Bell's palsy story archives
The following are archived stories by those who have read maggie's story and wanted to share their experiences with Bell's palsy . . .
This story sent by Stacy on February 12th, 2016....
It's so hard to see but was able to read through both accounts. I'm on it as soon as I can get someone to drive me to pick up supplies. I didn't realize immed that my right eye wasn't closing and although it hurt like the devil didn't cover it until I dealt with the reality of the bells and the ER. I'm up most of the night now with swollen lymph nodes and my face really hurts but still doesn't move. I know it's up to me to power through this and you don't know me from anyone, but it's taking a huge toll with depression. I'm a warrior. I run marathons at 52., am both uplifting and motivating to all of my friends, participate in ridiculously hard physical boot camp challenges, raising 2 difficult high school age boys, just went through a difficult divorce ( he felt it was awesome to date while still married and then hid the money), you just can't write that stuff any better!) I have never written anyone on the web and even if I do not get a response I am thankful to you for both your info and directness.
More of a cake and cookie girl, I will take the essential oil journey and whatever else it takes.
I need this gone. Calling about acupuncture immed.
Thank you so much and if you get a moment I'd love to hear from you. Please be assured if I don't that you gave me encouragement when I really needed it.
i'm so sorry Bell's has come upon you (for awhile). remember to brreathe. you are a warrior, too, when you are patient, even soft, all the while keeping your eye on the prize. the body has its own pace for healing. simply support it in every good way.
remember you are no less because of Bell's. not one drop.for it to appear in the midst of all your challenges, both to your living and to your heart, you must be a hero, completely capable.
please take time to read the success stories again and again and again. when i had Bells, i made myself do that. i was in shock, after all, at first, not able to take everything in. each time i discovered something useful i had missed.
perhaps you have a calm and grounded healing friend who would be glad to read with you. if you don't, be your own friend in this, asking God as you know God/the universe/your guardian angels for help. It will come.
all good fortune to you. i'll be thinking of you. i promise.
This story sent by Laurie on July 14th, 2014....
also, do try teas, supplements and food that soothe the nervous system. you can google this.
i wish you all good fortune and am glad for you you've come this far!
The following is an e-mail exchange between Terry and maggie, from September 19-20th, 2010....
Thank you so much for answering my email. You will never know how much your story has inspired me through this journey. I have followed your treatment and have recovered to about 90%. I can never thank you enough for posting your experience on your website. I have researched this strange illness and your advice is the best I have found. God bless you for sharing your experience and helping others. Again, thank you for all the encourgement and advise.
This story sent by Mary on October 17th, 2009....
This story sent by Mary on October 3rd, 2007....
I, too, have been diagnosed with Bell's palsy. On June 12, 2007, just 16 weeks ago, was the first time it hit me. I had severe headaches for months prior to this episode. I had the same headache for weeks on end. Other than my two pregnancies I hadn't seen a doctor for an illness of my own since I was a child. I've always had headaches, but they always went away after a day or two or three. These headaches were too much. I saw a doctor about them and all I got were pain meds that didn't even help with the headaches. I think they were a sign of my impending Bell's palsy. The night before my Bell's palsy hit I had a headache so piercing and painful I was throwing up. My headaches were mostly on the right side of my face and the back of my head all the way down to my neck. This is also the side of my face the bell's palsy was on. I took some over the counter pain reliever and went to bed when the pain subsided. I awoke the next morning and made a phone call first thing. I realized something wasn't right with me. I got off the phone and went to look in the mirror. At first I thought I had slept on the right side of my face too long and it had fallen asleep. I waited a few minutes and tried to get it to wake up. Of course, it didn't. That's when I went into panic mode. I thought I was having a stroke. My husband drove me to an ER two hours away. We live in a small town that doesn't have a very good hospital. After being assured at the ER that I did not have a stroke I felt better, but was still upset to know that I had Bell's palsy. My mother had the same thing about 4 years ago and has not really recovered to this day. She received no treatment from the hospital in the town where we live. They gave her a blood pressure pill and sent her on her way. She lives with the pain during the cold months. The affected half of her face is probably still 50% paralyzed. I didn't have any pain at first. The cold didn't bother me, and it was summer when this occured. I was also worried I would never recover either since my mother never did, but I did. I had a speedy recovery after my catscan, MRI, seeing my regular doctor and two neurologists, taking the antiviruls and steroids prescribed to me, and buying a massager for my face. I was tired and rested alot. I'm a substitute teacher, so fortunately it was summertime and I didn't have to turn down any work. I had been stressed and overworked prior to this incident. Not to mention driving my kids to gymnastics, soccer, dance, and anywhere else they had to be. I thought I was super mom doing it all. My lip was a little droopy in the beginning, but my eye still closed. Not tightly, but it did close. Over the days my face was improving slightly each day. It probably took a full six weeks to look normal again. Still when I raise my right eyebrow I can feel as if my lip is being pulled as well. When I look in the mirror I can't see it, so I'm the only one who knows since I feel it. My headaches evaporated. I thought whatever had been there had been released from my body. I felt good. After thinking all was well and good and the experience was behind me I was struck again just this passed Sunday. Only three days ago on Sunday, September 30, 2007 I had Bell's palsy once again. This time on the opposite side of my face. It had not even been 4 months since it had first attacked me. At least I had a chance to recover from the first hit. I had just seen my neurologist for a follow up visit on September 20, 2007. Everything was fine then. I decided not to go to the ER on Sunday and just wait until I could see my neurologist on Monday. It was barely noticeable. My husband thought I was crazy because he couldn't see it. I told him I could tell it was happening again. I just felt it. Since the Friday before I had an earache and pain around and below my ear on my head. As Sunday progressed my face movement on my left side was deteriorating gradually. I was afraid to go to sleep for fear of what my face would look like in the morning. It wasn't so bad when I woke up, but it gradually got worse througout the day. I haven't lost all movement though. I still can make a small smile and close my eye. My neurologist is really difficultt to see. It takes about 2 months to get an appointment with him, so I was very happy when he decided to see me that day at 5:00 p.m. I guess because I didn't even call I just showed up in his office that morning. I went in and of course he agreed that I did have it again. He wants me to have another MRI because it is rare for the same person to get it twice and especially in such a short period of time. I don't see what they are going to find this time that they couldn't see the last time. He also mentioned that if I still would have had the headaches he would've had to do a spinal tap. I'm thinking he will want to do one anyway if the MRI reveals nothing. I don't think i will have that done though. I feel like I will recover again. I will just have to have faith and pray it doesn't come back again. I am taking the antiviruls and steroids again. I feel like they did work last time and my ear pain is virtually gone. I know these drugs are just "maybes" and not proven to work, but it's better than nothing. I am still giving myself facial massages as well. I was called into work yesteday and decided to go. I don't feel anything wrong with me really. I just can't smile big or suck out of a straw without holding my top lip on it. I'm not drooling and it isn't really as noticeable as it was the first time on the other side. If anything this was a blessing. I always felt that with a straight face my right bottom lip was slightly droopy still. Now it has evened out since it hit the other side. Haha, it helps to have a sense of humor.
I don't want to get depressed like I did the first time. I want to keep
my spirits up and fight this whatever it is. The medical professionals
don't know what causes it or much of anything else about it. My faith
is the only thing that gets me through. Thanks to you maggie for starting
this website and letting me read about everyone elses
a follow-up message from Mary....
I forgot to mention that I had a bad taste in my
mouth both times after the facial sympotms began. Certain things tasted
alright, but others tasted terrible. Even bottled water, purified water,
and tap water all had an almost metallic taste. I have been able to
move my tongue
Thank you again for sharing your experience and posting those of others with the same affliction. It truly does help to know I am not alone.
Reenie sent this on January 24th, 2007....
I am a very healthy person. However, two weeks before Bell's palsy hit, I had broken my right shoulder. I compensated by using my left side to do all my chores, work and carry heavy stuff. When I got bells palsy, incidently on my left side, I stopped and listened to my body.
I used both conventional and alternative therapies. I took steroids and an antiviral drug for a week as my doctor prescribed. I noticed that when I finished the steroids that I had pain from where I guess the affected nerve was, at the nape of my neck, straight up my head, down alongside my eye, settling on my cheek.
