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Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Hi,

I am writing this to help share my experiences with others who will also get Bell's Palsy in the future and hopefully to continue to learn more for myself.

I am 35 year old, very healthy male. I first started experiencing a headache behind my left ear right along my hair line. The pain wasn't too bad, just persistent. After 3 days I was starting to get a little concerned but didn't think too much about it until the bell's palsy symptoms started setting it.
First thing I noticed was my left eye felt dry, and what I didn't realize yet was that it had stopped blinking. Moments later, the left side of my mouth and gums area started to tingle. Shortly after that I was eating dinner and could tell something was not right as I was having difficulties. After looking in the mirror I could see something was wrong. My first thoughts (because of the persistent headache I had) was that I could be having an aneurysm or stroke. I went to the ER to get checked out, I've never been so worried about my health in my life and have never fault numbness like that in my face.

As soon as the doctor saw me and I explained to her my symptoms she said I had a classic case of Bell's Palsy. They did an EKG, Cat Scan and Blood work and said everything was fine. I was prescribed Prednisolone or Acyclovir and was told that the majority of the time it temporary and I will be back to normal in 2-3 weeks and that most of the time it wont come back.

I am currently on day 11. For the first 7-8 days I experienced no movement on the left side of my face. Over the last couple days I've noticed ever so slight movement increasing each day, like 1% gain a day. My left eye hasn't improved much and still is virtually impossible to fully close without assistance of my finger. I put drops in several times a day and some days aren't so bad, so days it hurts and I have to stop and take breaks to close my eyes through out the day. My headache also comes and goes. I've been taking advil to help, but when it wants to flare up I still feel it pretty good. Everything else I consider cosmetic. My smile still looks extremely funky so I try not to smile or laugh when talking to others. If I talk low my speech is pretty much normal. All in all if you didn't know (and didn't notice that my left eye wasn't blinking) you probably wouldn't tell... until I smiled, which is the dead giveaway.

After I was diagnosed I started doing a lot of research, reading forums and watching videos diaries on youtube from people who were documenting their progress. Some things scare the hell out of you, seeing people who take up to a year to get back most of the way to others who either have it come back multiple times or worst, never fully heal. I assume, most of the people who have it for a couple weeks and recover fully likely never take the time to post where as the people who deal with it for a long time or have a worst outcome have a higher likely hood of writing about it. So if you just found out you got it don't freak out like I was doing when it seems like every other person is saying "this is the second time i got it" or "it's been a year since..." etc. However in the grand scheme of things, a hell of a lot worst could have happen to us even if it did take a year or was permanent.

Fortunately for me I work from home, and don't have an office or outside sales job. I'm not in high school or college where you have to deal with peers at a younger age which can be tough, which I am sure is hard on those in their teens and early 20's.

I will be documenting my progress here and more than happy to answer any questions anyone has who just found out that they got Bell's Palsy. If anyone else who has gone through this had success and has any tips please feel free to share. One thing I noticed reading this forum someone mentioned trying "sublingual methyl B12 tab 1000 mcg, with folic acid." So I just went out and bought some to give it a try, seems like it can't hurt to try. I will let you know if it works for me.

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

I had Bell's Palsy when I was three years old. I remember my mom telling me I was allergic to the sun -- I think that she didn't want me to go outside, because she was afraid the other kids would tease me. I was given some type of steroid medication, which apparently cleared everything up, as I don't suffer any long lasting effects.

Be careful with mega-doses of vitamins and if you are given exercises to re-mobilize your face, please follow the program. There are eye medications that are the consistency of vaseline, which may be helpful to you for overnight, as they last longer than drops. They can blur your vision in the affected eye, so not so great during the day. Good luck!

 
Old 01-25-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Just a quick update, Day 25 and I am about 25% of the way back with movement on the left side of my face (cheak area). My smile is still very funky. My eye has gotten a little better the last couple days and hurts less. It still doesn't fully blink but I can shut it a little easier now without touching it. Also last night, for the first time I was able to keep my left eye closed while slightly opening my right eye.

