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. Melissa says:

    I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy on 10/14/15. I’m a healthy 36 year old woman. However, I got shingles on my face and Bell’s palsy ( BP) as a result of shingles. It took three full weeks to improve with the BP. I’m at about 90% for recovery today. My symptoms echoed Mr. Galindo’s. I patched my eye every night for 4 weeks. I highly recommend taking: vitamin B supplements, B 12 w/ methalcobalamine and lysine (1000 mg/ day) . Drink lots of water. Rest as much as you can. Keep you eye moist with drops (I used an eye ointment at night). I was discouraged at times– I couldn’t smile, whistle, I drooled at times, but you will improve!!!! Try to stay positive!!! Believe in healing– it will happen. Mr. Galindo, your blog is a service to those with BP everywhere. I referred to it many times in the last month. Thank you for linking all of us to a piece of reassurance that recovery will occur.

  2. jenny says:

    im diagnosed with BP, this is actually my 4th day… im already seeing little improvements such as moving my eyebrows, my blink is still abit off but im sorta blinking at the same speed. i can still taste things(sorta) & my pronunciation of ‘B’ & ‘P’ is no trouble.

  3. Steve says:

    I’ve had this wretched disorder for 7 days today with no sign of improvement. I read through your blog and it was very inspiring. At first I joked about it being in good time for Halloween then my spirit started to dwindle and although knowing that at some point I will at least mostly recover, the mental well-being can be worse than any physical symptom as you know.

    Thank you for such a detailed blog. I will continue to refer to it.

    • Karen says:

      Hang in there. It took s full three weeks before I saw any improvement, and then it switched to rhe other side die another several weeks. If you have access to acupuncture, I highly recommend it.

      It is mentally draining but recovery is absolutely 100% possible.

  4. Ashley says:

    Your story has really helped me realize that there is a chance of recovery, even if it takes a while. I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy about a week ago and was constantly trying to figure out what I did wrong and how I can help myself. Your story really changed the way I feel about this whole situation. Thank you.

  5. Jerry says:

    I have had Bells Palsy three times in the past 20 years. I for the most part recovered completely the first two times, but this last time has left me with some noticeable problems. When I wink/blink my left eyelid, the right side of my lips go up a little bit. My smile is still crooked unless I look into a mirror and notice it, then I can force my smile to become a little bit more symmetrical. I also have tightness and pain in my right cheek and in the right side of my neck. The lingering pain that some of us have is because the nerves grew back, but they grew back too far and are over-stimulating parts of the face that they’re not supposed to. If this becomes a problem, your doctor can give you a Botox injection to shut these nerves down. I live every day in fear of this condition returning. I was so scared this year in March (on the one year anniversary of when I got it the third time) I had a severe panic attack. I know that if this happens to me again, I’m going to have some really bad long lasting effects. Any how, I’m glad you had a near full recovery. Some people only get a fifty percent recovery, others get a seventy percent recovery, and sadly some people never recover. For all of you who are going through this for the first time, don’t be scared. You have a good prognosis for making a full recovery. The best thing you can do is take a lot of B Complex Vitamins – B-12 B-1 B-2, keep your eye well lubricated, and don’t overdo the facial exercises in the beginning. If you struggle and strain your face too much during the healing process, your nerves might grow back in the wrong place. Also, some people do good with acupuncture. I have never tried acupuncture myself, but some people seem to have success with it. I wish you all well and a speedy recovery.

    Jerry

  6. Kathleen says:

    I was diagnosed with bells palsy October 8th, 6 days ago. Your blog really helped me realize that it will get better. Have been really sad about it. Thank you for showing that things will get better!

  7. I’ve just read your story so happy you are recovering well I was diagnosed with this on Wednesday 7th of October I’m so frightened but reading your story makes me feel a little better x

  8. Natalie says:

    I had BP 6 years ago. Every once in a while I get a tingling or numbness around the right side of my mouth. I always get scared that it is coming back but it just lasts a few hours or so and then goes away. I was wondering if anyone that has had BP in the past experiences this. Thx.

    • Nikki says:

      Yes, I do on occasion. Right side of my face and lips will tingle. That’s how it all began with me and I do become fearful it’s coming back. My lip will twitch and kinda feel heavy like, and when I talk I feel like that part is not moving at all so I’m constantly touching it to make sure I have feeling left. It has been five years for me and I worry daily it will hit me again. I was 32 at the time, and I still have a slight lazy upper lip when I smile.

    • Misty says:

      I do and I feel the same way. I take fish oil b12 and collagen with valcyclovir. I try not to worry but since I have had it 3x in 1 1/2 years I guess it will take time. I have all my facial expressions back and feeling. Be positive and keep your stress down. I actually quit my job and am hopeful that it won’t come back. Fingers crossed!

  9. Chris says:

    I had this on the first day of my holiday in Paris and it was a massive shock due to it coming on so suddenly in a restaurant. Thought it was a stroke! Im on day 35 today and things sometimes lessen and then sometimes get worse. At the moment speech is really bad – anything words that start with a B, P or F are not to be used – with a numb tongue, no taste at all and tiredness kicking in because of the effort to talk. By mid evening Ive done talking. Eye wise I’m managing to half close it on a good day and have now perfected the art of eye taping without freaking out! Ive no idea when this will go, but have now accepted to not put pressure on myself to be better. Just give myself time. From all the forums Ive read on this, this one has been the most helpful, thankyou.

    • Karen says:

      Chris,
      Try not to get discouraged. I had the numb tongue, zero taste, and a high level of frustration. My left side was numb for three weeks and then it shifted to my right side for another two. All I can tell you is patience, rest, and make sure you tape your eye shut and get plenty of gel in it throughout the day. I also found if I held my finger at my cheek to make my teeth separate, those letters that were difficult came more easily. I hope you heal quickly.

      • Chris says:

        Many thanks Karen, Ill try the speech idea! I did mention acupuncture to my doctor but it was met with sceptisim.. Im back at the eye doc in couple of weeks, and ENT specialists afterwards. They seem to be happy to just let me be…guess that’s normal!

        • Karen says:

          Please don’t allow the doctor to discourage you. I found traditional and non-traditional avenues to be very helpful. I hope you heal quickly. I know how frustrating it is but the majority of us heal completely.

  10. Rob says:

    I was diagnosed with BP 8 days ago. I see a lot of comments about pain behind the east and wondering if people are experiencing pain more in the ear? It feels like I could touch the throbbing area in my ear with a qtip if I pushed it in my ear, which I obviously wouldn’t do, just explaining where the pain is. Please let me know if you experience throbbing pain there too. Thanks thanks!

  11. kas says:

    i was diagnosed with bp in april this year, and now in august have made about 85% recovery. i am left with slight changes to my smile and slight wonkiness on my affected side. The most awkward thing i have now, is residual pain in the affected side, kinda like the feeling of being bruised. not sure if this will also improve and would love to hear from anyone who has similar

  12. Karen says:

    Here is one for the books. After three weeks, a ton of prednisone, acupuncture, and as much rest as I could get, it seemed like my face was almost symmetrical again (but still no lip movement or taste buds). About five hours later, I realized I couldn’t close my right eye. It has now moved to the other side of my face within a 3-week timeframe. This is ridiculous.

  13. Misty says:

    First time was about 3 weeks no pain or discomfort just little droopy woke up like that.
    2nd time horrible headache and ear ache and had tingling in my face but didn’t know what was going on just thought I was tired. That lasted about 2-2 1/2 months. About 1 month after i was better….Then here we go again next side and it started with losing my taste and here came an ear ache the following day then 2 days later woke up and felt it tingling and went straight to the dr. Scary part was it took 7-8 hours to loose all control and my face completely fell. I counted and that was horrifying. This time it’s been 5 months and it’s almost back to normal( if you didn’t know you can’t tell is what I’m told). So yesterday before I wrote on this blog at lunch time my tongue lost taste so I went to my purse pulled out my predisone and took 3. Called the Dr and saw him today. I’m told that either I caught it soon enough or it was a fluke thing. But he says 2 times is really un heard of so he’s amazed with what is happening with me but says to control the stress and get plenty of rest. Also I take 500mg of valcyclovir every night. Ugh I’m so over bells palsey!!!

  14. Lucille says:

    My son was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy while we were on holiday in Italy 3 weeks ago and had those symptoms. He is 13 and prescribed high dose steroids. He had a test for Lyme’s disease as he had been camping/ hiking in Scotland and N Yorks the previous month and apparently children are often misdiagnosed with Bell’s when they in fact have Lyme’s. As he was on steroids and in active stage there were doubts about validity of test. The lab suggested other tests for Lyme’s but GP said he was unable to order them. When he came off the steroids he had awful muscle pains, extreme skin sensitivity around abdomen and back, swollen painful lymph glands. This gradually improved but still pain behind ear, swollen lymphs and pain around spleen. We wondered if it could be withdrawal symptoms from prednisone. Has anyone else had withdrawal symptoms after coming off prednisone? Hoping it is not Lyme’s. Seeing ENT paediatrician on Wed.

  15. Karen says:

    Has anyone else had issues with lack of taste buds, numb tongue, and tingly, almost burning lips? I feel like other things wouldn’t be so annoying if this would just clear up. I’m two weeks into Bell’s palsy with no visible improvement.