From your website, I learned of B-12. I did not take injections, but I did take a supplement. I also took a general B vitamin supplement. I increased my potassium intake, as I read that would be beneficial.
I was concerned for my eye. Taping it did not work. I tried many kinds of tape. I had a web of tape over my eye to keep it closed. It always popped open. I am allergic to eye drops. Therefore, I put a petroluem based eye ointment in my eye and put a patch over it. I applied the ointment several times a day.
I decided the best thing for me was to figure
out how to get through bells palsy in the most positive way possible.
It was hard having Bell's palsy, but I'm better for having that experience.
P.S. (from January 26th, 2007):
I am very sensitive to hormonal changes. Peri-memopause was the pitts! I am curious whether any other women had a sense that hormones played some sort of role in Bell's palsy?
from Gail of Denver, Colorado on January 28th, 2006....
My son was just diagnosed with Bell's palsy
tonight. I am seeing that several people at your website taped
their eye shut at night. Could you tell me how to do this for
him? I am trying to use a small piece of gauze under the tape,
so that it doesn't stick to his eyelashes, but am afraid the eye will
work open under it without me knowing. I am worried about his
cornea being damaged by anything that comes in contact with his eye.
from Prasanna of Uttar Pradesh in India, on January 21st, 2006...
Dear maggie madam
reply from Prasanna on January 23rd, 2006:
from Susanna, on January 20, 2006....
to Susanna, from another reader (Sheri), on April 25th, 2007:
I read your article on maggies page. I too had Bell's palsy on both sides of my face. The first time was in March of 1998, the second was around November 1999.
I was wondering if you found anything more on this
rarity. I am having MS symptoms, which Bi-Lateral Bell's such as ours
can be a sign of. The only problem is that I keep testing negative for
MS and keep finding doctors that don't know the cause. Since January
of this year (2007), my muscles have severely begun to atrophy, my muscles
are so weak and have so much pain and tingling, that I am unable to
walk more than a few feet. I finally got my employer to provide me a
motorized wheelchair for work. When at home, I don't have that luxury
and I keep falling. I have sprained my foot the other night.
HH of Concordia, Kansas sent this story on January 6th, 2006....
I had Bell's palsy too—at the age of 35. What I want to share with others is this:
After 4 months of a quite severe case, my
lip moved up after only one treatment.
My smile is different—and that is a loss for me—photos look terrible in my eyes, but not all of them, and it is sad to lose your face, no matter how much returns. I still have a watery eye and, when cold, a droop.
But it could have been worse—and I am sad more people use the prednesone instead of trying the acupucture. It was miraculous for me—I was told I had a very severe case—and from there I recovered once the needling began after two weeks.
And yes, I now use scarves, hats, earmuffs and a headband to cover it all up in the winter! (not all at once hahaha)
Hope this helps someone. Good Luck.
P.S. I was told high reoccurance ages are the 30's and the 50's. Sigh....
the following is an e-mail dialogue between Steve Miller and maggie....
12/24/05, from Steve:
12/28/05, from Steve:
1/6/06, from Steve:
this comes from Carol Britt, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on April 27th, 2005....
It was the week of April 4, 2005 and I wasn't
feeling quite myself…generally tired and run down but was blaming
it on work. I'm a 56 year old elementary/middle school teacher,
working on my counseling licensure, plus planning the wedding of my
As each day arrived the paralysis of the right side of my face became more apparent. My eye started to bother me on Sunday while in the hospital. I read some information my husband brought from the internet and it mentioned that the eye may be affected due to non-blinking. Monday I asked for an eye patch while in the hospital. They gave me some tear-gen to keep the eye wet and no other directions. My own medical doctor came in on Monday morning and agreed with Bell's palsy. He prescribed Prednisone for a five week period and I went home. I made an appointment to see him within two weeks from leaving the hospital.
Luckily, my brother is a chiropractor and I was so glad to have him on board with all of this. He adjusted me as soon as I got out of the hospital and many times since then. I think that has made a world of difference in my recovery.
Once home I settled into the whole experience and decided to document it. On Tuesday I two pictures, one with the patch on and one without the patch. I didn't have any make-up on so it's not a real flattering picture but it shows the extent of the paralysis. I'm glad I took the picture because, now exactly three weeks later I can't believe the difference!!
I decided to call the eye doctor on that Tuesday as my eye was really bothering me. It was a good thing I called, my eye was full of abrasions and it could have caused the loss of my eyesight if it had not been treated. I was a little upset that no one informed me of this possibility but I decided that I was just happy to have this condition and nothing more serious. My motto became "I'm not complaining, just explaining"?! So, for the next two weeks I dealt with wearing the eye patch, putting in eye drops and antibiotics for the eye.
Today, three weeks later, I am recovering nicely. I took my three week pictures and compared them to the other four…it's amazing! I still have a little drag on the right side of my mouth, the metal taste seems to come and go (think I'm dealing with some steroid reaction) but my eye is doing fine! I can now drive and will get out a little which is something I need to do for myself.
A Bell's palsy story sent by Amanda, from Hull, England, on April 7th, 2005....
Last wednesday, when I was due at the library,
I was putting on my lipstick, getting my 2 young boys ready. I went
to rub my lips together, and they wouldnt go together, the top lip looked
very strange. It felt like I had just come from the dentist. I mentioned
it to my partner, and he commented that maybe because I had a lot of
injections at the dentist, there was a bit of an after shock.When we
arrived at the library I told Tessa, my friend, about my lip—she
made a comment that it was strange, as my dentist visit was over
a week ago. Over the next few hours, my left side of my face lost all
feeling. When I arrived home, I was very concerned when I looked in
the mirror, and was quite shocked at what I saw. My left brow was lower
than the right, my eye was open and sore, my face was puffy, I looked
very un well, and my mouth drooped, I could hardly speak.The following
day, I called the dentist, they said to go in, so I went in. My dentist
was quite confused by what was happening and said she couldnt understand
as my teeth etc looked more than fine. She suggested maybe it was some
kind of cold and perscribed me some anti-biotics.
On monday morning I rang the Dr., I was told to go in at 2pm. He said he would give me details to go up to the hospital and see the specialist. Me and my family went in at 2pm, Dr. K gave me a perscription for steroids and anti-virals. He asked me to go to the chemist, take 8 and then come back to the surgery. So that's what I did.
When I returned to the surgery, he said he had spoken to the specialist at the hospital, and my dose was to be increased from 8 steroids to 20!!! I did as instructed, the following day. Since then I have been extremely ill, apart from yesterday (wednesday 6th april). I went to library again with my little one and forgot to take with me my steroids. I felt so much brighter, and my lip started slightly smiling again.
So by now, Bell's palsy has been a part of
my life for a week. I have treated it with aromatherapy baths, homeopathy,
singing!! (I am a professional singer), and singing is fabulous for
the circulation, and I am just going to start yoga. I already exercise
regularly,though now I will exercise to an even deeper more commited
level. My whole lifestyle has to change. People say I am handling it
well, the way I see it is that it could have been something so much
worse, and that there is a huge possibility of recovery.I have had so
many positive thoughts and prayers coming my way—I am fortunate
and blessed that my friends and family love me so much and offer me
I made for my eye — I used sunflower oil as a carrier oil, and in it I added 4 drops of tea tree and 2 drops of lavendar. I rub this over my eye and cheek, and also add it to my bath water.
I am about to make up a careplan for today and to start yoga to heighten relaxation and visualisation :-)
Kate sent this story on January 21st, 2005....
About two years ago, when I was 14, I developed an extremely rare case of bells palsy. While most people just have it on one side of their face, and many at least get some type of symtom, I wasn't that lucky. I went to sleep on December 15, 2002, as a completely normal 14 year old, without a single indication that something might be wrong. The next morning i awoke for school and noticed that I couldn't blink easily. I looked in the mirror and recieved the shocker of my life. I couldn't move either side of my face. I had the extremely rare form of bells palsy, (about 1 in every 5,000 people get bells palsy, but less than 1% of those few get bilateral). Naturally, I freaked out, having no idea what the heck this was and why I couldn't move my face. I went to the doctor less than two hours later and found out that I had not only bilateral bels palsy, which the doctor had never even seen a case of before, but lyme disease also. A few days later, I had to have an IV put into my arm for four weeks. Now would be a good time to mention that I'm deathly phobic of needles. I had to put moisture drops in my eyes several times a day because I could no longer blink automatically, causing my eyes to be tearing constantly. Over the next three months, it was a bit of a nightmare to walk around and have to explain to people why I couldn't move my face.
