Does CFS show in your facial expression?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Odd question maybe.

    I went to Mc Donalds with my children the other day. I felt I had one of my "better" days where my eyes didn't burn, and I could stand up without feeling weak.I could shop around at the grocery store and all.I always have a level of fatigue, but I sort of got used to it. So, in short, this was a good day (not laying on the floor so bad off I had to remind myself to breathe).

    That one fell flat when my son played in the tunnels at the playland with a newfound girlfriend. I overheard her say:- Your mom look so tired."
    My son replied:- Yeah, but please don't tell her that>"

    I was stunned. Not a big deal. But I was stunned that I looked so obviously malaised on my "good" day where I could even smile without feeling the muscles in my face were too tired.

    Do you know the feeling? Do you guys ever feel your expression sort of fallen flat on your face, like there's no "life" in it? Not from depression or anything, no, just fatigued muscles, fatigued body, tired eyes, malaise, malaise. My goodness.

    This DD is really getting to me. I didn't realise my son is keeping silent about my appearance. Poor child. He is only 7, I didn't even realise it was an issue for him. I didn't realise he was protective of me. And, I didn't realise I looked this way.

    How do you guys feel in your faces,,,,LOL! Funny question, but seriously?
    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2006]
  2. day2day

    day2day Member

    I have a few things to say, might be a bit long winded. I think your son is awesome to be so sensitive to your illness, and protective. I bet you are just as protective of him and he learned it from you. Good job.

    ( I have a son who will 8 in 2 weeks, and he understands my illness, sort of )

    I wear my illness now on my sleeve so to speak, I hate looking in the mirror now, even make up does not help.

    I use to look younger then anyone my age, and infact modeled for years. Still looked good up til about 5 years ago. Was still far to thin but my face was okay, then all of a sudden when I went for my physical for my disability the occupational DR said although I was very haggard looking, I was able to work.

    HAGGARD LOOKING!!! I guess that was his word for drop dead, unrefreshed sleep, in aching rithing pain, but can't sleep tired!!!

    Yes even if I have a day that is as good as it gets, I sill have that worn out look on me.

    So sry, its such a wake up call to hear something like that.

  3. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member


    Although this disease is very sad, I could not help myself but laugh when you said "My mouth is much further away from my nose". Me too!!
    And I use to have eye balls following me when walking. now, if they follow me, it's because they think I look sick,,,not pretty,,,LOL!
  4. day2day

    day2day Member

    And I am not doing anything out of the norm, makes ya wonder doesn't it.

    This was a very good question!!
  5. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I hear the same thing (from mom and my bro)! I am not kidding! How hilarious!

    I hope we'll get lots of responses here once people get home from work, this is going to be interesting.

    keep bumping this post!
    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2006]
  6. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I`ve have wondered about this alot lately. I see other people that are really sick with other things and their face looks pale and drawn. I wonder if I look like that. The last 6 years have been my worst with this illness. It`s got to take a toll on your mind and body. I guess the only way I`ll know is to ask some family or friends that will be honest with me. People used to always say I looked 10 years younger then I was but I feel like I have aged the last few years.
  7. farida

    farida New Member

    I too am so glad that you raised this issue. As others discussed here, my family and friends (and even some of my former co-workers) can tell by looking at my face that I'm starting to fade or that my CFS is kicking my rear end.

    Sometimes my checks get red and this is one of the tip offs for husband who - at that point - encourages me at to cool it on my activity level. (In a very kind and considerate way).

    The most telling of my facial features are my eyes. When I'm feeling better, my eyes are bright - when sick, they look so tired.

    When I look in the mirror at those exhausted eyes looking back, I try to generate immense compassion for that person that I know is/will be struggling through the day. Then I usually just put myself back to bed!

    Your children (and all our families) are so kind to be sensitive to our struggles, to try to protect us from insensitive comments, and to have the presence to recognize these tell tale signs of our illness.


  8. MamaR

    MamaR New Member are so not alone in how you feel!

    But, I pray that you will start feeling better real you have the young children...and need strength for sure!