  16. Jo-Ann Dean says:

    I also had terrible pain. Rubbing the areas help along with moist heat and motto of you can take it. It gets less as the weeks go by and then becomes sore which massaging it helps. Rest and think positive. You will move through this.

  17. Allyson says:

    I am on day 5 and it hurts so much! I really hope it does not take me much longer than a month to recover because I can not deal with this pain!

  18. Karen Coleman says:

    I’m on day 7 of Bell’s palsy diagnosis. The worst part for me is the numbness in my tongue and lack of taste. Sadly, this isn’t keeping me from eating! My face seems to be pulsing a lot more, and my worry is that it is rewiring back incorrectly. I am getting acupuncture and am hoping that will help. This blog and replies have been helpful and are keeping me from having a full-on freak out.

  19. John says:

    I’m on day 5. My first symptoms were a numb tongue (on the right side). Then, I noticed my right eye wouldn’t close all the way. I went to walk-in care and they initially thought I was having some sort of allergic reaction. After further testing, they thought I might have Bell’s. They started me on anti-viral meds and steriods. My symptoms got much worse over the next couple days, so I went to the ER. They did an MRI and ruled out a stroke, and diagnosed me with Bell’s (although they did blood tests to rule out Lyme disease; which is common here in the northeast US; I don’t get the Lyme test results for another few days). My mom stumbled upon this blog, and it has been SO helpful. Your experiences are so similar to what I’ve been going through. It gives me great comfort to know that I’m not alone, and to know that others have been through Bell’s and have recovered. The worst part is not being able to fully close my eye. Eye drops help, periodically use an eye patch (with folded gauze underneath), and always wear eye protection (glasses or sunshades). My appetite is not that great lately (because it takes a lot to chew on one side of the mouth, and eating normal food takes a lot of effort). Did anybody else lose weight during their bout with Bell’s? I’ve lost a couple pounds this week, and am worried that I’m not getting enough calories. Any suggestions? Thank you so much everyone!

  20. Pearl Archambault says:

    I’m on day 11 and you give me so much hope !!! I love that you did this on your journey of bells palsy. I’m sure it gives everyone that has it and is down from it some kind of hope <3

    • pearl archambault says:

      I am now on day 23 and I seen what everyone was talking about with the pains behind their ear, neck , and jaw feeling like it was bruised on the same side as the bells palsy kinda like someone punched you. And the twitching of the face or eye . I also felt before I was diagnosed with bells that my tongue had been burnt by eating something too hot, then it went behind the ear for a few days then to my neck. After that I also thought I had gotten pink eye went to a clinic where they said it was allergies.. the very next day I woke up with not being able to drink my coffee without it coming back out of my mouth that us when I knew something was wrong! I’m on day 23 but noticed in 2 weeks that I seen movement in my face. I’ve seen improvement just about everyday after . If you have it you will get better its just time you need. Yes I was an emotional wreck and still get very emotional thinking about it, but don’t forget you are all beautiful in your own way and you’ll be back soon!!

  21. Jay says:

    I’m on day 3 and it sucks so bad idk how I’m going to get thru this for the next couple months my headache is out of this word

    • Jo-Ann Dean says:

      Moist heat helps more than anything else. I had severe head pain all along the facial nerve ( temple, cheek into the jaw and very severe behind the ear). The doctor put me on a muscle relaxer but it knocked me out and you cannot drive or do much. Motrin seems to dull it ( if you can take it) but in between rubbing the areas and moving the muscles physically was sore but the pain felt better then follow up with some moist heat and it helped a lot. Hope these tips that worked for me also work for you.

      Jo-Ann

  22. Heather Lockhart says:

    A tip: I found wearing clingfilm over my eye more comfotable than an pirate type eyepatch or a piece of gauze . No need for tape either

  23. Heather Lockhart says:

    I found your blog because although externally my Bell’s Palsy looks almost gone (about 50 days after onset) I still feel it very much, yet nowhere could I find it said that there would be pain, fatigue, etc., so was concerned I had something else. You have mentioned stress, fatigue, headaches, pain down neck so I am extremely greatful.

  24. Rebecca Gomes says:

    I was diagnosed back in early March if this year with Bell’s palsy.. It’s been hard dealing with this to be quiet honest. I’m 17 years old and s girl which makes it all worse because you know how teenage girls can be ( over dramatic, self concious etc) I don’t feel beautiful anymore , I feel like im never going to have a boyfriend because of this. I’m about 3 months into Bell’s palsy and I’ll admit I have seen some major improvement, but lingering side affects are still there I.e the annoying right eye, gets really glossy at times (like right now it’s super glossy idk why) and sometimes I’ll tear out of nowhere, it doesn’t happen as often as it did when I first got bells but it’s still annoying. Also when my friends make hilarious jokes during lunch I’ll smile really big and I can feel that though my mouth look normal now it still isn’t strong enough to hold a big smile. What make me super self conscious is the fact that I have/ had to attend high school looking like this. Theirs a lot of girls and teachers I don’t like in the school so I’m pretty sure they’re talking about how weird my face looks. This one girl that isn’t my friend anymore asked my best friends what happened to my face. That made me super upset and this is 3 months into Bell’s palsy , I thought it wouldn’t have been noticeable anymore. I ask my friends if they can tell that I have it and they say no. I don’t believe them. At least the author of this blog had support from those he works with. The onlysupport system I have is my family which I guess is al I really need. It sucks that three years later he still has lingering effects from this. That means I’ll never be normal again. I’ll always look like a freak and blink like a weirdo (my right eye doesn’t blink in sync with my left and it still doesn’t close fully ) . No boy probably wouldn’t even want to go to prom with me. Also I dread taking picture now, I just get so embarrassed by my face. Thanks for this post, it lets me know that I’ll have to live with bells pasly forever. I should just try to love myself, I guess.

    • Jo-Ann Dean says:

      Hi to all, thanks for sharing your experiences. I did not see that anyone had it twice. This is my second bought and is on the opposite side. I never had these muscle spasms behind my ear, in my jaw and all alone my cheek bones along with my jaw. My eyes both tear and run. I have a great deal of pain if I talk for more than 20 minutes and cannot tolerate my sunglasses or the patch because the pain is along these areas and any pressure is intolerable. I am so tired this time around that I can barely get through a half a day without sleeping…..I am hoping I do not have any residual effects since I already have some from the first time. Stress definitely makes it worse.. Thanks for all support. Did anyone have a second bought?

      • Misty says:

        I had a 3rd. All 3 were in a year and a half time. I am always afraid now. All 3 were very different and lasted different times. 2 on 1 side 1 on the other side.

        • Jo-Ann Dean says:

          Third time…..wow. I can feel my lip and face quiver when stressed. Although three search says it is viral, I have to wonder if stress is a contributing factor and also not getting enough rest. What does your doctor say about the 3 times within a year and a half? Has each gotten worse?

  25. Heather says:

    Thank you. I was diagnosed yesterday and the paralysis is bad. I’m a professor and I am dreading having to teach next week. You helped me to see that it can heal itself.

  26. Judy Murdock says:

    Thank you for telling about your experience. The big question on my mind is always “is this normal for BP or is this a symptom of something else on top of BP?” It was helpful to have someone else’s experience to compare to.

  27. Jason says:

    I was diagnosed this morning after a stabbing pain at the back of my ear the last two days. This morning when i brushed my teeth, I couldn’t keep the water in my mouth when I swished it around. Of all the things that annoy me the most about this so far, not being able to blink is definitely at the top. Not being able to sleep the last two nights is a close second. This blog and the other comments are amazing. I am so glad you did this. Like everyone else, I am hoping for a fast recovery, but knowing I am probably in for a longer haul. Thank you again, this was a fantastic read and very needed on a day like this.

  28. kadek oka says:

    Hi my name is Kadek Oka. I’m Indonesian. 7 days onset. It was scary and frustrating at first. But thanks to many source of information as your site helped me much. Took an antiviral medication and roids. I also took a physiotherapy with electricity. Very2 slow progress. But i know it’ll pass since most we’re fully recovered in time. Just maintain positive attitude. Supportive friends are also important fot your spirit. Heres a tips, massage gently your paralysed side face by tapping your fingers all around. I found it stimulating the nerve. Thanks. Sorry for the bad english.

  29. Phyllis Pratt says:

    Danielle,
    Hang in there and be patient. It really is scary and I have had several anxiety attacks when I have focused on not getting better. But now, each day I am beginning to notice slight improvement.

  30. Phyllis Pratt says:

    Hi, I am on Day 19 and have had a great deal of discomfort/pain behind my ear and radiating toward back of head. Doctor said this is normal. I have had small improvements and realize that patience is the key. This blog was so very helpful as you really feel that you’re all alone in this without a great deal of control. I am eating more solid foods now but the drooling, eye tearing and dry nasal cavity is weird. I haven’t had to wear the eye patch for about a week now but keep eyes drops going around the clock. Have had various forms of twitching and spasms in my face, lips and eye and take this as a positive sign. To all of you out there with this, I wish you well in your recovery. This too shall pass-I hope 🙂

  31. margarito says:

    Hey guys, I am in day 15 with BP, just wondering if any of you experienced sharp pain behind the ear? I didn’t get the pain in the beginning like most BP websites say, I just started having the pains today. My paralysis is in my left side and it is getting better but the sharp pain behind the ear has me very concerned. Thank you in advance for your responses!

