Hi Junebug - I feel your pain. I got Bell's Palsy on October 14th 2012 and it has been a very slow recovery. Like you, I have tried everything. I went three months with no movement at all...even with steroids, electrical muscle stimulation, massage, exercises, B12, etc. I would say I am 50-60% recovered and am starting to wonder if I will ever be 100% again. Within 5 hours of the onset, I was at the ER and on steroids/anti-virals....they say that the sooner you get steroids to reduce inflammation, the better. My MRI was clear and I saw a neurologist who ruled out lyme disease and other things that can cause this. I am slowly getting the movement back. About two months ago, I started seeing a facial plastic surgeon that specializes in facial paralysis. He shared the following statistics with me...70% of people who get Bell's Palsy will recover 100% within 6 months. Then, there are the 30% like me who have not. I am 9 months into this now. I can close my eye, blink and partially smile. However, I cannot lift my left eyebrow yet and I cannot smile evenly like I used to.The left side moves up just a little. The healing process can take 1-2 years...and I may not fully recover. I have been in touch with facial retraining experts that have given me more facial exercises and massage treatments as well as mirror therapy which is really interesting. My nerves have grown back differently and when I try to lift my eyebrow, my smile curls up. This happens more often whith people who have longer term Bell's Palsy. I also have twitching under my eye and on my chin. I have concluded that there are lots of things you can do...but everyone is different and nothing is really proven other than the use of steroids early in diagnosis. I think you are so right in reducing stress, eating right, etc. Stay positive and realize it could always be worse. Most people can't tell I have this now unless I talk too fast causing my mouth to pull to one side, or smile real big where they can see the unevenness of my face. It was hard at first...my smile used to be my trademark...but I have so much else to be thankful for and this is just a bump in the road. Everyone at work, family and friends have been very supportive. Admittedly, I am still frustrated that I may never get my smile back completely...but I will tell you something. I have little kids, and they never noticed anything was ever wrong...even when I couldn't move my face for three months. They just see mommy and love me no matter what!
Hang in there and focus on the positive!