Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bells Palsy Update - it will be 7 years in May


Like many of us with residual BP when possible I prefer to wear my sunglasses when possible



I am really happy to have to have as much of my face back as I do,they said I would never recover.I still try not to smile too big when taking photos, because when I do my face is still a little cock-eyed.

The doctors wanted to put a gold weight into my eye-lid, but I thought - they just don't know me very well and I did not accept their opinion. I did go through a lot of acupuncture with electrical stimulation, PT with electrical stimulation and macro electrical stimulation. I have also been seeing an osteopath (something I never believed in before) but to my shock when he started to work on my face - I had NO idea of how much pain I was still in, until he touched certain areas of my jaw and neck. It would be similar to someone having a tight muscle in your back and having someone massaging it to work it out. Now it feels similar to the other side but it still pulls in areas of my neck and eye.

I haven't had any therapy for about 2 months and nothing seems to be improving any longer. I might try a little more but I know that I have pushed my recovery to the limit. They say your going to get as much back by about 2 1/2 years but I am here to tell you my recovery has been ongoing until now slow but steady, so don't believe everything they say but you must take control and get some sort of electrical stimulation.

59 comments:

  1. I have had bells palsy for 4 years and 2 months. My smile is one sided and my eye looks smaller and closes when I eat and open my mouth and smile. I'm finally going to get some help with my eye. I'm going to have my eyebrow raised so my eye will open more. When I see a camera I run the other way.

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  2. I understand and feel the same way. I keep hoping things can change but as time goes by it seems very unlikely. It is much better than what the doctors ever told me to expect, but it is like you said, I am not too fond of photos and try to think of how to smile so it doesn't look too weird in pictures.

    It sounds interesting about the surgery - keep me posted.

    At least my face doesn't feel like it pulls as bad but maybe I am just getting more use to it. Thank you for your comment :) Birgit

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  3. I had Bell's Palsy back in 1996 and it took years over 10 to finally get use to not trying to do with my face what I did before BP. Then I was prescribed prednisone (steriod) to get the feeling and movement back in my right side. It worked but I gained weight. I had a severve case. Now I'm able to smile with my mouth closed, because I don't have that fantastic broad smile I was trademarked for in my younger days. I don't look too much like I'm sneering at someone anymore. That brought a lot of negative attention from other people. But my Cleft has move under my chin to the left, not centered. Boy there were a lot of things that hit mentally dealing with BP, because a lot of people don't know about the affliction, so you feel alone. It takes a strong person to push through, so to all be strong and be blessed it wasn't a stroke. Darren

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  4. Hi Darren I completely understand. I still have a slight sneer, cleft to the left, and am very aware of not smiling as big as I use to – it now looks like a forced smile, since my left eye now get smaller when I smile. I use to try to explain to the younger children in the family why I looked this way and to not be afraid. My face is much better now after LOTS of electrical treatment through acupuncture and macro stem, and most people won’t even know since they have nothing to camper it to, but I know. Yes your right we were really lucky that it wasn't a stroke. I did have someone in one of my workshops have a stroke once and I could recognize right away as not BP - it was different. At that moment it brought up so many feelings of what I went through that I guess I never processed and it was hard to stay composed but I did what had to be done. Wishing you all the best Birgit ☺

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  5. I have had Bells Palsy for a little over two years. My eye is smaller than the other and when I eat I can feel my eye getting smaller as I chew or even drink. I still get cramps on the side of the face when I smile or laugh at most times not all which at times its painful.I can see swelling under my eye. Went to see Neurologist and he says I look good and I have recovered 90% which I might stay with the 10%. I don't feel beautiful anymore and hate looking at myself in the mirror. Have been trying to take herbs as far as Vitamins but just started. Wish it would go away so I can get my life back.

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    1. Dear Cindy
      I understand, it happened to me in 2017 and it is now 2012. I still feel a tightness in the muscles / nerves around my eye but it is much less then it was. I don’t have really any pain any longer only tightness, but the tightness is not as bad as it was.

      My left eye looks normal if I don’t talk or laugh (but that’s not me) and when I really get animated my affect side gets much smaller. So I am still conscious of trying to stay aware and control or exercise that side of my face, in our case only time can heal or at least try.

      I really don’t like pictures of myself because my eye is smaller. No one else really notices only me, especially in pictures. I consciously try to pose my good side to the camera then the perspective looks much better.

