Sunday, September 23, 2007

My dance with Bell's Palsy

Happy Sunday! Just wanted you to know that I am doing much better today. Half my face is still paralyzed but I am learning to deal with it. I wear an eye patch now at times to help my eye rest which allows me to have some time on the computer ~ I was going through withdrawal y'all! I thought I'd bring you up to speed on what was happening with me. The first indication that something was wrong came on Tuesday night (the day of the MRI!). I felt a dull pain behind my right ear, like I might be getting an ear ache but not quite. Wednesday morning the pain was still there as was a bit of a headache on the same side and my tongue felt like it had a wool sock on it. I even commented to Richard when we met for lunch that day that I had already brushed my teeth several times that morning. We had pizza for dinner that night and I remember asking him if he thought there was something wrong with the pizza, it didn't taste like anything ~ he said it must be me. I knew there was something wrong that night ~ I couldn't sleep ~ but I just didn't know what was wrong, nothing I could really put my finger on.
Richard let me sleep in the next morning but when I did get up and got on the computer to post a new blog, read my mail, etc., I noticed my right eye was burning and tearing. My face just didn't feel right. I got up to look in the mirror and was a little freaked out ~ the whole side of my face was drooping. Trying not to panic I went back on the computer to see if I could figure out what was wrong with me and came up with Bell's Palsy. Had a 3:00 PM doctor's appointment already that day to read the results of the MRI. Nothing torn, but a compression in the shoulder for which I will be back at physical therapy next week most likely.
The doctor was a little apprehensive and ordered a CT scan immediately which they do in the same office and THANK GOD was nowhere near as traumatic as the MRI. I will tell you that the dye they inject does some very weird things. You can actually feel it as it flows through your body, spreading a heat though you (especially down in "female land") but I digress. He was also of the opinion (without my saying it) that it was Bell's Palsy but because I could still move my right eyebrow he had to make sure there was nothing else wrong because in Bell's Palsy the whole side of your face should be affected and mine wasn't (yet). As it turns out I just caught it quickly and the symptoms were still coming on. The good news is, in doing a CT scan they actually found a brain ~ imagine that!!! Who would have thought?!
Most of Friday I stayed in bed watching the Lifetime Movie Network ~ YIKES! You know you are in trouble then. Most of Friday and Saturday the symptoms developed but I think they have peaked now. My right eye doesn't blink so I have to be careful and keep putting artificial tears in. They eye patch looks so ridiculous I'm thinking of making my own. I figure if I have to wear it, it should at least match my outfit. Richard says I should embroider one that says "What are you looking at?!" I'm on a very strict regimen of pills 5 times a day and I can only eat small bites at a time (hey, maybe this is the diet I need!) because I don't have full control of my mouth. I have to drink thru a straw and brushing my teeth is pretty comical cause I can't swish and rinse right! The funniest part though was hearing Nathaniel tell Angie "Yeah, Mom looks like Jimmy Buffett." I looked at Richard ~ "Jimmy Buffett??". Then Nathaniel says "No, wait, Jimmy Kimmel. Yeah, Jimmy Kimmel with a hangover." Now I ask you does it get any better than that!!! Leave it to my son!
I let Richard take a picture of my last night but I really don't know that I'm ready to "share" that just yet. I'm not crazy about pictures of myself to begin with and this is a doozy! What I will share with you is a picture taken about 3 years ago. It's me and Nancy Zeiman. For those of you who don't know who that is, she is a world famous seamstress (a rock star in the sewing world) who also has Bell's Palsy. She got it as a child and is one of the very few who never recovered. It was her shyness due to the disease that started her sewing and now she has the longest running sewing show on cable TV along with countless books, videos, patterns and her own website/store.
I'm still not comfortable talking much ~ B's and P's are especially hard to say but I'm not going to let this get me down. Life continues and considering half of my face is paralyzed this is the best diagnosis I could hope for ~ it could be so many worse things. So, I will try not to bore you with all the details but thought you might want an update. I really appreciate all the good wishes you have been sending my way ~ Hey, this even got my dad to start reading my posts!

Also wanted to send a happy birthday to my friend Karen. I've known Karen and her sister Becky since we moved down the street from them when I was 4. Their house was my second home and we've continued to stay in touch over the years and for that I am grateful ~ so hope you have a great day Babbie!

Well this has been a longer post than I had planned so I will go rest my eye now and put my patch back on ~ ARGHHH Matey! I hope you all have a wonderful day!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have to say when Nathaniel said you look like Jimmy Buffet, I was thinking well, whats really wrong with that, other than he is a man of course but when he popped out OH, I meant Kimmell, I had to laugh!! He is so funny!!

JGC said...

It's nice to see your sense of humor hasn't "drooped" as well. You seem to have also retained your stiff upper lip. Ha ha. No, seriously. We're praying you get better soon.

Karen said...

Barb,
Sorry to hear of your health problems, yet so encouraged by your attitude. A great attitude and humor will get you through it. You are strong, and will beat it. Thanks for the birthday wish. You are so sweet. It was a great day. LYLAS-Do you remember that one?

Karen said...

I forgot, I can't believe you posted that picture. You might loose some bloggers! You probably didn't recognise me when you saw it. It has been a while since we've seen each other. One day I might drag Becky with me down to see you. Take care.