On Wednesday evening last week I started with ear ache in my right ear that travelled down my jaw line. I didn't worry to much thinking, I could get some antibiotics the next day if it didn't ease during the night.
Took paracetamol the next morning and it eased. I had a funny twitching on my bottom and top lip but ignored as it wasn't causing a problem.
By the evening of the Thursday I took my first photo as my lips were feeling like I'd had a numbing injection at the Dentist, (the ones we hate because something horrid is going to happen). Before getting in to bed my right eye lid was twitching and this was when Dr Google came onto my phone.
The first thing I checked was I could move my tongue to the left and right side 👅 I could raise both arms 🙌 and move both legs 🚶 So off to the land of nod I went.
Friday I wasn't at work, hubby had gone to work so usual routine of the last 12 weeks followed. Kettle on, feed the dog, pc on to check emails and peruse social media. Something was not quite right when I put cup to my mouth, the numb feeling was worse and the coffee wasn't going in properly. When I sat at my pc I took and other photo and noticed my right eyelid was down. A video was next and my eye was not blinking. With everything I suspected was happening now confirmed in my head I think I was first in the phone cue at the Drs.
One of our lovely Drs called back within the hour and suggested a video call, new to me but quite straight forward). She needed to see what I was trying to explain through a slur of speech. During our conversation she asked me to try facial movements and explained that from what she could see I have Bells Palsy. So now I had 2 experts confirming my thoughts, my GP and Dr Google. She explained that she would phone one of the Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants at my local hospital rather than do an instant referral because of everything going on at the moment, (i was a little relieved not to have to go at the moment but suspect in the future I will).
A short while later, another phone call and the advice from the Consultant was being relayed. In brief I had 2 choices. The first was an 85% chance of return to full facial function (This is important because it is not about the cosmetics for me) or 95% chance of full return with steroids. I did feel a little under time pressure but even in the early stages of this the small things like blowing my nose are difficult. I chose to go with the steroids for the best chance. It was explained that I need to self isolate and at the moment that is so important as not to pick anything up. I'm also taking medication for the herpes virus to help with the nerve problem that causes the Bells Palsy.
I've had chickenpox twice as a child and shingles about 10 years ago. One of the things I'm finding most problematic is the dry eye so regularly adding drops and wearing a handmade eye patch is helping.
My family have been so supportive and added a little tender humour. A proper eye patch has been ordered by hubby. My Daughter found me a facial physiotherapist and I'm following her demonstrations twice daily. My Son got in touch with a friend for advice which has proved helpful. My sister who is and expert in steroids gave me valuable advice while taking them.
So fast foward to Sunday morning, another cocktail of medication, facial exercises,getting dressed without catching my open eye with pj top and then the hurdle of washing hair without getting shampoo in it🙆. Copious amounts of eye drops while drying so my eye didn't become sore.
I love to be busy and if you really know me I never stop doing something, sewing, knitting,stamping, colouring. Over the lat few months I've made scrubs and bags for the NHS. Face masks for friends and family. Dt projects which I love being part of. Cleaned my house which is swearing in the crafting world.
I love deadlines and always have some form of targets or stress in my life. I've learned this last 5 days that, in the main I've been able to protect my mental health over this testing time but my physical I have not been able to do anything about. My body has shown me that stress has taken it's tole and I am not able to fight it only now everyday gradually encourage hopefully a return to my full functioning face.
While typing this I realised how much benefit I took from touching typing helped me with a young friend a few years ago.
I decided to do this post with the hope that anyone going through a tricky time at the moment will either write it down or talk to someone as a therapy. I haven't written this for a pity party just it may help someone. I am positive about how I will overcome this problem, others are going through far worse than me at the moment.
So this is todays me which is the most I want to share
Please take care