      I found that even after 2 years I was able to get more recovery back. What really helped me in my recovery was acupuncture with electrical stimulation attached to the needles and macro electrical stimulation (different technique). I had to stop due to the expense of treatment for my Lyme disease but even now after 5 years later I am considering doing more treatment again. The nerves grow so slowly that I would like to think that given time, facial exercises and stimulation almost anything is possible.

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    2. hello everybody i'm Gilbert Navarro it's been going 5 years already with the palsy tryed everything vitamins facial rubs electrical stimulation acupuncture herbs recovery has come back some what doctors tell me the older a person is the less you have in getting better it sure has change my attitude can's seem to look at people in the face during a conversation you won't know that i have it until i start to talk or smile.i just hated good look to the rest of us it's here to stay.

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  6. I developed Bells pasly about a month before my prom and high school graduation. I had to tape my left eye shut at night for 6 months so it would not dry out. Im now 22 years old and still have it. It did get better for awhile but has stopped. I do not let people take pictures of me, because it seriously depresses me to see them. I know i need to just get over it but it is very hard to do so. My left eye waters when i eat which is weird, when i smile it gets smaller, and i cannot raise my left eye brow. When i massage my face there is pain still. I have no insurance and no means to get any. I literally do not know where to go from here. Its awful to be in "your prime" and unable to do so. I do not feel pretty at all, and it hits the self esteem hard! -kristen

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    1. Dear Kristen I absolutely can completely sympathize with you. In general I feel pretty good about things until I have to have a photo taken or see a picture of myself then I can get a little depressed and sad and wish it was different. It hurts when people say you used to be so beautiful and now they leave the rest to my imagination of what they think. In general I'm a very happy and positive person so I try my best not to let it bother me, But there is always a small part of me that it does.
      When it happened it gave me a greater perspective of anyone that had a problem looking at me it was not my problem but theirs.
      Most people when they meet me can't even tell that there really is a problem because they have never seen me before, so they think this is what I supposed to look like. The people that really recognize what it is are doctors or people that experience the same thing.
      I have learned when having pictures taken the way that I don't mind to see myself is to have my good side of my face facing towards the camera on the other side slightly turned in and the picture seem to be fine. I was hoping maybe to have a little more acupuncture or some type of electrical therapy but at this point I really don't think it's going to help anymore. I often think that really in the bigger picture I'm very fortunate to have what I have, and it could always have been much worse and it was. I wish you all the best and much happiness and as I said I understand

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    2. I wish I could share pictures here. I have had BP for 29 years. It was Wednesday February 29, 1984 when I woke up with it. I had my baby girl 2 am on the Saturday prior. That Saturday in recovery my face was bright red, flushed and felt strange. I asked for a mirror and I told the hospital staff something was wrong with my face. There was no outward evidence to them and they dismissed my concern. I was discharged with a clean bill of health on Tuesday. The paralysis did not hit until Wednesday morning. I didn't know it until I took a sip of coffee and could not close my lips. I was wearing my coffee.

      I still get cramps on the side of the face when I smile or laugh. When I am stressed or tired the symptons become worse. It has become unnoticable to me most of the time. Until I see a picture, not all are bad. There are times its painful physically and emotionally.

      My left eye waters when I eat, my children often thought I was crying. That is still embarassing. I initially lost weight because I did not want to eat in front of people. I do smile, a lot. I always have and always will. My eye gets smaller, and my left eye brow is pemanantly raised. My cleft has move under my chin to the left. When I massage my face there is pain still. People still call me smiley.

      On the plus side I don't have the age lines on that side of my face since I had that side frozen at 25. I try my best not to let it bother me, there is a part of me that wants my other face back. I also consciously pose my good side to the camera though I have been less careful lately and I notice it!
      My husband in a backward compliment said he likes that I am not completely perfect (that a joke, of course)...MaryTherese

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  7. I had bells pulsy 18 months ago i still feel my eye getting smaller when i move my lips i waited all these time bcoz i been told it takes up to 18 months to fully recover but it didnt for me its the time to move and start seeing doctors,but dont know where to start my bells pulsy wasnt that bad and i was able to blink and smile after 3 weeks and i felt everything ok a few weeks later i start to feel my eye getting smaller when i eat or yawn or move my lips i ignored it as the doctors said u fine give it 18 months and u will be completey fine any advices thank you.

