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You May BE Sick But You Don't Have To Look Sick!

Updated on November 2, 2014
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

You Don't Have To Look Sick Just Because You Are!

Do you get tired of hearing things like, "Are you not feeling well today?" Or, "You look so tired." Because we all know what those well meaning people are saying is, "You really look like crap today!" Am I right here?

If you're reading this article, your personal image is important to you! When you're sick, whether it's an "invisible illness" like Lupus, Myasthenia, chronic pain... or a life threatening illness like cancer or another major, let's face it - the mirror may not be your best friend. But there are things you can do to make that better. The payoff is that you will FEEL better!

If you're a person who happens to be a patient too, I want to help you look and feel your best! Since 1992 I've been a certified image consultant helping women with color analysis, skin condition, makeup, fashion, and so on. Before I got really sick I spent many years helping a lot of women look and feel better about themselves. Now I just help friends and family, but it's still very rewarding to me.

The hardest part of it all is to get up the self-motivation to make the effort! When you feel lousy, it's hard to make yourself care about anything so seemingly trivial as looking good. But have you ever noticed, on the days when you are fixed up, you just feel better the tiniest bit? You carry your head just a bit higher, you feel a bit more like the "old you?" That's the feeling we're after here.

When I first became disabled, I was devastated by the loss of my career and it hit my self esteem hard. I had an incurable disease. Myasthenia affected my facial muscles, making my eyelids droop and my face sag in places whenever it wanted to. That part of the disease is harmless, but still demoralizing to my image.

I found and hung onto a phrase, "You are who you are, not what you do" - with all my might. I made three daily goals for myself that I promised to keep no matter how lousy I felt. One of them was to get cleaned up, put makeup on and dressed through shoes every single day, no matter what time of day I managed to accomplish it. With very few exceptions, I've managed to keep that promise to myself all these years, and I'm glad I did. Had I not, I don't know what condition my self esteem would be in right now.

I make frequent visits to a cancer center where I get IV medications for a neuromuscular illness I have called Myasthenia Gravis (one of the diseases the MDA works with). Recently I got onto the elevator with a lady who looked so well put together and so pretty that I just had to compliment her. She replied, "Hey, you look really nice too! It's so nice to see somebody coming here who takes the effort to look good!" Wow. That compliment made my day, to say the least!

In May of 2013 I underwent a major facial resection and reconstruction surgery to save me from malignant Melanoma. In addition to the rest of my image challenges, I had to learn to live with a 5" long scar from under my eye down to my chin. My plastic surgeon did an amazing job and eventually the scar healed to where it's almost not noticeable. Now I'm dealing with a sunken area in my cheek that I hope to get resolved.

I will admit to you that, on my very worst days, I still look kind of lousy despite my best efforts! But thankfully those days are in the minority. And even on those days, I always feel better after I've fixed myself up! Here I am with two of my little rescue Schnauzers, Ladybug and SueSue. Thankfully they love me no matter how I look!

Now, back to you! Start by taking the following poll, and I'll give you some tips on finding your best you!

"I made three daily goals for myself that I promised to keep no matter how lousy I felt. One of them was to get cleaned up, put makeup on and get dressed through shoes every single day, no matter what time of day I managed to accomplish it."

— SheilaSchnauzies

Where Do You Stand On Your Personal Image?

How Has Illness Affected Your Personal Image?

See results
Kiss Everlasting Pearl French Tip Medium Nail Kit EF10WG
Kiss Everlasting Pearl French Tip Medium Nail Kit EF10WG

I've discovered that I can get about 10 days to 2 weeks of wear on these glue on nails. I constantly receive compliments on my nails and no one can believe they're glue ons!


Caring For Yourself... How's That Going?

How Has Your Illness Affected The Way You Care For Yourself?

See results

Your Status On Looking Good...

What Are You Doing To Care For Your Appearance Now?

See results

Let's Get Started On "Project YOU!"

The First Steps Are Easy!

... Grab your coffee or tea, and get ready to formulate your plan!

... Get a professional color analysis (I'll donate one to you for free!) Just send me a message through the contact form next to my bio. Then you send me your color photo of yourself and I send you my results.

... Read my free e-booklet, 'You Don't Have To LOOK Sick" (again, request using the contact form) Full of tips and tricks on how to look your best!

... Work ahead homework - Look at what's in your closet and pull out everything that does NOT fit you right now. Have these items packed away sorted by size - or if you prefer, donate them!

... Make an appointment to have anything done to your hair that you need - a trim, color, etc.

... If you're into having your nails done, get them done. OR try the glue on nails I recommend here by Kiss! You can get them here thru my lens or you can find them at most drugstores.

... Are your shoes in good condition? Do they need repair or cleaning? Let's get them looking good!

