On August 9, 2012, my husband, Mark, graciously attended a leadership conference with me in the Chicago area. I hadn’t been feeling well the week prior, but I chalked it up to my allergies and chronic sinus infections. I had pain behind my ear, and although it hurt more than what I’d consider normal, I assumed it would go away when the weather changed. Living in Illinois, any change in temperature or wind causes problems for me.
At the leadership conference, the speaker asked our audience what was holding us back from being successful in business. A beautiful woman, several rows in front of me, stated her concerns in business stemmed directly from her bell’s palsy diagnosis.
I had never heard of bell’s palsy, but the moment the words left her mouth, I knew exactly what was wrong with me. I remember looking at my husband, and knowing this was exactly the diagnosis I’d also receive.
I didn’t have any physical signs of bell’s, and I didn’t recognize any symptoms during the leadership conference, outside of the pain behind my ear. But, I did notice foods tasted funny, and my favorite drink of all time – pepsi – had a very metallic aftertaste. Everything just tasted odd. Now, I recognize these were all precursory symptoms to bell’s palsy.
The next morning, Mark and I discussed our plans for the day, and checked in with our three children. They were all with family members, so we could attend the event, and all three wanted to spend another night in their respective places.
Mark and I decided to take the opportunity to have a night out alone, and opted to find a hotel and stay in the Chicago area. That evening, though, I felt worse. The pain behind my ear became a constant hurt. I didn’t have a fever, and I wasn’t flu-ish, but something wasn’t right.
I crashed our evening plans, and apologetically told my husband I just wanted to go back to the hotel for the night. We snuggled up, put on a movie, and even ordered room service for breakfast the following morning. The pain behind my ear, though, intensified, and became so strong I couldn’t lie on the left side of my head. Over the counter medication wasn’t helping, and as I tossed and turned, trying to find comfort in my husband’s arms, I reluctantly admitted my intuition would be right.
This is the first in a series documenting my diagnosis, feelings, and progress with Bell’s Palsy. To read more about my experiences, view all of my posts here.