Smiling on the left... but... still smilingThis is an update to my previous post:
(This is being written on March 16, 2012, for the benefit of those commenters who would like to know more about how I got over Bell's Palsy)
After the previous post was written, it has been more than a year now since Bell's Palsy injured/affected/attacked my facial nerve. All I can say is, I'm one of those people who are so lucky to have recovered so quickly. Within a month from the first time we went to the neurologist, almost all visible symptoms are gone. I am the only person who can recognize the non symmetric parts of my face of course since Im the one most familiar with it. I can smile normally, move my ears, nostrils but my eyes don't close easily. But I guess the smile and the eyes were the last to go back to normal.
Okay so after the first visit to the neuro, we went for a lab test. Wherein they (inflict) electrical pulses via a prong on your face at varying degrees of (pain!). This is so they can assess the degree of damage on the facial nerve.
On (probably) day 14, we went to the neuro for a 2nd visit,. Prior to that, my mom and I massaged my face, followed the instructions to avoid salty food and did my best to avoid therapy because we knew that that would be expensive. I also bought eye drops for when the eye becomes dry because it cannot close without assistance. On this visit, the doctor gave me the test result which was quite good but still I needed to go to therapy 6 times (once weekly) and drink the medication she has given and continue with the facial exercises. There are so many if you search in google but i used this because it's very visual and step by step: http://www.cuh.org.uk/resources/pdf/patient_information_leaflets/PIN1435_exercises_for_facial_weakness.pdf
I videotaped myself while doing these exercises each day but they are so embarassing so I cannot post them. But im pretty sure that it would be helpful for those patients who are suffering from bell's palsy to be able to see their progress.
So I came to the hospital for therapy which consists of infrared heat/light being directed at your face, some facial massages (using fingertips) by the friendly therapist and also they will (inflict) some electric current like pulses via some prongs on the affected side of the face.This is the part I hate so much, because I get easily surprised and it's a little painful. It's like the nerves become tender again. Also, it's so similar to the painful lab test i got earlier, only milder and so again I become reminded of that day.. which I hate. In all fairness, the other aspects of the therapy are like a trip to the spa, hehe. Also, i truly commend University of Perpetual Help Hospital in Las Pinas because they are so advanced that they have both a NeuroScience department and a rehabilitation department. Also bec it felt like going to a spa hahaha. Anyway, they will teach you how to massage your face so you may be able to do this at home.
After the third therapy session (once weekly basis), i stopped going. My face I felt was as normal as it could be. Also an upside to all this was that there were LESS wrinkles and LESS drooping on the bell's palsy side compared to the unaffected side. Talk about free "botox".
I continued taking vitamins for a while until i also stopped i think at least 3 weeks prematurely than was recommended. I think everythin in my face is normal now and I am back to my old self... I am whole now.. I can smile!
Oh another thing, after the first visit to the neuro, I asked our bishop to give me a blessing. Also, I think this miracle of easy recovery wouldn't have happened if not for that and the prayers.
This happened in January. On March 2011, a friend came to our house borrowing the infrared light my father bought me. He also had Bell's Palsy, probably from stress because he just came back from a religious mission and I think one of the biggest progenitors was that he cannot find a job, here, now, in the real world... Stress was still the cause. Sad for him, because it took so much longer for him to recover and he lost his confidence in himself because of the disease.
So i remembered how I felt when i had it. It's true you will lose confidence, you cannot show your face or talk without looking a little weird. It is a serious disease, luckily we can recover from it. The best thing to do is to pray, show a happy disposition, have hope and faith. This will heal. I'm sharing my story for those afflicted to know about this feeling of hope. Also so that we'll know that we should always be watchful and not let our problems, stress and unhealthy sleeping habits get the best of us. We only have one body given to us. We must take care of it.
Have a good day everyone!