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    1. Hi Max have you tried electrical stimulation through acupuncture or macro electrical stimulation? That really helped me and I would suggest that to everyone with BP. my recovery didn't even start until 3 months after the onset. I still have some residual but it's not that bad in comparison to what it was. I was able to still get recovery for about 3 3-1/2 years. I have not really had the opportunity to have more acupuncture for a while. The electrical stimulation is the real key but you want someone that has some idea of facial nerves or has treated Bells Palsy before. I hope that helps.

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    2. Yes, my eye got smaller and would close when I would chew, talk or smile. I consciously tried to isolate my muscles in my eye to not close when I would make an O with my mouth. Look in the mirror and try to practice, I know it can still get better, very slowly but it can. It's going on 6 years for me - gosh that is hard to believe-but it does not feel as tight as it did. It helps for us to know that we are not alone.

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  8. Hi Birgit, I'm from Long Beach, CA. I've lived in Denver, CO for eleven years now. I got Bells Palsy Feb. 21st, 2007... one week after having my twins who were born on Valentines Day. I was 38 years old, got Bells, postpartum depression and had to deal with twins right out of the NICU all while my body was trying to recover and dealing with a not so nice husband. I'm glad those days have passed. The twins are finishing up Kindergarten now and my other half has grown up some. My face never fully recovered. My right eye is squinty, mouth crooked, can't whistle or blow up a balloon. I still drool sometimes and I have a pain on the back of my head that doesn't go away...feels like a bad bruise. I have to say though, I never cried about the Bells...we laugh a lot. If you can turn the sadness into humor, it makes for great therapy. I think it actually helped me get through the postpartum depression. I went for acupuncture for 2 years. I'm not sure if it helped, but it felt good. This is the first time I posted anything about my Bells Palsy....it was nice..Thank You for your website ....Leslie

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    1. Hi Leslie thank you for your comment - what a lovely positive attitude you have and I completely agree. Thank you for writing on my blog and like you I still have the residual affects.

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  9. Hello everyone. What a great thing it is to be in the internet world, where you can type in your problems and you will have hundreds of people sharing the same things!

    I got affected with Bell's palsy in 2007. Not very sure what was the reason, but the doctor said that it was because of the adventure sports that i did in Malaysia (where i was vacationing with my friends). 3 days after i returned from the trip, i woke up in the morning to realize that i couldn't brush my teeth. Somehow, my jaws wouldn't open. I told my mom, i think i am paralyzed!!
    Having never heard such terms in day-to-day life and especially from a young girl (i was in my last year engineering in 2007), my mom thought i was still half asleep. She told me to stop talking non-sense. But then, in a few minutes we all realized something was wrong with my entire face. My left side of the face was affected. Eyes and jaws were drooping down.
    Internet was there even then, and my dad found out in a few minutes that it was Bell's palsy!!
    Went to the doctor, he said there is no cure for it, except to have some B12 vitamin capsules. As suggested by him, i did get cured in a month's time....but i guess just 80% till date.

    My eye is still small today after 6 years. I really had a beautiful smile and I remember one person complimenting me that i had the most refreshing smile..i HAD..:-(
    It's not the same any more. I have to smile consciously, so that my one eye doesnt become smaller. Sometimes during a friends/family get-together, if i laugh loudly (unconsciously of-course..consciously, i try hard not to laugh), one person or the other asks me - is there some problem with your eye?
    I have to tell them, it's probably because i did not get a full night's sleep..
    To be honest, i don't mind telling them that it is cause of this bells palsy thing, but people misunderstand the term paralysis. They dont understand it. It's just cos of lack of Vitamin B12, and nothing else.
    Fortunately, my close ones and my friends never make me feel conscious. But i dont enjoy my face like this. I cant pose for the camera like i used to before. I used to take like a hundred snaps of me wherever i go.. and now, i fake it and say, let me instead take the snaps, i dont want to be in the snap.

    I dont know when my face will be healed completely. If at all there is any chance?

    I read here that exercise and electric simulation does help..i never tried those cos my doctor said that nothing is gonna help. He is like i should be happy in how much ever my face has recovered.

    Though i have everything in life, and i consider myself very lucky, i still feel that if just this thing gets cured..i will be so happy once again..to SMILE..