For the first month or so, while it was at its worse, I couldn't taste food. No matter what I ate or drank, everything had an extremely unappetizing sour minty taste. Eventually, it started to get better, and after about three and a half months it was gone. There are still some signs of it left though. When I yawn, my mouth drifts towards the left side and my right eye closes completely, and if I'm sleepy, my face is much weaker that usual. I'm extremely paranoid every time I feel the slightest pain in my face or feeling that showed up with it, and I'm constantly terrifed of a relapse.
Most people feel pity for me if I tell them about this, but I'm actually glad that it happened. It woke me up to the fact that I'm not invincible to rare things, as much as every person would like to beleive think that they are.
This comes from Yvette, of Berkeley, California....
I was diagnosed with Bell's palsy when I was 12. It wasn't too bad, except for the fact that I couldn't close my left eye. After about 2 mos. I didn't recover all the way though...which made me feel really self-concious because when I took pictures, I could see that my face was not symmetrical. Eventually I got over it, until 2 years later. I got it again, and then again, and again...and now I'm suffering from my fifth spell of bell's palsy and I'm only 18 years old!! The doctors have no answers, people think I have a lazy eye, I'm embarassed to smile! Now, I'm looking into acupuncture and possible surgery which made me stumble onto this website. I've been given prednisone and acyclovir, which helps for the time being. BUt definitely doesn't keep it from coming back. I decided to share my story to encourage you all not to take this lightly. Take care of yourselves, see specialists, ask questions. When the doctors seem like they have no answers, ask other doctors. I will keep you all updated after possible surgery and/or acupuncture. Keep hope alive! Don't let this make you depressed or ill, (like it has sometimes made me) just relax and try not to be stressed.
Stress is sometimes the initiator...
A story sent to us by RO of Tarpon Springs, Florida....
Hi, my name is Ro and I just happened upon this site by accident. My story with Bell's palsy began five years ago. I had an earache and was experiencing episodes of dizziness during the day. I tried all sorts of home treatments but, nothing was helping. A couple of days later I started to get this ringing in my ears which got louder and louder. It just plain drove me crazy. It sounded like Sunday Church bells ringing in my head and ears. I wanted to bang my head against the wall just to make the ringing go away. It was driving me crazy. All I heard was bells constantly. One night I placed a heating pad on my left side of my face by the ear which was ringing. I thought this might help it disappear. I was so desperate to try anything. I had the ceiling fan going full blast. Needless to say the combination of this strong cool breeze blowing in the affected ear and the heat of the pad on HOT would end up ruining me for the rest of my life. It has cost me the life I once knew and ended my 30 yr marriage. I woke up in the early am one day and my then husband looked at me and I will always remember the look of horror on his face to this very day. He said RO you had a stroke. I could feel something was wrong because my eye on the left side would not close and I was drooling out of the corner of my mouth on that side of the face. I took one look into the mirror and what looked back at me was not my face which I had known my whole life but one who now looked like a monster who was disfigured! My left eye hung like five inches lower than my right eye, my mouth was about that length lower than the other side. My one eyebrow was down also. I couldn't speak correctly, my speech made no sense, my eye would not close and I started to panic. Without any medical insurance I knew no one would really see me in any office for treatment neither would a hospital. I hurried up and got dressed and went to a local clinic and sat for five hours. They did nothing for me except give me a name of a Ear doctor who gave me a hearing test which showed I lost hearing totally in one ear on the left side and my eye sight was failing also. He diagnosed me with an extreme case of Bell's palsy & told me to take the Rx which he handed me to the local pharmacy to get filled and take the steriods as directed. I did as I was told and continued back to his office where he saw me once a week for three months. There was no change of my appearance. I hid in my home during the day and only went out in the dark of night fearing others would see me. I became a recluse in my own world of this disease or illness called Bell's palsy. The doctor finally asked the local hospital to do a charity Ct scan on me of my head. The results showed nothing. The doctor continued to give me steroids and assured me I would get better and my face would return to normal. After 6 months of this my then-Husband turned to me one day out of the blue and said Ro you are to ugly to look at anymore and went on his very way to carry on an affair with a woman up the street who lived in our community. The neighbors took pity on me and took care of me and to make a long story shorter I went on to somewhat heal but my face remained crooked. My husband divorced me right after this. The only place who would hire me back then was the local flower shop whose owner was disabled. She was a sweet lady who actually hired alot of single Mom's and people like myself. I worked for minium wage for years and continued to show some slight improvement. I turned out to be one of a small percentage of people who never heal from this horrible illness that doctors claim has no cure or known real origin. I consider myself an expert on the effects of having this ailment after researching it for an instense five very long years and feel if doctors really spent the time doing the right tests and studying the patients with the stories of horror about Bell's they just might end the misery of this illness and find a cure. Nevertheless I counted my blessings for all I had experienced in life and never became bitter with the ex who by the way is dying of cancer now at the young age of 49. Oh yea the girlfriend up the street well she threw him out when he got ill. Seems he got exactly what he dished out to me. God has a funny way of making what comes around goes around you know what I mean right? No matter how bad you feel or how ill you get, just look around and you will see tons of people who are worse off than you! Just glance up at the clouds, look at the ocean and smell the air that is what life is all about! My lessons on this earth continue.......... Ro and her angels!
This came from Kara Logan, of Isle of Wight, England, on May 8th, 2004....
Thank you for your e-mail, I will discuss with my midwife when I see her to ask her advice on using the [pure] lavender oil [in a base of organic almond oil] for massage on my face [as you suggested].
I would be honoured if you put my story on your web site, after all if I can give hope to at least one person suffering with Bell’s then it is worth it as not enough is known about this condition, especially by GP’s. I thought I would write down my experience in a bit more detail which you can put with my original e-mail that I sent to you yesterday and edit it as you see fit.
October 1996, aged 24 years, Tonsillitis, was given
antibiotics by GP, woke up one morning with pins and needles on the
left hand side of my tongue and a bitter taste in my mouth, went into
the shower, bent my head back to rinse off shampoo and a sharp burning
pain shot up my neck from the base to my jaw line by my left ear, (this
was the only pain I experienced), thought I’d just pulled a muscle,
went to put on my make-up and couldn’t close my left eye, couldn’t
drink properly (dribbled) at this point I thought I’d had a stroke
as I was on the contraceptive pill and this was the time that the news
was full of stories of blood clots etc. I went to the GP the next
day and Bell’s was confirmed, with my abrupt diagnosis (as told
in previous e-mail), was given steroids for 10 days (high dose though
can’t remember what they were called – were small red, about
the size of the contraceptive pill and had to take 8 at a time).
These had no effect on any of my symptoms, I then did facial exercises
and massaged my face as instructed to me by a friend, these were as
33 and a half weeks pregnant on the 1st June 2000,
Bells palsy started again, I woke up to a searing stabbing pain in the
base of my neck again on the left hand side running up to the side of
my jaw just next to my ear, this time I had constant pain as well as
5th June 2000, saw different GP, showed him all the information I had printed off and told him I thought I had Bell’s, he replied “that he thought I was right, after all as I had had it before I should know what the symptoms were, and asked if he could keep the information for future reference”.
6th June 2000, had my ears syringed, waste of time, it made no difference.
12th June 2000, my husband had to go for a routine appointment with his chiropractor and I went along, he asked me what was wrong and I explained that I had Bell’s, he asked me to hop onto the couch and started to manipulate my skull and neck (he practises a method called McTimoney, which gently manipulates muscle and bone with sweeping of his hands over affected parts of your body). As soon as he did this the pain in my neck and head instantly went and that evening I was able to close my eye!
13th June 2000, I got my dimple back on the left hand side of my face and was able to drink a cup of tea without dribbling!
14th June 2000, I can whistle!
17th June 2000, all my face is back to normal, except for a slight twitch in my left eye as before when I am tired.
