Category: Bells Palsy

Day 18, BPP-9: Good, but still a way to go.

Getting Better

Today is two weeks since my first set of pictures tracking my recovery from Bell’s Palsy. I’m really glad I decided to take the pictures, even though I admit it was really hard for me to look at them at first. At the most difficult moments during the last 18 days, I was able to compare and notice the slight changes in the pictures. This made it was easier for me to keep my spirits up.

The muscles around my right eye are starting to respond more now. The right side of my mouth is turning up just ever so slightly – which is helpful when you’re trying to smile. I went to wedding last night and, though I felt fairly good, it still feels awkward when I know that emotions like laughter and happiness don’t appear like they should. The sense of taste on the right side of my tongue is still subdued (best way I can describe it). I’m hoping that comes back soon because food in general has tasted bland since this all began. My speech is pretty close to normal. However, the last couple of hours in the evening I started feeling really fatigued trying to say certain words. It reminds me that I still have a way to go.

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #3

Today’s pictures were taken after spending quite a bit of time working on my blog and its template. I notice my right eye in the “eyes closed” shot is slightly open – I’m going to have to let it rest for awhile after I finish this post.

The following pictures in the left column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008 (except the side profile smiling photos).

The pictures in the right column were taken this afternoon, Saturday, April 26rd, 2008.

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264496

More pictures…

Read more

Day 15, BPP-8: Two Weeks and Signs of Improvement

A Gift on My Birthday

It’s been three days since my last post and four since my last set of pictures. With the busy week I’ve been having, I took a couple days off working on my computer at home. The good news is: I’m starting to get some movement back. It started as a twitch around my right eye Monday morning.

I’m feeling the ability to show a little more expression. However, I realize at the end of each day how much energy my body is using to recover and regenerate this nerve that’s been damaged. For anybody reading that has experienced this, you can probably relate. I’ve been pretty tired at the end of each day where I can’t wait to get home and just close my eyes for awhile. Today was no exception, but I’ll take being tired if it means I’m getting better.

Guess what Monday happened to be? My 39th birthday. The improvement may have been small, but for me, was quite an impressive gift.

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #2

As before, the pictures in the left column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008 (except the side profile smiling photos).

The pictures in the right column were taken this evening, Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008.

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
04/23/08 (Today):
P4234399

More pictures…

Read more

Day 11, BPP-7: Comparative Progress Pictures

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #1

Today is one week since my first set of pictures. I thought it might be interesting to compare where I’m at today side-by-side with those I took last Saturday morning.

I’m not going to analyze them too much. For me, I know that most of the improvement is with my right eye. It’s closing just slightly better which really helps with keeping it from drying out.

The pictures in the right column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008, with the exception of the side profile smiling photos. I decided to start adding that perspective on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008.

The pictures in the right column were taken today, Saturday, April 19th, 2008.

Straight Face:
04/12/08
P4124333
Straight Face:
04/19/08 (Today)
P4194376
Smile:
04/12/08
P4124334
Smile:
04/19/08 (Today)
P4194377
Eyes Closed:
04/12/08
P4124335
Eyes Closed:
04/19/08 (Today)
P4194378
Raised Eyebrows:
04/12/08
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows:
04/19/08 (Today)
P4194379
Smile – Left Side:
04-16-08
P4164354
Smile – Left Side:
04-19-08 (Today)
P4194380
Smile – Right Side:
04-16-08 P4164353
Smile – Right Side:
04-19-08 (Today)
P4194381
What’s the Weather Like Where You Are?

It’s still really dry here in Arizona, but you can’t beat the temperature:

image

If you’re someplace where it’s cold right now, don’t be too jealous. We’re just a few weeks away from daily triple-digits!!

Day 9, BPP-6: My BP Survival Kit

David G’s Bell’s Palsy “Survival Kit”

My temporary facial paralysis brings on some additional issues.  My right eye doesn’t fully close on its own and stay moist.  My sinus on the right side has the a similar drying problem.  Same problem with my lips.  Here are a “few” things that have become part of my daily maintenance kit and travel nicely in a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag:

Thera Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, Saline nasal spray, Burt’s Bee’s Beeswax Lip Balm,  tissues, Eye patch, Gauze pad (for under the eye patch).