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    1. Hi and thanks so much for your story. I completely understand. In my profession I have to have lots of photos of myself either with students, teaching or in my dvd's. What I have done is turn the left side of my face slightly and that seems to solve the problem. Most people don't really notice since they have never met me before, but I know. I still feel the my face pulling and have the smaller left eye. My neurologist said I would NEVER recover and if I would have taken her advice I would have never done anything about it to improve. The electrical stimulation did help, people noticed a huge improvement about after a month or two. It's been almost 6 years for me so I doubt if any more therapy could really help, but, never say never. I am still conscious of trying to isolate my facial muscles when I smile but the improvement is HUGE and I am very grateful for what I have. I too felt that I use to have a nice smile and now I feel that my face is a little harder. All I can say is that I have A LOT of character (as if I needed any more) I am not sure if the electrical stimulation would help you or me at this point but it may be still worth a try. Best wishes Birgit

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  10. Dear bell palsy acquaintances,
    I had BP when i was on my 35 weeks of pregnancy in 2012. i still remember 19 February 2012 as the date where my left facial expression stops!! Aside from having to deal with my weak physical trimester condition, I also had to deal with my depressed emotional situation and to be frank it is much more easier to cope with pregnancy rather than BP. I had mixed feeling at that time and felt so embarrassed to go out from the house to meet people. I was being prescribed with Prednisolone & Steroid tablets and informed by the doctor that I can recover with 7 days!! Though I was sad with the inability to smile widely, gargle, move left facial side at but I was kind of happy to know I will recover within 7 days. But as 7 days went by I did not recover and upon re-visit the doctor told me that my nerve damage could be severe that was why I still did not recover and my recovery process could be slow!! At that time I was feeling extremely sad and don’t know how to face “outside” world with my tilted left face! I took another 2 weeks off from work. When I came back to work I received strange looks & questions. Gosh!! I hate those looks. I still remember i cannot scream to release my labor pain just because wasn’t able to open my mouth wide…..it was really not easy to deal with BP 
    But now after 16 months of my BP attack I still did not fully recover. My left eyes a bit smaller, cannot smile widely, tears coming out whenever I chew or focus to something, unable to gargle, slightly crooked nose & mouth, stiff nerve on my left facial side & neck and not to mention unstable emotion. I remember people used to tell how big eyes and nice smile I have but now it’s gone. When people look at my kids they no longer associate their big eyes with me and it does hurt me though I pretend to appear calmly. But as life has to go on…………I know try to accept my current situation aside from crossing my fingers and pray that it will go off in the near time. Though I stop my acupuncture & reduce the electric simulation therapy but I never give up should I hear of any therapy that could help me with the BP. People might not know how we’ve gone through with BP but for those who experience it I would have to say that we are the chosen and strong person as it is not easy to handle BP  Bravos !!

    fiza -msia

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    1. Thank you for your comment, you have expressed the emotions that many of us feel. I have to say I still believe there is hope for you. It has taken a very long time but I still had improvement for up to 4 years - slow but sure. Please don't give up consider isolating the facial muscles in your mind and then with effort try to move them. My recovery didn't happen on its own it was A LOT of work.

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  11. I am glad I found you. Last November 2012 I became seriously sick with shingles, and as a complication I am suffering from Bell's Palsy on my right side. It has been almost 8 months, and I have improved a lot, with therapy, massages, exercises, etc. Nevertheless, this paralysis changed my life completely. I learned to leave everything in God's hands, because I realized that something like BP can be devastating to your self esteem. I have also learned to leave in the present, and to be more humble and less materialistic. For me at first, it was devastating, but now I can say it was a blessing from God. I used to cry when I saw myself in the mirror, now I say a prayer and thanks God for this trial that has made me stronger.

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    1. You are beautiful and thank you for those comments, you will help many other people with your positive attitude.

      I remember when I was first affected, I was a little upset and wished it didn't happen but felt blessed that it wasn't a stroke or something much worse (I had no idea I was really much sicker then I thought). At that time another dear friend of mine was going through life threatening events and I thought I really had nothing to complain about and this was superficial problem and anyone that had a problem looking at me — well that was their problem...I didn't think that I needed MORE character but I guess I did.

      You are absolutely right, it makes you stronger. What I wasn't prepaired for was an event that happened in my workshop where a woman had a stroke, I could see her face drop, just like BP but knew it wasn't BP from her slurred speach and limp arm. I was able to get the medics there and her off to the hospital but what I wasn't prepaierd for was my own PTS. I wanted to run, cry scream and hide all of which was not my normal MO I usally can handle situations and did, only felt the surprising feelings, it brought me back to the moment when my BP happened, which I thought I had resolved. Yes, we are stronger from everything we go through and thank you again for your comment.