I do believe that having a great support of family and friends helped me to recover as well as self determination that I would not be brought down by this awful affliction. I think it is a great shame that GP’s and the medical profession in general do not know enough about this condition as to me my face is everything I am as a person, it’s what people first see when they meet me, my bubbly smile, and when I got Bell’s I didn’t feel whole anymore, but I got through it, twice, and think I am stronger and more understanding because of it. But I do know how hard it is and how lonely you feel when this happens to you and not everyone is as lucky as I was to recover.
I hope you can edit this as you wish and use it for your web site, I would be very happy for you to use my email address and name etc.
I hope this is useful to you and hope to hear from you soon.
Kate Oliver writes from England (with a response from maggie following):
I've just read several of the personal stories from your website and can't thank you enough for making the information available this way.
I have suffered from Bell's for about 14 years now - I have just been diagnosed with my third 'episode' after a ten year pause. As a child, it was just mild to moderate - a bit of a dropp to the eye and a post-dental work looking swollen mouth. Now, at 28, it would seem that God has decided I should try Bell's at full whack and it's incredibly depressing.
The hardest thing for me was not any fear; as I said, I've had this before, but just how awful it is to have the adult awareness of the importance (or society's version of importance) of how we look and to see our faces so horribly contorted.
I am a teacher and so I stand before hundreds of chilren on a daily basis and can only give thanks that this attack has taken place during the Easter break and that, all being well, I will only need a minimal amount of time away from work - I couldn't possibly cope with being seen in public right now.
And from that, I would reiterate the comment someone made on the site - that it is vital that family members and friends are supportive and aware of the psychological impact of having this happen.
In terms of onset, on this occasion I had been feeling extremely run down with awful debilitating joint pain (back, inside elbows and back of knees especially, with pins and needles in my hands and feet), to the point that I could only sit, stand or lie down for 20 minute periods in rotation to alleviate the different strains of each 'stance' and had visited my GP. Unfortunately, a dreadful locum was the only person available to see me and I was simply given painkillers (kapake) and sent on my way - having been made to feel like a malingering time waster. The joint pain was excruciating and I ended up at my local Accident and Emergency Department in the early hours of the morning 2 days later. I was then given diazepam and tramodol, some naproxen, told I had 'a viral infection' and sent away.
I had by this time had three days off work and was feeling no better. I first noticed facial symptoms on Monday of this week (1 full week after starting with the joint pains), but I recognised the onset of Bell's and only expected that which I had experienced as a child.
Sadly, I was very mistaken.
On Tuesday morning, I awoke very early having had another dreadful night. I had total facial paralysis on the right hand side, with an obvious swelling along my jaw line, a fierce pain along the jaw and up to my ear, my eye did not close, my mouth drooped down visibly, it was so much worse than anything I'd experienced before.
I'm talking in the past tense, which is awfully precipitate, as the symptoms remain unchanged. I visited my parents and went to see their GP as my own could not provide an appointment for 3 weeks (or I could see the helpful locum sooner!). I was given predisone (60mg daily) and have to go back next Wednesday for a check up. I also have 'fake tears' to protect the eye and an eye patch (very fetching) to wear as required - I splint my eye closed with surgical tape to sleep.
I have been on-line searching for as much information
as I can find. The constants I have noticed are B vitamin supplements,
especially cobalamin sublinguals, and gentle facial massage. I was extremely
impressed with the information on the National Neurological Society's
site, which advised that facial massage should precede any facial exercises
to ensure that further damage wasn't caused - they recommend that sufferers
wait until there is some return of feeling / motion before attempting
exercises - and this is my intention.
I will certainly be in contact if any of the treatments
I attempt provide any obvious improvement. The information is so conflicting
and confusing that I have to admit to a certain fear of trying anything
as the idea of this becoming worse, more long-lasting or that my recovery
could be compromised truly terrifies me.
Sincerely, thank you for providing this site and for allowing me to vent.
Lyndsi from Memphis, Tennessee sent the following on March 24th, 2004....
I am a 25 year old female from Memphis. About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. It was horrible. I was told that I had a pretty severe case. I could not close my left eye and there was major drooping on the left side of my mouth. I remember that my boyfriend at the time was a nurse and he took me to the ER. I had never heard of Bell's palsy before that visit. They put me on Prednisone and Acyclovir (sp?). I was on the Prednisone for a couple of months. Within exactly 3 months I had gained 50 pounds. It was terrible. I was already depressed and extremely self-consious about the Bell's palsy, but now I had the weight gain to add to that. Anyway, it was going on about 9 or 10 months and I had not had any improvement with my Bell's palsy. I was seeing a neurologist and doing my facial exercises. The doctor finally put me on Celebrex, which is a drug for arthritis and also known to help bad cases of Bell's palsy. I don't know if it was time or if it was the Celebrex, but I started to improve. All in all, I believe I got about 80% better. I've still had to suffer with the lopsided smile that looks horrible in photos. It was one of the most emotionally and physically painful things I've had to go through. Well, now I am going through it again. Last week, I had been having ear aches, eye watering, and my taste buds were off. I didn't even think about Bell's palsy again for the second time, six years later. Although, it isn't as bad, I can't move the left side of my mouth or close my left eye quite enough. I am so upset that I might be battling with the Bell's palsy with no recovery. It took me such a long time with the first onset, that I am paranoid that my mouth will never go back to the way it was. That is the thing that bothers me the most. I have also been having a lot of really bizarre dreams about my face and eyes, being disfigured, etc. that I didn't have the first time. I feel like I'm too young to be having all these health problems (I also have severe asthma and was hospitalized in October for ten days with pneumonia/asthma).
Lori Hayden of Novato, California sent this on October 27th, 2003....
I had Bell's palsy about 5 years ago at the time I was living in Boulder, Colorado. My left side of my face became in-operable while at work—my eye lid wouldn't shut and my nose ran on that side and I couldn't smile on that side either and it was progressivly sore in the cheek bone area. I didn't have drooling, but my lip sagged slightly. This all happened within a couple of hours while I was at work and I had gone to the restroom to see why my eye wouldn't shut. I went to the doctor after work that same day and he prescribed antibiotics and steroids to get rid of the infection, since that is what my doctor had said that my Bell's palsy was caused by, which puzzled me, because I didn't feel sick or different from any sort of infection and felt normal except for the left side of my face. Of course I didn't know what to think. I went and picked up my prescription and I went home and talked to my family. I was worried because I thought it may be a sign of a future stroke, or my face would not ever look the same again. I did have to tape my eye shut for several nights while I slept and I put prescribed eye drops that were more lubricated in my left eye during the day.
My parents and I talked about it and had thought I should go see my family chiropractor who I had been seeing since I was a little girl. Luckily I was able to get in the next morning to see him and he took some x-rays and also did a spinal adjustment. The next day, I went in again to my chiropractor and he put on surgical gloves and with his thumbs from the center of the inside roof of my mouth he pushed up and outward. It was painful but it was quick, and afterwards, he had a mirror for me to look into so that I could measure a difference. There was a line horizontally and another line vertical on the mirror, so that I could see the difference, basically he was moving the bones in my face; I had looked in the mirror before the adjustment as well. I did notice a huge difference and I was almost back to normal. I couldn't believe it and I was so releived and thankful.
I did finish the medicine cycle that my regular docotor had given me and I had gone in to see him again too the next week. I had asked him what he thought about me seeing my chiropractor, and he said it wouldn't make much of a difference and or that he had no scientific data to say that it would or would not aid in the treatment of healing my Bell's palsy, but if I wanted to see my chiropractor I could. I was confused and had decided to get a second doctor's opinion and they said the same thing, but remarked on how well my face looked after the first chiropractic adjustment; I had not finished my medicine completely that was origianlly prescribed to me. The first doctor had said I may never go back to completely being even or normal with my face and that there was a 90% chance of it never happening again to me.
I had gone in the next week to my chiropractor and he did the same mouth adjustment and when I looked into the same mirror again, literally I looked like nothing had happened to me. I did on-going weekly adjustments with my chiropractor for a couple of weeks and then on-going once a month treatments for a year and that included regular spine adjustments as well.
