My Experience of Bell’s Palsy – 6

Four weeks after the event saw me completely off the steroids and with a little over two weeks of antivirals to go. Finishing the steroids made a huge difference to my sleep and for the first time since the event my tiredness felt normal. I began to sleep for longer and occasionally found myself dozing off in the chair whilst listening to an audio book. I was still resting as much as possible to give myself as much chance to heal as I could and friends were still sending distance healing to me.

By now I had around 90/95% of movement back in my face, mouth and eye. What was left to resolve was small, fine muscle movement mainly around my upper lip and above my eye, that probably only I was aware of. My eye was still dryer than usual but I found was using the eye drops less during the day although I was still using the Vitamin A drops and an eye mask at night to protect my eye whilst I slept. I also continued to wear prescription sunglasses during the day even though I was not aware of any sensitivity to light. Wrap around sunglasses were always on when I was in the garden or sat anywhere there was breeze. It really was protect my eye at all costs.

Due to the fact that I was still on antivirals which continued to make me tired and a little forgetful, I was still not driving. I may have been ok to drive if I had needed to or in emergency but it really was not worth the risk so I refrained.

I was still getting crawling sensations around my face, especially up inside my nose, across my cheekbone and into my ear plus on some days, especially when the weather was damp, there was a dull aching in my face but lucky there was no real pain at all so it was just something I was aware of.

The thing I found most interesting about these four weeks was that at no point was I bored or looking for something to do. This was completely unlike me. There were times when I found myself thinking of things that I could be doing but it was never ‘I could do this now’ only ever ‘I could do this one day’. I seemed content to rest, to relax and to keep everything for some point in the future. Looking back I can see how much all of this helped me as my body had nothing it needed to be doing other than to heal itself.

At five weeks I had almost all movement back in my face, eye and mouth, At six weeks I had all movement back and the eye Dr in the hospital, when I went for my follow up review, checked twice which eye it was that had been the problem, spent a few minutes trying to open my eyes while I tried to keep them both closed and then pronounced I had all my muscle movement back. Great to have confirmation and to be given the all clear.

After resting for six weeks what was left to do was begin to rebuild my stamina, strength and, thanks to the meds, my immune system. I had though learnt the importance of not pushing myself, of being gentle and not expecting too much too soon so I approached this with the ‘however long to takes’ mentality that had got me this far.