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  12. Hi, nice page. It will be 2 years this August 27th.
    I'm really sad to read about ppl who have had palsy for more than 3 years.
    I don't know if I have Bell's palsy or something else. Both sides of my face left me that day.... Followed by days of sickness, sweating in my bed to the point where I had to change sheets often and blinding back pain in my mid to lower back.
    I saw doctor after doctor all who agreed it was Bell's palsy.
    I wasted a year trying conventional shock therapy with a physical therapist.
    I gave up for a few months before staring Accupunture and low pain free shock therapy with the Accupunture-ist.
    She insisted I see a chiropractor.
    My first sessions with both revealed a lot of tension in my neck and back that I never even knew I had.
    I see the Accupunture lady 2x a week and the chiropractor 1x ever two weeks.
    I started treatment with them January 17th 2013.
    So it's been 6months just about.
    The only improvements that are note worthy have happened in that time.
    I can't move my face hardly at all but at least my face and lips don't droop where it is obvious and so I don't have to be embarrassed.
    My wife can tell when I'm trying to smile. I can kiss with some pressure behind my lips.
    Keeping hope alive is hard. Very hard. Somedays I want to give up but I keep going for my wife.
    I hope those of you who read this don't give up. Try what I have.
    Take anti inflammatory pills, Accupunture, see a chiropractor try cold laser therapy. There is a lot I have not tried but I will as time goes on. 3years for significant improvement may be true according to some Hi, nice page. It will be 2 years this August 27th.
    I'm really sad to read about ppl who have had palsy for more than 3 years.
    I don't know if I have Bell's palsy or something else. Both sides of my face left me that day.... Followed by days of sickness, sweating in my bed to the point where I had to change sheets often and blinding back pain in my mid to lower back.
    I saw doctor after doctor all who agreed it was Bell's palsy.
    I wasted a year trying conventional shock therapy with a physical therapist.
    I gave up for a few months before staring Accupunture and low pain free shock therapy with the Accupunture-ist.
    She insisted I see a chiropractor.
    My first sessions with both revealed a lot of tension in my neck and back that I never even knew I had.
    I see the Accupunture lady 2x a week and the chiropractor 1x ever two weeks.
    I started treatment with them January 17th 2013.
    So it's been 6months just about.
    The only improvements that are note worthy have happened in that time.
    I can't move my face hardly at all but at least my face and lips don't droop where it is obvious and so I don't have to be embarrassed.
    My wife can tell when I'm trying to smile. I can kiss with some pressure behind my lips.
    Keeping hope alive is hard. Very hard. Somedays I want to give up but I keep going for my wife.
    I hope those of you who read this don't give up. Try what I have.
    Take anti inflammatory pills, Accupunture, see a chiropractor try cold laser therapy. There is a lot I have not tried but I will as time goes on. 3years for significant improvement may be true according to some severe forms of palsy but there's so much doctors don't know about Bell's palsy it would be silly to just give up. severe forms of palsy but there's so much doctors don't know about Bell's palsy it would be silly to just give up.

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    1. Hi and thank you for your comment.
      I would like to suggest that you see a good Lyme literate doctor and follow up with the possibility of Lyme disease, it's sounds suspicious that you had both sides of your face affected, night sweats, pain in the back & neck. I might be wrong but the fact is that about 60% of BP patients actually do have Lyme and the BP is just a symptom of the infection — or co-infection (other tick born diseases)

      Thank you for your positive note to others on not giving up and your right there is always room for improvement. The nerves grow so slowly and if you have sever cases of BP it simple takes time and not to give up...after all of that time I think it is still important to still to be aware of isolating the muscles (which can be a lot of work) and exercise and stimulate them. It will now be 6 years since I first came down with BP and it's basically livable and doesn't really bother me anymore, it still is a little tight but in the bigger scheme of things it's all good.

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  13. I've got Bell's Palsy in 2008. I had an ear ache and woke up with the right side of my face paralyzed. I was left with synkinesis - my eye and mouth seemed to have suddenly become connected and I was unable to smile, talk, or eat normally . For years I could not close my eye unless I closed the left one. I too avoided having my picture taken but I always believed that someday things would change. Two years ago I found some exercises on the internet and started doing them. Within days I could close my right eye while the left one stayed open!! My eye is still connected to my mouth though but I'm hoping that someone will post a new exercise that will help me with that.

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    1. Thank you for your comment and congratulations on your recovery, do you happen to know the specific link that you used?