    • Nikki says:

      Hello…I had BP four years ago, and I also had extremely bad pain behind my ear and also down my neck. The pain would come and go. The day before I was diagnosed I was fine, but I had complained of a bad ear ache for days and also I couldn’t taste a thing. The next morning I woke up and my right side was paralyzed. After seeing the Dr and doing some major research, I started PT along with acupuncture (twice weekly). I do think a combo of the two helped out tremendously. I’m four years out, and to this day if I am tired my top lip will kinda drag and not want to move at all…I also have a change in my smile. I can no longer smile and show my teeth cause it’s completly crooked now. I think if I didn’t do the PT and acupuncture it would have been worse. Best of luck and take it day by day. Each day you will get better. Also I did the b12 injections. I was so eager for it to pass quickly. Praying for a speedy recovery.

      • margarito says:

        Thanks nikki for your response, this thing is very annoying and kind of scary in the beginning, I am a little scared about the sharp pains behind the ear, but now that you told me your experience it makes me feel better. Thanks for the kind words, I will take it day by day.

    • Mark Fresca says:

      Hi Margarito, I had the BP just in November of the last year, and I suffered of a bad pain behind the ear after 20 days from when the paralisis was begun, too. After that, the twitches started all around the left side of my face and after few days, a great improvement happened and it has never stopped. So, in my experience, the pain you talk about has been the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope it is the same for you.

      • margarito says:

        Hey Mark, thanks for your info, this makes me feel better, the pain has radiated to my face (no longer behind the ear), so I guess is a good sign. Waiting for this to go away completely and start my regular life without my eye crying, and my food falling out of my mouth when I eat! Thanks guys fr this website and the comments, it has eased my transition.

    • mike says:

      Hi Margarito my names mike. 5 to 6 weeks in recovery for me most every thing back to normal but still have tingling at times and yes really sharp pain same location as you. Feels like some one sticking knife in the back of head. Really painful

  32. Danielle dieterich says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I wish I could keep in contact with you as of today March 9th, 2015 I was diagnosed! I would love encouraging words && day by day help getting through this from someone whose had it.

    • Jill says:

      Mine started last Saturday. I’ve been on prednisone since then. I have three days left. No improvement yet. I have pain in my cheekbone, hard time chewing and getting food in my mouth. Hoping for some improvement over the weekend. Eye won’t close. I wear a patch off and on throughout the day and to bed. Using lots of drops. Affected side highly sensitive to sound.

  33. Carrie says:

    Had it 8 years ago at 37 years old in march of 2007 after a plane trip. Its a biotch!
    Have nerve damage and some synkinesis. But if i show no emotion no one would know. The residual effects are Worse in cold temps and lack of rest.
    Bless all of you who have had to endure this.

    • Karen says:

      Did anyone talk to you about reversing the synkinesis? I feel tingly and numb on my tongue and lips and am worried it is rewiring incorrectly.

      • carrie says:

        I think i probably should have gone to a therapist to help reverse it. I did acupuncture and my own exercises which helped but now its probably too late.

    • Karen says:

      I think I saw somewhere that it’s not date specific on therapy. I will try to find the link, if you have an interest.

  34. Cristina Torres says:

    I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to share your experience! I just got diagnosed with BP and today is only day 6 for me. You have no idea the impact this makes is a positive way! I admit I’ve started feeling a little depressed about my appearance and not being able to show emotion. I’m one of those people that smiles ALL the time…. I smile pretty much every time I talk (it comes as natural to me like people who speak w/ their hands), and I basically smile at everyone I make eye contact with. Not being able to do this, or rather trying not to smile during interactions has me feeling a bit lost. Your blog got me through a pretty rough night. I am optimistic since it’s only day 6 and I can almost close both eyes and my BP side is starting to blink with the other one (barely but at least it’s starting). You are absolutely right about this being humbling. I still have a way to go towards recovery, but these shared experiences are so helpful. THANK YOU! =)

    • Destiny says:

      Thanks for making this blog. Cristina Torres if you don’t mind me asking how old are you. My 11 yr. old daughter has BP. What medication, and what techniques are you trying. My daughters on acyclovir, prednisone. I’m a nurse but there’s so much that’s unkown. Trying to find out whatever I can for my daughter.

      • Cristina Torres says:

        Hi Destiny, I’m sure it will help for your daughter to know she’s not alone in this! I also have a 11 yr old daughter and watching others share their experience on YouTube has helped her understand and be optimistic. I am 30 yrs old and I was also prescribed Prednisone (40 mg/day X 6 days) and Acyclovir (800 mg 5X/day). I was referred to a neurologist that advised me to gently massage my face w/ my hand using a circular motion. I’ve been doing this since Tuesday and just a heads up, my face began to hurt a little (almost like a bruised feeling). My jaw has started to ache a bit like a toothache feeling, and the same with my forehead. I saw my regular M.D. yesterday and he said this is normal and actually a good sign since the nerves and muscles are regaining feeling.

        I have some trouble keeping my eye closed to sleep so it’s getting dry and he also recommended Transpor tape to tape the eye down with gauze and an eye patch or sleeping mask over that. The wider tape has worked best as it’s easier to cut it to whatever size I need. I use a cross pattern over my eye with the tape- seems to work best at keeping it closed. My doctor also recommended Blink gel- bottle or Gentel Tears- gel tube to put on the inside of my bottom eyelid to keep it moist since the eye drops weren’t helping much at first.

        I’ve made quite a bit of progress already and don’t think a stranger would notice anything different at first glance, but still can’t smile, frown, or scrunch my nose. I’m not sure if your daughter is a side-sleeper, but I have been really trying not to lay on my affected side when I sleep so I don’t constrict or cramp the nerve/muscle.

        Swimming goggles help at bath time so shampoo doesn’t get in my eye.

        I really hope some of this info helps, and feel free to ask ANY more questions. =)

        • Destiny says:

          The 25th of Jan. part of her lip was swollen, 28th she went to the hospital not being able to move left side of her face. She also has eye drops, eye patch. 400 mg acyclovir 5x a day, 60 mg prednisone. I used a warm cloth to do exercises on her face. I think that’s what made her face real sore for 2 days after. I’m not doing that anymore but encouraging her to do smiling exercises so she doesn’t touch her face. The hardest thing is people, kids not understanding. Medication,caring for her eye,prayer and waiting for results is all I know to do. If you find out anything else that works please give me some info. I’m glad our family isn’t alone.

          • Cristina Torres says:

            I’m going to give the smiling exercises a try. The massage does kinda wear you out because of soreness. I had never even heard of BP before so I feel blessed to have found such an informative site. If I get any new info, you will be the first to know!

      • Destiny says:

        I’m a little late on the update. But my daughter has been able to blink her left eye for 2 weeks, still can’t close it. She had a EMG test done where she had electro pads and 3 needles put in her face. And also like a electro shock. It’s a test that shows exactly what’s going on with your nerves. 4 or 5 days later she’s able to move her eyebrow up about 50% of its ability, and move her left nostril about 50%. She still has a long way to go but it’s progress and that’s always good. Her mouth still goes to the right when she smiles or laughs but it doesn’t look as tight. It looks more relaxed like it’s trying to get back to its normal state. I feel like maybe the EMG test also helped, along with praying. Still waiting for her to be 100%.

    • jacinta says:

      I had bells palsy last month and i recovered in 1 month. All you have to do is take the medicines doctor prescribed regulary and go for physiotherapy sessions from 2nd week. Go for Galvanic and Faradic Stimulation therapy. I could see little improvement from 3rd of physiotheraphy. Do Eyebrow, nose and mouth exercies. Try to open mouth widely and tell all vowels regularly. Chew chewing gums as much as as can to improve your jaws and mouth. Blow baloons. Take lot of Vitamin B12 and B6 like eggs, milk, bananas, greens….

      I just followed above things and 3 weeks of physiotherapy and now i have 95% improvement.

  35. Lex Sian says:

    To anyone who has BP & reading this, I would like to suggest going for TCM (tradisional chinese medicine). A combination of accupunture & blood-clot letting can work wonders, where our conventional modern medicine fails. However, because TCM is not regulated like conventional medicine, it takes a combination of luck & fate for you to be able to find a good/experience hand. Ask for recommendations from your fellow chinese friend & if someone is totally convince that there is one good TCM nearby, totally go for it. You be amaze at its treatment.

