Hope you end up feeling the same! I think you're fine just the way you are.

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CELIAMINER 12/9/2012 3:34PM

    Really looking forward to your before and after pix. Still trying to work up the nerve to get the surgical help.

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VINGRAM 12/9/2012 9:26AM


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GABY1948 12/9/2012 8:00AM

    I wish you the best and hope you are happy with it. It doesn't matter what others think.

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 12/9/2012 6:24AM

    Good choice!

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/9/2012 6:03AM

    I agree with the comment below. When I was younger, I didn't take good care of my skin. Although, I didn't lay out in the sun, I didn't use creams. etc to keep it soft.
As we age we learn what we should have done years ago. Now I buy anti-aging creams for my face/eyes.

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MEDDYPEDDY 12/9/2012 2:31AM

    My wish is that I would have appreciated that youth and skin when I had it! But I did not so I wonder what it is that I have now and does not appreciate...

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FISHINGLADY66 12/8/2012 9:38PM

    emoticon Wishing you the best.

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WATERMELLEN 12/8/2012 8:52PM

    All best as those stitches come out! Fashions change in bodies (students of art history can't help but know that . . . ) but it seems to me with a little surgical intervention you ARE getting the best of both worlds: thin fit body AND rejuvenated face. Who knew that a surgeon could inject a little fat from where we don't want it to where we do? (Not me!!). Gotta say, at pretty much the same age as you and "somewhat" thin (5'9", generally a size 6-8) I'm too "chicken" to go for a face lift (have had enought "other" surgeries): but my MIL had several!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/8/2012 8:34PM

    As Popeye said, I yam what I yam. I like my body and face, no matter the imperfections. Always have, and
hopefully always will.

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SINGINFATLADY 12/8/2012 8:21PM

    I've been reading that adding healthy coconut oil--unrefined, extra virgin, cold-pressed organic--to your diet is not only healthy for your heart, teeth, and metabolism, but it also helps to fill out a gaunt face.

My mum is 80 and has been taking it for about 5 months, just a tablespoon or two a day. There is a visible difference in the roundness of her cheeks, and she says it's been helping her sleep better too.

From what I've been reading, it's pretty much a miracle drug (except it isn't a drug).

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"Healthy" is a result rather than a goal

Friday, December 07, 2012

I live to eat. Who on earth would want to eat just to live? 4 cans of Ensure a day will do that. Ugh!! Anyone remember the 1964 World's Fair, when displays touted the day when we could just get our nutrition from pills and wouldn't need to eat at all? What's the fun in that?

BUT (and there's always a "but") I have selections every day and I don't necessarily choose them because they are "healthy". For example, I get 6 bread selections a day. Each bread selection is 3/4 oz dry rice or pasta or beans, or oz raw potato, or 1 oz bread (part of a long list). If I want my 1 oz of bread to be white bread, so what? Ever made garlic croutons out of whole wheat bread? They're awful. I want yummy and I only get one ounce, so it better be good. Over the course of a week or a month I eat plenty of different bread group choices, so "healthy" is pretty much taken care of when going for variety, and without my counting.

This morning I was making my husband's breakfast, and it included an apple and an orange. After I'd made his plate there was 1/4 of the apple still left, but I didn't eat that 1/4 of the apple. I only get 2 fruits a day, and I'd already had a banana (3 oz weighed with skin). That 1/4 apple would have been 1/2 a fruit (4 oz apple with skin and seeds=1 fruit). Even though it would have been "healthy", it would have left me with only 1/2 a fruit for the rest of the day. I don't get a pass just because the thoughtless thing I pop into my mouth is "healthy".

According to government regulations, you can take a bunch of vitamins that are found in strawberries, add artificial strawberry flavor, and while you can't call it a strawberry on the label, you can call it "as healthy as a strawberry". Really?????

When you revel in food, "good for you" better translate as "delicious". Fortunately, my weight loss and maintenance journey has melded "delicious" with "legal" (an old WW term that meant "On Plan"). While aiming for that glorious combination of fabulous and legal, "Healthy" just sort of emerged as an incidental result.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELIAMINER 12/9/2012 3:05PM

    I, too, am a foodie, so I, too, live to eat. Food has to be good, not just good for me. It's hard to imagine how dull life would be without tasty food, preferably shared with good company.

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KKKAREN 12/8/2012 7:52AM

    very inspirational!

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NASFKAB 12/8/2012 3:55AM

  vow the control not popping that apple in your mouth great

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/7/2012 11:21PM

  Sounds like you have it under control!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/7/2012 10:12PM

    This is an inspirational blog to say the least. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 12/7/2012 8:50PM

    It sounds like you've got a good handle on things. Keep up the good work!

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JOANNS4 12/7/2012 6:43PM

    A great one, you are indeed an inspiration. Thank you.

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CMRAND54 12/7/2012 3:54PM

    You are so right. You can eat too much of anything and it's not healthy.

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GOTTAPLAN4U 12/7/2012 1:52PM

  Healthy AND fabulous can be an acquired taste if one allows their tastes to adapt.

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/7/2012 1:26PM

    I think I can get back to "living to eat" when the healthy stuff completely penetrates and becomes
normal. Almost there.