    I can tell that this stuff has aged me terribly in last few years.
    I try to smile as much as possible...but it is so hard sometimes.

    You sound like you have a son that truly loves his mom!! He is trying to protect you!

    [This Message was Edited on 03/13/2006]
  9. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    LOL...I had to look, even though I already knew the answer.

    I have creases between my eyebrows that weren't there a couple of years ago. I think it's from grimacing when I am in pain. And the mouth-nose thing, I've got that, too.

    But, most of all you can see it in my eyes. They used to be sparkly and bright....not anymore. They look sad. When I have "hit the wall" or am in a flare, my eyes get watery-looking and weary.

    Who says we don't look sick? If people look closely, they can see it. Sometimes a friend will ask how I'm feeling and I'll say ok and they say "Yeah right, I can see in your face that you are not having a good day".

  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

  11. marw

    marw New Member

    Golly, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I even posted this in my Profile, when I put my pic in, because the pic I used was just before the FM got so bad. In that pic the "light" is still in my face. My face now looks flat, and "dimmed" and somehow strained all the time! Even gray!I feel 20 years older, not 6 years older.

    HOw to fix it, someone asked? I don't know that, but I can tell you make-up will do wonders, if you do it a certain way. I finally clued in to this at my hair salon (where I never used to wear any make-up) when the manicurist told me never, never to go without make-up because I looked awful without a different person, she said. So I worked out a very simple easy to use method. Probably everyone would have to figure out their own, but here is mine:

    l.I do not use any make-up base in the daytime, and seldom at night, because it mades my face look heavy.

    2.I use Max Factor (but probably any brand will do) "Pan Stik" and rub it under by eyes and on my eye lids and to cover any blemishes. THe top of the eyelids are especially they won't look sunken and blue.

    3. I dust my whole face with blusher (the one you normally would just put on your cheeks). I use it heavier on the cheeks, to made them rosier. I use a rosier color than my normal skin tone.

    4. Bright lipstick, with white inside to lighten it.

    Pan Stik, blusher, and lipstick takes only a moment, and is good enough for the yard or walking the dog. For a more together look, I add eyeshadow and mascara, and eyebrow liner (we all need different shades and kinds for that).

    The trick is to get your face lighter and brighter looking while keeping a natural look.

    I experimented to find this.
    But it was worth it, because I don't get as many of those comments about looking haggard, or pitying looks from strangers.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean about the nose and mouth, but there is something wrong with mine, too. So I usually use some lighter shade of Pan Stik and lighten a little around my lips...blend pretty far up to the nose, and in the creases by the nose.

    Hope I haven't been presumptuous here. I apologize if I am. I know we are all different when it comes to cosmetics and skin types. And that all you you probably know all this stuff even better than me, because I never really tried to do anything with my face until I got the FM.

    Anyway, I am trying to get someone to take a pic of me now, and as soon as I do, I will post it, so you can see the difference in before FM and after FM (sigh!)

    I really hate the way my face looks most of the time now, so I welcome other ideas, too. Anyone else have ideas on fixing this Problem?

    Thanks for starting this thread. And I really an so thankful it's not just me!

  12. Jeanette62

    Jeanette62 New Member

    You have a very caring, sensitive son. My son will be 18 in a few weeks and is also very caring and sensitive although I have only been sick with FMS this last year. My daughter is much harder on me and thinks I should just get over it - she's 21.

    I too have been told I look tired and people have told me it shows in my face. Some of my friends at the gym even notice when I'm having a harder day when I haven't said a word because the overwhelming fatigue really shows in my face when I exercise.

    Take care,

  13. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    oh, so many replies!

    Well, I always use makeup, poor me and the world if I didn't. The muscle tone is fading even in the face, does that make sense? Makeup on a fallen face is just that, makeup on a fallen face,,,,hrmmm, does that sound pathetic?.

    Marw, you are such a sparkle, it was fun to read your reply! I am sure your tip will help someone reading this! Bless your heart!

