Other then being obese, I am normally a healthy person. I guess that is why I was surprised about something that happened almost a month ago.
For a few days I started getting a thumping/throbbing pain behind my right ear. That was the biggest problem I was experiencing. At that point anyways. I had just assumed it was all due to sinus, allergies and maybe even something from the inner ear infection I had just gotten over. I would take ibuprofen and just hope it eventually would go away.
I found out one day what was really happening to me. It happened on the day that John and I had decided to go out for Pedicures and then lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant, Guru India.
I had got up that morning and started getting ready. As I sat down at my makeup table and started applying it, I could feel something wasn’t right. But I continued. My right eye was watering, so I couldn’t apply eye makeup properly. When I went to put on my lipstick, it ended up all over my face. My mouth was crooked when I tried to smack my lips together.
I came downstairs and started talking to John. He wondered why my mouth was pulling to the side.
While it wasn’t funny, I laughed. In my head it would go away. I said at least I can still walk and use my arms.
As the day went on and it started getting worse, it wasn’t funny anymore. I was embarrassed to talk to anyone while we were out that day, eating was almost impossible and so was drinking.
When we came in I decided to Google my symptoms. Of course you see mainly the worse when you Google, and I don’t usually do it, but that was what I had. I seen it was possible that I had a stroke, a brain tumor or something called Bell’s Palsy. After reading the symptoms I knew for a fact I had Bell’s Palsy.
I showed John and we decided that I should go to the doctor, something I don’t do unless it is absolutely necessary. The girl at the Drs. office didn’t want to make an appointment. She said I should go straight to ER or Urgent Care. I picked the lesser of two evils and went to urgent care.
That was an experience all in itself. But that might be another post. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, right? I ended up leaving there with a shot of steroids, some tablet and another prescription for steroids. I was also told if the steroids helped to call them back and they would get me another prescription. The steroids did seem to improve my symptoms, but I never was able to get the refill.
So in case you don’t know what Bell’s Palsy is.
It is where half of your face is totally paralyzed. You can’t blink or close your eye. You can’t smile or talk or move that side of your face. You can’t feel that side of your face at all.
It is all due to some kind of trauma to a nerve in your head that leads to your brain (Imagine that, I do have a brain!) It is caused by several different things. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Infections such as he ear infection I had just gotten over.
It lasts different lengths of time for different people.
For me, after a month, I can now smile again. Most of the face is functioning better.
I had read several websites and they all tell of he facial paralysis. That is aggravating enough. In fact the first days laughter had turned to a few tears by the end of the first week.
But what a lot of people don’t tell you about on those sites is how you feel, even after you can smile again.
My experience with it once the feeling in my face came back.
The headaches won’t stop. It is a constant headache that no amount of OTC tablets will phase.
The whole side of my face feels bruised to the touch.
Fatigue and low energy level is crazy. If I sit around I am decent, if I try and walk any amount of distance or stand I break out in a sweat, get dizzy and just have to regain my composure.
I have a lot of the aching pain on that side of the face.
The emotional swings as well as the depression is really bad some days.
I still can’t wear makeup on my eye due to the crocodile tears that won’t stop. I have tried putting it on, but it is rubbed off in 30 minutes or less.
I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that some people doesn’t understand. When your face is paralyzed and they can see your symptoms they can see you aren’t well. Once the face starts functioning again and they can’t see how bad you feel on the inside, they don’t always comprehend that you aren’t able to just jump back in to your daily routine.
I haven’t given up. I have pushed myself more now then I did before I got the Bell’s. I try and go for a drive when I can. I go out for lunch more. I take in a couple movies. I just live the best I can and I don’t give up.
If you or someone you love is suffering from Bell’s – Hang in there – It is a long road.
Personally, I am staying positive and moving forward. I wanted to share my personal story for other people suffering from this, I know most websites I have found doesn’t go on a personal level or past the facial paralysis.
You aren’t alone.