    • Larissa B says:

      When I was diagnosed with BP I was only 14.. now I’m 18 years old and still not fully recovered.. but there have been lot’s of improvements and I’m really very grateful for that. Reading these kinds of blogs really motivates me and keeps my hopes up that one day maybe I’ll be able to look in the mirror and be happy and smile again, but it also has me wondering why it’s taking so long for me to recover.. I was prescribed Cortisone (I live in Germany ) but it did nothing except for making me gain weight, which depressed me even more 😀
      The only thing that actually helped me was chinese acupuncture!
      Back then I thought this was the worse thing that could ever happen to me, but there are far worse things that can happen to a person and compared to those things, this is nothing. Just a minor flaw that most people don’t even really notice. So to all you people that are in their first weeks or months (those are the worst, btw) hang in there! You’ll be fine eventually. It’ll take time to recover but you’ll eventually get there 🙂 In the meantime don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s no ones fault, and most certainly not your own, and it’s okay to break down, be angry and sad, but always remember to get yourself back on track.

  36. mercy says:

    David your story is really encouraging.bp is a scary experience.my started fully on d 9th of December 2014 n by 21 Jan 2015 I had recovered fully without a trace except for headache. Tnx to God
    ..I took my physiotherapy very serious.

  37. karen says:

    My friend, you will never know the impact your blog has had on me. It has been a true blessing. It gave me HOPE when I had been reading so many negative things online. I think we had close to the same severity of Bell’s Palsy. I am on Day 20 or so and am suddenly seeing big improvements. Like others, I have noticed that fatigue seems to make my eye and mouth droop some again, but that rest helps. I am so grateful for, David, for starting this blog and for all who have added to it.

  38. Mrs Pattybucks says:

    David
    Thank you so much I am 1 week in and going back to work in two days. My left side was affected and my right eye is starting to tear I am afraid this is the start of the other side or is it the start of recovery. Can’t blink on left yet but starting to feel twitching is this the start of regaining improvement. Guess the worst part is we have no control over our body. I too am a nurse a caretaker but when it comes to me I need to put more emphasis on myself. Thanks for your blogs of reassurance

  39. Mark Fresca says:

    Hi David. I’m an italian guy and I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy on last 22nd of November. As you can imagine, I was very scared about the symptoms. I never suffered any important desease in my life (I had my knees and ankles broken, but it is not the same thing..) and it seems to me a really hard and dreadful course the one decribed by the doctor and by… internet!
    Even now that the recovery process has begun, I’m quite worried that something wrong can happen. In particular today I have a pulsating pain near my ear and all the alarms have been triggered: a relapse? Then I read your blog where I found this sentence “my sense of taste not quite right (things on my right side tasted metallic), periodic pain in my neck and ear, occasional headaches…” and now I can hope that evrything is going well (obviously I will check it, but without panic).
    Thank you for your work, your suggestions, your informations and detailed descriptions that are helping me so much.
    And sorry for my english. I hope that at least you understand that I wanted to thank you.

    best regards,

    Marco

    • Linda says:

      I too was diagnosed on November 5th. Reading this blog has helped me realize it will be a slow process and that this pain behind my ear is normal. I can live with the facial paralysis if I didn’t have this ice pick pain in my head.

  40. Diane Hind says:

    I started with headaches and pain behind my right ear last week. on Saturday I woke up and when brushing my teeth I had trouble spitting out straight. It was later on Saturday that when I smiled I realised my smile wasnt there on the right side. I called the uk 111advice line on sunday and they had an ambulance here as suspected a stroke. I can raise my eyebrows which confused the doctors. one mri scan and clear results yestersay. Im in so much pain with headaches and a tired eye but as im pregnant Im not prescribed steroids.
    So glad I’ve read your blog. It has given me hope it will get better . Thank you

  41. sue says:

    Thank you. Diagnosed with Bells but agree its Ramsey Hunt- See my neurologist today to see what he has to say. Cant really see much difference on protocol-antiviral and steroids but tends to be more ear issues with Ramsey and longer recovery or permanent damage outcome…and how is one suppose to stay stress free.. Any feedbackon acupuncture or therapy for facial paralysis?

    • AZTobi says:

      I’m doing Accupuncture 2x week and I’ve seen amazing progress from it in my mouth and eyebrow after 6 sessions. Give it at least 6 sessions to determine if you are getting results. I can only speak from my own experience from it. I love it! My therapist was trained in China on it and was a nurse so well qualified. Make sure Accupuncture therapist is well qualified.

  42. Carrie says:

    My story started when I was 14 years old, I am now 53. I started having numb feelings on my left side of my tongue, I a few days later I woke in the night with pain in my ear and three days later woke up and my face was totally paralyzed. I was 14 at the time and this was back 1974 and before MRI’s came out. They told me it was rare for someone of my age but not to worry it should come back on its own. I was put on vitamin D and prednisone for swelling. I had no infection at all. I would go to the doctor twice a week and by the 6th week I had no improvement. They decided to do surgery because of my age. It was more like exploratory surgery because they didn’t have the mri’s at that time. The surgery was done after 8 weeks and they found the mastoid was enlarged. They removed the mastoid around the nerve and I did 3 months of physical therapy. My face did improve greatly probably because of my age. When I was young no one would have really guessed that I had BP except my eye brow would not lift. As I age I have found that botox has helped with my eye brow. Now with sagging that has started because of my age I’m finding insurance will not cover any plastic surgery for touch ups. This is the worst. If anyone knows how to get around this I would love to hear about it. I pay for my botox out of pocket too.

  43. aztobi says:

    I started getting tingling on my face Aug 5, 2014, I had been to the dentist for a deep cleaning and I think it stirred up too much bacteria & bad stuff, I got a cold sore inside my mouth then an ear ache. I also noticed lesions on my ear, I’m not prone to cold sores so I didn’t think it was herpes but it was. How I got herpes in my ear is beyond me? My right side jaw line & nodes under my ear swelled up, my neck was stiff and my face started tingling. I woke up in the early morning with my face paralysed. I initially thought I had a stroke and began researching on internet and got myself into the doctor right away where I was diagnosed with BP. I had accupuncture & an IV bag full of vitamins. It didn’t do the job and I started getting more pain on my neck/ear so I went on heavy dose of MethylPREDNISolone (sterroid)(21 tabs) and an antiviral “Valacyclovir HCL1” 1GM tabs for 10 days. We will see if this helps. I’m having 2nd session of accupuncture tomorrow. I am on a juice kick trying to boost my immune system, natural greens in a smoothie sice I can’t eat solids very well. It’s my first day at work and I have an eye patch and I parted my hair on the side hiding the right side of my face so I won’t scare anyone. I’m very tired and dizzy from meds. I really think I should have stayed home. This blog has given me some hope that this thing won’t last forever. One day at a time right now betweentears when I look in the mirror.

    • Sue says:

      I was just diagnosed on 8/14/2014. A few days prior my ear was a bit tender , the next day, I thought I must have an ear infection and scheduled a doctors appt. They morning, my eye a little puffy and my jaw line but nothing noticeable. While waiting for the doctor my eyes ( left one ) was driving me crazy, thinking it was my contact lens and removed it, which was some relief. Anyhow, as soon as the doctor saw me he asked me a few questions and already was aware if my diagnosis. He showed me in the mirror and I could not believe what I was seeing. How could this happen, I’m in my mid 40’s, healthy??

      Well it has now been a month and disappointed to say that there has been no significant changes in my facial appearance. I did see a neurologist a week after my first diagnosis) and he provided a higher dosage of prednisone and continued on my antiviral medication for a total of 14 days. I did have shingles in my ear, which were not there on my first doctors visit but appeared 5 days later. They have dried up and believe to have disappeared.

      Just like many of you. I have researched and am trying to cover all the basis to heal.
      I went to my eye doctor and I am going everything correctly using drops, gel and lubricant. Also taping my eye closed at night to avoid damaging my cornea. However, with all this stuff I have blurred vision which makes it hard to drive, do I am limited on my outings.

      Emotionally, the first week was a roller coasted. Additionally I was very tired most of the time. The next few weeks bing on the higher dosage of steroids I had more energy and started to get back in a routine if sort. Trying to keep positive, eating healthy, got advice from a nutritional specialist, super B complex and fish oil-omega 3 VERY important.

      So now all I can do is wait and take each day a step at a time. Started doing some exercises at this point, which I found on line to keep the muscles and the brain active together.

      Go back to the neurologist in Oct, until then

      • Nicky says:

        Hi Sue,

        It seems we are on this journey together. I was diagnosed with BP on 8/15/14. I don’t see any change yet either, but a can make a slight dimple where my smile line is on the left side of my face. My eye still doesn’t close so I protect my eye at night. My neurologist recommended I purchased an eye patch and put a gauze pad over it and manually shut my eye. I found this to work much better than taping the eye shut. My vision is blurred as well no matter how much I lubricate my eye. Some days are better than others, but driving is a challenge especially at night! I was never one to get headaches or migraines, but I suffered from them when I got BP. I haven’t had a headache or migraine in almost 2 weeks now. My ear isn’t sensitive to loud noises as it was about 2 weeks ago. I had an MRI and the results came back fine. My neurologist wants to see me back in October as well to see my progress. I don’t think we have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, so let’s not draw any energy to that. =) We will recover soon. Some people recover faster than others, but I believe we both will have a complete recovery soon.

        • Ginny says:

          I also came down with Bell’s palsy on August 15th, 2014. On vacation 🙁 However, I regained the movement on the left side of my face within one month. However, I still have the most extreme fatigue, rining in my ears, and a headache that moves from one side to the other on the back of my head. I just wonder if these symptoms will ever go away.