What has been the most painfull so far is receiving the bill from the Hospital a couple days ago. For my TWO (2) hour visit, they charged me over $5,000 dollars. Which because of the insurance I have I still have to come up with almost $3,000 It is beyond absurd the prices that our hospitals charge. I'll leave that rant for another day, but need less to say next time I will die before going into the ER. Who can afford it even with insurance? Either you pay a ton of money per month for a low/no deductible policy or you pay less per month but pay a ton of money when you actually go to the hospital, either way you paying a ton of money, which most of us don't have.

 
Old 02-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Thanks for the info, Harry. My mother was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy yesterday, we are now very relieved because at first it appeared to seem like a stroke (which killed my father two years ago).

I've read that younger people tend to recover quicker. This is day 3 and I am hoping that she heals up quickly, I hope you heal up quickly too. I didn't even know about this crazy ailment until today.

Good luck! Thanks again, please keep sharing the progress.

 
Old 02-06-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

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Originally Posted by artemisthegreat View Post
Thanks for the info, Harry. My mother was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy yesterday, we are now very relieved because at first it appeared to seem like a stroke (which killed my father two years ago).

I've read that younger people tend to recover quicker. This is day 3 and I am hoping that she heals up quickly, I hope you heal up quickly too. I didn't even know about this crazy ailment until today.

Good luck! Thanks again, please keep sharing the progress.

Hey, Im about 37 days into it now. I've gotten better, but still not 100% yet (maybe 40% at best). Most of the time now I forget I have it, combination of getting use to it and it getting better. I still put drops in my eye often, every now and then its difficult to pronounce certartain words. I can't whistle, smile normal, or my eye blink on it's own.

The biggest lingering effect that I've had, that upsets me the most is my hospital bill. Nothing like having no choice but to go to the hospital, and then have them charge ridiculously expensive fees for every little thing they do. Such a rip off, maybe one day they will do something to fix the medical system, but I doubt it. Next time I wont go, and take my chances that it isn't something serious, I can't afford to spend $1000 for a EKG $2,000 for cat scan, and all the other associated tests they run you though just as "precautions". My less than 2 hour visit to the ER, they charged me $5,500 for everything.


As far as your mother, just let her know like any thing else, time heals. It just takes time, but time moves so fast before you know it things will be improving and eventually she will be back to normal. I've had doctors tell me that there is a 95% chance that you will go back to normal, but some people don't. However I don't recall one person online posting that they got bells palsy and didn't eventually get back to normal, or real close to it. It just seems to varry how long from person to person. Some people 3 weeks, some a year or two.

Last edited by Harry504; 02-06-2012 at 03:39 PM.

 
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:29 AM   #6
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Harry, my mother is very very dizzy because of the Bells Palsy affecting her ears. She basically has an intense case of vertigo. Did you have this issue?

As far as the hospital bills, believe me I understand. My father passed away in 2009, my mom is unemployed, and will owe THOUSANDS from being in the ER for two days. She's still in the hospital, it will be expensive, but all that matters is health at this point.

 
Old 03-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by artemisthegreat View Post
Harry, my mother is very very dizzy because of the Bells Palsy affecting her ears. She basically has an intense case of vertigo. Did you have this issue?

As far as the hospital bills, believe me I understand. My father passed away in 2009, my mom is unemployed, and will owe THOUSANDS from being in the ER for two days. She's still in the hospital, it will be expensive, but all that matters is health at this point.

BP can affect the ear on the palsy side -yes called hyperacusis. Not all BP victims have it, but I do. Mine is not awful but it's there - especially when my dog barks or the car door slams. Vertigo can happen because of this but I would follow-up with a MD about the vertigo.

 
Old 04-18-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Thank you so much for your post. Your story is classic to my brothers. It could have him writing the story. His hospital bill has been the most upsetting. They just went to the bank to get a loan to pay it off.. over 4000 dollars after insurance. And he is recovering very very slowly and i know he is very self conscious about his face. I know that he is worrying that it will never go away. so thanks again.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

It takes a long time for nerves to repair.

Be sure you get plenty of rest.

If you are in good health when Bells Palsy strikes, most likely you will recover with little or no signs of ever having the problem.

