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. 6 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

428 comments

  1. Jean Collamar says:

    I’ve read your post and happy that you’ve recovered, i had bell’s palsy last oct 2016 i undergo teraphy for 20 days plus took up anti viral medicines, Jan 2017 i got back to normal but now june 2017 i feel numbness and sometimes tingling on my face that recovered from bells palsy, my face is not drooping i can smile normally, but my right eyelis are sometimes twitching.. i just want to ask if it is normal to feel it ?

  2. Sam says:

    I’ve read your post a few times now. I had bell’s in march and seem to be almost recovered. I appreciated your posts updates. Thank you!

  3. Sammy says:

    Robert, Try using a physiotherapist and putting some pads on the effect areas of your mouth to stimulate the nerves…. also they will exercise and massage your mouth. That treatment helped me immensely- It is a small little stimulation like a Dr. Ho’s massage machine.
    The eye twitching is normal and takes up to as year but exercise them by opening and closing 25 to 50 times a day.. Exercising your mount muscles by making strange faces etc. will also kelp.
    Try it, you may be surprised.
    Sammy

  4. Robert says:

    I came down with it in August of 2016, and it is now May 2017 and the doctors say I am 75/80% better. When not smiling, you can’t really tell. But when I try to smile, or move my forehead you can tell. I seem to have hit a plateau and have not improved more in some months. I am hoping this isn’t my new normal. I do have random twitches under my eye, next to my eye, my nose feels tingles, and once in my forehead. I just want my smile back and to be able to go in the pool without googles. Thanks for giving me hope!

  5. Laura Walden says:

    Has anyone experienced extremely high blood pressure as a result? Mine was well controlled for more than a decade and 2 days after diagnosis it was crazy high 220/170!. After 2 months of higher dose it is finally close to my normal of 136/90. Doctor attributed bp issues to extreme nerve pain and ear pain I’m still having. Lyrica helped with nerve pain but made me crazy so we stopped that. TENS unit in my cheek bone and below my ear helps a lot.

  6. Laura Walden says:

    I’m still recovering 6 months later with ups and downs. Mine was severe. I had to eat soft foods for over a month. Recently had another setback which upset me. Also had a clogged year duct on affected side and now it won’t stop running! Thanks for the info!

  7. Lorraine says:

    I can’t thank you enough for making this very detailed log as well as showing pictures of all the various changes that your face went through as you were going through the healing process from Bell’s Palsy. Right now my husband is in the hospital because we thought he might have had a stroke. We were terribly scared. But now after reading everything here I am totally convinced that my husband has Bell’s Palsy. I can’t wait to call him and relieve him that he most likely did not have a stroke but has Bell’s Palsy which thank God is a temporary paralysis. I am bookmarking this site as well as writing down the website so that he can go through it and know what he can expect insofar as the healing time. I know he will feel encouraged as he reads also all the various comments of those who have gone through this as well. I’m so happy that we both had this place to go to to get some encouragement and great reassurance that there is hope that things are going to get better with time. We’re happy to hear that you feel that you’re almost completely back to your regular self. Good luck and thank you so much again! Lorraine

  8. Tim says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy on March 5th and I am just starting to see improvements to the symptoms. I do get physically exhausted and was wondering if anyone else has that same experience. Feel better everyone! Tim

  9. Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’m currently suffering from Bell’s, and it’s been a very frustrating process of healing. It’s been 5 weeks, and though I see small improvements, it’s slow and I find myself searching the Internet for tips, tricks, things I don’t already know, and miracle ideas! I read your blog, and looked at your pictures. It gives me hope and I appreciate your bold honesty – and funny anecdotes!

    Without going through my whole story, I’ll tell you I was in some heavy meds because they thought I had a rare tic-borne illness similar to Lyme. Turns out, the CDC says no, and they took me off the meds. This wasn’t before I lost hearing in the side with the Bell’s… and the dizziness and ear pain has disabled me from driving to work (I teach 5th graders). What a nightmare.

    I still suffer from dizzy spells, light sensitivity and ear pain. I go to physical therapy twice a week and do all my exercises like a good patient.

    If anyone else reads this comment, please go to physical therapy! It DOES help. The facial stim machine is awesome.

    Thanks again! I hope to have as much success in my recovery as you!

    ~Kimberly

  10. Tebogo says:

    Wow how useful this is bcoz m in that situation at the moment m experiencing Bell’s Palsy n m having faith that everything will be OK.. M taking each day at a time

  11. Ummuneer says:

    I had my Bell’s palsy on my right side of face last year on early November. Now recovering. But the thing is, I can still feel the pain around my right eyes n below my right nose, means above my right lips. N in terms of hearing too, It still sensitive with loud noise.
    So just want to Ensure whether any of u receiving the same thing as mine?

  12. Shiraz chatur says:

    The eye does get better eventually and based on the severity of the attack initially
    Treatment inckding Tears eye exercises pulsating therapy will eventually stop the tearing gradually it took me over a year and sometimes it still tears up but much less frequency
    Good luck
    Shiraz

    • Donald Hendrix says:

      I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy January 28th and I am now on my 2nd week, was given Prednisone and antivirals. I never thought that wrinkles would look so good! but have started to see a few back on my forehead. Pain behind the ear comes and goes and sometimes is quite excruciating, but is survivable. Right eye is still unable to close, but taste is slowly coming back and I can tell the right side of my mouth is less locked down than before, This has been a very scarey time, but I thank God that things like this Blog exist, it has helped tremendously to know I am not alone in this affliction and that others have recovered. I have hope that all will be ok. Small improvements is what I look to see, so as to stay positive and motivated to beat this. I also have a wonderful Wife, and family for support which goes a long way in the recovery process.

      • Greg says:

        I’m at 21 days and everything is back to normal except my mouth. It is about 75 percent back and improving everyday. I have a friend who got this 3 days before me and hadn’t improved much at all. We are all unique in our recovery, but it will come. Good luck and don’t lose hope. Take B12 and wear am eye patch at night. Also if you’re nostril is closed, use breathe right strips to help sleep at night. Other than that, time will do the trick.

  13. Emma says:

    Such a great site, I was dx when I was 33weeks pregnant with my second child, had high dose pred for 5/7 and symptoms resolved after about 4/6 weeks, thankfully my face is back to normal its been almost 2 years now but I still have a watery eye on the right side! And some nerve tingling (intermittent) It’s driving me mad but not as bad as the facial paralysis ! If that’s the only residual effect I’m thankful, thank you again for sharing your journey ! I still don’t know what caused mine, although 3rd trimester for some reason is a factor. Keep well Emma

    • Stacy says:

      Same thing here! My eye is more “watery” than the other non affected side. I’m almost 9 years post BP. I formed a cyst in the corner of my BP eye, due to the constant moisture. I eventually had that removed, almost 7 years later 🙂 I still have tinglying on that side when the sun shines directly on me or when I am stressed/tired and recently began getting sharp, shooting pains just behind the ear. The pain travels down inside my ear, down the neck, and the ear becomes very warm and my scalp and ear very sensitive to touch……Does anyone have experience with those pains? Should I assume they are related to Bells? I have been to the doctor and they say there is nothing wrong with me….