  44. Leslie says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I was diagnosed about 8 days ago. I had a minor meltdown on Sunday and was very discouraged. Reading your experience has helped.

  45. Aleatha says:

    I am writing an update. I had BP last year (July 2013), and was home through September. The nerve pain was just awful. I am currently in school and have had a minor flare up… my eyelid is twitching and I’ve been getting a bit of nerve tingling. Of course I am terrified it’s the BP surfacing again but I am hoping that it’s just due to the stress of being in school and taxing my body. Has this happened to anyone else? I know David mentioned he’s had this issue as well.

  46. Mary Monroe says:

    This blog helps me to understand how important it is to share medical experiences. My symptoms of BP started on 3/2/14/(headache, tearing, lip tingling, inability to close my eye/blink, paralysis on left side of face, partially numb tongue) Initially, I thought I was having an allergic reaction and a headache due to lack of sleep; so I took some allergy medicine and a headache pill. Towards the end of the day I found this website. So, I wasn’t surprised when the doctor diagnosed me at the ER on 3/3/14 AM with BP. He prescribed 21(10 mg) tablets of Prednisone and 21 (500 mg) tablets of Famciclovir (3 x daily). I went to work all week. Yesterday PM, 3/7/14, I had a series of tests to rule out any serious medical conditions–CT Scan, MRI, EKG were normal. There were, however, some abnormalities in my blood work. For me, the most challenging aspect of this condition is protecting the affected eye. I wear a black eye patch at work, glasses while driving and a bandage at night. I have also been praying to my Father in heaven and keeping a positive attitude.

    • Caroline says:

      I totally understand what you mean about varying diagnostics and importance of sharing Mary , I can say I’ve been so tearful to it’s quite emotional and very exhausting! On a plus I’m feeling better today managed to get out and experience some sunshine and enjoy the little things that I usually take for granted , I hope to you’re patience in hope will carry you through the next weeks and months , I also pray and he never lets me down 🙂

      • Mary Monroe says:

        Thank you, Caroline! It’s good to know that we are more resilient than we ever thought possible. One of the lessons that I am learning through this experience is that our bodies were designed to heal. With God’s help, I am going to get more rest, exercise and eat healthy foods that will help repair my nervous system. Take care!

        • Caroline says:

          Me too lots of rest and trying to enjoy those things in life you take for granted , it’s made me rethink everything , simple healthy and quality of life rather than running round without chance to enjoy each day , god bless to you hope you have speedy recovery , think we’re gonna need lots of patience , oh dear not my forte 🙂

    • David says:

      Hi Mary! Getting caught up on the comments here and I read yours today. I’m glad this site has helped in a small way and connected you to others experiencing BP. Your comments about enjoying things in life that so many take for granted are a good reminder to me as well. Even going through this, now 6 years ago for me, I need that reminder from time to time. Best wishes to you and keep us posted on how you’re doing.

  47. Caroline says:

    Hi I’m day 6 with bp started after week of pain behind rt ear , base of skull, radiating along jaw line , I’m a nurse so ignored it and just took pain killers even went on works night out with continually running eye. Awoke feeling ok but next day trying to spit toothpaste out couldn’t feel my upper lip and couldn’t purse my lips seen dentist friend who thought I may have TMJ , pain worstening and despite taking loads ant inflammatory s I’m in agony and my speach is affected can’t frown on rt side smiling also to one side referred to a@e not a stroke MFU consultant thinks it’s bels but unsure re pain being extreme. Booked in for MRI scan in week. Besides the pain wig the steroids help with my main problem has been how awful I feel can hardly get out of bed , sleeping constantly and very emotional I can’t drive as my head feels very fuzzy and painful , flu like I suppose . I’m not one to rest and I’ve had 3/4 years of continual stress related life biggies but still worked and carried on , maybe it’s my body now saying enough ! Does anyone else feel so exhausted ?? So glad I found this blog really rate you all and so hope you get better soon thank you especially David for your brave and inspiring account of bp you’ve turned a negative experience to a positive help to so many 😉

    • David says:

      Hi Caroline! I’m glad this blog has helped and it’s wonderful to see others providing their support here too. Hearing each of your stories in the comments reminds me how little understanding and support is available for those experiencing BP. They also continue to inspire me with how resilient and strong you each are. I know how difficult this experience is but know each of you will make it through. Take care and keep me posted on your progress.

    • Sandra Colica says:

      You are not alone, I’m week 5 with bp. It started after a week of pain behind rt ear , base of skull, radiating along jaw line. Blood tests and CT clear. My face started recovering immediately and after 4 weeks was normal again. My main issues now are a fuzzy head. It’s hard to explain but its like being on very fast horse carousel ride specifically when I attempt to drive or go to the shops, continuing headaches for which I require medication, rt ear still sore and neck is tender. I too am struggling with tiredness. I am still off work and it’s difficult not knowing when I’ll fully recover.

      • Caroline says:

        Hi Sandra, my facial symptoms to have now gone im 4 weeks into this , I pushed my Gp to prescribe antibiotics as I’ve researched quite a bit on lymes disease have you thought about that ?? Quite considerable percentage of bells can be caused by lymes and sometimes in up to 40 percent of cases a tick bite might have been missed so not always apparent , as soon as I started taking the antibiotics my brain fog lifted and each day I’m feeling a little better still getting ear and basal skull pain and fatigue but can manage that without that horrible brain foggyness. Hope this might help you and pray speedy recovery and accurate diagnosis as lymes is notoriously difficult to diagnose . If I can help in any way please let me know 🙂

        • Lucille says:

          Hi Caroline
          My son was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy while we were on holiday in Italy. He is 13 and prescribed high dose steroids. We asked our GP to test for Lyme’s disease as he had been camping/ hiking in Scotland and N Yorks the previous month and apparently children are often misdiagnosed with Bell’s when they in fact have Lyme’s. As he was on steroids there were doubts about validity of test. The lab suggested other tests for Lyme’s but GP said he was unable to order them. When he came off the steroids he had awful muscle pains, extreme skin sensitivity around abdomen and back, swollen painful lymph glands. This gradually improved but still pain behind ear, swollen lymphs and pain around spleen. We wondered if it could be withdrawal symptoms from prednisone. GP thinks it us anxiety but has ordered blood tests to rule out glandular fever and vitamin deficiency. Hoping it is not Lyme’s. Seeing ENT paediatrician on Wed.

  48. Marrianne says:

    Hi I was diagnosed last Friday 28th February 2014 with Bell’s palsy. I’ve had high dosage of antibiotics & steroids. I was lucky I guess when I went to my doctor she had me do a few things then diagnosed Bell’s palsy straight away. To say I was frightened was an understatement. Thank you for sharing your blog, it’s helped no end understand exactly what to expect regards Marrianne

  49. jillie navera says:

    hi, i was just diagnosed having bell’s palsy last Monday, March 3, 2014. I’m on my day 4 now. good thing I saw this blog. I’ve been searching articles that is related to my illness for me to know the best cure I could have or the things that needs to avoid. thank you so much, it’s so inspiring. for now, I’m having hard time eating. i really can’t eat solid food. I will have my therapy starting next week, just had my follow up yesterday from my Neurologist.

    • Mary Monroe says:

      We were diagnosed on the same day. This morning, I took my last Prednisone pill. I’m resting in bed after a long work week. What kind of therapy are you having? I see a Neurologist on Monday.

  50. aaron says:

    The best thing your blog told me is…recovery is gradual but life goes on…..keep trying to enjoy it.

    I’m on day 4 …hardest thing is swollen lips when I talk or eat…they go down if I’m mute and don’t move my mouth. Has anyone had this? I can live with the alternate smile…I never liked the one I had but my lips feel inflated every time I use my mouth…I Anyone experience the same?

  51. mg says:

    Thank you for this. I was diagnosed last night and no paperwork that a doctor can give me is as useful and hearing the experience of someone that went through this. Thank you.

  52. Dan says:

    Thank you, really good blog. Mine started last week, Sunday 26th January 2014. Felt like I had burnt my tongue, it stayed like that until Tuesday evening and I had no taste. Then Tuesday evening I started having a weird feeling around my right eye. Went to the emergency GP that evening at midnight and was fobbed off. Managed to see my doctor on Thursday 30th January (roughly 72 hours of the start of BP) and he couldn’t give a definite answer as I could still smile and frown properly. He offerred me steroids but advised me not to take them yet as it appeared to be a mild case of Bells Palsy. So I didn’t take them and he said come back if it gets worse. Well the next day, Friday 31st I started to feel strange on my left side. The right side of my face was perfectly fine but I couldn’t smile on my left side or frown. By this point I was at work and it was in the evening so I couldn’t go to the doctors and get the steroids. Over the weekened it got slightly worse and couldn’t really say words with P and B etc. But my face looks completely normal to look at. No drooping or slanted mouth, nothing. But when I frown or smile it is obvious. So I called my doctors yesterday (Monday 3rd February 2014) and they gave me steroids. Prednisolone. No questions asked, just take 12 tablets every day for five days (60mg) then reduce by two tablets for five days after that. I was quite happy about this but then the side effects to these steroids are reported to be quite nasty and very common. So I’ve decided to leave it and just eat plenty of good healthy foods. I hear food high in Lysine help recovery. B12, B6 and B2? vitamins also. So I’ve bought a load of that. Now its been 9 days since the onset begun when I lost feeling in my tongue. I believe my tongue is actually better now though so hopefully thats a start to a speedy recovery. Although it’s scary I do feel that I’ve been more fortunate in the sense that I can close my left eye and to look at me there is no sign of BP. Apart from when I smile. So I think, it could be worse. When I saw the doctor he pretty much told me I was run down and felt sick or fluish. I felt stressed thats all. I got the impression he didn’t care and to be honest the steroids won’t help now as its past the 72 hours stage. Keeping my hopes up though and trying to relax more as I truly believe this was bought on by stress…..I’ve never had a cold sore. Good luck to all and don’t let it get you down as it could be worse 😉

  53. Harry Moon says:

    Thank you for putting this all out there. Takes the edge of the unknown even though I’m at day 2! I looked up “ear buds” and Bell’s palsy but I was using the earbuds lately to fall asleep to the sound of rain. To stressed to get a good sleep. So reading yours both seem to be possible sources but stress is we’re it seemed to start.

