This page chronicles my experience with and recovery from Bell’s Palsy. I’ll continue to add my most current Bell’s Palsy Post (BPP) to the bottom.

For links to helpful Bell’s Palsy-related sites, check out my Bell’s Palsy Information and Resources page.

Day 4, BPP-1 (Bell’s Palsy Post 1): Bell’s Palsy and Me

Last modified on 2011-02-27 15:20:57 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

Hi, I’m David. Galindo.me is my personal blog. I was diagnosed on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 with Bell’s Palsy, a paralysis of the facial nerve. The result is that it’s pretty much impossible for me to control the muscles on the right side of my face. In the few days since this appeared, I’ve researched several different informational sites and read other’s stories of their experiences with Bell’s Palsy. Among the many tips, suggestions and advice was the recommendation to document my progress with pictures. I figure I can do that here on my blog. That way, I can hopefully measure my improvement and share my frustrations and achievements. Also, if someone else with this condition comes along and reads this, maybe it will provide them with some helpful information.

Here is a picture taken of me last Sunday, April 6th. I was hiking the Wind Cave trail at Usery Pass in Mesa, Arizona.

David Galindo (me) on Sunday, April 6th, 2008
David Galindo (me) on Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Here’s a not-so-brief timeline of my past week:

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

I have a slight headache in the morning, but the weather is great and the hike at Usery Pass is a lot of fun. Other than the headache, I feel great. Later in the day, I begin to notice that when I eat, I am losing my sense of taste on the right side of my tongue. It also kind of feels like that feeling after you burn your tongue on hot food, sort of numb and tingly. It is about this time that my headache comes back and the area at the base of my skull, behind my right ear, starts aching and feeling sore.

It’s springtime here in the desert, with everything blooming like crazy so I figure maybe it’s allergies (which I don’t normally have), dust or the dryness that is causing the headache. I take some ibuprofen, which seems to help, and go to bed.

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Back to work on Monday. I work in the training department for a large domain registrar and hosting company in Arizona. Pretty much a normal day. Busy, with lot’s of projects going on. Again, I’m feel pretty good most of the day. Near the end of today, the headache and aching return and I’m feeling pretty worn out.

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Wrapping up the final touches on a pilot project at work. A lot of time working at the computer with earphones in, listening to Pandora and NPR. I’ve got plans to meet some friends for happy hour at B-Dub’s (aka Buffalo Wild Wings) after work, between 5 and 5:30pm.

I show up at happy hour, eat a dozen wings and have two Blue Moons (it’s a beer). The loss of taste and numbness in my tongue seem a little more pronounced. I stay for a couple of hours. Before I leave, I’m laughing at someone’s joke and I notice the muscles on the right side of my face are kind of sluggish. I’m starting to think maybe I have a sinus infection or something. I go home, watch American Idol and go to bed.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 – Day 1

I wake up in the morning and my face doesn’t feel right. My right eye is dry and kind of “goopy”. I make some coffee and I find I’m not able to drink very well. While getting ready for work, I look in the mirror and noticed that my right eye and the right side of my mouth are drooping down. This is when I start to get a little scared. I’ve been seeing several commercials lately about recognizing the signs of a stroke and it’s the first thing that comes to mind. I finish getting ready, and brush my teeth, with obvious difficulty spitting out the toothpaste. I decide to go Urgent Care before going to work.

I get to Urgent Care, explain what I’ve been experiencing and that I think I might have some kind of sinus infection or maybe pink eye. The doctor looks at me and says, “I’m almost 100% sure you’ve got Bell’s Palsy”. He does some other tests to eliminate a possible stroke or other condition.

“This usually clears up on its in 8 to 10 weeks.” Eight to ten weeks. That’s two to two and a half months. Not what I was expecting. They’re not sure what causes Bell’s Palsy, but it’s probably due to some kind of trauma or infection to Cranial Nerve 7.

I go to work, and as you can probably guess, I’m pretty self-conscious about how I look. I’m trying to talk to people with the “good” side of my face, and I feel the obligation to explain what’s been going on. Most people say they wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out. More on the experience at work later.

I’ve been prescribed an anti-viral medication, five times a day for the next ten days. I also need to follow up with my regular doctor next week. Since my right eye doesn’t close on its own, I have to use artificial tears to keep my eye moist – letting it dry out can damage the cornea. In addition to the artificial tears, I’ve purchased an eye patch to wear whenever the eye gets tired. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to let out my inner pirate. Arrrggghhh!!

My head and the area behind my ear are still aching on and off. With ibuprofen, eye drops and my eye patch, I’m off to bed.

Thursday, April 10th, 2008 – Day 2

I must have rolled over while I was sleeping during the night and slept on the eye patch. When I woke up, the area around my eye was a little swollen and there was this nice ring around my eye from the patch. I’ll have to be more careful with that going forward.

Today at work, it seemed that the loss of muscular control became a little more pronounced while I’ve been speaking. B’s and P’s are the letters that seem to cause the most problem.

I had a couple of training sessions that I was scheduled to facilitate. All I could do was suck it up and work through it. The people I work with have been incredibly supportive. That’s one thing that I think is most important. Having a few people to confide in when the confidence and optimism takes a dip. Considering everything, it was a really good day.

Friday, April 11th, 2008 – Day 3

About the same as yesterday. There are moments throughout the day when I seem to feel small improvements. My right eye is much more sensitive to light so I have a couple of the fluorescent bulbs removed from the overhead lighting to dim my office a bit. I’ve been wearing glasses while working at the computer and that seems to help as well. Still, I find myself getting fatigued quickly and I end up going home early today. I’m hoping with the weekend to rest and recuperate that I’ll feel better by Monday.

Saturday, April 12th, 2008 – Day 4

Here I am this morning with my first pictures since this all started. My goal is to take the same series of pictures throughout the recovery process. Hopefully I can see some progress soon.

Straight face: 04-12-2008
Straight face: 04-12-2008

Smile: 04-12-2008
Smile: 04-12-2008

Eyes Closed: 04-12-2008
Eyes Closed: 04-12-2008

Raised Eyebrows: 04-12-2008
Raised Eyebrows: 04-12-2008

I’ll ask my doctor when I see him what level of paralysis I’m experiencing.

I’m still deciding how often to post progress pictures but probably not daily. It’s kind of like the saying about “a watched pot never boils”. I don’t want to be discouraged by not seeing improvements fast enough. I also think about those that are trying to lose weight. If you look at the scale too frequently it can be a de-motivator. So , with that, maybe once or twice a week.

Aside from that, I’ll share more as often as I can. The appointment with regular doctor is Monday morning and we’ll see what he recommends.

Day 5, BPP-2: Sunday Morning Flying

Last modified on 2011-02-28 03:13:44 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

For the last four or five days, I’ve been coping with my Bell’s Palsy. This is Day 5 and my 2nd Bell’s Palsy Post (BPP-2). The whole process up to this point has been exhausting and at times, frustrating. Still, I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful. I should probably be resting more and that’s something I’m going to work on in the days and weeks ahead.

That being said, I still want to get out and do stuff. I was invited to breakfast this morning with friends at the Hanger Cafe. The restaurant is close to home and is at Chandler Municipal Airport. I had a good and easy-to-eat breakfast of scrambled eggs, potato cubes and bacon strips.

After a breakfast, I was able to take a short flight in the friend’s plane. It was windy and a little bumpy but definitely a fun flight. Now, you may be thinking that this site’s [former] name, Flyinggalindo.com, implies that I’m a pilot. I am not. The story behind that is a longer story than I intend to tell right now. However, I actually was a “Flying Galindo” today. AND… as seen in the following pictures, I was ACTUALLY FLYING THE PLANE!

OK, so it was me basically making small turns and keeping the nose of the plane level but I was FLYING!

So, here I am, 5 days into Bell’s Palsy and still able to have a good time. smile_shades

Day 6, BPP-3: Doctor's Visit and Working With An Eye Patch

Last modified on 2010-02-21 17:26:02 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

Doctor’s Visit

Today is Monday and a visit to my primary care provider. Last Wednesday, when I woke up with this facial paralysis, I went to a local Urgent Care center for my initial Bell’s Palsy diagnosis. I was pretty happy with the service and attention there, but I still felt I should make an appointment to see my regular doctor fairly soon. So this morning, before work, I went to my appointment.

My doctor is a pretty cool guy. He happens to be from Michigan and from my home town of Tecumseh. It was about ten years ago , after an unfortunate mountain biking incident (translation: crash and bruised ribs), that I was referred to his office. Anyway, he has a good way of telling me everything’s gonna be cool while compare stories of our last visits to the mittened-state.

So today was no different. We went over what had been happening over the last week and he recommended a slightly different course of action to help my recovery go a little smoother. Still, it’s a matter of time and patience. Because I’ve got complete paralysis on the right side I’m still looking at several weeks. The good news is: he told me not to worry; that I’m going to make a full recovery. Then I’ll be able to do things like this again!: Wink

Working With An Eye Patch

Oh, I took more progress pictures today. I think it’s too soon to notice any difference so I’m not going to post those here now. However, check this one out:

Right eye covered with eye patch.
Right eye covered with eye patch.

Nice look, huh?

I bought the eye patch last week. It’s been really helpful when I’ve needed to let my eye rest and to keep wind and dust out of my eye. I think I mentioned before about the drying of my eye due to it not blinking or closing fully. After putting some artificial tears in the eye, the patch (along with a small gauze square underneath) makes it a lot more comfortable.

So you think I’d be dying to wear this cool pirate-looking thing out in public, right? No, not really. I’ve been pretty self-conscious about it. Until today, I either wore my reading glasses or just held the eye shut to help with the discomfort. When I tried to use the mouse at my computer with my right hand AND hold my right eye shut… you get the picture. I was all twisted up. I finally broke down and started wearing the eye patch at work today at work. It was still a long day, but it was easier to bear.

More than ever, I’m learning humility and to be humble.

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

Last modified on 2010-02-21 17:31:01 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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

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

Last modified on 2010-04-18 17:29:36 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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 9, BPP-6: My BP Survival Kit

Last modified on 2010-02-24 05:30:34 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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 11, BPP-7: Comparative Progress Pictures

Last modified on 2008-04-19 22:44:48 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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

Last modified on 2008-04-24 03:40:48 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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…

Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
04/23/08 (Today):
P4234401
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
04/23/08 (Today):
P4234400
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
04/23/08 (Today):
P4234402
Smile – Left Side
04/16/08: P4164354
Smile – Left Side
04/23/08 (Today): P4234403
Smile – Right Side
04/16/08: P4164353
Smile – Right Side
04/23/08 (Today): P4234404

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

Last modified on 2010-04-18 18:14:41 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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…

Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264498
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264497
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264500
Smile – Left Side
04/16/08:
P4164354
Smile – Left Side
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264503
Smile – Right Side
04/16/08:
P4164353
Smile – Right Side
04/26/08 (Today):
P4264492

Day 22, BPP-10: "Your Face Is Back!"