My chiropractor was a natural force for healing my Bell's palsy and I don't know what I would look like or feel like if he hadn't done those facial adjusments. My chiropractor said that my Bell's palsy was caused by the little nerve being swollen that goes through a small hole in my bone just below my left ear. The day before this happened to me I was walking my dog in the cold air without anything around my neck. My body being naturally cold gave me goose bumps and it could have caused the nerve to swell and of course with no room to grow it closed off the blood and or functioning of my facial expressions on the left side. I had not been to see my chiropractor lately due to being in college at the time and my back was hurting me some but at that time I was not sick nor did I have any other health problems when I got Bell's palsy.
For me to have an infection, I don't know, but I can't tell you how much I swear by my chiropractic care, because it did help me resume back to normal. I can't even tell the difference now from my left side of my face to my right, unless you get a ruler and a mirror and look closely at my face. I do believe in being healthy from the inside out and that definitely starts with my spine. I do eat healthy and get moderate excercise when I can. I do take a multivitamin and some extra B vitamins when I am feeling extra stressed out. I do also go in and get massage sometimes too. I hope that this gives anyone out there who has experienced Bell's palsy—or are currently—a little hope and to try and seek out what information is out there as far as other methods of treatment. I truly beleive that without my chiropractor I may have had it happen again or something worse.
E-mail address: email@example.com
Gabriela, of New York, NY, sent this story on October 16th, 2003....
I am a 24 year old female from New York City, and I have Bells Palsy for the 3rd time. The first time I was diagnosed with it I was 12 and it was the night before my 8th grade graduation ceremony. I was devastated. I was taken to the ER that night and wasn't given any medications. They sent me off on my way saying that it would go away. I don't even think that I was tested for anything. But thankful to GOD, it did go away. Then at the age of 18 once again the night of my brother's birthday it hit again. It started with a sharp neck pain but I thought it was nothing. I decided to leave it alone thinking it was due to all the dancing....the next day I wake up with more neck pain and that night we went out to dinner and my family noticed my smile to be assymetrical, which was a horror to me. I was taken to the ER that night and that was when I was treated with Acyclovir and Prednisone. I took these medications for about a week or so but they did all these tests to me all except the EMG (Electromyography) and NCV (Nerve conduction Velocity). They did HIV/AIDS testing, lyme disease—all possible tests—and everything came back negative. I thank God. And weeks after, it was gone with little/no visability. Now 24, I just got it again a few days ago. I noticed the taste buds fading but thought it was my mothers cooking...I left it alone and got on the phone and decided to talk to friends, and my ear started ringing. Once again I thought it was nothing since I had no pain. During the middle of the night I woke up sweating like there was no tomorrow. I got up, took a warm shower, and went back to bed. I woke up in the morning to brush my teeth and wash my face but my eye wouldn't close and I couldn't hold the water in my mouth. I went to the ER once again and they again did the same exams and everything was normal. I have a scheduled appt. to see a neurologist but it is annoying to have this again, and depressing. I was browsing online about it and found this site to be so helpful because there are days when I feel down in the dumps and feel like the whole world is staring
This came from Laura of Anaheim, CA on January 28, 2003....
I also had Bell's palsy and still have a few affects from it. It started like an ear infection and sore neck and then I woke up one morning and the whole left side of my face was drooping and I couldn't move it. I also had severe head pain and equilibrium issues a lot like motion sickness. I had to stay down for 2 weeks while I did my conventional meds and then came back slowly to work after the 3rd week. The fact that I'm yoga instructor helped, it was also a good lesson for me and my students. It was very difficult to impossible to do very much my first week. Luckily, it was diagnosed early and I did go on steroids and antiviral med's for 2 weeks and since then I've taking herbs for brain and neural support to assist in the healing. The B vitamins really help to give you energy and to combat the sudden fatigue that comes with healing nerves.
I also do yoga and being a yoga instructor I had to guide my students through their practice as well as develope a practice for myself. I found for the first month side poses, power poses were near impossible and balancing I couldn't do. Now I'm 2 1/2 months recovered. My face completely came back after 4 to 6 weeks and the rest is just getting my nerve, balancing, stamina, normal movements like closing both eyes and alternating eye movements have come back. I also did warm, moist heat using a flax sock wrapped around my head, lots of rest, take my vitamins, herbs and light facial massage. i was told not to force the muscles to come back because often what happens is that the compensatory muscles take over and the healing is slower. You can't tug at the roots. Light finger tapping and light fascial using light upward strokes on the face was good. Lot's of prayer and determination, I knew somehow I will and am practically fully recovered.
The yoga practice was a gentle vinyasa flow using foward bend emphasis, no inversions or anything that put pressure on the head or neck because the nerves are too sensitive and need time to heal. Poses I found that felt good were pashimotanasana(seated fwd fold), child's pose, fish pose (easy fish), head over knee (seated), seated/ standing/recl twists, mountain pose with hands up, palms touch with upward arms and head back, grounding poses, yoga mudra, standing, wide leg and seated, cat/dog, goddess, 5 pointed star, wide leg stretches seated and standing. Gentle back bends using hand support, not full. Downward facing dog after about 3 to 4 weeks was fine early stages, not a good idea. When the equilibrium is off keep the movements slow and mindful. Bring squat/pranham as your equilibrium improves.
I'm just sharing this in case anyone who wants to do yoga and has bell's can be reassured that you can but with slow pace and even nostril breath ease up on ujayii. In experience, I believe the kundalini shakti is affected and that's why grounding poses are best. It's also good to walk barefoot on grass or dirt, and do butt squeezes, aswini mudra, kegel exercises. Pranayama: alternate nostril to balance right and left hemispheres, kabalabhati for grounding follow with meditation.
In all truth I've found it is a waiting game that can be frustrating at times but full recovery is possible with patience and proper treatment, being pro-active.
On January 27th, 2003, we received the following from S.B., of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia...
About the middle of Sept. 2002 my boyfriend noticed food was tasting bad. After about a week his neck started to hurt and then developed into what we thought was an ear infection. Because it was our daughter's birthday he put off going to the Doctor. The next morning I noticed his right eye was not blinking when the other one was and we realized that the whole right side of his face was paralyzed. Still thinking it was just an ear infection we went to emergency as it was a Saturday. Well they whipped him in, stuck wires all over him and thought he had had a stroke. They finally came to the conclusion he had Bell's palsy told him to take Prednisone for one week, which he did.
Now he has full control of his facial muscles. Yahoo, you would think, but now he is in constant excruciating pain. He has a lump at the base of his skull which he says hurts under his skull and on the surface and stretches right behind his right ear and down his neck. He is presently being prescribed Tylenol 3 for the pain, taking B-Complex and Vit. C. He is deathly afraid of needles so acupuncture is out. Does anyone have any input on this or experienced similar problems? The Doctor and the Specialist don't appear alarmed but we are it has been almost five months and popping 6-8 Tylenol 3 will only lead to more health problems. Please help us. Thanks.
Richard sent the following....
I got lymes borreliosis, seventh cranial, I had 22 of 40+ symptoms. Tried whey, ledum,and many other treatments. I no longer get rash or burning skin. ? don't know why. The bell's palsy stopped when i found i could take sulfur. One ounce of flowers of sulfur is about 4 tablespoons. I took one spoon after breakfast and one after dinner. The next day the same. It's an old cure for valley fever. I mixed it with powdered chocolate. also I use 35% hydrogen peroxide.diluted to 3%. This can be found by surfing the net. I still have ear ringing but will find the cure. I'm going to order black seed, boil it and use drops in the nostrils. this is an old islam treatment. type black seed to surf info on net. The sulfur info on net just type sulfur and read as much info as you find. I take a half spoon morning and night and the palsy hasn't returned. The cold and flu virus enters through the ear as well as other virus. It's a good idea to put hydrogen peroxide 3% drops in the ears to prevent or stop a cold. As many others i doctor myself. I don't give authority to some doctors drug experiments. and i would expect anyone that reads anything on the net to give it a full scan to find as much as they can for their own education.
