I woke up in the morning on October 2, 2008 and felt as if someone had pulled down real hard on half my face and numbed half my tongue. It was a strange sensation for sure.
At first I thought it was a stroke and it was horrifying as I watched the entire left side of my face droop like I have seen in stroke victims. One eyebrow was an inch or so higher than the other, and my eye sagged. My eye also would not close and the eye itself was staring blank!
As this horror happened, I had thoughts of what my deceased father in law had once told me about this same ordeal with his face. I recall him saying that it was called some kind of palsy. I thought he had said that it was Bell’s Palsy, named after the man who discovered it or had gotten it himself. I just had this odd feeling within me that it was this palsy and not a stroke.
Unfortunately, the entire left side of my face had become paralyzed and was stone cold, no movement no matter what it was I tried to move. Even my forehead did not wrinkle either. With a stroke, the forehead would still have wrinkled. I have become quite knowledgeable about strokes, so I researched and read all about Bell’s Palsy so as to become informed about what I thought was going on with me. The material I read described my incident perfectly. I still visited the emergency room later and the physician there told me I was correct about this paralysis diagnosis. I was given two medications that were not cheap and I ended up allergic to one of them and had to stop it.
To clarify, the facts about Bell’s Palsy are simple really.The average age of onset is between twenty and fifty years old, and it does happen like my case did. The symptoms usually happen as soon as one is awake in the morning. Moreover, this palsy is temporary and what triggers it is usually a virus or bacteria. The infection compresses the seventh cranial nerve in the cheek and that causes it to be paralyzed. More about Bells Palsy can be found at this site:
I covered one side of my face and I looked like an old, kind bag lady. Then I looked at the lifeless eye stare that is perched atop an aging eye area full of wrinkles. I was sick after the weather changed to cooler temps. It is an early autumn coolness in Sept that can make me very ill from the air and all the allergens I meet that steal my breath away. So I think my upper respiratory infection definitely triggered this palsy in me.
Also, I wrote this next paragraph in a blog online:I am still paralyzed on the left side of my face with Bells Palsy.Yeah, it bites big time and it has been one month already. When I smile, I only have one side of the mouth moving to smile and the other side stays frozen. My eye has pain too, really bad. The eye dries and needs drops constantly, and it also does not close all the way. I am hoping that I do not have cornea damage and that my face goes back to normal soon. I went to the doc and he told me to go to a neurologist and get other stuff like brain tumor and Lyme disease ruled out. To make a long story short, I did not go for several different reasons.
Progressively, my face has changed back to look pretty normal unless someone looks real close, or I start talking. It has been five months now and I still have some of the paralysis left. I still cannot wrinkle that side of my forehead or smile completely normal, but each and every day for about three months now, there is a tiny bit of movement. I stimulate my face to try to help it along too. So I am in hopes that I will finally recover from this Bell’s Palsy.
Finally, my eye is still giving me a hassle presently. I seem to still have the infection in my ear and mucus comes from my eye. The area around my eye is swollen and the lid still droops a little over the eye making it look smaller. I still have no tears out of this eye either. When I cry, it is only the one eye that tears. This has caused a lot of embarrassment in public for me because my granddaughter was born in October and then my mother just died a few weeks ago. I have had to half smile at people, talk funny, and cry with only one eye in my happiness as well as grief. I think I will be okay now, but I hope to never get it back again. I am also grateful it was not a stroke and that it is not permanent.Thank heavens I have a sense of humor and can make jokes about it, or I would have been very depressed.