I woke up on the morning of 5th February and I felt my left eye is kind of sunken in and it felt dry, too. I jumped out of bed and looked into the mirror; I can actually see the left side of my face twitching and I couldn't seem to blink properly! I thought, well, perhaps I was too exhausted and I didn't think much of it. And then, another thing happened. I was in the shower and washing my face with cleanser and suddenly felt a sharp, stinging pain. How on earth did the cleanser get into my eyes when they were closed? I quickly ran my eyes under water, dried my face and went back to the mirror again.
And another shock awaited me. I couldn't smile; the left side of my mouth is jammed! It was assymetrical! My gorgeous smile was gone! Then, I tried doing other things using my lips - true, I couldn't purse my lips normally. Horrors, my first thought was - I have a minor stroke attack! The symptoms were there - I couldn't move/control the muscles on the left side of my face at all. I was unable to smile at all on the left side and I couldn't close my left eye all the way. Off and on, my glands and lymph nodes in my neck and face and under my jaw swelled painfully. And my facial nerves were inflamed as well.
It was the scariest day of my life.
The following user gives a hug of support to Atnie: lochaven (03-28-2011)
yes. this happened to me several years ago. i woke up and went to bruch my teeth and couldn't hold water in my mouth. i called my dr who had me go to the er, they didn't know what was wrong with me, but knew i did not have a stroke. so off to a neurologist i went and he said bells palsey. i had never heard of it before them. i was in tears i was so scared. he put me on prednesone right away.
is the dr doing anything for you. did you go to the er? you need to use fake tear drops so you do not get an ulcer in your eye, and you need to tape your eye shut when you go to bed. use the paper take. this is what the dr told me to do.
it was 7 long weeks before mine cleared up, but this verries with everyone.
you need to keep in tough with your neurologist while battling this as they tell you when you can start to try to move thing like eyebrow lifts etc.
hope you are feeling better.
oh, my bells palsey was caused by lyme disease. have they tested you with the western blot test? if not, then you should ask to be tested.
good luck and please let us know how things are going
That must of been really scary, I know my first thought would of been stroke also. How are you doing now?
The day I realized what was going on, I scoured the Internet for information. I was particularly interested in what folks who actually had had Bell's palsy were saying. And most importantly, if this is curable.
I couldn't taste food. No matter what I ate or drank, everything had an extremely unappetizing flat, lead taste. My taste buds just gave out. I couldn't hold water in my mouth, especially when I gargled after brushing my teeth. It was exasperating.
When I went to see the doctor in a private clinic, I described to him what I had and he started to conduct a few tests to confirm the situation. He then concluded that I did have the symptoms of Bell's. He prescribed Prednizone, (a steroid) and sent me on my way. He also gave me a referral letter to get an EMG feedback from the hospital.
That night, I printed out a diagram of muscles which I got from the Net and asked my husband to help massage my face. Well, I need to start with some exercises to get my nerves healed other than wait for the drugs to cure me, right? This helps me learn to isolate muscle actions as well as coordinate multiple muscle movement. Regaining balanced, symmetrical movements is key to restoring the face as it was before. Also, I use my favourite Bel'Air aromatherapy Bois de Santal oil which helps to relieve tension and improves concentration of mind. PLUS, with lots and lots of prayers... It woke me up to the fact that I'm not invincible to rare things, as much as every person would like to believe think that they are.
The Following User Says Thank You to Atnie For This Useful Post: Sue Jones (12-27-2010)
On the third day, my husband and I set off early morning to go to the polyclinic. And what a wait it was! After seeing the GP, I got my referral letter and we went to the Medical Centre. My appointment was at 3.20pm at the Neuroscience Clinic. As we walked through the long corridor, I saw info-posters of "stroke", "epilepsy", etc... My husband, sensing my edginess, held my hands a little tighter...
Dr. Yap attended to me. First, he listened to what I have got to say. After writing some points in my folder, he began a series of tests. He had me raise my eyebrows (only the right one lifted), whistle (ok but slightly), blink both eyes (my left would not), raise my hands and spread my fingers (seemed ok) and so on. He also did touch tests on the whites of my eyes with a tiny piece of tissue to see if I had some sort of reaction.
I was informed of the fact that this disorder can clear up in a couple of weeks, a few months, or it never go away. Also I was told that no one really knows what causes it or if the treatments were effective. I was also told to take care of my eye because blinking was not working. I was also told that my condition was in the early stages and it may be a good thing that I came in so early and could start treatment.
He didn't arrange for an EMG test, however, he upped my Predisone dosage, gave Acyclovir for the virus that may have attacked my 7th facial nerve and ointment for my eye. I have to complete these drugs in 10 days. My next appointment is on March 23.
