10 February 2007

Bell's Palsy, The Chronicles, Part 1

(Originally titled "I'm a bad blogger, but I have a reason!")

I've been neglecting my brand new blog for a week now, and the guilt has settled in. Maybe I shouldn't feel guilty, and I'm going to try to talk myself out of the guilt with this rambling post. Here goes.

I woke up Wednesday morning with half of my face paralyzed. On Tuesday, my eye was really bothering me, but I just thought it was the cold air or allergies or an irritant. Nothing serious, nothing that some eye drops wouldn't cure. But on Wednesday, I couldn't eat my oatmeal without dribbling half of it on my chin. (Sorry, I know that's kind of gross, but you should've seen it!) Something was wrong. I called my doctor and made an appointment for that morning, and had one of my few moments of gratitude for living in a small town. In the meantime, I was wondering if I'd had a stroke or some other neurological event, and was scared shitless.

That morning, I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. I didn't know much about it, but had a friend who had it a few years ago. I didn't know what I was in for. Surely, I could live my life with a little facial paralysis, and considering it's usually a temporary condition, I'd be back to normal soon, right?


Since Wednesday, it's progressively gotten worse. My right eye can't blink, which means that it's quite prone to dryness, infection, abrasion, etc. I can't keep enough eye drops in my eye, and have to manually blink it to alleviate the extreme pain. Now I have conjunctivitis from touching my eye so much.

Now on to my eating situation. Eating is a truly ugly event in the Quite Contrary household. Bibs are a necessity to catch renegade morsels. Miles loves that. Drinking is even worse. I've ruined a robe with various staining liquids, such as coffee, cranberry juice, and tea.

Yes, I look a little strange, with a slightly sagging mouth and puffy eye. But what's the funniest is when I don my eye patch. The doctor recommended the eye patch to prevent stuff from getting in my eye, which is a great idea if it weren't so damned uncomfortable. Miles really hates the eye patch and runs away from me whenever I yell "Arrgggghhhh, matey!" at him.

Luckily, this is temporary. You really don't realize how important your facial muscles are until you lose control of them. My life has been much more difficult this week, and everyday tasks take much longer to complete. I'm basically single-handed at the moment, what with using one hand to manually blink my eye every few seconds. I've worked from home to avoid germs that could get in my eye (lot of good that did) and haven't been able to drive anywhere. Eye drops and tissues have to be at arm's length at all times. But today, I think I'm on the upswing.

I tend to get down about my health when stuff like this happens, such as when I had my boob hacked off a little over a year ago.

But, I have my life, friends and family. And Miles.

It is day 4 of my BP.

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