Two months after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, I finally starting seeing some changes! The left corner of my mouth moved without me physically moving it. Although it would then get “stuck” in an odd position, it would eventually come back down to match the unaffected side. But, it was movement, and I was thrilled!
I continued with chiropractor adjustments, and although they didn’t seem to help with the actual visual recovery of Bell’s, they did help tremendously with my shoulder, neck, and facial pain.
Fifty days after onset, I realized my left eye closed almost all of the way! It had only been closing ½ to ¾ since my diagnosis, and I had to tape my eye shut, and use a patch, at night to keep my eye from being scratched. I also had to use eye drops during the day time hours to keep my eye from drying out, and causing damage. I had to wear sunglasses outside, all of the time, to ensure nothing flew in my eye, and to keep the sun out. Although it sounds small, the biggest celebration on this particular day was taking a shower and not having my eye sting from the water or soap!
On day fifty-two, I saw my regular doctor. I started a new medication to assist with nerve re-growth, but as with every other attempt, there weren’t any promises it’d work. I also started allergy medicine to help with my chronic sinus infections, which had been considered to be one of the major cause of the original bell’s diagnosis. Due to my short fuse and frustration, I also started a very lose dose of anti depressant to cope without the constant “on edge” feeling.
Day sixty brought some excitement! Although my eye was still very sensitive to wind and light, and I still had to use sunglasses outside all of the time, I could finally close my eye all of the way! I had to concentrate with everything I had to do it, but I could do it! Unfortunately, without specific concentration, though, my eye would not blink correctly, and wouldn’t close on its own. The fact it would close, though, was a huge milestone.
It took almost another three weeks before there was any noticeable change, but on day seventy-eight, I was able to move the top corner of my left lip! Like my eye, I had to really concentrate, but I could do it! This was the first time I had any movement – any movement – around my mouth since the original diagnosis.
Ten days later, on November 7, 2012, eight-eight days after onset, I had my 2nd neurologist appointment. I was incredibly excited to go! I had movement around my mouth, and I could see a couple of teeth when I smiled now. I was expecting my doctor to be happy with the progress, but unfortunately, he was concerned. He told me he was expecting me to come in with a full recovery, and because I had very little progress (based on the time frame), he felt we needed to be more pro-active. He ordered an MRI to ensure I didn’t have anything pressing on my nerve, including a tumor or the beginning or multiple sclerosis. I had gone into this appointment full of hope, and I left terrified, in hysterics, and now had to wait five days for the test.
This is the fifth 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.