I slept OK during the night, and to help me sleep, I sealed my left eye with Micropore. I also realized that my lips seems to be more numb, like a feeling when novacaine set in. It was bloody tricky to eat and I was biting my lips on the left side as I couldn?t open my mouth fully. The eye was still watering and my tongue was still tasteless. I couldn't ?pucker-up? for a kiss and I couldn't hold in the air when I inflated my cheeks.
My face did not look very different from normal while at rest, but when I smiled it really was noticeable.
The Following User Says Thank You to Atnie For This Useful Post: Sue Jones (12-27-2010)
It has been a month on 5th March 2005 since Bell Palsy invaded my nerves. Thanks to God, for His Blessings and Grace for healing me. And also thanks to my hubby for faithfully massaging my face before bedtime for the past month. I have seen 95% recovery and I am extremely joyful that my smile has slowly returned to its original stretch and I can blink my left eye normally. However, once in a while, I will feel some tingling around my nose and eyes but I hope those are good signs that my nerves are kinda repairing itselves.
this will clear up. don't worry. it is very important that as soon as this happens to you that the dr get you on prednisone, which they did. you really should not try to move your face for the first 2 weeks, lets the meds work. you do not want to hurt the muscles in your face. after a couple of weeks, the neurologist had me try to move the face, with facial exercises. do not do this with your hands. just try to lift your eyebrows, try to smile, real big smiles. this is what the neurologist had me do.
after several weeks, everything started to work a little more every day.
your taste will come back, everything will be ok.
you can not even tell i had bells, only when i am tired, my left eye looks a bit lazy. that is why it is important to get on the prednisone as soon as this happens. i have heard of some people the dr did not put them on it and they have permenant paralasys in the face.
how are you doing now. do you sense anything starting to move again?
Do not be surprised if your face hurts in the future when you are tired. Mine still hurts off and on and I had Bells Palsy back in 1965. I had 2 children after having Bells Palsy and both times my face headed back to being paralized but did not quite make it. Doctor told me to "pray" there was nothing they could do for it. I too had predisone during the original episode. I was told, the amount of recovery will depend on how good your health was before getting Bells Palsy.
Just thought I would stick a note in here about lime disease. I always thought that if my kids got it they would have this big rash and I would know they had it. Guess again. My 7 year old daughter never had any of the normal symptoms yet has an extreme case of it. I always check my kids and make sure they use bug spray. Well 2 weeks ago I looked at my daughter and noticed her left side of her face was sagging. I took her to the doctors who said....oh I think its from her allergies. I said you don't think its bells palsy ....Bell's palsy is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to one of the two facial nerves. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis... I thought this because my mother had it years ago.
The doctor said no. I believed the doctor to be correct took my daughters allergy meds and left. Well 2 days later, Friday it was worse and I went to the ER with her. The doctor there right away said yes it is Bells palsy. She then called Maine Medical the largest hospital here in Maine and they suggest they test her for lime disease. The doctor asked if she had any of the signs. I said no way I watch for them because my older daughter had it as a child. They tested her blood and yes she had lime. I went home with 3 meds that she had to take in total 9 times a day. Remember sheís only 7! I was told to make a follow up with my normal doctor. I did. We saw him on Monday morning. He right away made appointments for her at an eye doctor, because the bells palsy makes it so she canít close her left eye and they worry about eye ulcers, and to see a neurologist. We saw the eye doctor that day. The good news her eye was great he told me the things to do to keep it that way and said see you in 2 weeks.
On Wednesday we saw the neurologist. He said he wanted to consult with an infectious disease specialist and he would get back to us in a few days. Well by the time we got home our phone was ringing. The doctors wanted us at Maine Medical in the AM to have a spinal tap done on my little 7 year old daughter. We showed up at the hospital at 830 am all ready to get this done and go home. I was petrified and my daughter was calm. GO FIGURE! We were brought up to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center where they gave her a *cocktail* that they told her not to tell mom about or I might be mad sheís having one! This made Bre, my 7 year old, a little silly. They then brought her to the procedure room and told us about what would happen.
They also brought in a person from Child Life, a group in the hospital that help explain things to children when they are sick and keep them occupied through games etc. The Child Life woman played the game 20 questions with Bre while the procedure was done. Bre got up on the table and had to bend totally forward with her head between her knees. Not a very fun position I can assure you. This little girl was amazing though. She was a little scared but more brave then I have ever been in my entire life. She jumped slightly when they stuck in needles to number her back then just like the trooper she was played the game with the Child Life women not crying or complaining once. I am not sure the exact pain of this procedure but I know I wouldn't want my back tapped like a maple tree. They stuck a large hollow needle into her back and took out spinal fluid into 4 tubes. The fluid for some reason I thought would be creamy colored was clear white just like water. They then sent it to the lab and we waited impatiently about 4 hours for the results. Bad news the lime disease was in her spinal fluid. Meaning it was also probably in her nervous system and fluid around her brain. They then decided how to treat it.