Last modified on 2010-04-18 18:17:07 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

A Wrinkle At A Time

As I walked into my office yesterday afternoon, a co-worker, after not seeing me for a day, exclaimed “David! Your face is back!” Prior to having Bell’s Palsy and the way we playfully joke with each other at work, a comment like that would probably have been followed by a witty punch line. This time however, it was sincere. And it was nice to hear too.

The word on the street is that my smile is returning to the right side of my face. All the things that make a smile possible – mouth turning up, squinting of the eye, raising the eyebrow – are returning to normal, a wrinkle at a time. Who would have thought wrinkles were a good thing? I do now.

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #4

After three weeks, I think the following pictures are a significant milestone. I’m doing my best to take natural-looking photos. If it looks like I’m smirking – I apologize. Wink

Pictures in the left column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008 (except where noted on the side profile smiling photos).

Pictures in the right column were taken this morning, Wednesday, April 30th, 2008.

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304508

More Progress Pictures…

Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304509
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304511
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304513
Smile – Left Side
04/16/08:
P4164354
Smile – Left Side
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304514
Smile – Right Side
04/16/08:
P4164353
Smile – Right Side
04/30/08 (Today):
P4304516

Still Recovering

As far as what still needs recovery:

I’m still waiting to get the full sense of taste back on the right side of my tongue. My right eye doesn’t seem to water or tear up like my left eye yet. My right sinus seems to get drier than the left. Loud noises or me speaking in a loud voice causes a “booming” sound in my right ear – this is pretty uncomfortable. Right eyebrow raises partially. The muscle in my right cheek doesn’t contract like the muscle in my left cheek.

Check back for an update!

Day 25, BPP-11: Lessons Learned

Last modified on 2010-04-18 18:17:45 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

This was one of those weeks that had a lot going on. It was exhausting, messy, sloppy, busy, hectic, discouraging, productive, challenging, fun and inspiring all wrapped together.

Here are a couple of lessons I learned this week:

Lesson 1: Be Patient and Don’t Rush Recovery

This was a week I realized that, as amazing as our bodies are at healing themselves, recovery still takes time.

Even though externally my Bell’s Palsy isn’t as noticeable to others, the nerve functions to the BP-affected right side of my face and eyelid still have a lot of healing to do. Because of my recent improvement, I started to return to my normal work habits this week. I was running around, talking a lot and not taking the necessary time to rest.

The problem is, my right eye still doesn’t fully blink or create tears like it should. In the last couple of days, I wasn’t using the artificial tear drops as often or closing my eyes to let them rest as much. At the end of those days, I felt drained again, my right eye dry and aching, having to put my eye patch on just to let it rest.

As far as my speech goes, I thought it was completely back to normal. On Wednesday afternoon, I was conducting a brief, ten-minute training session in front of 40 or 50 people. As I was trying to project my voice, I still had those occasional “blow-out’s” with words that have hard consonants that require you to purse your lips.

I’m going to try to remind myself to take it easy. The world won’t fall apart if I stop to rest every once in awhile.

Lesson 2: Even the Small Things We Do Can Make a Difference

This week I received number of emails and comments on my blog. It’s amazing the number of people around the country and world who have recently been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. In many cases, they are unsure of what to expect and scared, the same as I was a few weeks ago. Often, they get little to no information, let alone reassurance, from their doctor. And I’m not blaming the doctors either. Bell’s Palsy is pretty rare, and most doctors don’t know what to do with it. Aside from prescribing medication to prevent further damage to the affected nerves, there really isn’t much they can do.

In the emails and comments I’ve received, several people have told me, that by sharing my experience, I was helping them overcome some of their fear and giving them hope for recovery. I was really touched by this.

To those of you I have never met but wished me a speedy recovery, thank you. You made a difference too.

Side-by-Side Progress Pictures #5

Pictures in the left column were taken Saturday, April 12th, 2008 (except where noted on the side profile smiling photos).

Pictures in the right column were taken this morning, Saturday, May 3rd, 2008.

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034564

More Pictures…

Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034565
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034566
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034568
Smile – Left Side
04/16/08:
P4164354
Smile – Left Side
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034569
Smile – Right Side
04/16/08:
P4164353
Smile – Right Side
05/03/08 (Today):
P5034570

Sort of an “easter egg”

This image didn’t quite fit into the flow of my progress pictures above. So, here’s a link to my “extreme smile photo“. Just to give you an idea why I try to smile subtly these days.

Day 33, BPP-12: One Month Progress Report

Last modified on 2010-04-18 18:18:10 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The effects of stress and fatigue.

It’s been about 8 days since my last progress report.  Originally, I was going to post on May 9th, a month to the day I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.  With the busy and eventful week I’ve had, it had to wait until today.

I wasn’t sleeping well this past week.  I took pictures yesterday, with the intention of using those for an update, but I felt exhausted and had a headache.  Instead, I decided to close my eyes, lie on the couch, and take a well needed nap.  I really needed that.

I took pictures again today, after sleeping better last night.  I decided to add another column below.  Comparing the April 12th, May 10th and today’s pictures, there is definitely marked improvement.  However, I think the effects of fatigue and stress from this past week are visible in the pictures taken yesterday, May 10th.

So what was all the stress and stuff going on that was causing me not to sleep well?  It doesn’t really matter.  What is important to recognize is how stress and not getting enough sleep make it more difficult for our bodies to take care of themselves.

I’ll try to be more aware of that now.

Progress Pictures:

Straight Face
04/12/08:
P4124333
Straight Face
05/10/08:
P5104648
Straight Face
05/11/08 (today):
P5114659

More Pictures…

Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
05/10/08:
P5104650
Smile (today)
05/11/08:
P5114660
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
05/10/08:
Forgot to take the “Eyes Closed” shot yesterday. Goes to show how tired I was.
Eyes Closed
05/11/08:
P5114670
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
05/10/08:
P5104651
Raised Eyebrows
05/11/08: P5114662
Smile-Left Side
04/16/08:
P4164354
Smile-Left Side
05/10/08:
P5104653
Smile-Left Side
05/11/08:
P5114665
Smile-Right Side
04/16/08:
P4164353
Smile-Right Side
05/10/08:
P5104654
Smile-Right Side
05/11/08:
P5114664

Day 50, BPP-13: My Bell's Palsy at 50 Days

Last modified on 2010-04-18 18:18:38 GMT. 4 comments. Top.

Since My Last Post

I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, May has been an extremely busy month. I had been hoping to post more frequent updates on my recovery. Today is a big milestone though. It is 50 days since I was first diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. I’m going to try to quickly bring everything up to date here. Here’s what’s been going on since my last update on May 11th:

First, the right side of my mouth is beginning to turn upward again. I didn’t notice it until I compared my recent pictures with the last set. Next, when I smile big, the sensation of tightness or laziness is going away. Plus, my right cheek is pulling back more naturally. Finally, when I raise my right eye, the creases and wrinkles have mostly returned to normal. I never thought I’d say this, but those wrinkles are a welcome sight!

If I had to put a percentage on my recovery, I’d say I feel like I’m somewhere around 85% recovered!

My Recent Doctor’s Visit

I visited my doctor a little over a week ago for a follow-up appointment. He assured me that my progress was really good and that I look much better than my previous visit. I mentioned a few things I was still experiencing: my sense of taste not quite right (things on my right side tasted metallic), periodic pain in my neck and ear, occasional headaches. He’s been good about covering the bases with each visit and not making assumptions. Although everything is returning to normal, he wants me to come back in mid-June to make sure the recovery continues before he releases me from care.

Progress Pictures

My most recent pictures were taken a few days ago. Comparing my smile between 5/11 and 5/25, it seems to look more natural now. And what about my “Smile – Right Side” photo near the bottom?

It seems the Bell’s Palsy “snarl” that was my right profile has now mostly disappeared! I’m going to continue to take pictures even though the degree of change is not as noticeable.

I’ll be watching for improvement in my smile and in my right eye not looking so “tired”. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with where I’m at.

Straight Face 04/12/08: P4124333 Straight Face 05/11/08: P5114659 Straight Face 05/25/08: P5254685

More Pictures…

Smile 04/12/08: P4124334 Smile 05/11/08: P5114660 Smile 05/25/08: P5254686
Eyes Closed 04/12/08: P4124335 Eyes Closed 05/11/08: P5114670 Eyes Closed 05/25/08: P5254687
Raised Eyebrows 04/12/08: P4124336 Raised Eyebrows 05/11/08: P5114662 Raised Eyebrows 05/25/08: P5254689
Smile-Left Side 04/16/08: P4164354 Smile-Left Side 05/11/08: P5114665 Smile-Left Side 05/25/08: P5254692
Smile-Right Side 04/16/08: P4164353 Smile-Right Side 05/11/08: P5114664 Smile-Right Side 05/25/08: P5254691

Day 71, BPP-14: 10 Weeks and Counting

Last modified on 2008-06-19 04:40:48 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

As I sat down to post this update, I started doing the math on how long it’s been since I was first diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Wednesday, April 9th was when it all began and today is Wednesday June 18th. It’s hard to believe it has only been ten weeks. Somehow it seems like much more time has passed.

Yesterday, I went to see my doctor for a follow-up appointment. On the surface, I look like I’m pretty much back to normal. He noticed that my eyebrows and smile aren’t as symmetrical as they normally are – something I’m aware of as well. Still, most people can’t see anything now. I mentioned to him that I still feeling some aching in the muscles where my chin meets my neck and a few other small areas around my face. He said that, although I’m taking a little longer than most to fully recover, I’m pretty close and that it should probably take care of itself. At this point I don’t have any appointments scheduled to go back for a follow-up on this unless something changes and needs attention.

I’ve heard others say after recovering from Bell’s Palsy that any pain or strange feeling around their face makes them wonder if it’s returning. I have had that same experience recently. It may come back to stress. I get these aches and pains when I don’t get enough rest or let the little things get to me. I’m going to try to be conscious about getting a little more exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep.