The info for 35% to 3% can be found at www.sullivancreek.com/oxytech.htm also the info on what peroxide can do for us. I heard food grade has aluminum added by the government ? and it's better to buy 35%tech grade but i don't know.... blackseed grows in egypt. type www.blackseedusa.com/ read the info then click on the order now to see the package and price—one lb. organic 18.00 plus shpg. I haven't used this yet. because my problem was seventh cranial lymes I read where the islamic used blackseed to get rid of the brain flukes by boiling down the seed and putting 2 drops in the left nostril and 1 drop in the right nostril NEXT treatment, 1 drop in the left nostril and 2 drops in the right nostril NEXT treatment, 2 drops in the left nostril and 1 drop in the right nostril. END I'm not sure of the time between treatments perhaps we can find it by typing islamic blackseed treatment in the search engine. I' ll send another email when i find it again. The sequence of the above treatment tells me they knew of the balance or better (off center) of the anatomy. If you type the keywords hydrogen peroxide, blackseed,sulfur etc.etc. on your search engine you will receive lots of info to study on what these things do...I like to find where they have conducted experiments or used to cure in days gone by where they aren't selling anything. choose the picture you wish to see, see it in the real world and not in the mind, appraise it continually and make the affirmations day in and day out. anticipate its coming about, expectations abound, that which we seek we have found. accept it whole and deny that you know how, where or when, as you receive, receive,and receive, smile and do it again.
Richard J. Purtee
This story comes to us on July 18, 2002, from Shonda Adams of Plano, Texas....
I have always been a very healthy person. However, prior to getting Bells Palsy, I had been under a great deal of stress for an extended period of time. Two days before I was diagnosed with Bells I had noticed that my neck hurt very bad and I was feeling a bit run down, and my glands felt swollen in my neck. But I was used to some neck pain since I had been in a car accident a few years earlier and had experienced neck pain on and off again since then. And then I realized I could not taste anything when I ate, it was as though my taste buds just gave out. This was a Friday night—by Saturday morning I realized I could not wink my right eye and when I went to brush my teeth the water dribbled out the right side of my mouth. I panicked and thought that I was having a stroke. By this time I was at my boyfriends house and he assured me I was not having a stroke. However, he took me to the doctor, where I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. I am 33 years old and I felt like my world crashed; little did I know it was going to get worse before it got better. By Sunday morning I had total paralysis on the right side of my face, and my left side, wanting to compensate, pulled tightly up. I could not close my eye. I had to put drops in it every hour—Bion Tears—and tape it shut at night with Refresh P.M. night time salve. My speech was slurred and I had a very bad time trying to drink and eat anything. And my nerves swelled in my neck and around my ear and I was in constant pain—especially at night. I did not want to take the prescribed medical route, so I sought out the help of my chiropractor, who is nutritionally brilliant, and he began to treat me every other day. And he put me on massive amounts of L-Lysine, various herbs, and B Complex. I also sought out an acupuncturist who treated me every day, and was absolutely amazing. The other treatment I sought out on a daily basis was God. I spent an enormous amount of time on my knees praying, and had many people praying for me. Within 3 weeks I was completely healed! I am writing this because it was one of the hardest things I have ever endured, and I was told after the fact that I had a very extreme case of Bells Palsy and should not have recovered that quick. So to anyone experiencing this please feel free to e-mail me, and if someone is in my area I would be more than happy to recommend you to my Chiropractor and Acupuncturist, and, as well you know, you never need an appointment with God—He is always there ready and waiting to hear and answer your prayers.
Belinda of Irving, TX sent this story....
I'm Belinda, a 25-year-old mother with a 7-year-old son. I will soon be 26 on Oct. 24th. I'm sharing my story of Bell's Palsy. Today makes it a week of having it and I am so surprised at how there are no studies to what causes it. I have been on the internet almost everyday to find out that Bell's palsy will just heal on it's own but I can treat it myself by giving myself facial massages, trying acupuncture and not to stress because some experts believed stress caused it which I don't believe even the fever blisters, what is weird, I didn't have a fever blister or was stressing. They gave me prednizone and antibiotics to reduce the swelling which I'm highly considering not taking them anymore because I see no difference and by doing my own research it states I'm better off without the pills and just exercise my face. I just pray and work out my face everyday hoping it will be gone by the morning. My suggestion to Bell's palsy patients is to make sure you get the necessary blood work done and see a neurologist to make sure symptoms such as diabeties, Lyme disease, ramsey hunt syndrome, HIV, and stroke are ruled out. Always get a second opinion.
God Bless You,
The following was sent to us by Nur of Singapore....
Hi, this must be weird, I'm half way around the world away from all of you. I'm from Singapore (South East Asia) and i had my share of Bell's palsy on my 12th birthday. Now, I'm twenty and i still think its more of the how the world is worrying how people look that's still bothering me. I remembered (like what most of u have described) not being able to chew on the right side, spilling out water from the right side, and not smiling properly. People would say i still have a crooked smile. (i still do so i just give a dash of a smile) I remembered the specialist at my hospital not giving much advice or treatment about this except one where he had this tiny ballbearings attached to a wire, and they sent some electric waves to my face. Only god knows how painful that was but yeah it healed the palsy mayb about 70%. i can close my eyes now, thank God. If u are a family member of a person who is having bell's palsy or stuff, I cant stress enough on how important it is for people not to make fun of how we smile. heh, i cant even laugh too loudy otherwise the crookedness in my face is too obvious. People will ask and then it gets a little personal if its too much of a hassle. Being in Singapore, I dont really know who to approach for advise so that at least my crookedness will become less obvious. I will try one of those 10 (or 12) solutions recommended to us by a kind man in this website. may God bless you :). Just that, the face is the first thing people usually notice about us and i know beauty is only skin deep but u cant help to feel slightly inferior when socializing. (or is it just me) love em for what's inside of them. nur :)
This came to us from Tracy, of Enid, Oklahoma....
My latest time to have Bell's Palsy was just 3 weeks ago. This is my THIRD time to experience Bell's. I must say things are great this time. I came across this sight looking for Research studies, as the last time as well as this time, I saw similar symptoms up to 2 weeks in advance of the onset of Bell's Palsy that I would like to think could answer some questions for the "Medical Experts". The first time I had Bell's I was only 9 years old. A teacher reprimanded me for spitting my milk out during lunch and for being a class clown when trying to read aloud and not being able to say certain words that began with B's or F's. It was when I got home and told my parents I couldn't drink and was having problems talking that they noticed my smile was crooked. 24 years ago they treated my with electrical stimulation. My Bell's went away after 4-6 weeks. The second time I got Bell's I was 29. It was a severe case, acute paralysis no movement whatsoever and I even lost the ability to see colors. It lasted, as far as noticeable paralysis for 6 months, I did not take any type of treatment. Only made visits to an ENT and an Eye Dr. My eye took longer to heal, almost a year and developed an ulcer and I have some permanent damage to the vision. ALWAYS TRY TO PROTECT AND LUBRICATE THE EYE! Now, only 4 years later at 33 I started having the symptoms coming on again. On April 10th I knew it was back for sure. On April 11th my Dr. and I discussed treatments I found on the Mayo Clinic and National Center for Facial Paralysis website. I agreed to take a Medrol dose pack (steroid) and Famvir, 500mg 3 times a day. After only a week there was very noticeable improvement and now as of 4/23 there is no more droop, only a slight symmetrical difference when I blot my lips, but my smile looks straight again. Only problem I am still fighting is a dry eye. I definitely use eye drops during the day and lubricated gel at night. I have an appointment with a new eye specialist next week and I hope there is no new damage and I hope that he will be able to convince insurance that the Ulcer caused by Bell's on my left eye can be corrected and covered under insurance.
From D. Gould, of Glasgow, Scotland....
Hey my name is David Gould. I am a 16 year old Scots lad from Glasgow in the UK. I first found out I had bells palsy on Christmas day. The way in which I fould it out was quite funny. I was sitting in my room with a packet of Pringles and I noticed I couldn't taste anything at all. So I just put it down to being a bad packet. But then I ate Christmas dinner and the same again—I couldn't taste anything. So then I tried to whistle, but I just produced wind. Then I couldn't shut one eye without shutting the other. I wasn't thinking what the hell this was. It wasn't scary but the thing that got me was drinking. I couldn't drink without making some reference to the Niagra Falls. When I went to sleep and woke up in the morning my eyes were completeley crusted. I was so amazed just due to the fact that I found out that only 1 in 5000 will get this Inflamation or virus. On my road to recovery I had about 7 sessions with my Phisio Dr. We started out with an Electronic pulse generator or tensing machine. What happened is 2 wet pads were applied to my face, one on my corner of my eye (just on the skin) and the other on my jaw. Then the machine was set to generate pulses which stimulated the 7th cranial nerve. Then I got Microwave treatment. After that I found I healed but not 100%—maybe 70%, but not 100%. It has been over 2 years now and I am still at 70%. I have a weakness in my eyes and mouth.
