Monday, February 3, 2014

Losing Control

Friday Morning.  The scariest thing of my LIFE happened. 

Half of my face stopped working.

It started off like a typical morning.  I had left my make-up at work, so I was sitting at my desk.  I always do the mascara on my right eye, and then do my left eye.  Well...My Left Eye wouldn't blink.  It would close partially, but I really had to work at it. 

I called the Mr. into the office just to make sure that I wasn't imagining thing, and by the time He got there, (in a matter of minutes) I couldn't even "scrunch" up that part of my face.

I am not one that runs to the Doctor until I am seriously sick.  The last time I went, the Mr. MADE me go, and it's a good thing because I almost had pneumonia.  I decided that I might need to at least call the Doctor to see what was going on, or to see what kind of doctor I needed to go to.

The Nurse that answered the phone said that it sounded like Bell's  Palsy, but that I needed to head to the E.R. immediately in case it was a stroke. 

Now I was REALLY scared.  

We closed down the scrap yard and headed out.

Thankfully the E.R. that we went to was SLOW, and so we were able to get right in.  They took my blood, hooked me up to some machines, and did a cat scan because I have been having a lot of headaches lately.

After several hours the Doctor came back and said that I had Bell's Palsy. 

Bell's Palsy is a virus that affects the nerve in your neck that control the function in your face.  It's not permanent, but there really isn't a whole lot that they can do for it.  He prescribed me an anti-viral (who has EVER heard of an anti-viral???) and a steroid.

I Hemmed and Hawed about taking the steroid.  I had read a lot of articles saying that the steroid wouldn't really do anything and I know that steroids are really hard on your body.  I really didn't want to take them, but the Mr. really thought that I should.  So, I'm taking them.

I'm also taking extra doses of my multi-vitamin, Vibe, which in my opinion is one of the best multi-vitamin you could take.  I'm taking Vitamin B to help support nerve function several times a day.  I am taking Efacor, An Omega-3 supplement, to help reduce the inflammation, and I am taking Cell-Ver, to help my body fight the infecton.  I was also taking some probiotics, to help build up the "good bacteria" that the Antiviral is likely killing of.  But I can't find where I put the bottle on Saturday morning, so until I can find it, I can't take it!
(Eniva  is not paying me to take any of these supplements.  I have used this company for years, and truly believe that they are some of the best products out there!)  I am also using some Peppermint Oil around were the nerve is on my neck to help reduce the inflammation as well.

I have cut out any food that may be causing inflammation as well.  Sugars, Flours, processed foods, etc.  I am trying to eat as much fresh foods as possible, and have been drinking a ton of water.

I have a chiropractic appointment this afternoon.  I figure that if its a nerve problem, then chiropractors work with the spine and nerves every day, so hopefully they can help too.

This virus is not fun.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  Think about it.  The whole left side of my face doesn't work. 

This is as far as my eye will close without really focusing on it.  I have to use eye drops to keep my eye moist so I don't damage the cornea.  Yesterday I ended up taping my eye shut because it was getting so dry and scratchy

This is the best smile that I can manage.  The right side of my face (left side of picture) is normal.

You can see that the left side of my face (The right side of the picture) is droopy.

Until I get function back, this is the most of a smile you'll get from me.  

Yup.  It really just deflates a girl's self esteem.  I can't wear contacts because they will dry my eyes out further.  The only reason I put mascara on today was to take these photos, otherwise it's not worth it because my eye waters so much that it runs right off. 

I can't brush my teeth without toothpaste dribbling out of my mouth.

I have to drink from the left side of my mouth because I don't have enough control over my lips for the water not to drool out if I drink normally.  Drinking out of a straw?  Not really gonna happen.

Eating is challenging because if I'm not careful food will fall out of my mouth.

The Muscles in the left side of my face ache, all the time.

I know that this should correct itself.  I know that I have a mild case.  But in the back of my mind, there is a 15-25 percent chance that my face will stay like this, and that terrifies me. 

So, we may laugh about it, and joke about it, the Mr. & I might die laughing because when I laugh my face looks pretty darn funny, and I know that there are way worse things that could happen, but it's my face.  It's my smile. I joke with the Mr. and ask him if my face had looked like this when we met if he would have asked me out.  (He of course is a saint, and says yes.) 

It probably makes me vain, but I do not feel the least bit pretty. I know, I know.  Beauty shines out from the inside, and attitude makes all the difference in the world, but knowing that doesn't really help when you can't smile.

Other than taking my vitamins and medicine, this whole thing is really out of my control.  There is nothing that I can do to make it better.

But, even though there are so many negative things that I could focus on, there is so much to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that God has this under control.
I'm thankful for a husband that thinks I'm beautiful even if half of my face is jacked up.
I'm thankful for good insurance.
I'm thankful for my parents and grandparents that advised me on the extra vitamins that I need to take.
I'm thankful that I have been taught to think for myself and not just blindly believe what the Doctor's say.
I'm thankful that half of my face still works.

And I will NEVER take smiling, blinking, and winking for granted again. 



  1. You are not alone! The same thing happened to me in 2005. A week before my the right side of my face stopped working my taste buds were off and I just thought I'd be getting a cold soon then the next week my right side of my face stopped working. It's so scary and thank god for catching it before it got worse and the medicine my doctor had given me. It will get better with the medication, but it does take time.

  2. Oh Hillary I am so so sorry! That sounds just horrible! I hope you feel better soon! Way to be positive at the end of your post! And I'm so glad you didn't have a stroke!! :) I love you dear!

  3. I'm so sorry, Hillary! Man--that's no fun at all! A girl I knew in college had Bell's Palsy so as soon as you started mentioning the symptoms that's what was in my mind. I hope it resolves itself and everything starts working as it should again! That is a very scary thing to have happen.

  4. Oh my goodness girl! I'm praying for you!!!


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