I’ve been pretty busy with some other projects lately. Because of that, I’m going to get back to writing some “normal” non-Bell’s Palsy related posts. But don’t worry – I’ll update periodically on my progress.

Below: Progress pictures – taken Sunday, June 15th, 2008:
Straight Face
04/12/08:P4124333
Straight Face
06/15/08:
P6154833
Smile
04/12/08:
P4124334
Smile
06/15/08:
P6154834
Eyes Closed
04/12/08:
P4124335
Eyes Closed
06/15/08:
P6154836
Raised Eyebrows
04/12/08:
P4124336
Raised Eyebrows
06/15/08:
P6154838
Smile – Left Side
04/16/08:
P4164354
Smile – Left Side
06/15/08:
P6154840
Smile – Right Side
04/16/08:
P4164353
Smile – Right Side
06/15/08:
P6154839

BPP-15: Bell’s Palsy and Me – Three Years Later

Last modified on 2013-08-08 19:20:31 GMT. 7 comments. Top.

A quick summary.

It’s been quite some time since my last post and update about my experiences with and recovery from Bell’s Palsy. I was diagnosed on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 with Bell’s Palsy. During my own search for information on the internet I discovered good information was difficult to find. Bell’s Palsy is not a condition most people are familiar with and

the word “palsy” in the name incorrectly makes some think of cerebral palsy, a much different disorder. Eventually I did find some great resources of information and support and after reading the experiences of others with Bell’s Palsy, I felt I might be able to make my recovery easier to tolerate by sharing it with others. Shortly after my diagnosis, I begin writing about my experiences here on Galindo.me (formerly flyinggalindo.com). In addition to writing about my experiences, I began taking a series of photographs of my face to track my recovery over time. I’m really glad I did. The photographs showed me the small progress I was making that otherwise was hard to see as well as gave me hope in those tough, early days.

The response.

Since that time I have been amazed and humbled by the number of people from around the world who have visited my site and were either suffering from Bell’s Palsy themselves or knew someone who was suffering from the condition. I received countless supportive comments and emails thanking me for sharing my experiences. These people were looking for information, advice and, mostly, just reassurance they would be OK and would get better. This response had a profound impact on me. (Thank you and my best wishes to each of you – DG)

What took so long?

I had intended to write an update several times in the last few years and have several batches of updated photographs showing my progress that have never seen the light of day. Rather than make excuses or go through all the reasons “why” it took me so long to post an update, let me just say it’s “better late than never”.

The remains of my Bell’s Palsy.

Three years later, most external signs of me having Bell’s Palsy are gone. In fact by September 2008, six months after the first onset, I got to the point where I am today. I say most external signs are gone but there are a few lingering after effects. Externally, my right eye still gets a little lazy at times. I sometimes feel a twitching in my right eyelid, primarily after stressful days or when I’m lacking sleep. When I smile big (and I’ll admit I’m a big smiler – is “smiler” a word?) the right side of my mouth doesn’t curve up as much as the left. You can see these things in my latest photos below but I think I may be the only one that notices them.

One strange side-effect of the healing and re-wiring of the facial nerve is how my tear ducts in my right eye and right side of my nose react when I eat. Because these nerves are so close the ones that control the salivary glands, it appears they now react by watering and running when I eat. It’s now easy for people to see when I think food is good because it looks like my right eye is tearing up and I have to blow my nose! I admit, it’s kind of strange, but it really isn’t a big deal, and a small inconvenience considering where I was.

Updated photographs.

Aside from being three years older and having more gray hair, my face has returned mostly to normal, whatever that means. 😉 The left column in the following series of photographs are from April 19th, 2008. The pictures in the right column were taken April 12th, 2011.

April 19, 2008

April 12, 2011

I’d love to hear more comments or questions from anyone interested in my experience with Bell’s Palsy. Thanks for following my progress!

April, 2008 April, 2011
Straight face 

Straight Face - April 19, 2008

Straight face

Straight Face - April 12, 2011

Smile

Smile - April 19, 2008

Smile

Smile - April 12, 2011

Eyes closed

Eyes Closed - April 19, 2008

Eyes closed

Eyes Closed - April 12, 2011

Raised eyebrows

Raised Eyebrows - April 19, 2008

Raised eyebrows

Raised Eyebrows - April 12, 2011

Smile – left profile

Smile - Left Side - April 19, 2008

Smile – left profile

Smile - Left Side - April 12, 2011

Smile – right profile

Smile - Right Side - April 19, 2008

Smile – right profile

Smile - Right Side - April 12, 2011

465 comments

  1. Veronica says:

    I was so utterly depressed when I got Bells Palsy – my daughter had just turned 3 weeks old and the thought that maybe my baby wouldn’t get to see her Mommy’s smile ever just depressed me beyond words. After reading this I think I’ll finally be able to sleep and I know with time I’ll be able to give my baby a big cheesy smile – thank you!

  2. Courtney says:

    I was diagnosed with Bells Palsey on Tuesday. It’s been hard, especially since I’m always smiling at people and with my job thats how you get through the day. My biggest fear is not being able to use my mouth and smile once its healed (kind of scary) i actually broke down the other night because it scares me and not being able to smile, eat correctly, etc. I never heard ofthis before i was diagnosed. Seeing this and knowing that other people know what it is and what you go tyhrough with really helped me. Thank You So mUch!

    • Gracie says:

      Hi, I was diagnosed of bp for 5 days now. I am so stress and I don’t know what to do. 🙁

      I can’t close my eyes properly, I am having problem when I eat and drink. When I smile u can tell that something is wrong.

      What should I do? Is this normal that my face is in pain if I massage it?

      Just hoping and prayin I will be ok in the next week. I am in Australia for holiday but not enjoying cos of this. 🙁

      • JuliaBar says:

        See the doctor Gracie asap. You may need medication. I had my Bp around 2008-9. Today is raining and cold and I feel pulling feeling in my cheek. Anyone else has effects like this?

  3. Zoe says:

    I diagnosed two days ago, I’m a 17 year old girl just about to start my a-level exams.. I just woke up one morning and boom the right side of my face just didn’t want to work. I had an ambulance come and paramedics check me over, in which the main guy turned around and told me I had a minor case but for all they know it could be permanent, not the thing anyone wants to hear especially at my age. Then we drove to he hospital were the doctor said to me if it doesn’t go I could have Botox.. right there I burst into tears, I don’t want Botox! I just want to be able to smile again. No medical person has given me ANY comfort or help, just scared me furthe, this page has been the only one to calm me don a bit and hope that I’m lucky and that it goes. Haven’t left the house yet because I don’t want to be seen like this, I would do anything to be back to normal again, absolutely anything :/

  4. Kathy says:

    I was diagnosed 8 weeks ago and your blog was a huge help to me. My BP was very painful. I’m 47, and at 8 weeks I’m recovering well. I still have some paralysis in my chin and lower lip area which hasn’t changed much in 2 weeks. Im a little nervous my progress has not stalled! And still little pain along the jaw line but overall tons better. Thanks again!

  5. Lisa Hendricks says:

    Thanks for your post. It was useful seeing the pictures as you progressed. I am dying of ear pain at the moment post medicine. I’m hoping that it will go away. Taking 1000 mg of tylenol every 6 hours for pain.

    • Mary chad says:

      Hi Lisa
      I know how hard it is to deal with ear pain in BP, please take L-lysine twice a day it will reduce the pain.

  6. Amanda says:

    My 2 year old is in week four of bells and we have really struggled since she can’t tell us what hurts. Your blog really put me in her shoes. She has been crying in pain a lot the past two days. I am hoping this means improvement is coming. Nights are horrible for her. We have gone through so much ibuprofen!

    Hoping for a speedy and full recovery. Thank you so much!

    • David says:

      It means a lot to me that you’ve found my story helpful in a small way. I have a son who is 2 1/2 years old and I can only imagine how difficult it would be for him to be going through what your daughter is experiencing right now. My thoughts are with you and I’m also hoping she has a quick and full recovery.

  7. Lou says:

    Thanks. Your personal journey through this has been a great help for me. I was diagnosed 5 days ago and your experience gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I do experience pain in my ear and my neck at night and in the morning. When did the pain go away for you? I am also a big karaoke person…hope to resume that someday… For now singing Frank Sinatra songs and looking like I’m imitating Sammy Davis Jr. Lol Thanks, Lou

    • Mary Chad says:

      Hi Lou
      I had BP in Aug 2012, i am fully recovered now:)..it took me 3 months altogether..my approach… first of all i had worst pain in start for that i started taking lysine (500 milligrams) 3 times a day, and trust me my pain(behind the back of the ear, side of the face, head ache) all just vanished.Then i had bad swelling on face(my symptoms were getting worst each passing day like from day 6-12 after on set)so i used lots of heat(moist)…Started acupuncture (with electric) from day 4th..High doses of B12(3000 sub-lingual everyday)/B complex… also i was on prednisone for 10 days.Hope you feel better soon.

  8. Tamra says:

    omg! I could tell u thank u a million times a day and that still wouldn’t express how much I appreciate u for doing this. I was so scared when this happened to me and have been really down about it. u have really helped me. I have been dealing with for a month now. I just wanted u to know how grateful I am that u decided to do this. I will stay positive as I look forward to a full recovery. God bless u!!!

  9. Susan says:

    Hi David
    My Belle palsy came on with a severe headache in the base of my neck. It was so painful I was putting a heating pad on it and just massaging my neck really hard. About 2AM I woke up because my eye would not shut I went into the bathroom and it looked like I had a stroke I just sat around for about four hours looking into a hand held mirror hoping it would go away but it didn’t so I went to the emergency room and as soon as they saw me they eased my concerns by telling me they were sure it was Belles Palsy. I had a CAT scan and was given same meds as everyone else. I took another dose after first one was done. This happened Oct 2010 and I still can’t give a full smile. I get so down because everyone always loved my smile. I went and had a MRI done to make sure there was no other reason for this to be lasting so long. I even went to see an accupunture for treatments for a year faithfully two times a week . David this is my story. I believe my onset was stress even though the Dr’s keep on saying its inner ear .

  10. Sara says:

    I am not sure about the headaches but for the pain try a back massager. I bought one of this little handheld battery operated ones. The doctor told me to use it on my faces to keep the muscles active. Because you cannot move the muscles they will being to ache and have spasms if they are not kept active. It seemed to work for me.