This story is from Steve, of Dearborn Heights, MI....
Hello, I'm a 31 year old father of 2 and husband of 1. I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy on 6/18/2001. I discovered my facial problems on the morning of 6/15/2001 when I began to rinse my mouth out after brushing my teeth, the water kept spitting out the right side of my mouth, I couldn't keep it in. I didn't really think a whole lot about it at the time time so I just continued on with my day (off to work I went). As the day wore on at work I began to notice more signs of facial problems, (couldn't close my right eye, or smile on the right side). Now I recently (within two weeks) had my two lower molars removed by an oral surgeon, and at the time they showed me a video of possible nerve damage that could occur, so naturally I began to panic, thinking this is it, I'm going to have permanent nerve damage. Never hearing anything about Bell's Palsy before, I contacted the oral surgeon, and he asked if I was having any pain or noticeable inflammation, possibly from infection to the molars being removed, which I do not and never have had any such pain or infection in regards to the molars being removed. So he told me to keep a warm compress on it over the weekend and to come see him first thing on Monday (6/18/2001) morning. That's when I was told it was Bell's Palsy, which after finding out what Bell's is was a bit of relief to know that the facial problems wouldn't be permanent. I then was prescribed the drug of choice (prednisone) from my medical doctor. I've been on the drug now for only 4 days as of this letter date. I do have a question for those or anyone that was also prescribed this drug and chose not to take it. Why did you decide not to use the drug? Please e-mail and let me know. If there is good reasoning behind it then possibly I should discontinue the use of the prednisone also. Well that's it—that's my story, I would like to say to all of you who have participated on this site or who will participate in the future, Life is tough, but we will survive, stay focused, stay positive (albeit maybe difficult at times), everything's going to be ok. May God be with all of you.
Sherry, from Philadelphia, PA sent the following....
I have had Bell's for 7 weeks now. At first I had severe nerve pain. That went away. I have taken Prednisone and Valtrax. I have seen a little improvement, but my eye still does not close. When I try to smile it gets as far as my 2 front teeth showing. Today I went for follow-up to neurologist. He said I would improve some, but never 100%.
I am a vocalist. The Bell's had affected my singing. I am freaked out and feel like my one joy—singing—is over. My one great attribute—my smile—is gone. I know it is not cancer or losing a limb, but I am devastated. I could use some support or direction.
From Betsy, of St. Paul, Minnesota....
I'm 22 years old and woke up two weeks ago with my face feeling funny. My eye felt twitchy and when putting on my makeup I somehow looked different but couldn't figure it out. I asked my husband and he didn't notice anything wierd so I thought I was losing my mind. When I was at work I noticed that the left side of my face (especially my lip) were feeling numb-like I had novacaine), my left eye was watering like crazy and irritating my contact lenses. Coworkers were starting to notice the droop. I was very scared that I was having a allergic reaction or even worse a stroke. I immediately called my MD who assured me there was nothing to panic about and that it sounded like it was Bells Palsy (which sounds awful-when you're a normally healthy person!) I went in the next day and she officially diagnosed it. She put me on Prednisone and prescribed "Aggressive" physical therapy. I'm now finished taking the medication and do feel that it did do some good. I also have regularly been attending my PT sessions. They do electrical stimulation. massage, and facial exercises. For the most part I look back to normal except for when I smile and that seems to be improving every day. Something like this really makes you think how lucky you really are - there are so many horrible diseases and disorders out there that people have to live with forever. I'm having trouble living with this for only 2 weeks! It really makes your self-esteem go down the toilet. There is hope though! I guess you have to try and keep a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Good luck to those of you going through this as well....
From K.H. in Canada....
During homework time with my 10 year old daughter (almost 11), I noticed that she was playing with the left side of her face. After a lengthly conversation about the "how longs" and "where does it hurt?", I was at a bit of a loss. I did notice that her eyes did not seem to be working in unison and thought maybe, that she had fallen victim to a concussion or something of the sort from a recent hockey game. We opted to get some medical advice from our family physician. We were fortunate to get in to see him the very next afternoon. Following a lengthly examination and discussion, our doctor felt that she was suffering from Bell's palsy. What was that I wondered? As a elementary school teacher who has worked with a variety of special needs children, I focused on the word palsy and was sure that she was inflicted with a cousin of cerebral palsy and that this was the beginning of a life long road.
It has been 2 days since her diagnosis and I, my daughter's main advocate, have become considerably more educated on the topic of Bell's palsy. I have spent a few hours searching the internet for information, but have yet to find anything valuable related to young children. I am overwhelmed with the effort many of you have put into your own recoveries and will seek the same for my daughter, but my concern lies with her developmental stage of life. We have only just begun our time with Bell's Palsy and it is my hope that we can find age-appropriate information to support our daughter's situation.
They gave me Prednizone, a few instructions and sent me on my way. After reading about Prednizone I decided to not take it and go for a more 'natural cure'. The following day I sought information on the net and within 10 minutes found your site. It's now 13 days and I'm 90% healed. My vision remains slightly blurred but my eye is closing on its own and I'm able to blink almost completely.
Thanks you so much for sharing and caring - I believe
it was your program that made the difference. I'm not certain of what
following treatments helped the most. Perhaps it was the combination....
Thanks, again and I wish you continued success...
I am a 33 year old father of two young boys and
husband to a wonderful and caring woman.
As the day went on I noticed it was getting much worse—the symptoms were: drooping of my mouth; an odd feeling on my tongue when I would try to eat; sounds were much louder on my right ear; and my right eye was not blinking properly. Other than that I was not feeling any pain whatsoever. I thought maybe I just needed some rest so I took it very easy the next day on Sunday.
On Monday May 3, 1999 I went to work and had the same symptoms and after work I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed with Bell's palsy and was prescribed prednisone for 1 week.
I have never heard of Bell's palsy before and was very confused, as two different doctors were telling me different opinions on how or what causes it. I went on the internet and there was a wealth of information and here I am one week later and slowly but surely progressing.
I have stayed on 60 mg of prednisone a day, acupuncture
3 days a week and vitamin b-12 in sublingual form. Also, I use lubricant
drops for my eyes and at night I apply lubricated eye gel, then duct
tape my eye shut as any other tape just rolls off my eye.
I will post again in about two weeks with my current status.
God Bless to all.
I was so pleased to find this web site so I could hear how all of you were affected by Bell's Palsy and what you did for treatment.
It was October 1983 the first time I came down with Bell's. I was only 20. Like all of you it came on sudden and I had no idea what was happening. I do remember having a bad cold and ear ache and the next AM I woke up and the left side of my face was droopy. I immediately went to see an Ear Nose and Throat Physician who told me I had Bell's associated with shingles. Ouch!! It was very painful. They did many nerve tests on me weekly. After 8 weeks and no improvement, they did a facial nerve decompression surgery on me. To do this day, I don't know if it helped or if I just improved on my own. ~~ Then in 1990, when I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child, I developed Bell's Palsy on the right side. After consulting with many OB/GYNS they put me on Prednisone and the Bell's went away after 6 weeks.
All these years I have done the facial exercises, a lot of hoping, wishing and praying. ~ In 1993, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to see if there was anything they could do to improve the assymetry in my face. Basically no, but they did suggest cosmetic surgery. At that time I wasn't ready to do that, but..... in January 1999 I found a wonderful Plastic Surgeon and he did do some reconstructive surgery. He lifted the left cheek up and the right eye lid up. Like a mini-face lift. (I won't name off the medical terms.) I still have some scar tissue that needs to heal, but I do notice a slight improvement. I may go back this summer for more surgery as my surgeon wished he would have lifted a little more here and there. He also talked about Botox. injections. You may have seen or heard people having these injections instead of an actual face lift - it reduced the wrinkles. There was NO pain involved in the surgery: before, during or after.