    MamaR- I am so glad to hear from you! How are you doing? Many healing hugs to you!
  14. tilla

    tilla New Member

    I aged really fast. I looked so bad, I had to get it fixed as people were thinking my husband was my son. I had my first facelift at 39 and then another six years later. I am 58 now, and looking older is more comfortable.

  15. Beadlady

    Beadlady Member

    I don't wear make-up. I used to a wear a little mascara & eye shadow but I can't seem to find a mascara that doesn't make my eyes itch. For years I wore Avon, but they changed the formula. Mary Kay hypo-allergic & Almay worked for awhile but I have itchy eyes with those too.

    I've never been one to wear foundation and I have rosy enough cheeks (esp when I have been really working really hard at work)

    Some people at work complain that I don't look happy enough, or smile enough blah, blah blah. I know a lot of times I hold my mouth just right to stop the spasms in my jaw.

    I try really hard to look happy & not show the pain but you can only do so much. People at work go to my boss to ask if I'm ok--crap I just wish they would come to me instead--I don't need any more problems with trying to hang on to this job.
  16. violarose1

    violarose1 New Member

    yes i look haggered when i dont feel good. my forhead had creases when i was at the worst of my pain.
  17. painandagony

    painandagony New Member

    if I'm not smiling. People who don't know me, people who do know me, it doesn't matter. I must look like I'm feeling terrible. But I don't know which is worse...people saying you must be feeling terrible, or people who say you look great, you must feel good? I never do feel good, I just had enough motivation to put make up on and do my hair.

    makeup tips: if I have enough energy to do eyeshadow, I put very light sparkly shadow in the inner corners of my eyes and right under the brow, and neutral tones across the rest of lid. brushes are best way to apply eyeshadow. Lipstick is very key as well. I also get blotchy red faced - it's worse the more tired I get; so I look much better with foundation to even out my skin. Don't forget clothes, If you want to look more "alive" try and wear colors that make you pop, i.e. if i wear dark red shirts i always get compliments.
    If I need to do an errand, i usually just put on lipstick and my sunglasses...i don't feel so ugly.

    It's interesting though who notices how tired you look. My friends never say / notice i look tired unless it's one of my most horrible days. But, my husband looks at my eyes everyday he comes home from work, to see how i must be feeling...I think it's great that your kids know and support you....
  18. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    A few years ago my DH, when we were in a store.......said "My you gave that man a dirty look". It was around that time that I realized that I was doing this.....or appeared to be......

    As I would glance at someone a pain would hit and my eyes glared at them. It was not them, but the pain.

    Or a family member or a friend would be talking and I would do it to them. So I would tell them that if I appeared to be not liking their opinion, etc.....that it was not them.

    So I try extra hard when I have company or I am out in look at someone and smile....and to make my eyes warmer.....we really can do that bit of play acting!

    Yes, I look more haggard all the time. I hate it when someone asks how I am and I say fine, and they say you look like you do not feel well..and it is one of my UP times, where I do feel a little more normal...OH WELL....
  19. Vitter

    Vitter New Member

    People are always telling me to smile. I hate it, it makes me feel so self contious. When I do smile people say you look so good when you smile you should smile more often.

    I'm usually in deep thought about what is going on in my life I am some where else.

    Do people really want to know. No. Because when I do try to tell them, which isn't very often they always start telling me about their headache or something else.

    I'm to myself most of the time. OH well enough about me.
    Don't worry about it, you have a wonderful son.

    It is what is inside that counts.

  20. tandy

    tandy New Member

    So glad to see this post!

    I was'nt sure if the new lines between my eyebrows was from the illness/pain,... or just "everyone gets them in their 40's' ??? could be a lil of both.

    I use to be able to go without make-up anywhere.
    well,...not no more! I always say to my son when I'm heading into the bathroom in the mornings,.."I gotta go try to look human agin' lol
    hide the dark circles,a lil lip color and bronzer and I'm all set.! (or so I think so anyways :)
    I kinda miss hearing "wow,..your Mom looks great for being 40!'


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