My Experience of Bell’s Palsy – 3

After the ED discharged me, my Dr picked me up once more and an appointment was made to see him a week after the initial event. My main concern by that time was the debilitating tiredness I was feeling but was told that this was exactly how I should be feeling as what I needed was total rest. Not just rest for a few days but for a whole month so my body could repair and heal. My body, he explained was fighting the virus, the meds and trying to put things right. After hearing that I understood and so just gave in to it all. The steroids were to continue as long as there was improvement and I was prescribed a months supply of antivirals.

I discovered over the following days that I could do small things that lasted around 10 minutes, any longer and I was totally wrecked and so I allowed myself one small thing a day and then only if I wanted to. Everything else either waited or got left out, there was nothing I needed to do except heal. I put myself under no pressure to do anything whatsoever. Anything that needed me to follow instructions, use a knife or heat was done under supervision. Needless to say I went nowhere near driving my car at all, I certainly would not have been safe to try and drive.

Very gradually over the next week my jaw began to move more normally and eating became slightly easier. At the same time my speech became harder to understand when I spoke at normal speed and some days I could feel my lips and teeth getting stuck on some letter formations and sounds. When I remembered, I tried to slow down when speaking. The real highlights though were realising I no longer needed the lid on the keep cup and then the fact I could drink out of a normal cup once again without ending up wearing the contents. Food still often ended up around my mouth as opposed to in it, but less and less as the days progressed. For some reason the hardest thing to eat proved to be ice cream. One happy day I even managed to eat fish and chips. Ok so I broke everything into small pieces but I still ate it.

I am not someone who gets sick, nor am I the kind of person who willingly does nothing yet here I was able to give myself up to the need to rest 100%. Usually I would have tried to push through, to accelerate the healing process, to deny my body what it needed above all else, which was the time to be still and to carry out the phenomenal healing that all of our bodies are capable of. This is something I do not believe I have ever done before but resting, being still and watching the smallest of changes take place gave me the incentive I needed to continue to do so. It helped of course that I had read in several places that trying to get the muscles working before they were ready and the nerve had healed could be counterproductive. I certainly wasn’t about to inflict any further damage upon myself.

There was also the additional benefit of being sick during a pandemic as even if I had wanted to work I wouldn’t have been able to as all therapy work, like most other sectors was closed down. I had no excuse not to rest, I wasn’t letting anyone down and nothing mattered except my own healing.