You don't know what you have until it's gone!
It started off as a typical Saturday work shift as a sixteen year old as I thought. Later that evening, I started to feel different and my face and expressions were altered. I could remember looking into the mirror behind me at the restaurant where I worked and one eye/eye brow would not move and my other eye drooped and my lip. When I attempted to drink from a straw all the fluid ran down the side of my mouth. I assumed I was just overtired from a very long work shift. I arrived home and went to sleep hoping it was all in my mind.
I woke up that bright crisp fall Sunday morning. I jumped out of bed and ran into the washroom to look in the mirror. I was praying that yesterday was an illusion or a figment of my imagination gone wild! I was not wrong! My face was distorted looking as if I was in a bad accident. I started to cry and scream! My father raced to my aid and I could hardly speak…the words I used to pronounce could not be spoken like before. At first, they thought I had a stroke and then my father being the jokester that he was started to laugh. He said you have one I have before, “Bell’s Palsy!” My mother drove me to the Emergency Room and they took many tests and diagnosed me with Bell’s palsy. They aggressively started to treatment. Back then, they had this electric shock treatment machine which had a device that looked like a microphone. They hooked my face to many wires and dipped this device into water and turned up the dial to 9! I jumped out of my seat because some nerve endings were dead but others were still alive and functions pretty well. I was officially electrocuted! I demanded them to STOP! They offered some steroids which I refused to take and off I went to the unknown future.
The following day was school as usual. I wanted to just quit school. How can I go to school looking deformed? I was pretty popular and I could not face the world that Monday but I am a trooper so I did. I did my best to not look up as I walked through the halls but everyone noticed. I heard whispering like what happen to her…she must have been at a wild party – car crash!!!! I rushed to my first period. I had a mandatory debate class and I was first up. I could hardly be understood as I spoke to my teacher insisting, If I could make this up and he said no, you will fail if you do not present today. I stood up in front of the class and all eyes and ears where on me. The words could not be recognized and my right eye could not blink and just stayed wide open as the tears ran down my face. It was the longest five minutes of my life. I could not wait to run to my seat and cover the side that could not move. I was the talk of the school.
It took about nine months to feel and look somewhat half way normal. My face has been altered permanently. My senses of smell, hearing, seeing have changed. I am overly sensitive to all. When I am over tired, stress, ill or had way too many, my eye will droop along with my mouth. My eye will water as if I am shedding a tear but it is fine.
Little did I think could ever be possible, in 2000 my left side of my face drooped and I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy on that side of the face along with Ramsay Hunt syndrome which would cause seizures in my brain every 30 seconds. This lasted for about seven days and the Bell’s palsy lasted for a few weeks and was not as severe as when I was sixteen. The physician put me in the Medical Book of Records because of having both of them at the same time.
I guess my face is now balanced! LOL!
Welcome to my world!