    • Sara says:

      This is a great blog. Thank you to all. I, too, was diagnosed with BP 3 weeks ago. Making great progress–can smile same, close eye, wink, etc. Lingering things include pain in head, ear, dizziness, tingling, and fatigue. I see many people saying that this tires you out–didn’t expect that. Biggest issue is anxiety. Even though it’s getting better, I still freak out, don’t eat, etc. I sometimes feel burning in the unaffected ear and that freaks me out. Not sure why so scared if getting better?

  54. shirley birch says:

    This is the best information I’ve been given since I came down with BP November 20th. I got the steriods and antiviral meds. Seem to get worse on 2nd visit to dr I was refereed to neurologist with the statement “most people get better in 2 weeks” I’ve never seen it last longer than that. Needless to say I’m into 8 weeks and there has been improvement noticed by others. After visit to neurologist my dr. announced that most people never recover (I refused to believe her). I’ve met people that have had a few dauyps up to one year. For me the waiting gets to me. I’ve learned to de-stress and not sweat the small stuff. Thanks for sharing your walk with BP with us. We needed the encouragement.

    • Veronica says:

      Going to the Dr was the most discouraging thing for me… I got no information other than only a percentage of people get better, very discouraging and heart breaking. Fortunately I found this site. It has been 8 months for me and although I’m not back to having my old smile back I have improved so much, I can fully smile now and as long as I get a full night’s of sleep my eye responds the same as my other eye, I”m still working on being able to scrunch my nose and getting back a kiss face. Hope everyone keeps progressing 🙂

  55. jennifer says:

    10 weeks in and my face is “normal’ in appearance but now I’m having dull head pain that seems to radiate across my forehead and skull. I get very dizzy and anxious. Doctor says my ears look good, anyone else have this?

    • Veronica says:

      It’s been 8 months for me and I have very similar headaches along with light and noise sensitivity and neck and shoulder pain. I found putting a warm cloth on my head along with some massaging helps. Hope you feel better soon.

  56. Marj says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience on BP. I’m on my 180th day and I havent fully recovered my “big smile” yet. But I’m getting there.

  57. Anna Jackson says:

    Thank you so much for this. Your blog was a mainstay of my information about BP. The side by side pics are great. I too had my first tiny improvement on day 15. Still getting there but thank you thank you thank you. Anna

  58. chasity says:

    When u went to the doctor for your first follow up scat state of paralysis where you at? I was diagnosed with this on Wednesday October 9th and since then I feel it has gotten worse I token the anti viral and steroids and it has not shown any improvement, I also been massaging and putting a heating pad on the left side, I also noticed the twitching on my left side has gotten stronger I don’t no if that it good or bad, any suggestions on what else I could do?
    Chasity

    • mercy says:

      Hi Chasity
      I was on my third day and I took the anti viral for 50 days and steroids for 13 days. I to thought it was getting worse but stay positive u will get through this and the massaging and twitching is a good sign. I was diagnosed with BP on August 7, 2013 and the only sign I can see is when my left eye gets tired it is a little bit wider than the other but I am almost back to normal except for my appetite. Prayers out for you and be patient. Easier said than done I’ve been there get lots of rest
      Mercy

  59. Michelee says:

    Hi David,

    I am four weeks post recovey of BP. I continue to get headaches and I attribute the trigger to stress. Acupuncture has done well with my recovery. After every session i notice great improvement with my fascial functions. Today i am a little nervous, my other side of my face has pain and I have redness in that eye and really bad headache. I fear getting on the other side. Did you or anyone evet have a correlation with pink-eye?

    Michelle

  60. mercy says:

    Lorraine
    Hi I will pray that with each new day u find that it will get better with your Bell’s palsy I can understand how u feel… I feel like that on my bad days and pray. I relax and try not to get so stressful. Dr. Says not to stress it doesn’t help us.if u need to talk just email me k I’m here for you
    Mercy

  61. lorraine says:

    i got bells palsy over 24 years ago as a teenager and this was very difficult for me to face every one.i got it over the christmas period so was not sent to the hospital untill new years day which i was supposed to receive heat treatment but the hospital said it was too late for treatment as it had been a week and treatment was supposed to be done in the first few days.sadly i am one of the unlucky ones who have never fully recovered from bells palsy.twenty four years later when i blink my left eye my mouth twitches..my eye waters when its cold,i can only smile on one side of my face and i have a severe ache in my cheek.i wish everyone a speedy recovery from their bells palsy

  62. mercy says:

    Hi Jacque
    I am feeling some of the same thing… I guess it just takes time. And maybe it took time for us to reach the point of having a lot of stress of life to get to where it was noticeable. You know something’s always happen for a reason… Maybe I know for me it was to slow down. I was doing too much and did not take time for me. That is what told to me by people that know me. But whatever the case I have slowed down.

    • Jacque says:

      I totally agree with being so short staffed In the clinic and being overworked. slowing down was what I needed to do. I have really simplified my life. I’m learning o say no and not feel guilty about it! We need to take care of ourselves or no one will! Keep healing and keep in touch.

  63. Jacque says:

    Hey everyone… I’m back at week 5and have some noticible improvenments. My eye closes and I guess blinks !! I can’t feel it but everyone says it is. My mouth isn’t going as fast. I can however taste everything, chew slowly on the affected side and drink from a cup small sips. I did go back to work just a two days per week right now and still using acupuncture to help relax in between. Every one has been very understanding. I am finding that I’m tired nd have had a small headache. I thnk I’m overstimulated from the lights and staring at the computer screen while charting. Oh we’ll I’m not afraid to go out and talk about my condition. Hope everyone else is getting along well

  64. mercy says:

    Hi everyone
    It’s been a little over a month and just wanted to check in… I’m starting to get feeling back on my left side of face, yay my eye closes but does not blink as much as the other but time. I go out but still am self conscious and I notice that some of my taste is returning also. I hope everyone is doing good. Have a good day

  65. Diana says:

    I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy on Auguest 31, 2013 and like you and probably everyone else who has been diagnosed I was scared… Really scared but after reading your blog I just want to say thank you! You give me hope, that it will all get better soon and the picture of your food helped me A LOT! Now I cut up my food because it actually helps 🙂 over all THANK YOU! And I’m glad you are doing better 😀

  66. Veronica says:

    Hello,

    I got Bells Palsy over 3 months ago and have been following this blog – it’s the only place that I can go and see that I am not alone. I agree no one really talks about recovery which made me so anxious, I worried about every twitch not knowing if they were good signs or if it was a sign that I was over doing it and needed to rest more. Recovery has been very gradual – movement is just slightly better than the day before. I have noticed that when I first wake up in the mornings I have more movement than after a full day of work. I wish everyone a speedy recovery and thank you for all the wonderful information you have shared.
    -Veronica

    • mercy says:

      Hi Veronica
      My experience with the twitching has been a good thing bcuz I have feeling after that my left ear is still feeling a little numb but not hurting as bad it’s tolerable. Time time time take care and we just need to b patient we will recover

  67. Claire says:

    Hey folks!
    I came across this inspiring blog when I first got Bells, I read a lot of your stories and also left a comment thanking David for his inspiring story. I think I was looking for the Golden nugget of information that was the miracle cure to regaining my old normal face… There was no quick fix or miracle cure in your experiences, but my Golden nugget was that I realized that I wasn’t alone, so many of you out there where going through the exact same insane adventure as I was and reading your experiences I somehow felt I fitted in someplace with my Phantom of the Opera mask of lopsided face and crooked smile.. All be it online but I wasn’t alone..
    Anyhoo, I came down with Bells on the 18th of June, I did everything I was told to do (mainly through fear), the medication (steroids- which I am battling with the weight gain now-small price to pay:)), the B-complex shots every 2 days for 12 days (very painful in the butt), the oral multivitamin and a few sessions of physio. I can say that it took about 6-7 weeks and no one could tell I had Bells! Yay!! I made it off the roller coaster guys!
    The day I said “That’s it Bells! You’ve taken up enough of my precious time and its time I got back to living MY life!” My spirits lifted and things started to progress (slowly). It may not feel like it now but there is light at the end of the tunnel…
    When I regained some of my self-confidence I would go to parties and joke that I had an amazing skill “I was the only one in the room who could sneeze whilst driving and still keep my “open eye” on the road”… A bit cheesy i know but it got a few laughs and they say laughs are good for the health.
    I still get pain round my eye socket and under my cheekbone but that is my body telling me “you may own the Superwoman costume but you can NOT be her!!” So I know it’s time to get back on track and take it easy..
    I hope that in someway sharing my journey may help someone…. Live & Laugh folks!
    Wishing you all a speedy straight smile and a whole kiss as soon as possible…
    Take care
    Claire x

  68. james taylor says:

    just finished reading you blog. Your progress made me cry. i’ve had bells palsy for about 8 days now. i caught it early while i was at work. you an an inspiration. You have taught me not to be so self conscious about how i look and to be nuch more patient and humble.