  11. Amanda says:

    Hi Dave

    My 11 YO son was diagnosed on 20/12/12. It really scared me to come home from work and see my son with half his face not moving. It has now been almost 3 weeks and his right eyebrow now moves and his face looks less droopy in his cheek. The doctor put him on the staroids and I am greatfull for that. He is back at school now and only going half the day. He says he keeps getting headaches while at school. A friend of mine said the lights gave her daughter headaches and it hurt a lot as the nerve came back. Is this true??? I know he will be fine one day soon. But this is one thing I don’t think any child should have to go through.

  12. Rob says:

    Hi Dave
    My 11 yr old daughter was just diagnosed on 1-6-13 ( nice way to start off the new year) but she is doing ok. Today she told me where the tip of her tounge was once numb and today it isnt. Im hoping this is a sign that she is making that turn on to the path of getting better. She never did get droopy anywhere tyhat i can see. When she smiles she has a side smile , eyebrow dont move and nostrile wont move. This is all on her left side. Very scary for me not knowing anything about the virus. Thank you for your story.

  13. Bill says:

    My symptoms began on Wednesday morning when my breakfast didn’t taste right. Then late Friday night my face muscles stared drooping some. Sat the NP diagnosed me with BP. It’s Monday now has seems to have peaked. Did anyone else start loosing taste a couple of days before?

  14. Alex White says:

    Hi, I was diagnosed with BP 16 days ago. I have ben keeping a Twitter Blog of my progress to keep me occupied during the recovery and also to try and make my friends and family aware of Bells Palsy. It is sort of an old wives tale here in the UK and very few people know about it. You can follow my progress on my twitter page @Al3xwhit3

    When i first realised something was wrong, I woke up tinking i had slept funny. it ewas only 12 hours later when my wife insited i go to A&E. They tested me for a stroke and ruled that out in 30 mins of pokes and prods. “Im as fit as an ox” apparently?.
    They then told me i had BP and would need to take some steroids and anti virals to stop it getting worse.

    Im currently at the point of recovery where my face seems to be tightening up. I still have a slight droop in my lower lip but my eye and cheek have near enough gone back to thier normal resting place. I still have no ability to move the muscles, my tounge is still tasteless on one side and i have been having the pains and crocodile tears. My eye closes 80% and still cant blink.

    I have been working every day since i was diagnosed wich is not good aparently but s my doc wont sign me off work, ive had little choice. I do however have 2 weeks off s of today for Christmas so hoping to do alot of relaxing and recovering.

    I just want to join the others in thanking David for this blog. Its been a real help as i had got to the point where i didnt know what to expect next. at least now i have some idea. When i first got BP my ego was knocked and i even pulled out of my own company xmas meal as i didnt want to be looked at by my colleagues while i slurped and slopped my food down. The hardest part of this has been seeing my neice and nephew (Aged 5 & 7) shun away from me as they are scared by the look of my face. Im sure they will get used to it but it did upset me a little.

    The road to recovery is long and i dont plan on taking ony alternative routes. I have been sticking to my B12 vitamins and as this is linked to the herpes virus, i have been using lip seal to prevent any further cold sores from setting in.

    Good luck to everyone and keep ya chin up. things will get better in time!!
    Merry Christmas!!!!

  15. Vince says:

    Thank you for your story! While I feel confident in my recovery, it is very reassuring to see and read another persons story detailing exactly what I have been experiencing. I’m 26 years old and this is my second bout with Bell’s, my first occurring when I was a freshman in High School. It flared up again after enduring months upon months of seemingly endless life-changing, high stress events, one right after the other. I have been taking an anti-viral and I feel that it is helping out gradually and incrementally. Again, I wanted to thank you for sharing, and I hope that others suffering from this awful condition can take comfort in knowing they are not alone. Stay upbeat and optimistic! One of the most important keys to recovery is to fully relax your mind, emotions and body . Mediation is very helpful. Best of luck to everyone and remain positive! It will pass and you will be stronger because if it. One Love All!!

  16. Becky says:

    Thank you so much for you detailed journal of your experience with Bell’s Palsy. It’s such a startling discovery at first and very difficult to have hope that the symptoms will go away. You gave me hope. Thank you.

  17. Pam Alvey says:

    I was diagnoised 3 years ago but continue to have bouts with the Bells Palsy. I also have lupus and wonder if when I get an infection, the palsy gets worse? Doesn’t seem like there are many answers to how to get rid of it for good?
    Pam

  18. i so understand all of this i was diagnosed yesterday and i was so upset at first it started out as reallly bad headaches i went to see doctors and all they said it was migraines i knew in my heart it was more than that . then a few days later i wake up to get ready for work and i notice my lips are crooked when i put my lipstick on even i hope i can recover fast im taking a handful of meds

  19. mouna says:

    hey david….
    am reading ur blog at the rite time.its day 10 of my bp. rite side of my face is affected.came back today from my physio and d doc was like recovery looking slow.so wasvery upset.n then found ur blog and made me feel much better.a big thanku to u for building up all ur data. inspite of the fatigue n pain of bp u still tuk time out to make this blog
    .am on prednisone n antivirals as well as mulyivitamins. dng eletrical stimulation too.bt xperiencing pain along the jaw line n behind d ear too.
    also wanted to ask was numbness in hands experienced by any 1. today am feeling sluggish in d rite arm.is this normal

  20. Vickie says:

    I had symptoms start this past Thursday 9/13/12 which consisted of shooting pain behind my right ear. I felt chilled and thought it may be a sinus infection. This morning 9/17/12 I woke up with a stuffy (right) nostril and my mouth didn’t feel right. I then noticed the dropping of my mouth on the right side. Yesterday I noticed food tasted like plastic. I went to the doctor this morning and she diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy. I’m a nurse and immediately thougth I was having a stroke when I looked at my tongue not being aligned and the funny feeling around my mouth etc. but it didn’t follow the symptoms so I tried to reassure myself. Thinking what is it!!?? It’s
    really different being on the other side of the medical profession–as a patient. I’m taking prednisone and Valacyclovir. I was at my deep water exercise class a few days before the symptoms started and thought I had an ear infection. I still wonder if I may have picked up something from the water. No one knows the cause of Bell’s Palsy so no one can say “no” to the pool water getting into mjy ear. At this time my right eye isn’t fully blinking. I’m using eye tears and may have to get a patch. It’s a good idea to have your eye doctor check your cornea at some point during the process.
    I like having this website. I feel reassured reading other’s stories.
    Take care and good luck to all of you. By the way I’m 57 years old.
    Vickie

  21. Shelby says:

    This was an amazing blog. I currently have Bell’s Palsy as of August 23rd. I am only 18 and a full time college student so as you can imagine, this has taken a serious emotional toll on me the last 2 days.
    I was looking for stories from others who have experienced what I have been experiencing and I am so glad I found this 🙂 It was so informative and I am so glad to know that I am not alone. I am still early on so I know I have a long road of recovery ahead of me but I am trying to find patience. I am a very outgoing person and this has totally killed my self confidence hahaha but I’m trying to make the best of it!
    Thank you so much for sharing your recovery story and I am so thankful you recovered so well. To everyone else who is going through this, patience and a good attitude will get you far, thanks again!

  22. cecilia says:

    Thanks for your response. My bp lower lid is weak n is lower than my good eye…so it shows more white n is not too attractive……..did yours go to its origial position? It bothers me n scared that it’going to stay lke that. Also my skin under my chin/neck area startd to droop..is this part of bp?..MY WHOLE FACENOW SEEMS TIRED and not as youthful lookng will this improve with recovery……will my face ever look the same again? Havent felt pretty since bp…..When do i know when I dont haveto use eye drops anymore?????Sooooooooooo many questions sorry!David thank you for being there for all us bp sufferers. Im glad you recovered…….I just want go feel normal again!!!

  23. cecilia says:

    Had bp for 5 weeks …I had partial paralysis…Most of the effects of bp seem to be improving and almost recoveredhowever my bp lowerlid is stilling pulling down…giving it a wide round looWhen I squint you can see swelling……will this go away or am I stuck with two diff. Looking eyes??Any suggestions??????

    • David says:

      Hi Cecila! Your experience seems similar to mine. The the lower lid of my right eye (the side where I had the BP paralysis) seemed swollen when I squinted my eyes. Over time, it reduced to the point where it wasn’t noticeable by others at all. However, for me, even four years later, I still see a small amount of that swelling. I notice it most when I’m tired or haven’t slept well. Try not to worry about it too much. If your experience is like mine and a lot of others it should improve over time to a point where it doesn’t bother you. And like I tell everyone (and remind myself) make sure you’re taking time to rest and get good sleep. That was the one of the things that seemed to help most. Take care and let me know how you’re doing.

  24. Cj says:

    I have a mild dose of bp. I can still smile and raise my brows but the right side of my face feels numb (the way your legs get when you sit for too long) and my eye is a bit droopy. It looks like I haven’t slept. I am taking antivirals and steroids which have some pretty nasty side effects, but I am optimistic that I caught this early on. I had severe neck pain on Friday, and others noticed a swollen eye on Saturday, but on Sunday I looked droopy and like I was in a fight. The Ed said if it continues to go to my family doctor. I went the next day. Now 5 days in, my eye goes from dry spells to mad tearing for hours. The numbness is persistent and I am getting some discomfort in my right ear. I found this blog so reassuring. It is lonely when you feel ugly, even if the symptoms are less visible. Thanks for getting my spirits a bit lifted today.

    • David says:

      Cj, I remember going through exactly what you are describing. And I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy looking at pictures of myself. I felt ugly at times too – even though people around me told me otherwise. Try to stay optimistic. I’m glad my story was able to help a bit. Hang in there. 🙂

  25. gilmer girl says:

    Love this blog. I actually cheered out loud and clapped when i saw your progress. This was easy to read and informative. I’ve had bells for about ten days and was ecstatic this morning when I could close my eye. I’ve been taking pictures daily as well, for my own documentation. Thanks for the info, and take care of yourself. I think stress is a major factor in all that goes wrong with our bodies.

    • David says:

      I totally agree with what you were saying about stress. If you ever post the pictures you’ve been taking of your recovery and want to share, let me know. I’d love to see how you’re doing!

  26. gilmer girl says:

    Love this blog. I actually cheered out loud and clapped when i saw your progress. This was easy to read and informative. I’ve had bells for about ten days and was ecstatic this morning when I could close my eye. I’ve been taking pictures daily as well, for my own documentation. Thanks for the info, and take care of yourself. I think stress is a major factor in all that goes wrong with our bodies.