They would give her an antibiotic called Ceftriaxone; this was the drug of choice for this strong case of lime disease. They said that what would happen is they would put a PICC line, A PICC is a long, flexible tube that is put into a vein in your arm and threaded up into a large vein just above your heart. It is used for giving fluids or drug treatment into your bloodstream. PICC stands for "Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter". They would do this Friday morning but for now they wanted to give her a regular IV so that they could start her treatment right away. So back to the procedure room we go. AGAIN my 7 year old daughter is the bravest soul alive sat there like a trooper never complaining. We then go back to her room where her treatment will be started.
They hook her up to her meds and my ex and I decide to run to Wal-mart to get her some cute jammies. My 16 and 14 year old daughters stayed to keep her company. When we return we find out that Bre has an allergic reaction to the drug and they had to give her benadryl to stop it. It was just minor 3 hive blotches but the teams of doctors treating her are worried about a more severe reaction the next time the drug is used. They come in and tell us that this is the best drug other alternative would be a constant IV infusion of penicillin and she would have to carry around a pump for 30 days to get it. Not a great idea for a 7 year old. They also called an allergy specialist, by now she has like 10 doctors on her case, and he suggest that they do a desensitization procedure where they give her small amounts then larger then larger over a 5 hour period to adjust her body tot he meds. We agree to it and go to ICU to have it done where she can have her own nurse watching her to make sure no allergic reaction. Bre was fine about the procedure but scared by the entire ICU idea and had a panic attack.
Once they started the drug though she realized it wasn't that big of a deal and relaxed and fell asleep. They then proceeded to give her 12 syringes of meds starting with a very small dose and getting higher each time. This took 20-25 minutes per vial and kept us in ICU till 1 am. The good news she had no reaction this time and we returned to her room for bed. BED a place she insisted mom sleep with her the entire 5 nights she stayed at the hospital! We were told they would proceed with this medication and watch her carefully for the weekend because her PICC line could not be put in till Monday. OK great stuck in the hospital. We actually found out it wasn't that bad! We were in the Barabra Bush children Hospital in Maine Medical and they really work on keeping the sick kids happy and busy. They have a play room, TONS of arts and crafts movies you can sign out and alit of volunteers to keep kids busy. I must say itís the greatest hospital I have been in.
Monday morning rolls around and Bre is a little nervous because they tell her we can not go in for the procedure and she will be put to sleep for it. We get down to radiology and the doctor there gives Bre another *cocktail* and she starts to lean back all out of it. We tell her we love and go wait in the waiting room. The procedure was to take just about 30 minutes. The longest 30 minutes of my life. When she was done she went to recovery and we were allowed to see her. I must say I was so worried and so entertained. When we got to her she was shivering, a side affect of anesthesia and just coming out of the sleep. She looked at us and the first thing she said was Can I play twister now?, the night before she had played and caused some blood to go into her iv line and it freaked her out but wasn't a big deal, so she was very excited because the picc line was higher on her arm so she could play! She then repeated that question oh 20 times while she was still out of it and stated this goes all the way to my heart? Another 20 times.
When she was totally out of the anesthesia she was allowed to return to her room. Today she would stay till her medication time; take it then go home. HOME a place we dearly missed. They decided to give her benadryl and pepcid to ward off any reactions to the medication because she had one more slight reaction to it over the weekend. We left the hospital and headed home around 730. The next day a visiting nurse would come to my house and teach me how to give my daughter her IV meds daily. I was terrified. This is my child and what if I mess up? The visiting nurse came 2 days and I was all trained. Every day at 4 she sits on the couch for an hour and takes her meds. The hope is that the medication will take care of the lime disease and in turn cure the Bells Palsy but like most medicines itís a wait and see thing. She will be on the medication for 30 days total and see more doctors and specialist and have more blood drawn along the way. She is doing great and I will keep you all posted. Just remember, lime disease doesn't always show up with rash!
Yes, my sister had it about 10 years ago and it lasted for a couple weeks I believe. The left side of her face was paralized and she couldn't blink. Thank God she got over it. She went on to put herself thru medical school and is now a nurse!
I am 30 years old. I have had BP since May 19, 2004. I woke with the right side of my face paralyzed. It has cleared up some, I can now blink, and smile better. But I still can't raise my eyebrow on the right side, nor is my smile even with the left side of my face. My right eye also squints when I smile and laugh. It also clenches tight when I yawn. I pray that my face will be back to normal, but after 15 months, I'm not holding out much hope.