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.
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.
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.
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.
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!:
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:
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.
Today was dry day here in Arizona. Here are the current readings here in Chandler:
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?
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.
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.
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.
Smile – Left Side
Smile – Right Side
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Progress Pictures…
Smile – Left Side
Smile – Left Side
Smile – Right Side
Smile – Right Side
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.
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.
Smile – Left Side
Smile – Left Side
Smile – Right Side
Smile – Right Side
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.
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.
Forgot to take the “Eyes Closed” shot yesterday. Goes to show how tired I was.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!