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  14. my Bp is 5 years old now.. i am starting to love and accept this. its not very obvious though but how I wish my face will return to its normal shape.. a doctor told me that medicine evolves, i hope one day, i can find procedure and medicine that will treat this completely... I miss my beautiful SMILES..... but I'm lucky my husband told me last night that even if my face will turn upside down, he will still love me...

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    1. Thank you for your comment beautiful. My husband says that he also likes my crooked smile - thank you again

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  15. It is nice to read some positive comments about BP. I have had it now since Sept. 2012, I thought for sure it would be completely gone but it just a slow recovery. I experience the same as everyone else here (squinty eye, tight face, watering eye), later on from blood tests my doc said I had mono and I didn't even know it! People don't notice the issue w my face, my boyfriend still loves me and thinks I am beautiful but I have the worst time when I see old pictures of my wide beautiful smile. I just cannot imagine living life without a big smile, I always hide my laughs, smiles and expressions. What if I ever have kids? I want to laugh and smile with them. It does get better, and I still have hope that I can return to my normal state. Yes, you appear younger on the bright side. At 30 years old I recently got mistaken for a teenager! I haven't had any treatment in the past few months. I tried acupuncture in the beginning, it was so painful and expensive for me. I did a lot of chiropractic work since i did have some neck problems but I stopped that too now. I would love to get some speech therapy or something since I seem to mumble and cannot pronunciate words well. I feel better about the situation when I eat well, sleep, exercise, and surround myself with positive people who do not judge me. That is all you can do right? No use crying over I suppose.

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    1. Beautiful comments - yes having that younger side is one of the benefits :) I considered having botox on the other side so it match - but I wouldn't do that to myself do know what the results would be.
      Maybe the acupuncture needles were too big or didn't know what they were doing for facial stimulation but it shouldn't hurt, only a very slight stimulation I did as much as I could but it did get expense. It sounds like you have a good positive attitude and you will be able to help many others through your experiance. Wishing you all the best Birgit

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  16. I woke up with BP last November 2008, when i was 28. It took 5 months before i started to move my left face, slowly it showed progress. I went to treatment (accupunture) and maybe it helped with the recovery. January 2014, after more than 5 years, i did not have full recovery. My left eye squints when i smile and my eyebrows rises. My eye gets watery when i chew hard. Now i subconciously face to the left when i see a camera; i cant smile as i used to. Good thing i wear eyeglasses so it covers the puffy eye. Maybe it will get back to normal, or not. My wife still massages my face once in a while; i think it helped. Helped me to realized that no matter how different i may think i look like than before, my loved ones still see me as if nothing changed.

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  17. I have found it very comforting to read all of these stories and be reminded that I am not alone. I was diagnosed with BP in March of 2013 and I feel certain that stress played a major role in my case. Within days of getting Bell's I developed a lot of eye complications including corneal ulcers and had to keep my eye patched 24/7 for about 3 months. After a difficult 3 months I finally began to experience some subtle signs of movement and have made a fair amount of progress in the past 6 months. Currently, my main issue involves the severe contractures in my affected eye as well as synkinesis and constant spasms. The spasms seem concentrated over my cheek bone. I am also unable to raise my eyebrow or smile which has really impacted my self esteem. I am trying to stay positive about the future but this has been a difficult experience and much harder than I thought it would be. Anyway, just thought I would share my experience. Thanks for taking the time to make this blog!

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  18. I've had bells palsy on my left side of my face and everyone keeps asking why am I so mad or sad and whenever I say its just the way my face is, they think I'm just being mean when I'm not.

    I got it when I was just 8 years old and now I'm 18. I still have it. My parents can't afford for surgery or therapy and people make fun of me. Its only gotten worse now.

    I feel good about myself at most of the time but there is times where I do wanna look normal like everyone else. :( I'm still trying to accept myself as I am now..

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    1. Thank you for your post, you are very strong and courageous. Many of us with residual BP know exactly how you feel. Even if the majority of the time we don’t think about it, we know that it is still there, either with pain or the tight pull feeling. What we have gone through with this experience does make us stronger and most often more compassionate to others with afflictions.

      I have found that my unaffected side try’s to compensate for the weak muscles in my left side, which then looks more exaggerated. Like you, I feel the same way wondering if people think that I am mad, mean or sad, but that is not my problem nor can I do anything about it, it is a reflection of their reality and when just being me, who I am they don’t seem to notice, besides they didn’t know what I looked like before.

