This photo was taken six months after I came down with Bells Palsy before I knew that I had Lyme, they said I would NEVER recover, but I truly now have about 90% of my face back. I did Alot of acupuncture twice a week, I was barely able to make it to the appointments due to exhaustion. I don't have many photos of myself during this time because I wasn't sure myself if I would recover. It took about 6 months for me to train myself to blink again, the blink was slow and delayed but now almost 3 years later my face it not as swollen and if I don't smile really big you wouldn't really know, but one eye is still smaller now and I am still working on it.
60 % of people with Bells Palsy actually have Lyme - I knew mine was different when I first got my Bells Palsy, the extreme fatigue, pain, etc. was not normal. When I first came home from the hospital. I felt as if I had bugs inside of me, it felt as if I was part of a germ warfare experiment......turns out I was pretty right on.
The doctors were not able to diagnose it, I had three false negative tests....most of the current testing available is worthless, unless you got to the right lab. I first requested my blood go to the right for the most accurate testing (right from the beginning) the unfortunate thing is the lab tech decided to send it in to a more convenient cheaper lab.
A year after I got the Bells Palsy I came down with Graves disease, I am really a healthy person ( I know that seems hard to believe but I am, that was another reason none of this made sense) and that is why when they told me that I had another problem it just didn't feel right, I knew that there was another bigger problem and these were symptom of something else. Before I knew what was wrong with me I was traveling again I thought my fatigue was just my body trying to recover.
In 2008 when I returned from New Orleans and North Carolina I mentioned to my class travel experience along with why my face still was disfigured etc. when one of my students mentioned that I might have Lyme. That finally felt right, I knew that had to be what it was, that is when I started my journey of diagnosing myself. I ordered a test kit from the lab and started using my doctor as a vehicle to get things done, my doctor was at such a loss she was willing to do whatever I wanted. Most doctors around where I live don't believe it is here they think it is only on the East Coast...anyway long story.
I felt like a crazy person, I was doing much better but still pursued the testing etc. It took another two months to get the results, a month for the test and another month to get it read, the doctors, neurologist, endocrinologist etc. couldn't read the test. so the only person I trusted then was the director of the lab. I got a copy of the results myself, my current doctor thought the test was negative but I saw one small positive and asked my doctor what that was, she didn't know.
I felt crazy because I finally felt good but was still pursed this testing thing. I recognized that there would have been no way I could have done it while in the midst of all of my fatigue.
It seems perhaps that people that have Bells Palsy without severe pain and fatigue just have Bells Palsybut there are certain signs to look for that help show the difference. Anyway everything is a blessing if you choose to look at things that way and now I can help others.
Since then they have published a few of my articles in the local papers to help make our community become more aware.