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GABY1948 12/7/2012 1:10PM

    I agree with Kay that you are a true inspiration to us all! Good going!

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/7/2012 12:49PM

    You are definitely on track and have more will power than anyone I know.
Nell, you are a true inspiration to all of us.

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ILOVEMALI 12/7/2012 12:48PM

    I'm trying to make grapes my "cheat." I few after work. Blew it last night (I had something salty instead). I'll try again. I refuse to believe that cheating with fruit will put weight on me!

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Slow recovery

Monday, December 03, 2012

I know recovery takes as long as it takes. It's been 3 days now and my face is extremely swollen. My lips are swollen and numb (probably from the Fraxel) that it's hard to keep food and liquid in my mouth long enough to swallow. My eyes are swollen so it's hard to see, but it's also hard to completely close them. Whenever I am in the middle of something I have to remind myself over and over that there will be an end. I've been through this before, 17 years ago, so not only does healing take place, the whole thing got so far behind me I decided to do it again. What was I thinking?? I know that 3 months from now I'll be thrilled, but for now I am feeling very sorry for myself.

What would a self-pity emoticon look like? Can I be the only Sparker who needs one?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARGOMCP 12/7/2012 10:11AM

    Hope things are much improved by now. Glad you had work done before so know what it's like.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/4/2012 4:55PM

    I need one also. I do hope that you feel better soon.
Take care and try to eat soup with a straw. You might have to break down and drink a milkshake.

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CELIAMINER 12/4/2012 10:46AM

    Sorry it's taking so long, Nell! I'm amazed you could see to type out the blog, and I look forward to seeing the results when you are healed.

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VINGRAM 12/4/2012 10:03AM

    I'm keeping my wrinkles....I earned them! emoticon

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TINAJANE76 12/3/2012 10:29PM

    Sorry to hear that you're feeling so bad. Hope that you feel better soon and that your great results will make you forget all about the pain and discomfort you're experiencing now.

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/3/2012 10:27PM

  emoticon emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/3/2012 10:14PM

    Feel better soon!

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DARLENEK04 12/3/2012 9:43PM

  Get well soon....


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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 12/3/2012 8:12PM

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Nell!

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MIDROAD 12/3/2012 6:58PM

    Fondest hope for a speedy recovery friend Nell!


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GABY1948 12/3/2012 5:52PM

    Just keep thinking the way you are thinking...and this too shall pass...Each day will be an improvement! Hope you are already feeling better!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 12/3/2012 3:52PM

    Here it is

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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LEB0401 12/3/2012 3:14PM

    A relative had some things done, and the face definitely took the longest to heal. Hope you feel better soon!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/3/2012 2:45PM


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BARBARASDIET 12/3/2012 2:34PM


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123ELAINE456 12/3/2012 2:26PM

  Call your Doctor and get in to see him. Have him check you out and see if things are going like they should. God Bless You and Have a Nice Day. Take Care.Hope you are feeling better very soon.

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SUZYMOBILE 12/3/2012 2:19PM

    I assume you've checked back with your doctor about the swelling and the weight gain. It sounds like a lot of fluid retention, in any event.

How are these for pity-party emoticons?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I feel bad for you!

Comment edited on: 12/3/2012 2:20:22 PM

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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Well here I sit, 24 hours after my facelift. I am swollen beyond belief, lots of stitches. I can't eat, my face muscles make it hard to chew. Sucking through a straw is eaier I got my bandages off this morning and took a glorious shower!

No exercise or food to speak of right now, although I find myself walking around the house a lot just because I like to keep moving.

Right now I think I'd like a nap.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORKNPROGRESS49 12/4/2012 11:00AM

    Sending "speedy recovery" wishes to you emoticon

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--KREN 12/4/2012 6:44AM

    Nell, I didn't know you were planning this. I've heard it's very painful. I wish you a fast and less painful healing process.

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MELLISOND 12/3/2012 9:54AM

    Hoping you feel better soon. I look forward to hearing more about the experience and seeing photos! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 12/2/2012 9:39PM

    Heal well, heal beautiful

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WATERMELLEN 12/2/2012 7:25PM

    All best for a quick quick recovery . . . you looked fabulous "before" so I'm guessing 60s gonna be the new 40!!

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/2/2012 4:54PM


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ZEEDRA 12/2/2012 2:24PM

    I can't see where you needed it!
I would just like to have my upper lip ironed out but that's not going to happen. I like the look of eye lines or smile lines.

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CELIAMINER 12/2/2012 9:52AM

    What did you have done? Did you get eyes done, too? Considering going this route, especially the eyes, which really betray my age. Please do share before/after.

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FISHINGLADY66 12/1/2012 8:27PM

    Rest and take care. It will get better.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/1/2012 6:37PM

    Did it hurt? I don't think you needed one from your pictures.
I know I do, but I don't think my insurance will help at all.
I would like a consultation.

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SUZYMOBILE 12/1/2012 6:36PM

    Facelift?? I had no idea you were planning one. Please let us see before and after--once the swelling is down, of course!

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123ELAINE456 12/1/2012 3:17PM

  Hope you feel better soon. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week.Take Care.

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GABY1948 12/1/2012 2:42PM

    emoticon Can't wait to see your progress! Hope you feel better QUICK! emoticon

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