    Thank you.

    🙂

  69. Sara says:

    I was very lucky. It was only 13 days and everything was pretty much back to normal just as quickly as it went to shit. I also forgot that I used one of those small handheld back massagers on my face to keep the muscles active, this seemed to help particularly with the pain. It’s been over a year now and thankful I haven’t had any issues since then. My advance is to just tough it out. I continued to go to work each day where I work in an elementary school as the afterschool director. Lol sometimes the kids reactions just made me giggle. Seeing their 120 parents at sign out each day was much more difficult. But by day 3 or so I had pretty much been through the whole explanation with everyone and they just started to get used to it by then. For me, I needed to continue with my everyday life to help cope with it. At the time, not knowing how long it might last…I had to just get it over with and let everyone ask all the questions they needed to at one time. I wish you the best of luck.

  70. mercy says:

    Hi everyone
    I’m in my 22nd day of BP and I can raise my left eyebrow a little my smile is starting to come back not a full smile but its getting there on another round of prednisone but this time ENT doctor prescribed methyprednisolone and 30 days more of antiviral meds and some ear drops for pain Antipyrine benzocaine it has been helping. Does anyone know how long antiviral meds r taken for pls reply have so many questions for doctor but so nervous

    • Jacque says:

      My dr kept me on the steroid for ten days and the antiviral for ten days. That’s all that is needed for the inflammation and virus to actually go away. Then it’s just using pain meds if needed or Tylenol which is all I use for the discomfort in my neck, ear and cheek. I saw her yesterday and she told me the discomfort I’m having in my neck and ear is due to some swollen glands. She said body is still in fight off virus mode. Only day 14 for me today but my eye is closing on its own, not blinking but it’s a huge step. Still doing acupuncture which seems to be helping and now I am on some herbal antivirals called andrographis and olive leaf. My dr practices both western and eastern medicine and believes strongly in mixing the two. Besides to many steroids are so not good for the body it just weakens the immune system even more then we are already. Good luck!

    • Sara says:

      I went to urgent care where I was prescribed antivirals and prednisone for 7 days. I followed up with an ENT the next day. I did asked for a B12 shot, which he gave me because I remembered reading about that somewhere. I never did take any other prescribed medication. I tried anything else I could think of though Lol. Blueberries and green tea are natural anti inflammatories. I drank a lot of green tea and a cup of blueberries a day, even for awhile after everything was back to normal. I was too paranoid at the time to stop anything they may have helped the improvement.

  71. Jacque says:

    Hey everyone. It’s Jacque. I’m week two and have a little improvement. Yay! Still no full smile but a lot of tingling in my face. I also haven’t had to wear a patch for a few days. I started acupuncture right away. I have done it three times a week since being diagnosed. It really helps! The nerves are stimulated and twitchy. The muscles are helped to relax and the pain behind my ear is gone. For that half hour it relaxes like nothing else. I have more blood flow to my face. It is following the same nerve path one would do for facial rejuvenation. I have talked to others who have used this extra treatment and have good results. Of course as we all know only time will heal. I’m meeting with my dr Friday to see about returning to work. I’m a little worried about it. I am an allergy and asthma nurse and while pt care isn’t whats worrying me the drawing up of allergy injections is. Still have a little trouble with focusing. My spirits are up thanks to my family ( my daughters and husband) and my friends. All the well wishes and phone calls and prayers are wonderful. I am able to walk around a store and not worry about what others see and if they look perplexed I just tell them what I have and I have found that everyone knows of someone who has had it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still frustrated and somewhat impatient but its not worth the stress since that’s what caused this in the first place. I have learned to slow down, clear some things off my plate and take everyday as it comes. It could be so much worse.

    • Ezra Kreamer says:

      Hi everyone,
      I don’t normally blog, so I don’t know if this is going to you, David, or to Vikki, to whom I “replied” to, but either way, I wish you all well. I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy on August 30th, 2013, supposedly caused by Lyme’s Disease. It sure has explained a LOT of weird symtoms I’ve had over the last 1 1/2 years.
      I can say that nearly three weeks into this, I can notice small improvements, and I discovered that a diluted tincture of Geranium essential oil, mixed with a good carrier oil, like Grape Seed Oil, has been MORE effective for my facial nerve pain than the 5/325 mg Hydrocodone/Tylenol pills my doctor gave me! Geranium is VERY effective, indeed, for the pain associated with Bell’s Palsy!

      Anyway, I am comforted by this very detailed account of your experience, David, and it helps me feel more hopeful, as it has been quite difficult and depressing so far, ad my Primary Care physician and Neurologist both seem at a loss about this condition, generally encouraging me to just “ride it out”.
      Wow, I wouldn’t wish this on ANYONE!

      Thanks for sharing your experience (Sorry to be so wordy),
      Ezra Kreamer,
      Belfast, Maine

      • Vikki =) says:

        Ezra,

        It is Davis’s blog but I believe we both got your message. Thanks for sharing the tincture. I will have to try it. The doctor has no idea what my cause is other than possible stress. I wish you well and understand the depression related to this all.

        Hugs,
        Vikki =)

  72. Sharmaine says:

    all I can say is thanks so much for sharing your experience…I thought with the medication it would clear up quickly – doh! not to be…I have now had my BP since 1/8/2013…and havent been at work since then either…
    Definately has made me very self conscious & retreat from people…I have had a little more movement come back in the last 2 days – yay!!
    The main thing that bothers me is the pain is still in my ear 🙁
    Its the uncertainty of how long BP is going to be with you I find annoying… Everyone thinks its “not so noticable” but the thing is it is to you as its our face…
    I just wanted to congratulate you on your bravery of posting your journey and allowing for others to be yes, comforted by your story…
    Thanks from Perth, Australia 🙂 G’day…lol

  73. Vikki =) says:

    It is terrible to know that so many are going through this but I am so glad to know I am not alone. Mine started this past week and it also began with my tongue and loss of sense of taste. I initially thought I was having an allergic reaction because my lips felt funny. The worst part for me is the fatigue. I have adapted to using straws in my drinks and I try to use the right side of my mouth to chew food to keep the muscles active. I also do the facial exercises as recommended on the Bell’s Palsy site. I am sure I am funny to watch while driving while doing them. I am on prednisolone and am taking Tylenol/Acetaminophen as needed for the discomfort. (Ibuprofen and prednisolone should not be taken together). Trying to stay positive! I laugh at myself when I forget that I can’t do things like put Chapstick on like “normal” people. It helps to have family and friend support. Much love to all and keep you chins up the best that you can. This is definitely a one day at a time deal.

        • David says:

          Vikki – Thanks for posting that link here. 🙂
          Jacque – I have it linked on my “BP Information and Resources” page also, http://galindo.me/bells-palsy-information-and-resources/

          I did use the exercises shown periodically during the first two or three months after the onset of my Bells Palsy. Just remember the emphasis on “gentle”. It’s important to go slowly, not trying to force progress. The way I approached it was the exercises almost being meditative and relaxing (something much needed at the time). Because we know the healing just takes time, waiting was the most difficult part of the process. Outside of the other tips shared about rest and diet, these exercises were one of the few things that provided me the sense I was “doing something” to help the healing.

          • Vikki =) says:

            I have found the eye stretch to be the most helpful. The rest I just do to try and get some relief. Seems like I have lost 3/4 of my face now. I go to the doctor tomorrow. Thank you, David. This blog has been very helpful so as not to feel so alone. You are appreciated!

  74. Jacque says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the rest of us. I am day 3 bp. I’m a mom and a nurse and a person whom always takes care of everyone else. I’m very frustrated, very sad and just want to cry all the time. I have had trouble with this virus before in terms of cold sores. This seems like just too much to handle. Everyone seems to care about my well being and want to help in anyway they can. I tell them thank you even though I know there is nothing they can do. I have over come so much this past year buy losing 50lbs and being able to stop all the diabetes meds I was on. This just seems like a huge set back. It’s like one door opens and other one shuts on your back side. It’s very overwhelming, tiring and frustrating. I too am taking pictures and I think your right… 1x a week is enough. I even find myself avoiding the mirrors. I have my first apt with my dr tomorrow so that should be interesting. Patience is a true gift..!

