Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

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WTH? Bells Palsy??


When I was a kid I remember my sister and my Dad having something called Bells Palsy. It is a paralysis, usually on one side of your face. They both had it as a result of Lyme's Disease. I didn't think much of it at the time other than the fact that it was funny that when they smiled only half of their face cooperated. It comes from swelling on the nerve that effects your facial muscles so half the muscles in your face stop working.

Well, now I am a half smiler too. A few days back I noticed some numbness in one side of my tongue. I chocked it up to coffee that was too hot and ignored it. Then on Monday night I put lip gloss on and tried to rub it in with my lips and my lip mobility was off. I thought maybe it was being so exhausted so I ignored it. When I woke up to feed Jack at 3 the one side of my face was limp.

I had a little anxiety about something like a TIA or stroke but thankfully my doc got me in early the next morning and confirmed it was Bells Palsy. We have no idea why (yet?) so the doc is running some tests (namely, Lyme's). They usually give you corticosteroids for treating the inflammation but with nursing and the thrush it isn't recommended. So for now I am on Ibuprofen for the swelling and trying to get as much rest as possible. I have to try to keep the swelling down. More swelling equals less facial function.

Right now I can close my eye on cue (but not when I blink). Eating and drinking is like when you get Novicaine so that is a total pain. Hopefully it will only be a few weeks before my function is back to normal. It can take up to two months. Could have been worse though...

5 comments:

Jessica 9:41 AM  

Hi there. (I'm Amanda's sister-in-law). My husband has had a recurrance of Bells Palsy twice now since we've been married (12 yrs). The first time was quite scary for him. The second time wasn't as bad, but he was super worried about not recovering fully like he did the first time. This was shortly after we had our first child. Anyways, from what his doctor told him, this is a virus that stays in your system (similar to the chicken pox). His is mainly upset by extreme stress, and he sees symptoms on and off whenever he gets really run down and tired. Thankfully, the second time he had it, he went to an acupuncturist, and he saw dramatic improvement after a couple of sessions (this was after our family doctor said we just had to wait it out and the droopiness might subside). I don't know if you have any near you, but we both were in awe that it worked. (actually, I wasn't surprised, as I believe acupuncture was what helped us concieve our second child, but I was surprised it helped as quickly with his Bells Palsy as it did). If you have any questions about it or need any advice, you can get my email from Amanda. Hope you start feeling better soon!

Kristen 10:25 AM  

Jessica - thanks so much for posting. A mentioned your hubby having a couple rounds of this. I can see why the first round would scare the heck out of you. Looks a lot like a stroke. I am guessing stress did trigger mine. Wonder why I might be stressed or run down :). I will definitely look into acupuncture. I've never done it but since I can't take the meds it might be worth a shot!

Plant Girl 10:55 AM  

Thinking of you, and hoping that it goes away quickly. And really, I can't imagine it would be stress/fatigue related...

I still think you're pretty. ;) Love you.

Leanne 3:16 AM  

Hi Kristen, I can totally relate to your photo. I had Bells Palsy when I was 34 wks pregnant with our first child. I had complete paralysis on the left side of my face. I had a short course of cortico steriods and then used a TENS machine from work(PT clinic) to try and stimulate my muscles and did face stretches while i was pregnant. After the birth i saw a PT for accuptuncture and slowly i made really good progress. I also had the needles hooked to an electrical current to help stimulate the nerve and muscles. It took about 5 months to really get to the stage i am now. I still have some weakness which i'm aware of but most other people wouldn't notice and its worst when i'm tired or run down. I was quite worried that I'd get it again when I was pregnant with Thomas esp when his RS was diagnosed but thankfully it didn't happen. Anyway I would really recommend giving the accupuncture a try. Will be praying for a fast recovery for you.

Leanne

Kristen 8:39 AM  

Leanne - Acupuncture keeps coming up. I talked to the doc about it and I am looking into whether insurance covers it. I just have to try to find a time that I could get in. :D

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Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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