Bell's Palsy: The Final Chapter
If you are a long time reader, you might have been looking for an update on my Bell's Palsy. I blogged about it last July and last November, but haven't really updated you all since then.
To be honest, I think I have been waiting to announce that the Bell's is completely cured and my face has returned to look the way it always has. But it turns out that I am in the 10% of people who get most of their facial nerves back, but not all of them. It has taken me a long time to be ready to talk about it simply because there has been sort of a grieving process. I never thought that I'd grieve so much over my "old" facial expressions!
There is good news, though. You'd probably never notice I had Bell's Palsy unless you knew me well before and noticed that my previously animated expressions are a bit toned down now. If you'd never met me, you probably wouldn't notice that my right eyebrow doesn't move and my right upper lip doesn't move much either. Thankfully, though, I've had months to work on correcting my smile in the mirror and for photos. I am happy to report that it's barely visible anymore...especially for photos, which is where I really noticed it most. I'd say that's real progress.
I appreciate all of you who have shared your Bell's stories, prayers, and encouragement. I hope that by following my story, maybe you'll understand what it means when a friend or relative tells you they have Bell's Palsy. You can tell them that you know someone who had it, lived through it, and is completely healthy and happy afterwards.
A friend took this picture on my birthday and I think it's the best post-Bell's picture so far.