You Say...

How Do You Feel About Your Appearance Right Now?

The quickest trick to looking better is to get some bright color in your color season up next to your face! It works miracles, truly.

Here's The Aftermath Of My Melanoma Surgery

Talk About A Major Blow To My Image!

Here's a picture taken at 3 weeks post-op my Melanoma surgery. As you can see, I still had a lot of swelling under my eye. But I pulled out every trick in my book to make myself look better. I wore bright colors and clothes that would draw attention. I used a bit more eye makeup than usual to draw attention to my eyes and away from my scarred cheek. I always kept something interesting stuck in my hair, a fancy clip or whatever. I put on some sparkly jewelry to cheer myself up. I think it all helped - at least it made me feel better about myself and helped me get through the long months of recovery.

My Way Of Giving Back...

As a survivor of malignant Melanoma, and as an image consultant for over 20 years, I want to help others going through illness. I will donate a FREE color and image analysis via emailed photos with my suggestions to any person who contacts me through the form attached to my Bio here on this page.

Please Say Hello In My Guestbook! - Nice to meet you!

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    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @Elyn MacInnis: What a lovely comment! And thanks for that cloud!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      You are quite an inspiration. It isn't just people who are sick who are tempted to just get up and put on baggy pants, a tee shirt, and go from there. I do agree. Making an effort to look nicer is doing something for the world. You have such a beautiful and inspiring spirit - thank you. And blessings to you on your journey. Sending you a golden cloud of light!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your very personal story - beautifully written and heartfelt. You are a shining light on Squidoo :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You certainly are a positive force and what a wonderful offer you are making to give others a bit of that positive energy. I've had those days and weeks of just not caring to care for myself but you are so right about doing a little touchup to feel so much better and face the world more positively. Congratulations on and excellent and very personal feature....may it be well with you! :)

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @LisaAuch1: Thanks so much, Lisa! I didn't realize you were a fellow chronic pain sufferer. I am really into the floaty maxi dresses too - they are instant prettiness! Whenever I wear them out I get compliments. And they hide all the scars on my legs too:) Thanks so much for your very kind comment!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      I suffer from chronic pain and fatigue (completely debilitating at its worst , some days are ok, some just bearable (you will know what I mean) I try not to moan and just get on with it, it is all too easy to just throw on baggy trousers and a big jumper, tie the hair into a pony tail and that's it, But that is probably the WORST thing you can do, if you look good you feel good, it DOES make a difference when you set these goals to achieve, I like you LOVE to wear lovely floaty maxi dresses, bright floaty tops to help make me feel and look good. It is important to oneself no matter what you are going through to look after you and take care pamper and spoil yourself too. Thanks for sharing your Story its great that people can have a voice and show others how they too can cope positively and helping others with your strength and courage - Great page Shelia I appreciated you writing about such an important topic. :)

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @hazeltos: I'm going to quote what you said, "It's not vanity it's survival" in this lens! You are so right! I'm so sorry for the pain you are in, I certainly relate. I didn't mention it in this lens but I'm also a chronic pain patient with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and lots of failed back surgery. Thank you for everything you said and you will be in my thoughts!

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @kimadagem: I really appreciate that you shared this lens, and thank you so much for your good wishes!!

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @rattie lm: Thank you so much for your sweet comment and compliments!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea for a lens! And wonderful ideas *in* the lens! And you are very generously donating your time and talents to help others too. I've tweeted this lens and I wish you all the best in your recovery.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 

      5 years ago

      Sheila this is such an inspiring lens. It's hard on your down days to drag yourself together and make the effort to look your best. Fortunately you have beautiful features and colouring and I hope it won't be long before you are back to your beautiful self.

    • hazeltos profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      I also know what you mean by not looking as bad as you feel. I have heart failure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, fiber myalgia, and a few other little diseases. I spend most of my time exhausted and in pain. I also spend a lot of time keeping my spirits up by always trying to look my best. It's not vanity, it's survival. Wonderful lens. I admire your strength and courage. By the way, you are a beautiful person - it shows in your writing and in your eyes.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @SusanDeppner: Susan, you really do get what I'm trying to say! That means a lot to me. It is not only about lifting your own spirits, but those of others, as you so beautifully said! Thanks so much for an awesome comment, and the compliments too! You made my day:)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      As a cancer survivor, I know exactly what you're talking about. I tried to at least have a bounce in my step (sometimes that was really hard when I could barely walk!) and a smile on my face, as well as fun socks on my feet, when I went in for treatment. People noticed, too, and the attitude really does rub off on others. Your melanoma surgery is healing beautifully, and you look fabulous in purple! I just love your attitude and outlook, as well as your willingness to help others.


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