      • Rod says:

        Day 45 I still get the sharp pain head aches,but my face is 85% better , and getting better everyday.I do feel like there is a constant water in my ears feeling.Doctor has not heard of that with Bells.Do u feel that way?

  14. Tiffany says:

    So glad I found this. It’s good to see a positive outcome. I’m only in day 4 and keep hoping to wake up and it be gone. I guess I just have to be patient.

    • Nicholas Lee English says:

      Yes, patience. For me the first 10 days were the most difficult. I had zero movement on the right side of my mouth for a time, then a tiny bit of movement, now no one can tell it ever happened. I would say I am at least 95% recovered.

    • Kimberly says:

      Tiffany- I must be about 5 days ahead of you with diagnosis. How is recovery going? Any tips, tricks, or miracle ideas to share? I’m on week 5 and it’s such a slow process!

  15. Nicholas Lee English says:

    Thank you for this web site David. It has been a go-to place for me during my time with Bell’s palsy. I wore the same eye patch as you to work and everyone was very supportive. I am now on day 17 and I appear to be progressing on the same timeline of recovery as you, probably faster (I am younger than you when you had it). It was very helpful to see that yes, people do recover from this over time.

  16. Greg says:

    Thank you for posting your experience! I just found I have the same thing today. I hope my recovery goes as well as yours did. I can tell the eye will be the biggest issue for me. Again, thank you!

  17. Dr. Talha says:

    My mother was diagnosed Bell`s palsy about 8 months ago on the left side of the face. We treated her and she recovered in 4 months. But yesterday, suddenly my mother`s face become paralyzed on the right side. And again diagnosed Bell`s palsy. Kindly help me, I am worried about my mother and tell me why this occur again?

  18. Sherry Bolding says:

    Hi, I was diagnosed with BP on Dec 1st. I noticed my smile was different the evening before when I was getting ready for bed. It’s 4 weeks later and I am doing better. My smile is still not anywhere like it used to be but I’m sure it will come back. I no longer have the pain behind my ear. I still have trouble with my B’s and P’s, especially when I get tired. I recommend at least 8 hours of sleep. Obviously I’m not following my own advice. I’m having trouble with sleeping tonight.

    My biggest worry now is the new job I am starting on January 3rd. People won’t know me there and what will they think. I probably shouldn’t worry though. I had been diagnosed when I went for my 2nd interview.

  19. Hi! Thank you for your blog. I was recently diagnosed with Bells Palsy on Dec 4th. I had the same morning like you did and my boyfriend noticed that my smile was crooked and my right face was drooping. I thought it was stroke without the other symptoms. I was lucky enough to have a quick connection to an urgent care where I used to work. I finished my antiviral dose already and working on my steroid dose to be finished. I started having little twitches on day 7 which was hopeful. I’m having my follow up with my primary care physician on in 2 days so hopefully I can get everything I need to recover from BP successfully! Again, thank you for your blog. It really helped me boost my confidence and be hopeful. Thank you!

    • Todd says:

      Good luck Serena. I recently passed my 5Y anniversary of onset. I was diagnosed with a moderate to severe case and would say I hit about 75% of my recovery in 6 months. 90% in 3 years and am currently about 95% recovered. It is encouraging that you are already experiencing twitches, those are basically your muscles coming back online.

  20. Max says:

    I have had BS since Sept 2013 and still dealing with my eye feeling numb. But from what I had read it more like my eyelid that is feeling number and does still twitch. I was hoping it was going to go away in 10 weeks but I guess not in my case I an can only hope and pray it gets better or I am stuck with it… but like many of you I guess I would rather deal with BS than a stroke. Praying for all of you to get better soon. Just be patient it does get better but takes time and patients.

  21. Nikki says:

    Hello all..it has been five years since I had BP..and my smile isn’t the same. Still have lazy days where it just drags …goes numb kinda. It’s weird to explain. When I compare my smile now to six years ago, I can see the difference. Almost like my face curves when I smile and show teeth. Hang in there everyone..it will get better!

  22. Megan says:

    My son had BP 3 years ago when he was in 9th grade. He like you also has apparent damage or something. He continues to “cry” from one eye while he eats. This started soon after hi diagnosis.

  23. Barry says:

    Hey all.. Struck with BP in Feb 2016 and very hard to get any information from the docs. Luckily, my smile has come back however I still cannot raise the eyebrow. Two questions.. First, I continually feel a thumping on that side of my face when sleeping or just coming out of sleep.. is that muscle spasms? Second, in the last couple of weeks, my cheek and eye have felt some either soreness or like a muscle sleep feeling. It is very hard to describe. Has anyone experienced either of these during their healing process?

    May God continue to help us heal.

    • Nikki says:

      Felt the same thing and the Dr told me it was muscle spasm…trying to come back to life so to speak. Also said it was a good thing to feel! I did acupuncture and seem to relax me more than help the BP but I was up for anything! God bless and hang in there. ☺️

  24. sandy says:

    Hi,,thank u so much for posting,,,i promise to myself to do exercise erydy and sleep well,,,i had bp for 12yrs now and so deppressinh to look myself on d mirror,, now ur thoughts inspired me help myself too…thank u and Godbless!!

  25. Zoe says:

    After my post/reply of 23 July, I am thrilled to report that I am 100% healed. All in all it took about 4 weeks to recover. I had cortisone tablets, I went to a homeopath and I also had physiotherapy. After my 1st physio appointment I noticed a dramatic improvement. I have noticed that when I am overly tired or stressed that the mouth on the right side (my affected side) will start to feel a bit ‘tight’. I have now realised that this is my sign to relax. I am trying to listen to my body a lot more and take a time out when I start to feel the tightness. The experience was incredibly scary, partly due to the fact that my diagnosing doctor was not the most positive individual. But I experienced quite a bit of introspection and have learnt to listen to my body. I am truly grateful for the fact that I have healed so well. All I can recommend to sufferers is to remain positive, ask the questions and get the help you need. Your body is tired and needs to renew and heal itself and you need to let yourself rest. Patience is hard for most of us in our constantly moving world, but you just need time. Sending positivity and love to all. And David, thank you so much for your blog! You encouraged me to be positive and to give myself a break! You are fabulous!

  26. jazmeen smith says:

    I’m 23 and I totally wish I had your post to help me when I was in middle school. Funny thing is I was joking about how my uncle smiles sometimes with my family and then suddenly my mouth wouldn’t go back straight. Being about 10 or 11, I thought what the older people use to say about making faces was true and I was scared. ” if you keep making faces, it’s gonna get stuck”. My doctor didn’t even diagnos me right. They told my mom it was a virus, just wait it out and not to bring me in. But as the day was ending you could tell it was the whole one side. My doctor still never made me an appointment but my mom being a CNA asked her nurse friends. I don’t know if I’m the only one but I get like facial tightness on my left side sometimes. And I don’t know if it affects all your nerves after but I have notice that I have nerve twitches and more often as I get older. Mostly in my arms and hands. Once again great post!

  27. Talbo Stevo says:

    Thanks so much for the post. I’m 32 pretty healthy eater in recent shape and Bells Palsy hit me in the exact same way. When I went to emergency thinking that I was having a stroke, they examined me and diagnosed me with Bells Palsy. One additional symptom I have is neck and shoulder discomfort. I feel like I slept very wrong. Me being the hypochondriac I am, I’m a but concern about that. It’s been about one week since the systems started and 5 days since I noticed the facial paralysis. My patience is already wearing thin.