My insurance company denied me at first saying it was "cosmetic surgery". Most insurance companies do not pay for that. I fought and insisted it was reconstructive surgery due to a medical illness. They agreed and did pay for most of it.
Good luck to you all. I pray for you all that you will heal beautifully. Remember.... keep smiling!
April 19, 1999 I got a call from a friend at about 9:30am. I had been sleeping, and when I hung up the phone I noticed that my left eye was not closing when I blinked. I ran to the bathroom to look at my face. I also felt that "novacane feeling" of desensitization and could not smile on the left side. I was frightened! I called my mom, because I had been exposed to pink eye (she got it from my little niece) and I have never had it. She said that could be it, so I called my doctor. I rarely get sick and don't usually go to allopathic docs. Yuck! They said over the phone that it sounded like Bell's Palsy. Yikes! They prescribed prednizone. I didn't want to take it, and didn't until I saw an acupuncturist and he told me I needed it. I have had multiple acupuncture visits, the last 3 he used electrical stimulation of the facial nerve. I'm at 97% recovery as of today. I have one more electrical treatment tomorrow. It has been effective, but not a lot of fun!
I have also used cranio sacral treatments which I found to be tremendously relaxing and helpful. I had lots of muscle movement with my first two treatments. I would recommend cranio sacral to anyone with BP! I have also done self massage with arnica, taken 2 to 3 grams of timed released Vitamin C daily and Echinacea. I also took an antiviral med. Aclovir (forgive the spelling!). I regret taking the prednizone. I saw my chiropractor Monday, May 10th and he told me that the prednizone had caused my adrenals to be functioning below desired levels. This compromises the immune system as well as messes up hormone production. I'm on a natural supplement to bring back my adrenals. I have also been going for walks and doing yoga almost every day since this started, I feel that has helped a lot. Of course, I don't go out without a hat and a scarf or turtleneck on! Everyday since I woke up with it, I have given it up to God and asked that it be replaced with perfect health!
I do not own Bell's Palsy, so it is free to leave my body completely! I tell my face I love it and what the nerve does for me is very valuable. I tell my adrenals that I love them and see them in my mind's eye as surrounded with universal healing light and functioning perfectly. I also greived for my face, and I think that's an important point - to recognize and honor what has happened. I did not buy in to being told that I had Bell's Palsy. I considered it a temporary situation and that I would have 100% recovery. Our minds are so powerful and when we combine our will with emotion, the results are amazing. I wish I had found this website sooner! I'm glad to be able to share this with others. God Bless!
From an anonymous visitor....
I recently contracted the herpes zoster virus, in the form of Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. It culminates in facial paralysis like Bell's Palsy. After my conveniently timed annual visit with my neurologist this morning, he suggested something that I think is quite valuable. As I have no ability or reflex with my eyelid, I would be unable to prevent an object from flying into my eye. He suggested that I wear glasses to protect myself from such a mishap. I am surrounded by many smart, caring people who have come up with many suggestions to help me now. But no one had suggested the eyewear to protect my now vulnerable eyeball. And I did not see any reference to that on any of the material on your website. So, I wanted to pass on that information to whomever it may help. Thank you.
an email responding to trigeminal neuralgia question via reference to Bells Palsy. (If folks have help for lloyd, they can contact him through me — maggie).
this story comes from Karen of Perth, Australia . . . .
I lost my smile on the 4th of october 1991. That's how i remember it and that is what Bells palsy means to me .
I had just come home from having my second son ,we had been out for the day and i came home and thought wow my face feels kinda numb so i thought a shower will fix that up when i come out from the shower my mother inlaw said "Karen the right side of your face is not working"!!! ...... I was at the doctors so quick. And he said its "ok its bells palsy because you are breast feeding i dont think we need to use drugs ok" !!! its been 9 years, I have my taste back but still no smile. I wish i had known more about this bp at the time. I hope you can help young people that need questions answered because 9 years ago i would have done anything to know more
take care and god bless
a years-ago response to my own request for information when I was suffering from the condition — maggie. . . .
Hi, maggie —
Got your message and was looking through my books. (Of course, we can't prescribe or diagnose, but if it were my problem, research has shown that the blend of Valor is always the first line of defense in cases of nerve problems. Place on bottom of feet, neck of big toe (representing the neck), and on the brainstem. As Dr. Young has said, there's no wrong oil and no wrong places to put it — only better oils or better places to put them. If you don't have what you want, use what you have. But make sure they are 100% pure, therapeutic oils.
One book I have reads, "Bell's Palsy is an acute inflammatory reaction in or around the seventh, or facial, nerve. It can become paralyzed and thus affect those areas which it supplies. There is usually pain and paralysis of muscles controlling facial expression, eye lids, the corner of the mouth. When these muscles droop, that whole side of the face looks distorted. Medical treatment involved placing a splint to hold up muscles, massage to muscles and pain relief medication.
"If one could oxygenate the area, increase
circulation, reduce inflammation, detoxify any heavy metals or other
residues around the nerve, one may find relief. Once swelling and inflammation
decrease, often the tissue will be able to perform its normal function."
I have also heard that a good reflexologist can do wonders for Bell's Palsy, with frequent treatments.
These are just some suggestions. I hope things get better for you.
from Jennifer, of Toronto, Canada....
My friend has been diagnosed with Bell's in March, 2000, but in addition to the facial paralysis, she has numbness in her legs, feet, hands, etc., which seems quite rare. She has had CT scans & MRI and thank god, MS has been ruled out.
IF ANYONE CAN OFFER ANY INSIGHT OR SHARE A STORY OF NON-FACIAL AFFECTING BELL'S, MY FRIEND WOULD BE GRATEFUL.
Right now she is very alienated, depressed and ALONE. Please advise any information or advice by email.
Thank you so much.
From Andrea, of Decatur, AL....
I am a single 25 yr old woman who has had Bell's Palsy since I was 2 years old. I never really thought much of it until I got older and kids would make fun of me when I attended school. I never thought of it as a handicap or a disfuction of any sort. It was just something that happened and I have no knowledge of the time it happened. My mother seems to think that it happened when I was 2 and I became very sick. I had a really high fever (somewhere around 106). I don't recall that time and I'm not sure if I was taken to hospital or anything. However, I have dealt with this situation for 23 years. My case is not as severe as others. My eye does not droop, I haven't lost in taste, I don't have salivation problems. As a matter of fact everything is normal until I smile or laugh. I have some puffiness in my left cheek but other than that, nothing. When I was 14 (I think!), I went to visit a neurologist and he told me that it could be corrected. However, the consequences were not (!!!) something I wanted to deal with. He told me that they could take a nerve out of my leg and put it in my face. I was not happy with this simply because I would have a huge scar on my leg from where they would remove the nerve. I have been through rehab treatments, facial exercises, and electro-stimulation treatments and nothing has changed. If anyone knows of a neurologist that specializes in this and could maybe help me in correcting my Bell's Palsy please contact me. I do not want to go through any painful treatments or drastic operations. If minor surgery could help, I would like to know. I am ready to see myself with a perfect smile instead of a slightly crooked smile. Thanks for any help!
From Andy of Casa Grande, Arizona....
I discovered I had Bell's Palsy. The morning after, my wife had surgery, from which I almost lost her. December 1996 (Thank God, she is fine now.) Nevertheless, when I consulted my Doctor he calmly stated I had Bell's Palsy. As he perecribed a steroid, he said the effects would only last about three to two weeks. Well its been four years now and I have yet to make a full recovery. Though I must admit, 60% is not bad. But I long to play my Alto Saxophone. But what I guess what hurt the most was seeing the pain and suffering my wife and son have gone through. The emotional effects of my roller coaster ride these past four years have been a constant strain on my family relationships. But what really hurts, is when my son carefully massages my face and asks when is his "old" daddy returning. (He and others refer to my boyish "trademark" smile.) At first, I felt betrayed and often wondered, why me? I truly believe it happened for a reason, though the periodic pain still lingers! And the smile has not returned. It is a good feeling when you can go for months forgetting about you have "leftover" traces of Bell's Palsy. The only regret I have, is I have yet to be photographed with my family.
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