    • Claire says:

      Hi Jacque,
      I know you wrote back at the beginning of the month and I really hope that by now you have come on leaps and bounds and that your spirits have lifted. I read your comments and I can say I felt exactly the same way! I wanted you to know that you are not alone in this scary adventure and I hope you are taking as much “ME time” as possible… There is a straight smile and a whole kiss at the end of this roller coaster ride… Claire x

      • Jacque says:

        Hi Clair, thank you. Actually I am three weeks in and feeling ready to go back to work. I will be off another week and like you I think it’s time to return to MY LIFE! I was in training to run a half marathon and had strict orders to cut back on the training to rest! not what i wanted to hear but something that i had to do. i have been taking walks just to keep moving and cant wait to start again. I did everything required of me also along with acupuncture! I have rested more then I ever have. The pain in my neck and ear have subsided and my rt eye closes now. No blink but closes. Half smile and half pucker still but some people I see don’t even notice or the ones I have say things look improved. The steroids actually had the opposite effect on me. I lost 10lbs while taking them. No appetite. Just slowly getting that back. I’m a nurse, so I have many compassionate and understanding coworkers to go back to at work and I first felt that explaining why I have been out to my patients would cause me the uneasy feeling and tears but now it is what it is and I can tell my story without breaking down so I fell I’m ready! One question, did you just wake up one morning and see your cheek raise with a smile or was that gradual? no ones early speaks about the experience of recovery. 🙂

  75. Lou says:

    It has been over 5 months and I have my entire smile back, but my eye continues to tear like crazy. The muscles in my face are working again, but it is still not completely healed. There is still tightness in my face. The taste buds are back. It has been an adventure!

  76. Aleatha Hoff says:

    I am so thankful that I ran across your blog. I am an ICU RN and became very frustrated with the lack of credible information or MDs being able to discuss the scope of the illness and what I could expect. I made the neuro MD pull up your blog and said to her, I should have gotten this type of information from you as a clinician. She liked your blog or was just placating me.The onset of mine mirrored what you expressed. My issue has been terrible shooting pain across the base of my skull through my ear canal and constant eye tearing thus blurring my vision. I am almost to one month and have improved but it’s going slowly. I am unable to work which is super frustrating… Thank you for taking the time to layout what happened to you throughout your stint with BP. I am super scared to know that it can come back.

    • David says:

      Aleatha – I am so glad that you’ve found my blog helpful. It’s been four years since I’ve written most of this and I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to be going through the experience. Your comments remind me of how hard it was to find information helpful and useful to those who are experiencing Bells Palsy.

      What you mentioned about the terrible shooting pain at the base of your skull and ear canal as well as the tearing are very much like what I experienced for 6-8 weeks after the initial onset. I can tell you that it does get better although very slowly at first. Then, there’s a point (for me it was after about 10 weeks) when I seemed to turn a significant corner and felt pretty close to normal.

      I haven’t had any full recurrences. There are times when I’m stressed and feel that pain at the base of my skull and I get scared it’s coming back. It hasn’t – but it’s a good reminder to me to slow down, get some rest… and maybe even a good massage. 🙂

      I hope you continue to get better. If you have any other thoughts you want to send my way, don’t hesitate.

      Take care.

      David

      • mercybarragan says:

        Thank you David for your blog I’m in my 13th day and its been a roller coaster for me reading your blog brings a little relief still learning what I can do and cannot REST is the most important thing I’m learning was twiching common for a sign of getting feeling back still new to this

      • jeff says:

        David,

        Have You Been Tested For Lyme’s? I was hit with Bell’s Feb 2012 & took me 3 months to recover 100%. I did all the right things ( went to the ER had MRI, Anti-virual, & steroids). I followed up w/ my family Doc every week for 9 weeks. I had asked him about Lymes & Bells & He stated It was due to herpes zoster. I started going to get acupuncture w/ nerve stimuli & thats when I started making great recovery strides w/ the Palsy! After My Recovery, I would have the same issues as you mentioned when you got stressed. Also, i noticed strange sleeping patterns (waking up a lot )after my recovery & some slight numbness on & off in my face as well as some joint pain. I decided to see another Doctor & tell him what I was experiencing. He asked have you been tested for Lymes? Me no? He had some blood work done ( which should have been done by my previous Doc ) & I tested positive for Lymes… I’m now day 12 of 21 days of antibiotics & so, far the numbness has stopped & my energy has improved.. I feel like I’m thinking clearer..like a fog has been lifted… Just wanted to pass this info along incase any else is having similar symptoms… The thing is, I don’t recall being seeing tick on me or the rash… I do Mtn Bike & Dirt Bike so, who knows…

    • David says:

      Yes – I do periodically. I associate it with periods of time after experiencing prolonged high-stress situations and not getting enough rest (i deal with occasional insomnia which doesn’t help). The headaches and pains have sort of become my “canary in the coal mine” to remind me to slow down, relax and get some good rest.

  77. Claire says:

    Thank you David for the boost of “I can do this!!” Day 6 of Bells and it’s just been the longest 6 emotional days ever! Glad you’ve gotten over it!
    Take care
    Claire

  78. Lou says:

    I’m currently going thru my third attack of Bells. First and worst attack 22 years ago, with total half facial paralysis, second time not quite so bad, and this time basically I can almost close my eye, but my smile is really twisted and my mouth tastes like metal. And Im so tired! I think being tired, stressed and run down with a heavy cold had bought it on again, even though the doctor disagreed with me and said you cant get Bells Palsy more than once and was less than sympathetic. Im back on the steroid therapy, Vitamin B (a hint I picked up from another site) and basically lots of rest, and hiding my face…. It can be extremely frightening to suffer from this condition, I know I was absolutely devastated when I first came down with it. Now I guess I’ve learnt to try and go easy on myself, rest up and think positive. With previous attacks, I would say my face returned 99% to normal, just a very slightly crooked smile if I really crack a big grin. Taste and everything was back to normal. So Im hoping this time around that everything reverts to normal(ish) again. Good luck to everyone going through this and take care of yourself.

  79. Angela says:

    Over a year ago i was hit with the Ramsay hunt syndrome, a singles attack on cranialnerve facial paralysis and nerve pain. About for months later i was able to close my eye again. Now am almost back to normal. Its hard. But rest helped me to get well and vitamin B.

  80. Antiponai says:

    2 months and 1 week of bell’s palsy… also pregnant so i cannot take any medication… so over it, everything is going very slowly. I too started a blog, I find it therapeutic. Thanks for sharing your experience, my recovery is also very slow.

  81. KD says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your blog. I just came down with Bell’s Palsy (associated with pregnancy – so no prescriptions) and am feeling pretty discouraged. Your blog has given me hope that I will start to see improvement – even if small improvement – and make steady progress in the short term. I’m glad to see you recovered so well – looking great!

  82. Christopher says:

    David,

    I am so glad to have found your blog. I have just come down with BP for the second time. The first time was 9.5 years ago, and had many of the same questions, emotions and fears that you described. I wish there had been a blog at the time that I could have read to offer me hope, but also to help others understand what BP is and how it affects those who have no idea what it is. First time around I had no treatment, and recovered in about 2 months time. This time around I recognized the warning signs of the on set, and saw my same doctor who prescribed Prednizone and Acyclovir, due to new research that has been done since my first bout with Bells. I am feeling that the severity of the symptoms this time are not as pronounced, and am hoping the meds may help stave off a full blown case of PB. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how’s and why’s of this syndrome, as I have never been eating healthier or excising more regularly than I have in the last couple of months. I return to work on Friday, your blog will be a great training tool for my co-workers.

  83. christie says:

    Needed some inspiration! Im 5 days into my bp and your blog helped. Got alot of the same things goin on with me, that happened to you. There isnt a lot of info about bp online, just experiences. It can make a person feel alone. Knowing someone has been here and done this, and is better…keeps me positive 🙂 thank you.

  84. Frankie says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’m 2 weeks in to my experience with Bell’s Palsy and your blog was so helpful and hopeful.
    Thank you so much again.
    Frankie

  85. Stuart says:

    Thank you David.
    I am 8 days in to Bell’s palsy.
    Sharing your experiences has lifted my spirits.

    best regards
    Stuart

  86. Andrea says:

    Great Blog. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I was just diagnosed this week and it has a blur. This blog gives me hope that after the next weeks or months I will be able to smile at my kids and say their names without sounding like I am saying something else.
    Thank you

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for this blog! I was diagnosed tonight. I thought I was having an allergic reaction, but was shocked when doctor said Bell’s palsy. The paperwork I was given was scary, your blog made me realize I will be ok. Thank you

    • Richard L says:

      I’ve had PB since December 14. Today is March 13th. It is scary but I have learned a lot. I have experienced more. Currently, I encounter waves of small issues. I get the weepy eye, the crocodile tears from time to time. The bottom of my right eye still sags when tired or cold. The right nostril is smaller like there is no support. When I smile my right eye still does not mimic the left eye in size at the smile point. Sometimes when I speak for a long period of time, my right side of my mouth flutters as if it has momentarily drooped. One might think I had been drinking but no. I am still waiting for a full recovery. I loved the information that this blog provided. Information is KING to tackling BP. Thanks

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