In addition to these, at night I use: Thera Tears Liquid Gel Eye Drops (longer lasting for overnight use), more gauze and medical tape to close the eye over night. I admit it becomes a chore at times but these are things that have helped me feel a little more comfortable

Lunches for An Uncooperative Mouth

I try to take my lunch to work a few days a week.  It only takes a little planning and usually ends up being healthier, more cost-effective and satisfying anyway. Right now, the right side of my mouth doesn’t open as wide or control food in the same way.  Having smaller, bite size options seems to work best:

Having straws and a good napkin come in handy as well. I can’t wait until I can eat a big messy slice of pizza again.
Pizza

Day 8, BPP-5: Karaoke Commuting and a Progress Report

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

It’s been a week since I woke up and found my face wasn’t working quite right. In that week, I’ve learned a lot about this condition called Bell’s Palsy and I continue to learn more. I’ve found there’s this world-wide community of people suffering from it. Still, it’s surprising that outside of that community, not many people are aware of Bell’s palsy. Or if they are, there are a ton of misconceptions, both good and bad.

The most important things I’ve learned are that having a positive attitude, being patient and just giving things time to heal are really the best and only course of action. In some ways, that’s contrary to the way that I normally function…I tend to try to find ways to fix or mend things. That alone is teaching me something greater than I probably could have learned otherwise.

Driving to Work

Today I drove to my company’s Scottsdale office to facilitate some testing classes I’ve been coordinating. The commute is 35 to 50 minutes depending on traffic. I sometimes like these drives before getting in front of a group because I get to spend a little more time listening to music. Music has always been important to me and one of my favorite bands, Journey, was in the CD player this morning.

Now, those that know me, are aware of the fact that I occasionally like to do a little karaoke now and then. And those that know me REALLY well, know that one of my more important hobbies is writing, singing and recording my own songs in my spare-bedroom studio.

In the last week, with the way my mouth was, or rather, wasn’t working, I haven’t really felt like singing a note. This morning on my drive to work, with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” playing loud over the speakers, I sang for the first time in 8 days.

[audio:http://galindo.me/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/dontstopbelievin1.mp3|titles=Don’t Stop Believin’]

It felt a little odd at first, trying to form the words and the hearing in my right ear getting “boomy” at times, but it went ok. All in all, it was a good release.

Progress Pictures

Before leaving for work this morning, I took the following pictures. I added a couple of profile pictures to illustrate my smile on both sides. I think that I notice a difference in how people react depending on the side they see first. Others tell me that’s not the case. To be honest, I’m really not sure.

When I look at these pictures and compare them with my earlier post, things look much the same as they did then. One small but optimistic sign is that it appears my right eye is closing a little more. That’s a big deal when you understand how much time I’ve been spending making sure my cornea doesn’t dry out or get damaged.

Straight FaceP4164349 Smile
P4164350
Eyes Closed
P4164351
Raised Eyebrows
P4164352
Smile – Left Side
P4164354
Smile – Right Side
P4164353

Tomorrow, I’m going to share pictures of what I’m beginning to call my “Bell’s Palsy Survival Kit”. I love Ziploc bags. They rank up there with Velcro and Nougat!

Day 7, BPP-4: Dry Eye and a Dry Day in the Arizona Desert

Today was dry day here in Arizona. Here are the current readings here in Chandler:

Weather reading - Chandler, AZ April 15, 2008
Weather reading - Chandler, AZ April 15, 2008

See the time and temperature? 80 degrees at 7:25 in the evening. See the humidity? 9% That’s dry.

Now, you may be thinking , “Yes that’s dry, but you live in the desert. Why do you bring it up?”

Normally, it’s fairly dry. But this is REALLY dry. Everybody’s been complaining of dry eyes and dry sinuses. For me, I’ve been sneezing a lot and had to take extra special care of my eye today. In addition to that, it’s really windy today which only aggravates the situation. My eye patch and the gel eye drops really helped today.

Aside from that, not much else to report today, but I’m doing ok. I’ll write more tomorrow on where I’m at with my BP.

Well, I think I’m going to relax and finish watching American Idol. And Vote for Jason Castro -he’s of Colombian descent, like me. Got to support the heritage right? Wave