My Experience with Bell's Palsy
Could you imagine being 22 years old, home alone and under the impression that you had just had a severe stroke?
I experienced this over the weekend ... thankfully It wasn't a stroke it was something called Bell's Palsy - but it was a terrifying ordeal nonetheless.
On Friday evening I felt a slight twitch in my eye and the side of my mouth, I was home watching Gossip Girl with some friends and I just put it down to exhaustion.
However, a couple of hours after my friends went home I looked in the mirror and was horrified to find that the right side of my face was droopy. I tried to smile and my usual 'cheshire cat' grin was lobsided and my right eye wasnt closing.
As you can imagine I totally freaked out, my family were all out of town and I was all alone. I became hysterical and thought I was experiencing a stroke or something equally terrible.
So, I drove myself to emergency where they told me that I probably had Bell's Palsy, which is a form of facial paralysis or weakness resulting from inflammation or damage to the 7th (facial) cranial nerve.
There is no specific reason why people get this condition - I had never heard of it until Friday. But it was most likely caused by the slight flu I had this week and a extreme change in temperature (eg. Having the AC on at home and then going out in the heat.)
The doctor I was dealing with had a lousy bedside manner because she made me feel that my face would stay like this forever (thankfully a senior doctor later explained that it was temporary).
I had to have a test to rule out the possibility of a stroke and a brain scan to make sure that I didn't have a brain tumor - it was all clear, thank goodness!
So, I have Bell's Palsy which is expected to disappear in up to six weeks. I am usually a glass is half full type of girl so I'm trying to stay positive and I keep reminding myself that I wont look like this forever.
I've even been cracking some pirate jokes at my own expense and I've been showing off the fact that I can now lift one eyebrow on its own - impressive i know :)
Even though I'm essentially a positive person I am finding this difficult. I feel like I cant express myself or be social because when I smile (which I do often) or speak I feel like people are staring at me because of the way I look.
So everyone please cross your fingers for me that this condition will disappear asap !
I have faith that my face will be back to normal within a coupe of weeks! I believe everyones face tells the story of who they are.
I would make a terrible poker player... whatever feelings I have you'll know about them because they will be written all over my face!
I look forward to being able to express myself in this way again ( after this i would never get botox, because why would you paralyze your face on purpose?).
This entire ordeal has left me feeling a little philosophical so I'll end with some words of wisdom...
Remember to always see the glass as half full. Life will always throw a couple of curve balls our way but our ability to overcome the challenges we are faced with makes us who we are!
I developed a condition called Bell's Palsy on the weekend and it has sort of put some things is perspective.
So, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You never know what surprises life has in store for you.
"Dance like no one is watching, love like you'll never be hurt,sing like no one is listening,and live like it's heaven on earth."