    • Hi, I just got diagnosed…3 days ago. Dr didn’t say anything about possibility of pain. I am having neck and ear pain. It was helpful to read your post, and know I’m not alone. I am taking antiviral, and steroids. Best of health on your journey….starting mine now!

  28. Jo-Ann Dean says:

    Hi Mo,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with BP. I have had 2 boughts of BP, the second one a lot worse and was 1 year ago. I continue to have the muscles spasms on both sides of my face and lips, both eyes tear and run when I Speak or eat and the left side is puffy. I do have numbness on my right and left sides that is spotty and don’t always realize that I am drooling. Some days are better than others and I try also to focus on the positives. I truly appreciate everyone’s input and support thank Frank for all of his details. Take care and am sending all of you post BP folks positive energy!

    Warmly,
    Jo-Ann

    • Monica says:

      Hi Jo-Ann,

      Thank you for your message. This illness is so strange and confounding, but it’s good to know that no one is alone in it.

      I’m uncertain why BP affects others more than some. I’ve become health conscious over the last 2 decades and even more so in the last 5.

      Maybe there’s something to it; maybe there isn’t. Regardless, eating cleanly and exercising as much as possible, while getting as much rest as my sometimes overly busy life allows, has helped. At the very least, it eases my mind knowing I have some input.

      All I can do is tell what has seemingly helped me. I wish I could help with more than that.

      Hugs,
      Mo

  29. Monica says:

    Hi David – first, thank you for creating this site. It has been about 5 years since I had BP. At the time there wasn’t much on the interwebs as far as info. Panicky feelings and disheartening thoughts were definitely part of the experience at first. Luckily, a pretty good sense of humor (cracking up at the staring happening at big box stores) and lots of patience (the occasional wailing at the sky of “whyyyyy me????!” and “&*#$* you bell’s palsy gods!!” did happen. Shrug).

    So, 5 years or so later, and stress plus insufficient sleep are causes of some swelling on the BP side of my face – the right. The residual effects also include muscle soreness from time to time and involuntary eye tearing (I’ve never been able to cry on command, though).

    The vain part of this female laments the loss of some facial symmetry. And the loss of crazy skill and talent: I can’t give people a full on disapproving/I’m-not-buying-your-bs eyebrow raise as well when I used to be able to do it with either eyebrow. Now it’s only a somewhat I-am-mildly-suspicious-of you or I-maybe-surprised-at-you look. I know! Major skill loss.

    In any case, major stress levels last week and averaging 3 hrs of sleep daily caused some inflammation on my cheek over the weekend. I find that to others it’s barely noticeable (maybe they were being kind?), unless they grab my face and stare intently. That’s actually never happened but a couple friends have looked intently and noticed slight puffiness. It totally is noticeable on camera, though. If the camera does add 10 lbs, looks like a couple pounds landed HARD on the right side of my face, in round, light-reflecting, puffy clarity.

    It took 3 years for the tiny muscle spasms to completely subside around the right side of my upper lip. My eyebrows are now even. My nose still has a tiny flare to it on the right nostril (frozen secondary talent). Muscle soreness still happens sometimes as does teary eye. BUT all in all, I’m about 98.23784% back to normal.

    As everyone is different, just wanted to offer up my experience a bit. Massaging helps sometimes but sleep helps way more.

    Thanks again, David, for posting.

    To all of you dealing with this, it will get better. Maybe slowly but it’ll happen. In the meantime, sleep, de-stress, exercise, eat nutritiously, see your doc and blame the BP gods when you must.

    Good luck to everyone!

    Mo

  30. carrie says:

    I definitely don’t look the same. It’s been 9 years since I got it. Muscles get tight when stressed, tired, or next day after drinking alcohol.
    Massage helps a little but it sure is frustrating and feels weird. The main thing that bothers me is my eye. And my eyelashes don’t curl up like they used to. So strange. Wish there was more that could help.

  31. rohan says:

    It has been more than 1 year i got recovered from bell palsy.
    but soemtimes i feel pain on my face and and i dont look the same as before.

    Anyone else have this after recovery?

    • Jo-Ann Dean says:

      Yes I have had pain and spasms in my face and head. My second bought with BP was 1 year ago in May. This occurs mostly when I am tired or stressed. Massaging the area helps. Jo-Ann

    • toshia seal says:

      sheew its been a year for me the only thing im dealing with is my eye its been half shut still draining all day closes when i chew food i can chew food but not like it use to be

      • Mary says:

        Hi Toshia, I have the same problem with my eye. I got BP June 1, 2013 and still when I’m chewing my left eye closes. Do you have puffiness on your eye lid. I smile and my left eye lid swells up and it looks funny. What a crazy thing, PB is. I wish you a quick recovery

  32. Jo-Ann Dean says:

    I empathize with you. If you massage the area it feels better, also heat helped me when I had that terrible pain on the second time I had it. I went to an eye doctor since my eye was burning and hurting so much. I had to put in the gel drops in the eye every 2 hours when I was awake alternating with the liquid drops. Had to put the gel drops in a night and tape the eye shut. I could not wear a patch because the elastic hurt my head. You will feel better every day. Do not give up and try not to get frustrated since stress seems to make the symptoms worse and delays recovery for some folks. Living on a working ranch and having this will be challenging but you can do it by focusing on the fact that this is temporary……you will improve. Sending you positive energy! Jo-Ann

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Jo-Ann. I’ve had some improvement today that I noticed. My tongue works again. My taste buds on the right side are making themselves known. Last couple days of pain at night I think is due to the nerve starting to come back. And all those muscles are getting feeling back in em and they are not happy. One thing that has helped with the pain during the day is I tape up the paralyzed side of my face. Kinda like a support system. I’m trying it tonight when I go to bed along with the ususal drops and taping my eyelid down. It appears I’m starting to get back what I lost, in the same, exact order in which I lost it! Crazy. I’m guessing my eye is going to be one of the last things. I’m just so relieved that SOMETHING is happing. I tried heat on the pain last night and did not go well. Seemed worse afterwards. Trying cold tonight AND have my face taped up. If I don’t get some rest I’m gonna go crazy!!! Maybe two hours a night. Next doc appt. is Wed. early a.m. If I don’t start getting some rest I’m going to see if she could give me a few sleeping pills to knock me out. Just for a few nights. Thanks for your help! Sue..