  27. Annette says:

    Thank You David for sharing & documenting your experience with Bell’s Palsy. I was diagnosed last Sunday July 8,2012 I will be seeing my primary care doctor tomorrow for the first time. I’m a little nervous but i have to see her. Thanks again for sharing this with the world 🙂

  28. Sara says:

    In my experience and from what I’ve read, the only way to diagnos BP is by eliminating all other possibilities. I went to an urgent care center and an ENT both prescribed me an MRI.

  29. cecilia says:

    I was diagnosed by 2 doctors that i had bells palsy..but neither one of them gave me any test to rule out a stroke…so how can they be so sure…….im day 3 my symptom have not gotten worse….any advice?

  30. Sara says:

    My eyes does not water when I eat. But it isn’t unheard of. I read somewhere, I think wikipedia that “crocodile tears” while eating are a possible side effect of bells palsy.

  31. Nicole says:

    The first time i felt Bell’s Palsy react was when i was sleeping over my friends and i had a very bad ear pain in my right ear. I asked my friends father if this ear pain would go away and he said yes. The next morning i was walking to school when i felt something very funny in my right side of my face. I couldn’t close my eye! or smile! at first i was like what is going on. So when i got to school I ran to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, i saw that half of my face wouldn’t move! I showed my friends and they laughed. It was kind of embarrassing. I quickly phoned my dad later at school and told him what happen. At first he thought it was a joke so he told me not to worry about it. At around 1:00 after lunch my right eye started to tear. I thought i was going blind or something it scared me. After school my dad came home and saw what happen and took me to the clinic and told me that this “ear infection” will go away in about 2 weeks. After two weeks i didn’t see any signs of my normal face to come back. Was it permanent I thought? SO throughout my 5 months of bells palsy I had to go to Children’s Hospital for ear check ups, any signs of healing, eye check ups to see it there were any cuts in my eye to cause my eye to tear up. The good thing about have it was i loved the attention because being the middle child i didn’t get as much as my little brother and my older sister did so i didn’t want it to go away ( sounds crazy huh?) I wore n eye patch at to medicine, and have to put eye drops in my eye before i went to bed so my eye doesn’t dry up.

    I’m 14 years old and at 12 i was diagnosed with bell’s palsy. The doctors told me it would go away in a couple of weeks but turned out to be 5 months! just in time for high school to start 🙂 One crazy thing that happens still is that when i eat my right eyes always tears up. People ask “are your crying?” So what i’m trying to say is, Will my eye stop watering when i eat or is it going to stay like this? Did your eye stop watering when you ate? Please message me back it would mean a lot to hear if the tearing will stop:)
    – Nicole

  32. Cindy Morrison says:

    In 2006 my 4 yr old son was crying and I noticed that one side of his face was drawn. I panicked!! We went to see his pediatrician the next day (Monday) and she diagnosed him with Bells Palsy, but to be on the safe side she made an appointment with a pediatric neurologist for further testing. The day before his appointment with the neurologist When i got up and to get ready for church i noticed that my face felt like it had went to sleep. 3 hrs later my husband said something funny to me and i laughed, he grabbed my face and immediatly called our Dr. Bc my face had started drooping on my left side. The next day was my sons appointment with the neurologist, by this time my face was really bad!! The Drs were astounded bc Bells Palsy isn’t supposed to be a contagious disease but yet my son and I both had it at the same time. Our hearing was VERY sensitive in the side the paralysis was on and the embarrassment of going out in public was horrible so I stayed home mostly. 3 weeks from the day that my face went “numb” I was able to lift my mouth into a semi grin and it’s been a recovery process every since. My son and I both still show signs when we get upset and in pictures out left sides are a little droopy. Just wanted to share my story, enjoyed reading yours!!

  33. Sara says:

    Cindi,

    No need to panic the stress will not help the situation at all. I’m 27 and know first hand how hard it is to walk around with half of you face just sitting there like you’ve just left the dentist for days at a time. This is my time line with bells palsy. I dont know that any of these things helped for sure or if it was just time but I was willing to try almost anything.

    April 10, 2012 I woke up with right side of my face unable to move and feeling numb. For two days I convinced myself it was just something to do with my wisdom tooth and that it would just come back. After looking online and seeing the word palsy I started to panic.

    April 12, 2012 I made an appoinent for the 13th with an ENT and went to an urgent care center. There they told it was most likely bells palsy but that there was no test to know for sure, only the process of elimination. The prescribed be 7 days of prednisone and valtrex (an antiviral) both of which are not proven to work especially because it had been more than 48 hours. I did take all of the medication like clock work even though I’m typically anti medication.

    April 13, 2012 By now the novicane type numb feeling was gone. My face felt completely normal, it just didn’t move when I told it to. I went to the ENT who basically said I have to wait it out and do lots of facial exercises. He also suggested I but a small battery operated back massager to put on my face to try and keep the muscles moving. They took blood for blood work and sent me for an MRI just to eliminate anything more serious and send see you in 2 weeks.

    I also read a lot online and went and bought green tea and blueberries which are natural anti inflammatories. Bells palsy is caused from inflammation or damage to the facial nerve. I drank two cups of green tea a day. I also blended those nasty tasting blueberries in the blender and drank a cup and a half each morning. I did this along with about al30 mins a day of the massager for the next 2 1/2 weeks.

    April 14, 2012 I went for an MRI

    April 23, 2012 I went back for my follow up with the ENT. Everything came back normal and again he said there was nothing I could do but wait. I mentioned that I had read about B12 shots and before I knew it he was already filling the syringe. He said it wouldn’t work but that it wouldnt hurt either and gave me one shot in my right arm.

    By the end of the long work day I noticed slight movement. When I got home I think I must of tried smiling, blinking, closing my eyes all the way etc or at least an hour.

    By Saturday, April 28 my face was back!

    I also tape a piece of gauze tightly over my right eye each might to keep out any dust or dirt until the 28th.

    Just stay positive and keep your head up. There are many worse things that could happen. I was just grateful that nothing serious was wrong with me. The satisfaction of knowing that there was nothing I did to cause it and nothing I could of done to prevent it helped me a lot.

    Hope this helps you even if just a little,
    Sara

    P.S. This video really gave me a laugh and still does. If only we all had his attitude about it all.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gd2orMXJVRg

  34. Cindi says:

    I am on my day 3 of BP. I never had this before. i did a lot of research online and finally found out what i have. some people have this a years while other have it for a short time. My doctor told me to come back if i still have this for more than one month. he only prescribed me eye drops.. he said i could take steroids but he does not recommended it. i hate looking like this. my friends already noticed my face… my left side of my face does not move much. my right eye blinks than my left eye. for every blink my right eye blinks 3 times while my left blinks one… people say acupuncture helps a lot. ive never tried acupuncture.. im only 23.. i dont know why i have this.. maybe i had a stroke? i dont know… help pls. im scared.

  35. k hare says:

    I want to thank you so much for your information… I have had bells palsy for a little over a week now and have had so many questions that you have answered here… It is a very frustrating condition that I know takes patience which sometime I have a hard time with it. I have been told by my doctor it may take a while and am getting ready to start taking speech therapy hopefully this will help the progress.

  36. Matt says:

    I am sorry for what you have gone through. I had Bell’s Palsy too and experienced many of the same symptoms. I now make an eye patch for people with Bell’s Palsy. It could really help many people if they knew about it. Would you mind posting this video?

    • David says:

      Matt – thanks for sharing the video! I love how you’ve been able to address a problem for people like us who have suffered from Bell’s Palsy. I haven’t tried the Palsy Patch but it looks like an innovative solution: http://palsypatch.com/ Nice work!

  37. Rai says:

    David

    Thank you for such a brilliant site. I was diagnosed 11 days ago and was told by an ENT consultant that I had “complete” palsy (grade 6) and full paralysis which would take months to recover, and I should recognise I may not recover given the severity. After this grim news last Thursday I felt absolutely shattered, until finding your site. Medicine is an inexact science. Today I can smile a little, close my eye and wrinkle my forehead a bit too. I’ve been cuddling up to hot water bottles, taking my pills plus vitamin b complex/omega 3 multi vitamin and spending time in the sauna. But most powerful of all is believing I can get better and your story gave me a phenomenal boost. I’d give you a huge hug if I could. Thank you. Thank you so much. Xx

  38. Angela says:

    I would take the meds and eat the berries and drink the green tea and get lots of rest and do facial exercises and anything else that might help. I’m on day seven of this facial paralysis and pain. It just sucks so bad I will do anything that might help!

  39. Sara says:

    A message to everyone who has experienced BP.

    I woke up with BP on tuesday, April 10 but convinced myself it had to do with my wisdom teeth that I have yet to have removed. I finally got the balls to go to the urgent care clinic on Thursday, April 12 and made an appointment to see an ear, nose and throat doctor that Friday. Both doctors told me I have BP. The ENT did blood work and sent me for an MRI on Saturday, April 14 just to rule out any other possibilities, I haven’t gotten those results back yet but feel confident that they will only confirm that I do have Bell’s Palsy.

    Ok to get to the point, I am curious what treatments you all may have tried. I was prescribed prednisone and valtrex for 7 days. I think i have already made up my mind that when the seven days are up I fill not be continuing with those medications. I have been reading a lot about the vitamin B-12 and eating food like blueberries and green tea that help with inflammation. Have any of you tried these and did they work well for you?

    Thank you,
    Sara

  40. angela says:

    David,
    Im at day three of my BP. Finding your blog has been a great blessing to me.
    Thank you. On April 11, 2012 I felt that my face was not working and got diagnosed that day. I am taking prednisone and valtrex. I will keep in touch. Mine is on the left side of my face. Eye will not close just like yours was and the mouth is looking like yours did.
    Your posts and pics are a great help.