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  19. I've had b.p twice. Both times were during pregnancies. The first time it lasted a total of 8 months and I recovered completely. This time however its been three years and is about 60 percent. In the past few day my ear has been killing me my face hurts and feels huge I feel tightening all over on the side effected and also where I could see 4 teeth now I can only see two.... I've been searching for answers of what's happening and what I can do to help... I've found nothing.. can someone please help?

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    1. HI, I know that BP can happen during pregnancies, but with it happening twice I would take a really good look into the Lyme possibility.

      In many cases BP is an indicator or Lyme. I know that doctors may prescribe steroids for the pain but unfortunately that creates a flourishing environment for Lyme. It might be a good idea to go and see an integrative medicine doctor that understands about Lyme and co-infections. Mainstream infectious disease doctors have a different approach and may not be looking at the more subtle details. BP and the pain can be masking a deeper problem, or at least rule it out. Wishing you all the best.

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  20. HI, i have BP for 30 yrs. And i am 80percnt recovery. I dont mind it anymore and enjoying life to the fullest. As what my neurologist say, maybe BP brings luck to me and I always believing in it!

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  21. I was diagnosed with BP in July 2012. I am a 34 year old female. My face is still a little "crooked" - has anyone experienced headaches that are on the BP affected side?? The crookedness doesn't bother me as much as it used to, but the headaches are awful! I have tried advil, Tylenol, Excedrin with little to no relief.

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    1. Hi for myself, I had quite a few headaches especially in the beginning and had quite a bit of pulling and aching on my left side but I found that the continual headaches were actually from the Lyme disease. Once I treated the Lyme and co-infection my headaches greatly deminished.

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    2. If you haven't already been tested you have to know that the tests are not very good at finding Lyme. There is a better chance of finding it if is active but the bacteria has a tendency to hide out and protect itself in a cyst form (which will give you a negative result) until its host has the right environment again. I had lots of headaches with the Lyme.

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    3. Basically 60% of BP patients have Lyme so this must be fully investigated.

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    4. Thank you for the info. No, I have not been tested for Lyme disease but I will talk to my doctor about it. Thank you!

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    5. Just one thing about talking to your doctor, most doctors are not really educated about Lyme disease or co-infections, starting with your doctor is fine but don't think thats it if he says not to worry about it. It was quite a battle for me to get the answers and the right diagnoses - talking to a Lyme literate doctor is best, ask your doctor if he knows about co-infections and if he does know about Lyme disease how does he feel about long term antibiotics. That will say a lot right there -
      http://bellspalsylymesdisease.blogspot.com/2012/04/bells-palsy-and-seven-negative-lymes.html

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    6. No ticks in alaska.......wonder how I got BP?

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    7. Ticks in Alaska view this link http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=557

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  22. Ticks in Alaska
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php/99873-Ticks-in-Alaska-no-longer-a-mystery

    Bulletin http://www.epi.alaska.gov/bulletins/docs/b1991_25.htm
    there are more links you can look at but maybe your BP is not from Lyme it is only something not to be discounted.

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  23. I was diagnosed with BP in February I was 39 it affected the left side of my face as well..I also get severe headaches and nothing seems to help..my smile is back but my left eye feels different..maybe weak still, almost like its partially closed , just scares me because every time I get a headache I'm scared it will come back

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous, please follow up on Lyme Disease - I understand about the pain

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  24. In 2007 I got Bells Palsy, my diagnosis, I would never recover.
    Most people recover within 2-4 weeks, at three weeks I was just starting to get a tiny hit of movement in my lip. When I would see people and children looked at my face with shock and I would always explain what happened. Men that had known me cried, and I couldn't understand why (not much for self-esteem) I thought I "MUST" look like a monster. But now, I think more then that, they cried because they were afraid it would affect my personality, I am always so upbeat, happy, smiling and now one side of my face was frozen with my left eye wide open.

    I always knew I had character but ...really...did I need more?

    From 2007 - 2010, I went through periods of acupuncture, physical therapy, macro electrical stimulation and
    things greatly improved, but it was an extremely slow, slow process, I would say that I about 80 - 85% recovery.

    Due to the expense of the Lyme treatment and my concern that the over stimulation sometimes caused spasms, such as a "jokers smile", (which horrified me) I would take breaks from the electrical stimulating of the muscles and nerves and knowing that the nerves grew so slow I decided that I needed to give up treatment on my face and focus on the treatment of the Lyme disease.