For 10 years my face hurt when I was tired. It has now been 42 years and at times my face will feel uncomfortable.

 
Old 05-28-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

the first thing I thought when yoiu mentioned the tests was....Why did the DR do that...he/ she already KNEW it was bells Palsy ...yet ran a bunch of unnecessary tests ..
I have had bells ,,,99% of it went away for me ..my eye still feels it some ..20 years later ..
Prednisione is the cure ...if it hasn't worked yet ..,maybe you need another coarse
don't worry about taking the B vitamins...not a single person in the last 23 yuears has died from vitamins..but millions have from drugs ( including Prednisone,,a very very powerful cortosteroid ..but in your case the potential risk is worth it ..

 
Old 07-19-2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Just a quick ? Did you have any symptoms beforehand such as pain shooting across your face? I saw my pain management dr yesterday and mentioned I've been having episodes of excrutiating shooting pain from my temple/ear area across my face and he said he was concerned it may become Bells Palsy. He told me to see my family Dr, but said there is nothing they can do to prevent it so I didn't want to get sent for thousands of dollars in tests because my insurance is terrible. I just wonder if that sounds like a typical warning sign???? Thx!!

 
Old 07-19-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

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Originally Posted by Whynowthis View Post
Just a quick ? Did you have any symptoms beforehand such as pain shooting across your face? I saw my pain management dr yesterday and mentioned I've been having episodes of excrutiating shooting pain from my temple/ear area across my face and he said he was concerned it may become Bells Palsy. He told me to see my family Dr, but said there is nothing they can do to prevent it so I didn't want to get sent for thousands of dollars in tests because my insurance is terrible. I just wonder if that sounds like a typical warning sign???? Thx!!
From what I understand, (and I've researched the hell out of Bell's Palsy) it is not a typical warning sign. Typical warning signs include loss of taste, hearing issues on the effected side, and facial weakness on the entire side of the suspected palsy side including the forehead. If the forehead's tone is not altered, it is more likely a stroke. Facial weakness can begin on any part of the face but usually people will notice not being able to blink or keep water in their mouth/.

You should ask your MD for pain medication, typically Nuerontin, a anti-convulsant used off-label for nerve pain, is prescribed. Maybe you have an ear infection? It can be many things - go get checked out.

 
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:32 AM   #13
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by friscogiants View Post
From what I understand, (and I've researched the hell out of Bell's Palsy) it is not a typical warning sign. Typical warning signs include loss of taste, hearing issues on the effected side, and facial weakness on the entire side of the suspected palsy side including the forehead. If the forehead's tone is not altered, it is more likely a stroke. Facial weakness can begin on any part of the face but usually people will notice not being able to blink or keep water in their mouth/.

You should ask your MD for pain medication, typically Nuerontin, a anti-convulsant used off-label for nerve pain, is prescribed. Maybe you have an ear infection? It can be many things - go get checked out.
I do already take neurontin for back issues. Thanks for responding so fast! I didn't think it was really Bells Palsy signs, and you helped confirm that for me. If the pain persists I'll get it checked out. Thanks!!!

 
Old 07-21-2012, 05:23 PM   #14
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

when i got it I first had a bit of numbness on my tongue ..and the next day some on the left side of face..the next day cold not move my face on theat side ..eye drooped and lip as well...
again ... make sure you do a full 10-14 day coarse of prednisone...this is the ONLY thing that may cure you ( i am huge on vitamins and nutrition..been bodybuilding for 35 yuears) but prednisone is the only thing that will help..if you haven't already do so..or find a dr that will.
My Bells was what made me distrust drs so much ..I was given a script for 4 days of prednisone.. I went home ..researched it in my mom medical books ( she is an RN) ..and found th Dr did not give me enoiugh...when I finally got into a nuerologist 30 days later...the first thing he said was : why the hell did he give you 4 days worth?? that id NOT the prodocall for this!c ...he was ******...
ever since then I take all that is said by drs with a grain of salt.

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy 11 days ago

I just woke up one day with it and of course freaked out. I went to an Acupuncturist
and the pain I had went away immediately. It took more sessions, but eventually the face went back to normal in a few weeks.

 
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