Bell’s palsy can be sudden and scary, but an early diagnosis and treatment can cure it almost completely. A personal story of battling the malady.
A few years back, one early morning, I was wearing my baby in a back carrier and working on the dishes, when I felt a sudden pain on one side of my face. The pain was acute and the lower jaw drooped. I could not shut the eye on that side. My face was twitching, and there was a sudden paralysis. I felt bee-sting feelings in my face, half frozen and paralysed. My throat went dry and I wanted to sip water. But to my horror, water was dripping from my mouth. I could not pucker my lips.
I was in a foreign country, several miles away from my kith and kin. My spouse was on a business tour, and I was extremely fatigued and clueless about what I should do, and did not know to whom I should go for help. The overall fear was incredibly scary and surreal.
After a visit to the doctor, I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.
Bell’s palsy is a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. It is caused by a trauma to the 7th cranial nerve. It can occur when the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed.
Yes. It can be treated if you approach the doctor immediately it strikes you. Normally it takes few weeks to several months to recover completely. Only rare cases where the severity of the nerve damage is intense, bell’s palsy remains permanent.
Most people wake up surprised to find they have Bell’s Palsy or have symptoms such as a dry eye. The warning signs may be neck pain or pain behind the ear. Sometimes Bell’s palsy is not recognised in the first place, so it is good to know how it looks. The earlier the treatment the faster and better the recovery.
Keep calm and dont panic. The more stress, the more strain and pain. Most people recover completely after two or three weeks.
Consult an ENT surgeon or a neurologist, and start medication immediately. Depending on the severity, doctors advise steroids, antivirals, and antibiotics. Further, you will be advised facial exercises and physiotherapy. Prompt treatment helps speed recovery and prevent further complications.
Since I was diagnosed at the early stage, I was prescribed antivirals, and physiotherapy for two weeks. I practiced facial exercises like blowing air, gurgling water and raising eyebrows as advised by my physiotherapist.
I was not as brave as my family thought. Being married for just four years, with a 1.5 year old toddler, staying abroad several miles away, I only could reassure myself that I will be alright. I did not let go of my confidence. The thought of acid attack victims and how they battle in their life gave me the mental strength and power to overcome this trauma.
Remind yourself, It is OKAY to be NOT OKAY!
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay
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A SAHM by profession and an accidental Blogger by choice. I blog on personal and
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