  33. Sue says:

    I am so distressed about having BP. I also was diagnosed on July 23, 2016. I believe mine resulted from a sinus infection that for weeks, I thought was my nasty allergies. We had to gather and move cows two days before and I really felt like crap. Hubby dropped me back home, put my horse up and headed to town to a clinic. Right sinus was completely swollen shut. Doc put me on antibiotics and prednisone. The next day I noticed I couldn’t really taste food on the right side and the right side of my tongue was getting kinda numb. Concerned me but thought it had to do with the meds. By that night, I couldn’t blink, right side of face was becoming totally paralyzed. We went on line and checked symptoms because I was sure I was having a stroke. Headed to town at 4:30 a.m. for the hospital. Got there at 6 a.m. and got right in. My right eye would not close AT ALL. So before we left the ranch, I folded up a napkin, held my eyelid down and tied it down with string to keep my eyelid from popping open. Doc saw me for a whopping two minutes. Said I had BP and to take the meds he prescribed. I’m freak’n out and this ER doc doesn’t say anything to me. I tried to ask questions but he just drifted out the curtain. I was so mad. Thank God for PA’s and nurses. They gave me tape to tape my eye closed and were very sympathetic. So I’m on day 5 and it feels like a month. I’m a working ranch wife. Its driving me crazy not being outside working!!! If I tape my eye shut and put the patch on I can be out in the wind. But I’m pretty wobbly. Can’t run equipment cuz my depth perception is jacked up. I have no patience with this. It’s not like the doc tells you don’t worry. In two weeks you’ll be back to normal. I read all these stories of people that took months or over a year. Scares the hell outa me. This affects my livelihood. It affects my way of life as a ranch wife and worker. I’m exhausted. For some reason when I lay down at night, the pain in my ear and pain shooting along the right side of my head seems to be worse. Why is that? And the ringing in that ear is making me crazy too!! On the one and only positive note, my tongue is starting to work again. Taste buds coming back on that side a little bit. That’s about it. Most important thing is my eye. Wish that would come back first. Doesn’t sound like that ever happens to anybody. Thanks for listening to me whine. I’m so frustrated and scared I just wanna cry. Thank you for this blog. And thank you to everybody who’s shared their story.

  34. Zoe says:

    I was diagnosed this past Wednesday and have been so scared! But today I came across your post and I am feeling so much more optimistic. I woke up with a droopy eye and mouth that wouldn’t move on Wednesday and am now having complete paralysis. I am on all the meds that you were and am also documenting my face every few days to try and keep track of progress. Thank you so much for your post, I truly believe that I can’t let my life stop because of this but I will start resting more.

  35. sammy says:

    Thanks Jo- Ann Dean,
    I am going for facial therapy and it seems to be working ever so slowly….also stimulating the cheek area through massages and resting is helping so there is some hope left in me and I appreciate your input and let me know how you make out- feel better and I will advise my progress as well.Thanks

  36. Jo-Ann Dean says:

    Sammy: I have had BP twice. The first time was minor but left me with numbness on the right side of my face , the second time left me with the left side of my mouth, lips and cheek numb with difficulty moving food around in my mouth. Taking small bites helps. It has been 1 year and I still have numbness. It is less at times and gets worse and quivers when I am tired. Exercising the area by rubbing it also helps. Good luck to you!

  37. Sammy says:

    Hello There, I got Diagnosed on Jan 01 2016. While I have recovered from a pretty numb and frozen mount, There is one area that has not completely recovered: it is below the Lip on the right side that still appears to have a little bit of freezing & numbness…This is impacting my chewing of food and speech to a certain level…it has been almost 5 months…Has anyone experienced this and did it go away- any tips on this front or share your experience please. Thanks!
    I would really appreciate knowing this.

  38. Troy says:

    Thank you so much for doing this. I got diagnosed on Saturday, and I am hoping that I will make a speedy recovery as the doctor says I have one of the mildest cases he has seen. For me I have lost control of my cheek and upper lip but almost everything else is working, (except taste bugs, I cannot taste most sweet things right now.) Pain started on Monday in the neck, and by Friday afternoon I started noticing things on my face were not working right. I was prescribed drugs from the neurologist (who was on call and actually came in to see me). While he was prescribing he did go over it was just in hopes shortening its duration, nothing else. Seeing a blog like this is so helpful as it gives an approximate timeline (although everyone is different) and what to expect as things get better or worse. Doctor said 6-12 weeks for a recovery for me, but if I can get most of my smile back in two weeks, (and my taste buds) I will be a happy camper. I will post again when or if I am mostly functioning again just to give another timeline for people to compare against.

    • Troy says:

      After nearly 3 weeks I almost have my face back. Unfortunately it got a LOT worse before things got better. 4 days after I got diagnosed I really couldn’t do anything with the right side of my face. Then I came off Prednizone and that didn’t react well for me. I felt like an idiot for staring into the mirror and trying to move the right side of my face and not being able to. When combined with not being able to talk right, and food not tasting good it was a really bad time. Then a week after that my neck started hurting again like it did when I first got Bells P. and movement starting coming back. I still consider myself lucky I didn’t have to wear an eye patch, but I never want to go through that ever again.

      Today my face is almost symmetrical, and my lisp is nearly gone. I think in another week I will be able to drink from most containers without having it dribble down my face. So I am very happy that I will be forgetting about this soon. My advice though, take pictures. I didn’t and there really was nothing more frustrating not seeing any improvement in my mind and wondering if things were ever going to get better. The first two weeks are going to suck, but after that if things follow the way they did for me, it gets a lot better.

    • Mo says:

      Hi Yogesh- it’s different for everyone. If I haven’t had enough sleep, my eye tears up but once I am fully rested, it goes back to normal.

  39. Diana Brown says:

    Hi – I was diagnosed with BP Friday 15th April 2016. Feeling and movement is coming back gradually. Still funny smile. Still getting groaning pains in ear, jaw, a tightness of the neck and shoulder and a “heavy” achy right arm. A revolting salty taste in my mouth. I’m english and love my Tea, but right now “Tea” has new meaning, as it tastes like its been made with sea water! My eye is much better. Really identified with the “holding my eye shut” syndrone. And I’ve noticed tiredness has a real impact on my health. Lots of rest!!! Still feeling “goofy”. Wishing all fellow suffers a speedy recovery.

    • Lesley Littlejohn says:

      Hello, sorry to read about experiencing PB. I have been through the same. It is best not to exercise too soon but when nerves start to flicker go to NHS University Hospital Southampton then look at “the Facial Place” Facial Exercises Videos. They are for Bells Palsy. Have helped me get face symetrical. Good luck to you.

    • CAREN JONES says:

      I was diagnosed on 4/14/16 –this blog has been very helpful on what to expect…in addition to the medication that was prescribed I also took Lysine, massaged my face daily and went to the chiropractor..I have no side affects and the only thing I notice (because we seem to notice everything) is when I smile my left side is not just there yet but very slight….

      Good luck on your recovery

  40. Indra says:

    I was diagnosed with BP yesterday and found your blog today. You have a way of being very uplifting describing your experience which is really helping me a lot. I don’t have “why me” moments but I do wonder how I will handle the coming days at work, how I will perform on stage again, and how will I continue my relationship, etc. You didn’t seem to ask questions, you just kept living your life and this is a good example to follow. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Ali says:

    Thanks so much for keeping this blog. I was recently diagnosed and this has been my “go to” site to compare my symptoms and progress (or lack of ;/

  42. Bob Getchell says:

    I was diagnosed for the second time in my life that was 4 years ago last January 3rd. My facial paralysis has lightened up but my mouth is numb all across my face and it runs down my neck and into the ear cavity area this is the C7 nerve I have days where its manageable but I still have days where I wish I could just crawl in a hole and cover myself up. I am embarrassed to speak to strangers and i don’t usually speak to people in stores and such the reaction I get is that i am an asshole but I can no longer explain myself, I am frustrated as I have seen others get better after 2 weeks and here it is 4 years and there is nothing more the doctors say they can do. i have almost choked to death well over 15 times and it has been close where the lack of oxygen causes me to black out. This is a cruel medical condition as there is absolutely no reason they can give some say stress other specialists say it is related to the herpes virus that also causes the shingles which the doctors say I cannot have the vaccine for that because it may make my condition even worse. I have pretty much given up trying to do anything as it has just led to more and more let downs after I have bit my tongue almost in half several times and even lost a piece, that I managed to swallow. I pray for relief and I feel really bad for all of you who get it don’t let it beat you as it has me now.