    Now 7 years later, I feel that I have given my nerves time to grow and am now starting acupuncture again to see what happens.

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  25. Hello im sam from jordan 32
    I had BP in 2007 after i had wisdom tooth extraction in the upper left side
    One week after the extraction i had BP
    I had recovered 90% in 3 months and since then im still the same
    I donno if doctors here r not that good as they didn't care about the cause
    My left eye still slightly close when i eat or laugh or even smile
    I had the best smile ever i had this comment from one of the pax as im a flight attendant
    Now i feel really down about it
    Can anybody help
    Sometimes i feel my eye cramp alittle
    And i feel like the nerve is improving but no good results still
    Plz help

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    1. Hi Jordan, I don't know how much things can get better but I am one that always keeps keeps a positive attitude and keeps trying. I know that there is only so much we can do, but my thought is since it is now 7 years later I would try acupuncture with electrical stimulation again. The difference this time is that it is a little painful when I get the needles, due to many of my nerves have finally come back to life (which is good) but the muscles on the left side of my face have atrophied a bit, with the electrical stimulation we are trying to exercise the muscles.

      This time I have a different doctor, Dr. Wang and he is using pretty big needles (not baby needles as he calls it), baby needles won't do anything. I have had positive response from people that have seen me, which does surprise me that they can even notice, it is so subtle.

      I still feel pulling but it also helps me to be aware when I try to isolate muscles. I try to smile or pucker and relax my eye instead of everything pulling, a lot of work but why not give it a try.

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  26. Thx for reply
    Im afraid the nerves are grown again in a wrong way as my left side of the lips are going down when i close my lips so it won't go back
    This is what my doctor told me
    I wish u all the best and full recovery

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    Replies
    1. I understand, that is what I was thinking too, but I have heard lots of things from doctors and most often it didn't go the way they said it would. I was told, I would never be able to blink my eye and they wanted to put a gold weight in it. I said no and can now blink, they said I would never have any recovery in my face since I did not have any function after three months, it took a very long time but I never gave up and have almost full mobliity..so basically what I am trying to say is not to give up unless you want to. I figured yes it's been 7 years but that also means since the nerves rejuninate so so slowly that perhaps it's time to try to wake them up again, wishing you all the best too

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  27. Today, I had a pity party. I was sitting in the passenger side seat of my son’s car, and as the sun came through the front window I could feel the right side of my mouth tightly pulling upwards due to the sun light bothering my right eye. Looking in the side mirror of the car I saw this nasty sneering face looking back at me. I was immediately hit with full blown agitation at the realization, again, that I could not control what my face was doing. It has been almost 3 years now since I was hit with BP. I look pretty natural now, as long as I don’t laugh, smile or look at the sun, lol. I came home and pulled out my laptop to find a way to fix this tiring aftermath of BP, and found this blog full of people just like me. Thank you for sharing and thank you Birgit for this blog. It’s nice to hear from others who are going through the same thing, as the doctors out there either do not know or as I think, just don’t care. I find that if I have a day where I talk a lot or laugh real hard or like today’s car ride, my eye, cheekbone and the side of my mouth aches. Will it always do that? Does anyone find that their affected eye is now somewhat light sensitive? I have done acupuncture and found it to help, maybe it’s time for another round.

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    1. Hi, even if the doctors tell you there is nothing else you can do and there is no more possible recovery, I'm here to tell you their wrong. I was still improving at 3-5 years. But it did take acupuncture with electrical stimulation. The doctors I saw at that time used small needles or Macro stimulation, I did whatever I could comfortably afford. Much of the time I didn't really notice the difference it was actually the people around me that mentioned it to me. Now 7 years later I'm doing acupuncture again, but bigger needles more stimulation and yes it is painful this time. But that also means the nerves are connecting now, I learn not to stimulate where I already had a Hemifacial spasm it only got irritated. But in general it is much better.

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  28. I had Bells Palsy a little over 5 years ago and I've noticed in the past year or so that my right eye (affected side) won't open as much, and has a thick fold in the eyelid, that I can physically hold up, but looks droopy when I don't. Also, I've noticed a couple of sties on that eyelid, or something like that. Possibly caused by the palsy, or just the aging process?

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    1. Hi Sherri, it could be a little of both but as I mention in one of my other posts, I am now doing more accuputure with electrical stimulation, it's a bit painful but what it is doing is working out those atrophied muscles and might help you too. With the BP and years of nothing the muscle needs to remember to lift. Hope that helps

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