  41. Alejandra says:

    Hi David
    Thank you for sharing your story it is very renconforting to know that it gets better,that I just have to be patient. I was just diagnosed yesterday when I went to the emergency room scared to death because I thought I was having a stroke since my grandpa had one like 30 years ago and had a Transient Ischemic Attack just last week. it strated with a numbness on the right side of my tonge but I really wasnt concerned unti I felt the right side of my face getting numb and seeing my lip and my eye getting weird…anyway even though it has been only one day since I was diagnosed I can see the difference now that Im taking the medication that the ER doctor gave me…I guess i was jut lucky because I thing that compared with what I have read my attack was mild,but I have really bad headaches and earache and my neck hurts really bad but thank God I can say I’m gratefull that it wasnt anything worse…I still have to follow up with my dr next week and also I was wondering if you ever had to go to a neurologyst or an oftanmologist ? let me know if you can…right now the worst part is my eye it just looks soo weird when i blink but i guess I have to take it one day at the time…
    Thanks again for all the info you posted it has been very helpful and I hope your teary eye has gotten better (by the way that same thing is happening to me right now). I’ll be checking your page constantly for progress reference
    thanks again
    Alejandra Franco

  42. Maria MK says:

    No Nikki you are not alone…. I never knew how much bp was diagnosed to young adults. I had a misscarage and that same week i got this wonderful humbeling experiance. It’s been two mts and with every improvement the pain comes w/ more muscle allert. I totally agree w/ ms shirley the draging part happends to me too… i think we just need rest and to chill out for us to beat this thing. Not worry about if our face returns to normal and about our future. The more we worry and get upset the longer it takes. I heard so much of things to do but for me I’ve just learned to take one day at a time and not freak out. I’m a girl i usually worry or get over excited about everything. So bp has tought me to not be so impatient and relax. When i could see i learned to listen and sit enjoying the outdoors. When i couldn’t listen cuz the ear pain i learned to see the wonderful things i had been missing being so busy at work. I took some time out for me. I guess its just God way of saying can i get your attention life is too short to go on not thinking about us and peaceful moments. Just do something amazing for you guys… go do that massage you’ve always wanted. or swiming and laying out like a beach bunny. and relax your muscles they need it…. i wish you all the best of luck and really mr galindo u rock for this page I felt soooo much confort to know I’m not alone…. thanks God bless you guys and i pray a quick recovery to you and a great learning experiance for a beautiful face when we heal…. : )
    Maria MK

  43. Nikki says:

    David,
    Thank you for posting all of your pictures with Bells Palsy. I am 24 and was diagnosed with BP after giving birth to my first child. It appeared within 20 minutes after labor and I am actually going on 8 months of having it. I still am unable to raise my eyebrow and frown, but my smile is back! It is the most frustrating thing to deal with especially when you look into the mirror. It’s nice to know I am not the only one having to deal with this. Your site gives me hope that eventually it will go away or at least improve more. Thank you for sharing your story.

  44. Anna says:

    THANK YOU 🙂

    I was diagnosed 1 week ago today. It’s amazing how from the onset through now our experiences have been identical! I have researched and searched and searched some more and it’s crazy I have a better perspective of bp after reading your blog then I have reading medical text. I am 25 y and was unsure of what to expect through all of this; thank you so much for sharing your story and giving me much needed hope ~ Anna

  45. shirley Bedford says:

    I am still getting through your blog,but man you have done an awesome job of putting everything together and out there!!! look forward to having more time later on tonight, to just sit and read. I was diagnosed last week with BP. Although I haven’t read all of your blog yet, I was looking to see if there was anything about being TIRED and DRAINED??? I feel super bad and have no energy or motivation to do anything—just forcing myself to go through the motions of what I have to do. was wondering if anyone else felt this way? or is it just me?
    also, everything I have read on BP has left things pretty wide open. For example, some people get it once in their life while others get it several times. With most people, its temporary and others are permanent. Some can have it two weeks while others can have it up to two years. They don’t know what causes it, don’t have test for it and have no cure for it. also, haven’t found where theres any type of medication that can help?
    Although I was just diagnosed, this is not the first time I have had it. this is just the WORST I’ve had it–with full on symptoms. I just turned 51 and had ‘some’ of the signs when I was in my early 20s. I went to the doctor several times but they just looked at me like I was crazy. So I believe I am the individual that gets it several times through out their live, with it coming back worse each time. that is my experience. I am ‘new’ to this, as far as being diagnosed so if anyone can help me out here, thanks much!!!! also, thanks so much for this blog!!!!!! I am finding it very helpful and informative!!! shirley in memphis

  46. teri says:

    Just another very grateful reader of your blog.

    My bells palsy episode started 5 days ago and your blog has been incredibly helpful.

    I will certainly take your advise to slow down and rest as much as possible for a good while.

    Thanks again.

  47. Maria says:

    I was diagnosed two weeks ago w/ bp. It has really stopped me w/ my plans. The pain is unbearable. In my ear….. I have taken accupuncture as an alternative in just one week my mucles on my face have started to move and twitch. All my face is nearly back to normal in a week of sessions. I was told to drink alot of water, eat no meats, and detox would help quicker. My lip and eye braw are the only thing left. My taist buds are slowly coming but at times they act funny. My eye is still cring but when I go to do treatments she leaves me as good as new. Thought some people would find this method helpful. I have been real lucky that my body has responded very well to accupuncture in the past. In totally desperate situations the Lord has used this to help heal me. One thing how did you do it to manage w/ the pain? It drops me eyes get all blurry and everything. Thanks for using this it helped to see we are a possy. : P I’m so eager to go back on tv and record shows but my throat even hurts to talk…ohhhh also she said drinking green tea as hot as you can take it will sooth and detox too….. blessings

    • Echad says:

      Hi Maria,
      Agree to your method, got BP on Aug 30,2012..Had bad ear ache for few days before BP, i started acupuncture within 3 days of diagnosis, in start my face was very stiff, but within 2 weeks i started seeing improvements, i am also on B12(2000 mcg) & B1 therapy which helping a lot, for the ear pain i took Lysine (1500) each day and the pain was immediately gone, now after 5 weeks, i am 80% recovered, my taste is back, can lift eyebrows, smile, still few parts of the face need recovery.
      Everyone please use B12(methylcobalamin ONLY), B1 & Lysine for fast recovery, i am also using small face vibrator near lips and jaw line, it helped me in recovery. Try to use moist heat on face(not to hot) for swelling and pain relieve. For eye care i was using Gel Teal for day and eye ointment for night but used for a week only, luckily i was able to close my eye at night in few day, be brave all and be positive, you will recover:)

  48. Zindo says:

    Hi David
    Thank you for all info you put on your blog, my wife Daniella discovered it and i didn’t even want to see the info at start, perhaps didn’t want to see anything i was afraid to see, but i’m glad i did see it and i now know that i just have to give it time to get better and be very patient because nothing will speed it better that time given ….. i thought i didn’t have that time to wait but now i now i have to find that time and work must wait for the 1st time in 15 years…
    Thank you Very much ….
    From Portugal …. living in London UK
    Zindo

  49. Constance says:

    Hi Dave,
    I just want to say Thank you for making this page. I was diagnosed with BP on Christmas day. It’s been almost a month and I haven’t seen any signs of improvement. It’s good to know I am not alone.

  50. Martijn says:

    That’s quite a detailed report! I haven’t had Bell’s Palsy myself, but I run a site about it (in dutch) for my father in law who has. So the story is very familiar…

  51. Jennifer says:

    Just found your site about Bell’s Palsy, wish I had found it when I was first diagnosed nearly two years ago. I was looking for inspiration this evening and help with the continuing problems I am still suffering. The area under my right eye has never fully recovered, I struggle to contol my eye lid and I have a feeling of tightness on the right side of my nose/eye area. I have swelling under the right eye that the doctors insist is due to sinus infections. I have been referred to ENT and I am awaiting an appointment. I have been prescribed antibiotics, nasal sprays etc etc but all to no avail. I now suffer with constant headaches, pressure behind the right eye and a continual feeling of tightness under the right eye. Today I had an appointment with a Cranial Therapist and for the first time for a long time I actually feel some relief and feel movement in my face and no tightness under the eye. The cranial therapist does not feel I have an infection but that the sinuses and the nerves under the right eye are slow to drain and respond. Maybe, just maybe this might be the answer although will ENT believe me or the Cranial Therapist. I did forget to mention that I saw a Neurologist several months after the onset of the Bell’s Palsy and I felt he was not interested in my problem with my right eye area. He basically said it was typical Bell’s Palsy. I feel as if I am suffering from post viral fatigue, stressful situations affect my health and my eye area. I often suffer from exhaustion. This is the first time that I have ever shared all of this to a stranger, so I hope I do not depress anyone just diagnosed. I shall not give up hope but I just want to know if anyone else has the same problems?

    • cecilia says:

      Jennifer i am about 3 months into bp. My bp eye too has swelling under th lower eye area (almost like people with bags) that I didnt have before. My eye dr.said I had lost volume in the skin……but before bp my eye lid was very flat. The ent dsaid it might be due to sinuses……..Ive always sufferd from sinudes n never had this problem. My primary dr.made me feel as thoughI had reached the recovery that I was going to make.It makes me feel older n dont like the way it looks!!! Did u ever recover……. I still recovering…or s it a residual o bp? cecilia1917@live.com…………..I would love to hear from you!

  52. Jody says:

    Hi. I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband was diagnosed about a year and a half ago. he is a pilot and was scared out of his mind. He has made huge improvements since then but still wishes he was 100%. He had a cold at the time which, after a bevvy of tests, is what caused the onset of BP. Now, sometimes he will get a numb tongue and worry that it will reoccur all over again. I tell him not to worry but……..Anyway, you are a huge inspiration and it’s very nice to have a website that I can direct him to. I feel for every one of you and I wish for speedy recoveries for all. I don’t know what you’re going through on a personal level, but I do know ( from my husbands point of view ) and I hope that your spouses/partners/friends are all there for you. 🙂

  53. Irv says:

    Hi,
    Don’t know if you still monitor this site but thanks for your story. It brings some hope for the future. Im 58 and one week into BP. I woke with it Christmas eve morning. I have full left side paralysis and at the moment ( 3 AM LOL) suffer from pretty nasty ear pain. My Doctor is off on christmas holidays so i’ve only managed to see a Doc at the local clinic. Ive noticed I have some small sores in my ear. My wife thinks I’ve been scratching but I wonder if I have Ramsey Hunt, which is very similar to BP. I’m going to have to go back in to the clinic I guess. With another sleepless night I was feeling pretty down – so thanks for your positive message.

  54. Nikki says:

    Thank you so much for posting your experience with BP. I am on day 7 of my journey with it, and I have been reading a lot of articles online. My Dr. told me I have a mild case but my symptoms are quite similar to yours. Ppl say they can’t tell I have BP, that is until I try to smile. Enjoyed seeing your photos during the time of recovery. I hope mine is as fast as yours. God Bless!!

  55. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. Bell’s Palsy fully manifested with me a couple of days ago after having about a week of assorted symptoms. I’m thankful to see that my exhaustion is normal and expected. Thank you again.

