Bell’s and Thoughts of Botox

It’s been a while since my last Bell’s Palsy update.  I’m now well into my second month, and it seems like there is finally some progress.  I have a bit of movement on the right side of my face that seems to come and go; however, whenever I’m exposed to cold air, it immediately, “freezes” again.  I still can not close my eye, and I think I might just invest in Bausch and Lomb given the amount of money I’ve spent on gels, ointments and drops to prevent damage to my cornea.  One doctor suggested that I have a gold weight surgically implanted into my eyelid until I’m thoroughly recovered, but I’ve opted against that.

Besides the discomfort in my eye and just a tad bit of aching near my cheekbone, most of the pain I’ve felt over the past several weeks is gone.  Another big breakthrough is that I haven’t had to use a straw to drink for the last few days!  I feel like a toddler drinking out of my, “big girl cup!”  It’s amazing the things we learn to appreciate when we lose them…Image

Along those same lines (upcoming pun not intended,) I’ve taken note of how many people regularly use Botox to fight wrinkles and the natural aging process.  Well, after experiencing paralysis, an expressionless face and the inability to smile, I’m one who has chosen to never use Botox – – I think I’ve earned every one of my wrinkles, crow’s feet and laugh lines that will appear as time passes.  I appreciate the ones I have, (at least on one side,) and the ones that will come.  For now, I will continue using my TENS unit and taking my daily doses of MSM.  Hopefully, my next update will bring news of total and complete recovery!

Bell’s Update – Week 3

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Last week marked my third full week with Bell’s Palsy. With it came a great deal of pain, swelling, nausea and tearing from my right eye which still won’t close. The facial paralysis has not subsided, but I believe the pain is a sign of healing. The headaches that I experienced the in the week prior to my diagnosis returned, but only lasted a few days. This brought a level of comfort, but I have to mention that I have had headaches everyday since an auto accident four years ago, so there was no complete relief. My little Lola is able to detect the more serious headaches before their onset, but she couldn’t detect those that were due to Bell’s.

Last Sunday, the campground where I had been staying closed for the season. Knowing that I should keep still and continue healing (and working on my book,) as well as winter quickly creeping upon us, I moved to a year round campground. I must say, it is beautiful! You can get a glimpse in the pics below. I’ve settled in, continued my writing and I’m getting a good amount of rest. I’m sure that this will soon be behind me and I’ll be back to my old self before I know it!

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Bell’s Palsy – Week 2

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Today marks the beginning of my third week with Bell’s Palsy. During the second week, I ended up back in the hospital after a bad reaction to one of the meds. I had terrible chills and night sweats, and I was in terrible pain all over.

When I arrived in the ER, my temp was 104, I was terribly dehydrated and had multiple infections. Besides this, I was horribly confused, probably due to the fever. I must have been rambling, because the doctor came in after I was a bit more stable and told me he looked me up on the Internet. He was pleased when he found my website, checked the parking lot for my RV, and was satisfied that I was who I said I was!

At this point, I’m feeling much better, but that second week also brought a great deal of facial pain, nausea, neck pain and overall exhaustion. I’m hoping that as I enter this third week, I’ll start seeing more improvement. Fingers crossed!

The Journey Home Begins

Released from the hospital with meds in tow, I began the journey back to the Midwest. I must say, the US is a beautiful country; you just have to make sure you take your time to see all that it has to offer. Here are a few pics from my drive between South Carolina, where I was able to visit Ft. Jackson (I hadn’t been there since I was 11 when my brother began his service in the US Army) and Virginia.

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Books and Bell’s

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My last book signing of this tour was bittersweet, to say the least. I arrived in Jacksonville on a beautiful, sunny day and checked in at the Pecan Park RV Resort (the most comfortable park where I’ve resided in any state, by the way.)

Before the event, I had the opportunity to visit a few downtown attractions and then made my way to the signing.
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After a satisfying number of sales, out of nowhere, my right eye began to feel swollen. I glanced in the mirror to my left, and everything appeared normal.

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A few more sales, a few more photos and signings, and then my face went numb. I could no longer smile, my speech became slurred, and I was dizzy and nauseous (that’s supposed to be a smile in the pic below…)
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When all was said and done, I left the event early and ended my night at Baptist Health Hospital. The staff, including Chaplain Genesis S. (pictured below with his wife and baby,) took care of me and my little Lola, and the view from my room couldn’t have been more beautiful.
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Thank God, there was no sign of stroke although my blood pressure was 203/105 when I arrived in the emergency room.

The diagnosis…Bell’s Palsy. The blessing…I was struck only upon completion of this book tour! Alas, I’m heading home for awhile, working on my next novel, setting a few acupuncture appointments and hitting the road to recovery!