BELL’S PALSY: Up Close and Personal

BELL’S PALSY: Up Close and Personal

God wanted me to appreciate my ability to smile so he gave me Bell’s palsy. At first, I asked God, why me? Then I came to realize that God wanted me to know that with my second life and second chance I should be smiling more. After all, it is free.

I am a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor. My neurosurgeon coiled and put a stent on my brain to stop the internal bleeding. After the operation, my doctors told me that I will never be 100% again. That statement made me sad.

I was bedridden for four grueling months. That means bed bath and my assistant fed me with tasteless food, fruits and vegetables. Those people who had seen me going to the mall in a wheelchair were so amazed with my health’s developments.

I had my first bath inside our comfort room after four months. That is the most refreshing bath I ever had. Money could not buy the happiness I felt that day.

After that, I re-learned how to sit down, stand up, walk and eat on my own. My balance was shaky at first. My physical therapist patiently taught me how to regain my balance again. I thought, I was well again but then I had Bell’s palsy.

What is Bell’s palsy?

According to Mayo Clinic, Bell’s palsy causes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. This makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.

Bell’s palsy, also known as facial palsy, can occur at any age. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face. It may be a reaction that occurs after a viral infection.

While stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause facial paralysis usually in one side of the face, there is no connection between stroke or TIA and Bell’s palsy. However, one must see a doctor immediately in order to rule out a more serious condition like stroke or TIA or brain tumor.

For most people, Bell’s palsy is temporary. Symptoms usually start to improve within a few weeks, with complete recovery in about six months. A small number of people continue to have some Bell’s palsy symptoms for life. Rarely, Bell’s palsy can recur.

By the way, Bell’s palsy got its name after the Scottish surgeon Charles Bell who first described it in 1829 in his presentation before the Royal Society of London.

Famous people who had Bell’s Palsy:
  • Bernadette Sembrano, Filipino newscaster, host of the medical program Salamat Dok! and anchor of TV Patrol Weekend.
  • Katie Holmes
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • George Clooney
God works in mysterious ways. Two weeks after rigid physical therapy and rehabilitation I had my smile back. God is great and God is good all the time.

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