Monday, February 21, 2011

Progression and Treatment of Bell's Palsy

I want to document how I am treating this condition and how it progresses, so I'm just going to throw it up in this post. I will add to it periodically.

  • 2/11 Thursday. First noticed pain in the right ear, thought I was getting swimmers ear.
  • 2/14 Monday. Around 9pm Loss of muscle control on right side of face. No pain. Sensation present in the face.
  • 2/15 Tuesday. Checked by physician, blood work, Hospital outpatient CT scan. Tests came back clear, Diagnosis of Bell's Palsy given. Began taking prednisone 20 mg (2 tablets every morning for 5 days and 1 tablet every morning for the remaining 3 days) and Valacyclovir 1 gm (1 tablet twice a day for 10 days)
  • 2/16 Wednesday. Went back to work. Bought a B complex vitamin, eye drops, and eye ointment for night. Slept with taped eye.
  • 2/17 Thursday. Worked. Slept with headband around eye
  • 2/18 Friday. Eye stays shut at night pretty well, so stopped wearing sleep aids. Eye does not blink involuntarily, but I can blink it voluntarily. Eye gets irritated and waters several times during the day. 
  • 2/19 Saturday. Worked. Felt tiny tremors on my upper lip and at the corner of my mouth, Felt some pain/tenderness by my ear. Began taking omega-3 fish oil capsules.
  • 2/20 Sunday. Felt some more pain around my upper jaw. When I am very still and ready for sleep, I feel some twitching in the face. Non-affected eye is tired. Trying to limit computer use and get lots of sleep.
  • 2/21 Monday. One week has passed. Still no movement at all. Eye waters less. I ran a mile at the gym, really slow, then walked briskly for a mile. Tenderness in the face continues, plus very intermittent twitching. I welcome this, because it feels like it is a positive development. I lightly massage my face before I go to bed and a few times during the day.
  • 2/22 Tuesday. Not much twitching today. I'm trying to get lots of sleep, so the nerve will heal. I went to bed around 9PM, got up to do the Seminary run from 5:30am to around 7, then went back to bed till 11am. Worked for a few hours, and swam about a mile, real slow.
  • 2/23 Wednesday. Did the same sleep pattern as yesterday. The 7am to 11am sleep was like the dead. I felt like I was in a deeper sleep than I have ever experienced. After I woke up, I felt fluttering around my eye. I can't move the muscles much, but I can still close the lid if I think about it. Nothing seems improved yet. Exercise seems to help my mental state, so I swam a bit again today, 1000 yards, and practiced flip turns. Taught 2 private lessons, then took it easy the rest of the day.
  • 2/26 Thursday. I'm feeling pain in my face, especially around the ear. It gets fairly intense at night, right when I am trying to sleep. My right eye gets sore if I don't keep it closed a lot.
  • 2/25 Friday. Last day of medications. I will continue to take the B complex and the fish oil. Still using eyedrops several times a day and eye ointment at night.
  • 2/26 Saturday. Saw a tiny bit of movement at the corner of my mouth and right cheek.
  • 2/28 Monday. I can make a half-smile on the right side! No movement in the forehead, chin, or around the eye. Can't purse lips, and still have trouble with saying my "f"s, "b"s, and "p"s. Still having quite a bit of pain on the BP side and in and around my ear. The twitching seems to have quieted down for now. My eye gets tired and dry. I probably shouldn't be driving, or reading much. But I can't seem to help myself. 
  • 3/7 Sunday. The pain is all gone!! And the twitching is gone, and I am seeing a LOT of movement in my face. I would say that about 50% of the movement is back. My speech is perfect. I can do a pretty good smile, if I don't open too wide. And my lower eyelid is moving perceptibly. I can eat and drink in public. Still can't whistle, blink involuntarily, raise my eyebrow or wink. My eye still feels dry and the other one is overtired.

1 comment:

k said...

I love you Cheryl, and it sounds like you're doing all the right things. Be kind to yourself and I am sure you will heal as your body is able. Bodies are amazing and complex. What a beautiful thing to see your body in a new way and feel the strength come back bit by bit. You get to savor each step and fully appreciate the function when it returns. You sound great :)