    • Paula Goodman says:

      I got it 08/1993 at 40 weeks pregnant. 26 years later I am 53 years old and still have horrible pain and muscle spasms. I was told I have synkinesis and have just started receiving Botox injections. I had 50 iu of Botox in the platysma (neck vertical bands) and it released almost all of the pressure and numbness from my mouth. Botox is used for Residual Effects after Bell’s Palsy really, look it up. My HMO is paying for it and it is injected by their Neurologist. It took 26 years of complaining to get this, they just kept saying your fine. I also use Diazapam and Tizanadine. Don’t give up trying to get medical help. Your quality of life matters, it really does.

  43. Gloria says:

    I’ve had Bell’s Palsy on the left side of my face for almost 8 months now and the neck pain started a few months ago. The BP started after I had been suffering from seasonal allergy attacks and swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I immediately got anti-viral and steroid treatments. My recovery has been slow but I’m 65 years old so that may have a lot to do with it. Most docs don’t have many answers just that it usually goes away within a few weeks. Neurologist said the neck pain was probably caused by the muscles pulling. My recovery has been similar to David’s but it has taken all this time for me to finally be able to slightly raise my left eyebrow. Much like David, when I get tired, my facial muscles will droop. Still have swelling in my left cheek. I had been under a tremendous amount of stress caring for 2 elderly aunts for over 2 years while working full time. We just need to learn to take time to care for ourselves. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done but look at how long it’s taking me to recuperate, so please take care. I did try Acupuncture with electrical stimulation and I truly believe it helped. Now, I’m trying massages.

  44. Oziel Hersand says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy on march 13th 2016. I’ve been dealing with this for two weeks… I’ve been getting strong paing behind my ear and my neck. I’ve been trying to be patient… but i know that God helps us and He gives us the strength to fight this situations. If you are reading this and you have been diagnosed with BP… be strong and patient. .. you are gonna be okay… step by step. God bless us.

  45. Jamie marcant says:

    I loved your information and pictures! I also had bells palsey in July of 2013. But it was brought on by Lyme meningitis. I thought I’d share that with you because some BP is actually an indicator of Lyme Disease and for readers to be aware.
    3 years later I’m doing well but the affected left eye still tears and when I wake in the morning is crusty. I have to continue to use the artificial tears:(
    Wondering if it’ll ever get back to normal?

  46. DarwinsMyth says:

    Hi David G…. I’m glad you’re doing much better now.
    To anyone whom might want any info at all… the right side of my face lost it’s control on March 7th, 2016, and I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy 4 days later. There’s no problem with me mentally, because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The worst part about this whole thing is the pain that I have behind my right ear, and it hits in various places on the right side of my skull. I’ve tried aspirin and tylenol so far, and they didn’t help. I’m now trying ibuprofen. I read that the pain should only last for about 2 weeks… it’s been 13 days since I’ve lost my face, and about 8 days since I’ve been having this pain. I’ve tried a heating pad that you place in the microwave to heat up, and while it does help with the pain, sometimes I feel that the tender areas just get more tender from using the pad, like around the right side of my lower jaw and around my right ear… I’m not really sure, though.. Another thing I started doing is taking Vitamin B-12 (Methylcobalamin) (5000 mcg chewable tablets-1 per day- 83,333% daily requirement), which will help my damaged nerve heal itself, hopefully faster. My doctor didn’t prescribe me any steroids or anti-viral because he said, there’s no evidence that it actually helps in the recovery, so getting those prescriptions might be an automatic thing done by doctors… probably in the category of “it can’t hurt to use them and it might help”. The B-12 vitamin pills is my idea, and I bought 4 months (120 tablets) worth and after that, I won’t use the high dosage any longer. I’m upbeat about this whole ordeal. Besides the pain, a very important thing to watch out for is to make sure your eye doesn’t dry out… so use eye drops (eye gel for night), and use your finger to manually shut your lower and upper eye-lid every few minutes. God bless and a speedy recovery for everyone here…

    • lorraine says:

      hi i got this a 20 years ago as a teenager and the doctors game me nothing as it was over the christmas period so explained it was useless to give me any thing and 20 years on i still cant smile properly,pain in the cheek,i dribble and still have problems with my eye. now about four months ago a supervisor at my work place got this and received these antiviral and steroids and no word of a lie by three weeks after you can never even tell he had this bells palsy so any one please dont let the doctors fob you off ,seeing his recovery and mine i definately would take these medications. on another note hope you make a speedy recovery.

    • trapdoortheatreproductions@hotmail.co.uk says:

      Hi David thank you for your blog, I wish I had found it sooner as It has been a great comfort to me that things will get better with time, I was diognosed with Bells Palsy on October 25th 2015 after figuring out I couldn’t sing properly in church and that my lips didn’t feel normal, tingling and had a numb feeling on my right hand side of my face with a dull numb feeling on my right hand side cheek. After a brief visit to the out of hours doctors, he sent for an ambulance as thought I was fast positive/ stroke positive so 1 hour later I am in A&E I also experienced weakeness in my right arm and leg. I saw 4 different consultants, who couldn’t decide if I was stroke positive or not. I was so quiet with all the shock of everything it was so scary, my heart rate was 145 at times.. My lip was droopy, smile crooked and eye looked alittle lower on my right hand side too. Later on I was sent in for a CT scan to check out if I had a bleed on the brain and then an X-ray on my chest, which was clear phew!!! later on in the evening my last consultant said he thought I had Bells Palsy. I felt relieved to know I hadn’t had a stroke. But the experience of being rushed into hospital and various consultants not being sure was going on was very frightening and also it was my first time been taken into hospital. The consultant let me go home in the evening, even though he wanted me to stay to monitor my heart rate as it was so fast at times, but he knew I felt anxious in the environment so he let me home . 10 days later I saw the consultant again and he did a taste test with salt on the left hand side of my tounge and then he put salt on my right and I couldn’t taste it. He then said he was almost sure I had Bell’s palsy. My face didn’t look to much different, my right eye was slightly lower, my right lip dropped slightly, and smile was still alittle crooked, my right cheek looked quiet swollen, but when trying to move my muscles on my right hand side (upper cheek, below my cheek bone), I couldn’t move it at all and could move it completely on my left. My consultant wanted me to go and have an MRI on my head to just make sure he wasn’t missing anything as I was a young woman on 29 🙂 so a month later I went for an MRI and then 3 weeks later I got the results normal, but with something border line, I suspect imflamation on my right had side of my face. Since then I have tried to ignore the fact I had bells palsy.. The things which got me down was finding it hard to swallow on my right hand side in my mouth.. Not having a good pulling action to swallow my food which made me scared of choking at times, having to chew everything so well all the time is annoying. Having bad hemoplegic migraines, a dull feeling over my right hand eye traveling to the back of my head and my neck, and feeling I was dribbling on my right hand side lip. When I was first diagnosed I felt unbalanced and also sometimes in conversation felt like I couldn’t get my words out, like I felt detached. Now it’s March 2016 I have had Bells Palsy for 5 months and here is my progress. My face ( lip doesn’t droup, my frown wrinkles when I move my eye brows seem better and I don’t feel like I am dribbling all the time, my crooked smile has nearly made a full recovery. But I still can’t move my upper cheek muscles at all, so still have the complete paralysis there.. You can only see the difference on my right hand side cheek, when pulling extremely crazy faces as if I was chewing a sweet really stupidly ha. I still have a dull ache in my right inner ear, this comes on sporadically and usually is accompanied by a headache. I feel I have made visual improvements with my face but unfortunately my right cheek, under my cheek bone still feels dull and unfortunately I still can’t move it. I was never given any anti virals or steroids as my consultant didn’t think they would help that much.. So anyway if I stay like this for the rest of my life, I am fine with it, there are alot more worse things in the world. It would be nice to be thought to be 1 of the 80% statistics that make a full recovery, as mine seems to be taking a long while.
      I hope anyway reading this doesn’t feel as alone as I did and that things will get better with time, we just have to keep positive! Amy X