  56. sade weatherspoon says:

    WOW I HAVE BELLS PALSY RIGHT NOW AND IM ONLY IN DAY 5 SENSE THE ONSET YOUR STORY AND UPDATE GIVES ME SO MUCH HOPE ILL TAKE EVERYTHING ELSE I JUST WANT MY SMILE BACK ITS SO PAINFUL TO ME NOT TO BE ABLE TO SMILE AS IT IS THE WAY I SAY HELLO GOODBYE AND LETS YOU KNO IM LISTENING HOWEVER I WANNA THANK YOU FOR YOUR STORY GIVES ME HOPE THAT ONE DAY THIS WILL ALL BE OVER FOR ME AS WELL MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU THANKS AGAIN , SADE

  57. Nara says:

    Thanks for posting info about BP. I had it since last 8 days. Finished a round of Steroid medication. The right side is pale with no response being shown yet.

    Your site really provides lot of confidence for people going through this trauma. Thank u for providing your valuable experiences.

    Nara
    37

  58. jay panchal says:

    hello david sir my name is jay [m 19] from india i am having bells palsy from last 50days my all moments of face have been came but still i have problem in my lips i can smile but i cant wisle properly still my right hand part of my face is still weak. so sir how much time it will take to recover from palsy please sir itz urgent pleasep reply my comment soon please sir …………….i m scary sir

  59. frances says:

    thank you for you advise shes not improveing vey much but i see some change no one else deos though i am going start her on the b12 and zink i heard that before you just confrimed it for me thank and god bless you you are a big help believe it or not

  60. frances says:

    im so scared my lil girl is 13 she has bp and i dont know how to make it better or how to stop the pain or the embarressment she has she cry in secert its oly been 2weeks and 3 days
    but i dont dont know what to do dr.s dont say much she is on a anti-viril she ttook 7 days worth of perdazone im not sure if its getting better or worst is there some i need to do or use on her some type of med.or anything please help your web sit was a releife thank you

    • David says:

      Hi Frances,

      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s experience with Bell’s Palsy. I know it must be scary for her. I had my BP just before I turned 39 so I can only imagine how tough it must be for a 13-year-old.
      Well, it sounds like your daughter’s doctor prescribed the same treatment as I received. And, after the first 2 weeks, I remember it feeling like there was no improvement, almost like it was getting worse at times. Within a couple of weeks after that, I did start noticing some good signs of improvement.

      I don’t know if it will help your daughter like it did me, but taking pictures and writing down my experiences (even in a diary) really helped me cope with the embarrassment. The pain was a tough one though. I had really bad pain behind my ear and also in my ear when I would hear loud noises. I was also really sensitive to bright lights. Those were tougher to deal with. For me, just getting a lot of rest and reducing stress helped that the most.

      One thing I read here on this site under “How is it Treated?” was a recommendation to try vitamin therapy. I took B12 and Zinc supplements (just like you find at Walmart or Walgreens) each day when I ate. I just took what was normally recommended on the bottles and I believe that helped me feel better and speed up my recovery. If you haven’t already, you might consider trying that.

      Give your little girl my best wishes and stop back and let me know how’s she’s doing.

      Take care!

      David

    • jay panchal says:

      hello david sir my name is jay [m 19] from india i am having bells palsy from last 50days my all moments of face have been came but still i have fromblem in my lips i can smile but i cant wisle properly still my right hand part of my face is still weak so how much time it will take to recover from palsy please sir itz urgent please my comment soon please sir …………….

  61. Kalyani says:

    Hi Dave,

    One more doubt.. Now i am suffering with ankle and foot pains severely. when i showed to the doctor he mentioned that calcium is less and gave (carot-M,painkiller tablets) but still pain is not reducing.(To give a background – In october2010 due to lack of blood got miscarriage after that in december2010 effected with bells palsy which took 3months to cure and now effected with this ankle pain).After bells palsy doctor gave me (folinext-d) to use it for 1year for next time pregnancy. Is this tablets causing me any side effects. Pleae advice… Awaiting for your reply soon….

  62. Minnie says:

    Hi David –

    I’m glad I came across your posting. — I’m currently on my 4th week of BP and there has been some improvement – but as with others it’s never fast enough. Right now – if I’m looking straight forward without any expression – you would only notice my dropping left eye and brow. Oh, when I smile that’s when you can really tell something isn’t right. I did laugh though when my sweet grandson asked me “why are you talking like this” he screwed up his face and tried to talk like me. I couldn’t help but laugh. I told him I had a real bad “cold” and my nose was stuffed up, and it made me look funny. I asked him if it bothered him and he said no — it’s ok.
    I think posting your pictures was very helpful in showing the improvements that take place over time. I’m just so tired of having to tape my eye shut at night — can’t close it at all and having to put eye drops in frequently during the day. If I get too busy and forget to do the eye drops — I get a bad headache. I’m very thankful it’s not a stroke as I first thought when I woke up; went to brush my teeth and could only see but the teeth on my right side. My first reaction was to laugh, but then I realized something was terribly wrong and went to the ER. Well I hope my BP doesn’t last too much longer. Thanks again for your time and effort of posting your experience.

  63. kalyani says:

    Thanks a lot dave for your quick reply. This link is really helping when thinking in a negative way changing into positive.

  64. Melissa says:

    Hi David,

    I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy May 7th, 2011. Basically the night before, I experienced numbness in my mouth and my eye was constantly twitching. Then the next morning the left side of my face would not move and was quite similar to how yours looked in your photos. I went to the hospital and was put on prednisone for 7 days and started taking a lot of vitamins such as B-12. I have an appointment with a specialist on the 30th which seems so far away! I feel really helpless and the thing that is the most depressing is how goofy my smile looks. I’m happy I found your page since all I have been looking for is successful recovery stories and helpful information! I really hope I will be lucky enough to have an amazing and fast recovery like you did. You look amazing and are so lucky to have your amazing smile back 🙂 Best of luck and thank you for the useful info and photos.

    Melissa

  65. Abdoul says:

    Day 27 – I’d estimate 85% recovered, I must say… I’ve noticed slower recovery in last few days than i did during weeks 2-3… But most of my face is pretty much assymetrical again, I can drink from a can and cup again without drooling or using a straw lol! My smile still has a slightly higher point on my right side. Whilst reading through David’s log, i noticed he wrote he was never so happy to see wrinkles returning again lol! And i felt the same way, I used to hate my forehead wrinkles, but now theyre back! yay! haha! When i first had Bell’s Palsy, my mouth was last to be affected, and now it’s last to recover. I used B12 injections and pills and i believe it has helped speed up my recovery! Give it a go! You’ve got nothing to lose… But all in all, so far so good, I’m doing very well, recovering quite quickly. Thank God! And one other thing, after 2 weeks ago into Bell’s Palsy, i developed Acne! I did my research and it is due to the steroids and huge amounts of B12 i was taking! Did anyone else experience Acne? Well anyway, my heart goes out to everyone who is experiencing it, be positive! It’ll all go soon! =)

    • David says:

      Hello again! I seem to recall my recovery slowed at the same point you mention. Then, at about the six to eight week mark, after taking some more photographs, I realized things were still improving, just in smaller increments.

      Abdoul, I really appreciate you stopping by. Your visits and comments encouraged my to post my newest update: BPP-15: Bell’s Palsy and Me – Three Years Later. Thank you!

      Again, keep us all posted on how you’re doing. Take care!

  66. Abdoul says:

    Hi, It’s Day 20 now, I’d say 40-50% recovered now… My eyes close enough that i don’t get soap in my eyes anymore! My smile is starting to look more ‘normal’ now, my left nostral is moving, my eyebrows are almost inline with each other, and my winking is almost the same!!.. I’m getting there… =D

  67. Abdoul says:

    Hi My name is Abdoul, and i’m from Sydney, Australia. This is my favorite blog on the net! It’s so detailed and is giving me so much hope. I follow it day by day and seeing if i’m having similar improvements. I am now Day 12 into Bell’s Palsy, and woke up to notice a little move movement around my lips, nostral and eyes closing slightly tighter! Great feeling! I’ll keep you guys updated! For those who have BP, keep your chin up, i know how bad it feels, but it’s only been 12 Days and it’s starting to come back a little. Stay Positive!!!

  68. Kalyani says:

    I have been suffering with BP from 2months now.. I have recovered mostly. But still i see light pain in the ear and the effected side of the face is little heavy when compared to the other side. Is it normal for the effected person these kind of feelings? or is it going to effect again. Please update me.

    • David says:

      Kalyani – I know it’s been about six weeks since you commented. Hopefully the pain in your ear has gone away and your face is feeling as heavy. My ear was very sensitive to any type of loud noise. When people laughed or shouted, it was like someone clapped me on the side of the head. That went away after six to eight weeks but I know it can vary. Let me know how you’re doing.

      • kalyani says:

        hi dave,

        Thank you for your reply. My ear hearing sound came to normal. But still i feel sometimes tightness in the eye and while laughing cheek also.But after sometime it comes to normal in a day. I am a lot worried about this strange feelings.

        • David says:

          Hi Kalyani – I know exactly what you are referring to. I had the same feelings off and on in my eye and cheek for quite awhile. All I can say is that over time, it seemed to fade away (although there are still times I get similar sensations – but just briefly!) Try not to worry or focus too much on it. The healing process takes time and can seem slow. Some day soon, you’ll realize you’re mostly recovered and you’ll wonder when it happened. Take care and stay positive!

  69. Donna says:

    David,
    We have two things in common—our love of nougat and Bell’s Palsy! I would love to know how you are doing. Hopefully, you are completely recovered and that is why you haven’t posted anything since June 2008.
    I was just diagnosed two days ago. When I read your blog, I see so many similarities to my own current “situation”. I have even been inspired by you to create my own blog and document my experience with and recovery from Bell’s.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  70. Frank says:

    Thanks for this. I was diagnosed 17 days ago and I couldn’t move anything on my right side. Currently I have some slight movement on my cheek, got my taste back, and minimal movement on the bottom corner of my mouth and my eyebrow. Recovery is so slow sometimes I think it stopped, maybe I’m looking in the mirror too often. I was afraid that the periodic pain in the neck and ear was a sign that it was coming back, but I read that you still had them at day 50. I guess they linger till it’s completely gone.

    Ur story gives me hope and helps me with patience, something that I’m not good at. You have done something amazing.

  71. Valerie says:

    I’m only 15 about to 16 this summer, and I just got Bell Palsy like 2 weeks ago, I was having doubt about it, and when my mom showed me this, it made me give myself hope and faith. I just wanted to thank you 😀 You’re very inspirational for showing how you improved with this.

  72. Ash says:

    I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy on 12/27/10 and I have been coming to this blog like every other day for inspiration. You dont know how much help this is. I appreciate your so much for this.

