So, you guys all know me by now… and you know I love smiles, I like encouragement, and journeys intrigue me.  Today, I want to write about a life-story of mine that isn’t so easy.  In April, 2010, I embarked on a journey that truly loomed to be one of those “no-fun” journeys.  (I know you have had a few yourself….)  The onset-of Bell’s palsy gave me some hurdles physically and emotionally to overcome.  If you have read some of my other posts.. you know that I really missed my smile; and that I learned some crazy awesome lessons about gratitude, that I truly needed.

At the time I was living in Grand Cayman, BWI.  (Yes, go ahead and be jealous.  You should.) I flew back to the island after a brief weekend trip to dance my shoes off with a beautiful friend for her birthday in Texas.  The evening of my return trip, I laid in bed with my snuggle-partners as is our normal routine, and we sang our bed-time song… and at that moment I first felt a tingling in my face.  For a few weeks prior, I had noticed a shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue — but most people will understand when I say that with five boys, a husband in Vet school, and ALL the many tasks that go with life… you kinda brush off the fatigue and chalk it up as, “Eh, it is what it is.”  🙂  After this night-owl actually going to bed at a decent hour that evening, I slept fitfully, and awoke with the left-side of my face paralyzed.

Through this journey I have had AH-mazing friends.  You all know who you are, and you cannot imagine how you helped my heart smile, when my face could not.  One such beautiful couple ensured that I went to the ER, and reminded me of Who was in control in my life.  The ER gave me the typically advised treatment of prednisone, and acyclovir – along with some mild pain meds.  Within 24 of onset, the full brunt of symptoms had fallen on me:  great fatigue, full paralysis of left-side facial muscles (which included the inability to shut my eye or blink & drooling from left corner of mouth), hearing inconsistencies (loss of hearing at times on left side, and then very heightened switching back and forth), and my taste was effected for about one week.

This post will probably be followed with a few others to answer any questions you might have, and to tell the story a little more….  Encouragement is a wonderful thing.  Through this trial in my life, I had relief through the love shown by others.  Hugs, words of hope, iced coffees drank through a straw, fresh vitamin-filled juices daily delivered, and helping hands gave me reason to lift my head and look up.  I also LOVED searching the blogosphere for people with the same condition, reading their own tales, and knowing that one day this would pass, all helped shed light when life felt a bit overwhelming…. and so thus I post this story today.

This is me… I think this was day 15.

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11 responses »

  1. It’s been 31 years since I had Bell’s Palsy, 8 months after my 2nd daughter was born. It is indeed scary and difficult to navigate life while trying to deal with it on a daily basis with kids. I took oral prednisone and had electrical muscle stimulation as well. Mine recovered completely, as did yours and thank God the world did not lose your beautiful smile. I am so grateful you had all the loving support while you were dealing with it. Love You.

  2. jlhall1107 says:

    You were beautiful on that day just as you are today!! I am also thankful that you had the wonderful, loving support around you then, and now. I am so eternally grateful that God has allowed us to meet and become great friends, and sisters in Christ. Even if a day ever comes when you cannot physically smile, those who know you will know you are smiling inside!!
    Love you bunches!!

  3. Kristie says:

    I hope you include in one of your posts all the ways your loving boys helped you when you had Bell’s. It still brings tears to my eyes! Love you Sis!

    • One in the works now! Those five were a huge source of strength and courage for me! (And there was also this amazing friend named Kristie who shined so bright for me during that time! xxx Love you!)

  4. Emma says:

    Thanks for sharing your story- it’s given me courage to share my own. Blessings on your day!

  5. matt says:

    Hi my name is Matt and I suffered from Bell’s Palsy as well. I feel sorry for what you are going through! I created an eye patch to help sufferers of Bell’s Palsy, that keeps your paralyzed eye closed. It is a much more comfortable than the alternatives. For more information just go to PalsyPatch.com.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtM0PIXqN9E

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