    • Judi Grounds says:

      Darwinsmyth – have your DOC prescribe Gabapentin which is generally used for nerve pain. It s incredible for treating the pain brought on by Bells but will not keep you from functioning. One a day does the trick for the whole day!!

  47. Brekka says:

    Thanks so much! I was diagnosed with BP a week ago and discouraged as mine isn’t gone get. A coworker of mine had BP and hers resolved in a week so I was feeling pretty discouraged until I saw your post. It’s amazing the emotional impact Bell’s palsy has on you when it effects your smile. I know smiling made me feel better in general prior to BP and I’m looking forward to smiling again!!!

    • Jo-Ann Dean says:

      Brekka: do not be discouraged. Each person has similar yet different experiences with BP. Also, although research says a second or third bought is rare, it happens quite frequently and each bought is not the same as the previous one. I had my second bought with BP in May and just now my smile is back completely; whereas with the first go around it returned in 2 weeks. Keep massaging that side of your face and exercising your mouth. It not only feels better it will help with recovery. I am sending you positive thoughts and wishes.

  48. Lillian says:

    I had bells palsy one year ago. When I blink my right eye I feel a tug to my bottom right side of my lip. When I flare my nose I feel a tug to my right upper lip. Anyone else have this after recovery

    • Karen says:

      I had a rare and strange case in July, 2015. I don’t have the same symptoms as you, but my eye doctor has confirmed my left eye doesn’t close all the way when I blink, and my lips are tingling and numb at the same time. I am on a nerve blocker due to pain behind my ears. I think we all have different symptoms from each other but all have residual effects. I hope your symptoms go away.

    • Linda says:

      I’m dealing with that now, about 4 months into recovery and it’s gotten much better but i’m seeing weird signs like what you’ve described.

  49. I had the same thing, woke up and half tongue numb/metallic taste on rest of tongue, couldn’t drink properly as lip / face was slumped. I didn’t mess around as I was worried it was some kind of stroke, went straight to the E.D. at the hospital. They gave me an anti-viral, and put me on a course of steroids.

    Within a few days on the steroidal treatment (loads of specific white pills) it started clearing up, but I had to take them in specific doses for the next 4-5 weeks or so. They said it is best that you start the steroid treatment within 12 hours or so. You have to be careful with your face, but very lightly rubbing or running fingers over the face, often seemed to stimulate the facial nerves and helped recovery. Keeping eye moist was the other.

  50. Angel says:

    I was diagnosed on Nov. 16, 2015. My day started out waking up normal I thought. I went to wash my face and brush my teeth and noticed that when I tried to spit out the toothpaste my mouth was twisted and it wouldn’t spit out properly. So then I noticed that my right eye felt really dry and wouldn’t blink. At this point I believed that maybe I just slept too hard and it would get better. So I went to work and my eye still was really dry and itchy. So as I came in to sit at my desk my co-worker noticed that my face was kind of droopy and that the right eye wouldn’t blink. So she looked the symptoms up and said it looked as if I was having a stroke or something called Bells Palsey. So I contacted the hospital nurse line and when I told the nurse the symptoms she told me to leave then and come in to the hospital to get checked out. Then within a few minutes everything started getting blurry and my faced was twisting greatly. So my manager had to call the ambulance and they did my BP and it was really high so they rushed me in to the hospital. After testing for a stroke it was found that I was suffering from Bells Palsey. Now its almost March and my progression is much better, but I still have blurred vision and sensitivity to light and frequent headaches and facial muscles are improving but not back to normal yet. I will be so glad when I’m back to normal. This has been a very emotional and tiresome experience. Loss of taste, drooping face, blurred vision, hearing and vision sensitivity, major migranes and dry eyes and the lack of the eye closing period. This is very frustrating, but I’m glad its improving. So I am just waiting for full recovery and hope I do not ever have to see this again. Thanks for all of your shares and I wish I would’ve saw this post sooner for support. I’m just trusting God and I know he will work it out for us all.

    • trapdoortheatreproductions@hotmail.co.uk says:

      I was diognosed with Bells Palsy on October 25th 2015. After a figuring I couldn’t sing properly in church and that my lips didn’t feel normal tingling and had a numb feeling on my right hand side of my face with a dull numb feeling on my right hand side cheek. After a brief visit to the out of hours doctors, he sent for an ambulance as thought I was fast positive/ stroke positive so 1 hour later I am in A&E I also experienced weakeness in my right arm and leg. I saw 4 different consultants, who couldn’t decide if I was stroke positive or not. I was so quiet with all the shock of everything it was so scary, my heart rate was 145 at times.. My lip was droopy, smile crooked and eye looked alittle lower on my right hand side too. Later on I was sent in for a CT scan to check out if I had a bleed on the brain and then an X-ray on my chest, which was clear phew!!! later on in the evening my last consultant said he thought I had Bells Palsy. I felt relieved to know I hadn’t had a stroke. But the experience of being rushed into hospital and various consultants not being sure was going on was very frightening and also it was my first time been taken into hospital. The consultant let me go home in the evening, even though he wanted me to stay to monitor my heart rate as it was so fast at times, but he knew I felt anxious in the environment so he let me home . 10 days later I saw the consultant again and he did a taste test with salt on the left hand side of my tounge and then he put salt on my right and I couldn’t taste it. He then said he was almost sure I had Bell’s palsy. My face didn’t look to much different, my right eye was slightly lower, my right lip dropped slightly, and smile was still alittle crooked, my right cheek looked quiet swollen, but when trying to move my muscles on my right hand side (upper cheek, below my cheek bone), I couldn’t move it at all and could move it completely on my left. My consultant wanted me to go and have an MRI on my head to just make sure he wasn’t missing anything as I was a young woman on 29 🙂 so a month later I went for an MRI and then 3 weeks later I got the results normal, but with something border line, I suspect imflamation on my right had side of my face. Since then I have tried to ignore the fact I had bells palsy.. The things which got me down was finding it hard to swallow on my right hand side in my mouth.. Not having a good pulling action to swallow my food which made me scared of choking at times, having to chew everything so well all the time is annoying. Having bad hemoplegic migraines, a dull feeling over my right hand eye traveling to the back of my head and my neck, and feeling I was dribbling on my right hand side lip. When I was first diagnosed I felt unbalanced and also sometimes in conversation felt like I couldn’t get my words out, like I felt detached. Now it’s March 2016 I have had Bells Palsy for 5 months and here is my progress. My face ( lip doesn’t droup, my frown wrinkles when I move my eye brows seem better and I don’t feel like I am dribbling all the time, my crooked smile has nearly made a full recovery. But I still can’t move my upper cheek muscles at all, so still have the complete paralysis there.. You can only see the difference on my right hand side cheek, when pulling extremely crazy faces as if I was chewing a sweet really stupidly ha. I still have a dull ache in my right inner ear, this comes on sporadically and usually is accompanied by a headache. I feel I have made visual improvements with my face but unfortunately my right cheek, under my cheek bone still feels dull and unfortunately I still can’t move it. I was never given any anti virals or steroids as my consultant didn’t think they would help that much.. So anyway if I stay like this for the rest of my life, I am fine with it, there are alot more worse things in the world. It would be nice to be thought to be 1 of the 80% statistics that make a full recovery, as mine seems to be taking a long while.
      I hope anyway reading this doesn’t feel as alone as I did and that things will get better with time, we just have to keep positive! Amy X