    • David says:

      Hi Ash, at the time of my writing of this reply to your comment, you must be at about 3 and half months since being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. If you can, stop by and drop a quick comment on how you’re doing.

      Thanks!

  73. Noreen Hills says:

    I, thanks so much for information. I have experienced BP in late June, and whilst i thought i had recivered, five months down the line my eye has started twitching quite seriously. I also get very tired. Whilst i have spoken to my doctor, his feedback basically says that i am fully recovered; but physically i know i am not; i am also having alot oh headaches and pain in glands below my ears, and thats how i started with BP; also i have a “runny nose”, and am so tired. Am i overeacting? Any feedback will be appreciated; thanks you so much for such an informative site! Kind Regards, Noreen

    • David says:

      Hi Noreen! I wish I had responded to your comment much sooner. If you stop back, let me know how the twitching eye and runny nose are doing. I still experience those things occasionally, even three years later! For me, the headaches and pain behind the ears was something that seemed to creep back every once in awhile, especially when I wasn’t sleeping well or was stressed. That has mostly gone away but every once in awhile I get some slight aching. At first I worried I might be having a Bell’s Palsy relapse but that hasn’t happened (knock on wood). I hope you’re doing much better now. 🙂

  74. Jocker F. Santos says:

    that is encouraging…my workmate is suffering this kind of desease. it just begun yesterday. I would like her to see your fight against this. good day to be alive

  75. Aidan Sheehan says:

    Oh boy, I coud have done without Bells’ Palsy right now, but yes, it’s back again, 27 years since I last had it! Woke up on Tuesday morning and there it was. I should have guesed it was on it’s way, headache, ear-ache, jaw-ache and sneezing the day before. Your website is ressuring however, and I have personal experience that IT WILL go away so hang on in there good people, and you will be fine, as will I be before too long I hope. That’s the way I see it, ride it out.

    I am a musical performer and music tutor. My main instrument is diatonic harmonica. Now I admit that at present I cannot purse my lips, so I cannot draw bend any notes. Therefore playing good Blues and Jazz is “out the window” right now BUT I can tongue-block and play in first position perfectly well. I can also do “lip blow bends” (innaccurately but not so bad) with the right hand side of my mouth. So, where there’s a will there’s a way. People are being very supportive to me, and that helps. I have steroids, anti-viral pills and eye drops, plus eye ointment to help me fight it. I have two gigs this weekend and will be back teaching at school next week. I will talk to the headtacher to help explain to the kids. Keep doing what you can do, don’t let it get you down and it will go, hopefully sooner than later. I am sorry if you have it, but “keep the faith”.

  76. Paige says:

    Thank you so much!!! I am a week into my Bell’s Palsy experience and starting to feel frustrated. Your account of your experience has been very inspiring. Thanks!! 🙂

  77. Ben Harland says:

    Hi, my name is Ben Harland, I live in NY and I also got Bell’s Palsy on Labor Day weekend last year. It was going to be such a great one too – in the Hamptons, on the beach, excessive food and alcohol. Instead, I spent it mostly lying on the sofa in my apartment feeling terrible with what I thought was an ear infection.

    I had a classic case – first my food tasted funny then I couldn’t move one side of my mouth, then I couldn’t close my eye. Fortunately, my doctor made a correct diagnosis straight away, gave me pills and referred me to a neurologist.

    Today, 4 months later, the neurologist signed me off – his receptionist congratulated me on graduating!! I still have residual effects – my eye is a bit weak and my food sometimes tastes funny (though this might have more to do with my junk food diet!) but I am at least 80% of the way back.

    My experience with BP was less about the physical side. Luckily my face didn’t droop much so I don’t think people noticed I had it. I also found ways to get round some of the problems with speaking and eating. Unfortunately, I felt very ill for the first 2 months and the BP didn’t seem to get any better which made me very worried. It was this mental side, the whole “waiting game” thing that I found hardest to deal with.

    I thought searching the internet would be a good idea. Wrong!! Many of the accounts I read were very depressing. The “official” websites were also fairly miserable. Your account of your own experience was definitely the exception. It’s written throughout with a sense of humor and, above all, a positive attitude. For people living through BP, I agree with the comments above – it’s the best resource on the web – many thanks. I think I read somewhere else on your site you were getting despondent with the lack of feedback – I hope mine and the other positive comments you received will encourage you to keep maintaining it.

    All the best

  78. flyingg says:

    Hi Michelle. Your boyfriend's experience sounds similar to mine. Just before the full onset of Bell's Palsy, I had a bad headache (and pain just behind my right ear) and my right sinus passage was hurting. Although I haven't had a recurrence of BP since last year, I've read there is a higher chance of having a recurrence if you've had it before. I do have some lingering side effects of the Bell's Palsy even now. I'll write more about those here soon. Hopefully your boyfriend's doctor appointment went well. As far as suggestions go, it sounds like he made it to his doctor within the first few days of symptoms popping up. Most doctors give a prescription of a steroid (like prednisone) within the first 3 or 4 days after symptoms appear to reduce the swelling and stop damage around the affected nerve, and to speed recovery. Let me know how things are working out for him. Take care!

  79. michellegrayson says:

    Wow! I have never experienced this ever, but, it looks like I might get my first lesson. My boy friend of a year and a half has had Bell's Palsey in the past.

    This past weekend he started getting a headache and thought maybe he had a tooth that might be bothering him. He then said yesturday, which was Tuesday, he thought he had a sinus infection, but, not so stuffy. Last night he told me he had made a doctor appointment for friday to see if it was an infection? Later in the evening he said he had been thinking the Bell's Palsey may be coming back?? He said he thought about it during the day and he was having a hard time spitting. His smile is a little off. I do not know how fast his illness works or comes on. But, I told him to call the doctor and see if he could get in earlier! If you have any input, please advise.

    Thank you for your story.
    Michelle
    mgrayson67@msn.com

  80. Gopal says:

    This is good. Its a month and my progress has been very slow compared to yours but seeing these pictures does make me feel that there is hope. I can’t smile at all till now. Can raise my eyebrows a little bit these days.

    This is probably the best thing I have seen on net in last 1 month on this topic. Thanks for sharing your experience with the wider population.

  81. pamela says:

    David, I think you’re very brave to take the time and photos of your sojourn through Bell’s Palsy. I woke up on Jan. 2, 2001 withthe condition and it took me 6 months to regain any realistic function in my face. Years later I’m still not fully recovered, but it is really only apparent when I smile. (sort of sinister looking). Hang in and best of luck to you. Pamela

  82. Cindy Sanders says:

    Hi David,
    My 18 year old daughter just got diagnosed with bell`s palsy. Her`s came on alot like yours did. Very scary for a young girl, and me. I had never heard of it before. I am at work but when I get home I am going to have her check out your page. Thank you for putting this out here for all to read.
    Cindy~

  83. M. says:

    Hi David,
    I’m a brazilian doctor and I would like to thank you for sharing these informations on Bell’s Palsy. I was diagnosed on Friday, and at first I was very concerned about it. However, I got in contact with my doctor as soons as I could, which made me feel much more confortable. I was very pleased to see your pictures, because they encouraged me to wait as much as it takes until the whole look goes away (I hope it doesn’t take too long). I also enjoyed your survival kit and tips about food, as I’m still getting used to eating and comunicating. Your blog is very encouraging and inspiring. Well, wish you all the best!
    Thanks a lot
    M

  84. Lisa says:

    Hi David,
    I wanted to just tell you how informational your blog was to me. I was just diahnosed on Friday. I was so scared and upset because the first thing out of my doctor’s mouth was that this could be a stroke. After asking me some questions and checking refexes, the doctor said Bell’s Palsy. I was still scared to death because I had never heard of this before. It seems like everyone around me knew what this was and kept telling me its going to be alright. The doctor can not give me the medication because I have type 2 diabetes and the meds will shoot my blood sugars too high. So I guess I am on my own as far as the meds goes.
    Did you have any pain in your upper shoulders that kept you from sleeping and just moving your head around? I don’t recall reading anything like that on your post.
    Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that your posta have been very informational to me. Makes me feel like I am not alone!
    Thank You!!!!
    Lisa

  85. Anonymous says:

    Hi David! I’m blown away!! Thank you for educating me on this; I’m a bit more relaxed because of reading your journal entries and having visuals of your progress. I personally don’t have BP; one of my best friends does. She was just diagnosed about a week ago and I had never heard of it. I decided to do some research to best understand what she’s going through.

    Thanks, again!!! And just in case you’re a basketball fan!!! Go Spurs Go!!! 🙂

  86. Sandy Stepp says:

    You look great! Your recovery is going so good. I know it must seem like it’s taking forever though. My daughter has her smile back! Not the huge smile yet but it’s barely noticeable unless she smiles (or frowns) hugely. She had tryouts for the Color Guard at school and you have to smile really big the whole time. The judges actually called her over to tell her she wasn’t smiling enough and she had to tell them why. It bothered her some because it was in front of everyone but she did good and also made the team! She goes back for her checkup on Thursday and I’m sure they will not have to continue with anymore meds. Hang in there, you are making great progress!

    Sandy

  87. Mike/Colorado says:

    Dave,

    I just read your blog. Got to from your BP post to me. I’m really thankful you shared this. It’s really encouraging to see your progress. I’m a week into this, so I’m optimistic I’ll be turning the corner soon.

    Thanks again for your time and efforts in your journal.

    Mike

  88. David G says:

    Sandy, I’m glad you stopped by here too! I started sharing my progress to help myself cope with recovering from Bell’s Palsy and to hopefully help others do the same. Let me know how your daughter’s recovery is going!

    😀

  89. Sandy Stepp says:

    I’m so glad I found your page! My 15 year old daughter was just diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy on Monday. We were both scared to death it might be a stroke until she saw the doctor. She too is on anti-viral medication and also 10 days of prednisone. Her eye closed all the way so she didn’t have any trouble there but she does have the issue with eating and also the kids at school. I can’t wait till tonight when I can show her your page. I know she will be encouraged by your photo progress. Fast healing!

    Sandy 😉

  90. Donovan says:

    Dave, this has got to be the coolest informational site on Bell’s Palsy I’ve ever seen. It’s really great that you are keeping a log on all this, you are doing a great thing. I wish I read something like this when I was diagnosed with Diabetes 8 years ago. Keep this up, you’re going to really help people with this. I know it’s hard at times, but you are really being an inspiration to a lot of people, I get the sniffles and I’m the biggest whiner…

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