      • Paula Goodman says:

        A Neurologist might say you have developed synkinesis, and treat you with Botox. I was injected with Botox in my platysma (vertical neck bands/cords). Because when tried to move my cheek by smiling my neck muscles would pull in the opposite direction. I could not tell this was the cause but the Neurologist could. Listen to me, I waited 23 years, disfigured and in pain. You don’t have to “stay like this for the rest of my life”. It took me 23 years for my HMO (medical insurance) to treat me correctly. Look up synkinesis on the computer and then ask to see a Neurologist. I believe you can be helped by doing this.

  51. Hannah says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I was just diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and you have given me a lot of hope!! I’m only on day 3 so I have awhile to go

    • Lesley Littlejohn says:

      Hello, sorry to read what you have experienced. After a year of Bells Palsy I eventually received help in getting my face more symmetrical. Please look on the Internet under NHS University Hospital
      Southampton. There are some facial exercises in “The Face Place”. It has helped me greatly. Wish you luck too.

  52. Sammy says:

    Relax and welcome to a very select group- you will start to see improvements with 6 to 12 weeks- I know it is very hard but it will get better depending on the severity of your condition.

  53. Tony says:

    Thanks for posting this…it is very difficult. I felt a lot of fear and frustration because the doctors I went to see didn’t know anything about this condition…they started googling on their phones and reading to me what they would find. That scared me but it didn’t help me get any better due to the concern I had about what was happening to me. I got prescribed prednisone and took all of it, I’m now starting my 3rd week with Bell’s Pulsy. The only improvement I have seen is a tiny lift of my right side eyebrow…the rest of my face remains as the same as when it paralyzed. Judging from your photos, you started improving after your first week? that’s amazing. I pray that I can start seeing more improvement. Thanks for sharing.

  54. nicole says:

    Thank you so much for your blog it has really helped my husband cope with his recent diagnosis of bells palsy . He now feels confident in his recovery ! Thank you and also I’m very happy that you have recovered as well !

  55. Soup says:

    Hi David….

    First of all, I’m glad that you’re back in relatively good health!

    My mother has recently been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and it is (at least for me) highly disconcerting to see her face partially paralyzed (the left-side). I cannot stop crying. Each time I think of how she looks and feels breaks my heart. I have read and studied each and every possible thing that I could find on this condition, and I encourage her each and every time I can. Currently, she is taking Presnidone (forgive me if I misspelled it) and has been given a shot to clear up her ear infection. What makes this so difficult, is that this could have been prevented, but that doesn’t matter right now. I just want my Mom back to 100%. I’ve been down the last several days, so I Googled “What if the Presnidone doesn’t work?”, and came across your site as one of the results. I feel better about understanding and ACCEPTING that things will take some time. I wish I could do something. She may not be one of those ‘few’ people who completely recover in 2 weeks. It may take two months instead. Thanks David for sharing your experience, for it has helped me to encourage and uplift my mother while experiencing hers.

    Soup.:-)

  56. Sammy says:

    Diagnosed with This on Jan01 this year- took a few days to completely set in- Medication was Prednisone 50 mg for 10 days….gradual improvement , although this is a real shocker.
    Emotionally not good as yet- loss of confidence, negative thoughts, weal etc. In all the readings I did on this very few people commented on loss of feeling on the Right Side, unable to chew or eat, face drooping and pain on that side, near the ear canal and the whole jaw area….still swollen a tad.
    Hence, until that settles, little progress but slowly the eyes are getting a bit better, feeling is coming back ever so little. I am also taken Vitamin B complex, to supplement- some good doctor need to clearly identify a plan to recovery, what it entails and what extra things can be done to recover faster and completely.
    It is day 21 today, i figure I have at least another 2 to 3 months before i see good tangle recovery. Any comments? Thanks Paper Guy

  57. I had a large meningioma brain tumor in June, 2013. Nerve damage like Bell’s Palsy. I also experienced deafness in my left ear which led to severe balance difficulties. Vestibular therapy helped with that but I still looks like I may have had a few too many when I am tired!!
    My left eye closes when I smile…by smile I mean half-smile as my mouth is still half-paralyzed.
    NOT pretty. It has been 2 1/2 years and I’m still a LONG way from back to normal. As you said, my eye waters and my nose runs when I eat. Sometimes hold my left nostril open when falling asleep as it collapses. Drs. have no advice. Am presently seeing an acupuncturist and there has been a little progress. My smile now shows 2 more teeth but I too try not to smile too big! I need advice on possible exercises for my mouth!!!

  58. Nancy Benson says:

    Thank you for this blog. I have Bell’s palsy for 7 weeks now. Mostly back to normal except My eye still feels like it has a small wire or a bunch of eyelashes in there. It helped me to learn about your recovery. Thank you

  59. Errol Byrde says:

    I had BP from 16th July 2015 and after about 5 months I feel that things have settled down and I can smile again 🙂 The only after effect I am encountering is twitching of my left eye and sometimes on the left side of my nose. No pain, just twitching. I need to discuss this with my Doctor but thank God the worst months are over. Constant exercise of your mouth/nose/eyes and forehead certainly helps during the recovery period. I wish everyone reading this a fast recovery and certainly it cannot be rushed but you come to realise the importance of your facial muscles. So keep exercising constantly and remain positive. You will beat it like I did!

  60. Scott Emberson says:

    I started with this on Dec.19th.Talked to my chiropractor on Sunday morning before Church.We determined that I had Bells Palsy and not a mini stroke.He called back during day to see how I was doing. Saw him Monday morning.Been afflicted pain around the ear on the right side of my face.I have eye drops and patch.I take childrens ibruprofen when the pain comes evening and night, but tough it out with hot wash rag or heating pad.This morning is the worst pain!!! So I am up at 3Am.

    • Errol Byrde says:

      Scott. I hope you took the Cortison and Viral Tablets in time? This is very important I hear to avoid permanent damage. I went to a Chiro too but regretted it very much.

  61. Mayte orozco says:

    It has been exactly one week since I got Bell’s palsy. I am starting to feel some twitching. Is that a good thing? I also feel like my left side of my face is bruised. Can that be a sign of improvement?

  62. Jo-Ann Dean says:

    Alex, I also had that incredible pain….and the tiredness, also generally feeling I had been beat up or run over. It does get better. The pain lasted for me for about 6 weeks. The last week or so the pain lessened and was primarily at night. I found moist heat and massaging the area to work the best. The no stamina and tired feeling improved very slowly for me. It is 6 months later and I need to get 10 hours of sleep and resist a nap in the PM. Since I would then be up at 3am and get into a terrible cycle….. It does get better. This was my second time with Bells and I am hoping for no more. Good luck and know it will turn the corner and you will recover!
    Jo-Ann

  63. carrie says:

    That will get better. Take the steroids. And hopefully you have a good dr. Who knows how to help you properly and if not find someone who specializes in facial nerve disorders.

  64. Misty says:

    Hi Lori! Don’t stress I had a horrible headache for 16 straight days o thought I was going to loose my mind. I had alot of trouble driving and working too. Be patient and keep the stress levels down. I have had it 3 times 2 on same side and one on the opposite side. The 1st time was June 2013 then November 2014 then opposite side February 2015. I do have some nerve damage but only I can tell. I’m hopeful this was the last time fingers crossed. But as I was told I still to this day take fish oil b12 valcyclovir vitamin c and occasionally collogen (it stinks so I don’t take it everyday) I hope I have helped you and just be patient. Good luck but your definitely not alone!

  65. carrie says:

    For all of you that fully recovered you should be very thankful because some of us are left with nerve damage and its very annoying to live with. Does anyone know if the muscles are weak or tight when there is nerve damage? I cant tell

    • Lori says:

      I was diagnosed with BP last Friday, December 4th, 2015. I haven’t read a whole lot of comments that people say that they had a lot of pain. That scares me because I am having a lot of facial pain, my right side of my face is sore to the touch and my eye is killing me where I can’t blink. I use the tears, but the headaches, the pressure, the allover pain is starting to worry me that maybe mine was much worse and won’t heal correctly. Never had this before. I’m 48, pretty active and upbeat usually, but now this has got me so worried. I’m just worried about the facial pain, it’s been 8 days and I still feel bad. My eyesight is really suffering as well. Everything is so blurry. I’m just at a loss. Sorry to ramble. Lori.

      • Alex says:

        The pain is terrible over my eye/neck and back of head but it does go…I was diagnosed a month ago my eye still hurts…. the only problem.i have now is feeling so tired and weak….like I’ve been hit by a bus! ! Anyone else feel.like this?

      • Joanne says:

        Lori, I hope you are feeling better! I know what you mean about the pain. I came down with BP 12/19/15 and at first the facial/ear pain/headache was dull but now it is sharp and frequent! I hope it gets better soon! I plan to see my doctor again Monday but I doubt he will have any suggestions other than heat/ibuprofen/Tylenol which is how I have managed so far. My eye is still blurry too and drops tears at odd times. I can’t do my job right now because I can’t use a stethoscope or drip tears on people who need me to be their nurse!

  66. William says:

    Today is “Bell’s Palsy Day” for me as it was one year ago to the day that I woke up with half my face still asleep! THANK YOU for this blog and all the photos of your slow improvement, the blog is spot on about what to expect and what to do with this condition! I learned it is essential to get on Prednisone if possible within three days. Tape your eye shut at night and put ointment in your eye first to keep it from drying out. I also had the good advice to take hot baths every day and continue your normal workout routine if you have one. This blog is incredibly helpful and thank you Richard for having the courage to document your progress with photos! That is the last thing I would have wanted to do during that! This condition feels like it is permanent when you are going through it – but it is temporary and you will get through it!

    • Dennis says:

      I didn’t even notice I had BP until my annual eye exam. It’s surprising how little doctors know about it. It’s now been about 4 months with no improvement. At times it feels like it’s getting worse. This all started one day with my right eye being bloodshot. I wonder if I waited too long before taking anti viral medication. Your story is encouraging. I thank you for that.

  67. Sofia Bell says:

    Thank you for your amazing blog…it has made me feel 1000 times better than before about this condition…God Bless and take care

  68. Joyce says:

    I was told this is what I have and it bites……I am going into 2 weeks of bells, still no control of lips, eyes, but……I am alive, doing ok, best wishes and regards. To anyone who gets this stuff. Joyce

  69. Lauren says:

    Katie I was diagnosed on the same day last year. It sounds like your nerves are starting to respond. I had the same feelings you do and I thought i was never going to look the same. Then one week it all started coming back! Stay positive and be patient. It is exactly one year and it hasnt some back. I do still get headaches right on the nerve that causes Bells but all tests show they are just a part of living with Bells. My head aches come when im stressed, tired or have had too much caffeine.
    Reading this blog helped me and I hope it helps you! Good luck!
    -Lauren

  70. Misty says:

    Stay positive keep the stress levels down get lots of rest and take vitamin b 12. I have had it 3 times and I know it’s miserable but be patient it will go away!

    • Kynn says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that you had it for 3 times! Would you mind please share your opinion that what causes the palyse? Cause I am diagnosed bell’s palyse in Vancouver last week, not recovered yet. And I am really scared T-T

  71. Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I was diagnosed last Tuesday. It’s so crazy to wake up one day and not recognize your own face. I’ve been pretty emotional about it because until being diagnosed, I’d never heard of it and it scared me. I am 6 days in and have noticed twitching in the affected eye and side of mouth for about 3 days… I’m hoping that means good news! Thank you for inspiring me to be hopeful!

    • Aun Khan says:

      On 20 nov 2015 Iam 40 and got with same condition. I was diagnosed bell’s Palsy and started taking Steroids and Antivital medcine. My recovery started on 8th day and now on 2nd of dec I have got 50 % recovery. Some times feel lil pain behind the ear other then this recovery is going at good pace. I have taken plenty of rest. Steroieds was 60 mg per day for 5 days and 10 mg less every coming day and anti viral was taken for 7 days. During medcation my blood pressure and blood sugar was high but it is better now nd coming back to normal. I was expecting min 3 weeks for first signs of improvment but my recovery is much faster. I am happy about it.
      Botom line is that you must stay positive it will start to improve later or sooner but it eventully will go off. Best wishes for every 1.

    • Errol Byrde says:

      Hi Katie. Its good to be optimistic but do not let it bother you if you do not see much improvement just yet. Keep massaging that area of the face/forehead lightly and patience is the only best cure for BP. Do some eye/forehead exercises at least 3 times per day. I still feel the twitching in my eye and side of nose after 6 months. Hope you took the Cortison and Viral Tablets? Strengthening the muscles on the side that’s effected takes a while but it comes back. Good luck and stay positive. Errol

      • Caren jones says:

        I had this on April 14 2016 this blog wad very helpful I took the prescribed med along with lysine and went to the chiropractor I was back to normal in two and half weeks….this was awful for your self esteem but taking info that helped others is always good info…..

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