It’s called bell’s palsy.
Bell's palsy is a condition that cause temporary facial paralysis or weakness of the muscles in the face. The nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed and causes one side of your face to droop or become stiff. This can be caused by a viral infection, diabetes etc or in my case, stress.
Symptoms of Bell's palsy come on suddenly. Once they happen, they get worse over the next 48 to 72 hours. My symptoms progressed over the course of 72hours. I woke up one morning and was aware of a weird taste/sensation on the left side of my tongue. I didn’t give it much thought until the next morning when, while brushing my teeth, I noticed I couldn’t gargle; I thought that was odd but kept it moving. The next morning, same thing and I couldn’t spit normally. Now, I’m officially concerned, and that prompts me to start googling my symptoms (side note: google is not always your friend). I went from fairly concerned to full blown panic. I thought I was having a stroke. The difference between Bell’s Palsy and as stroke is that a stroke affects both your facial muscles and would weaken other part of your body as well. The good news is that Bell’s Palsy usually resolves itself, about 80% of people have no symptoms at all within 3 to 6 months. Bell’s Palsy rarely happens more than once.
I am so thankful that 4 weeks into this, I am almost 100% recovered. Not only that, but my symptoms, especially visible facial paralysis, have been mild compared to a lot of other cases. At the height of my symptoms, I was fatigued, my smile was lopsided, eating felt so weird that I dreaded it and for an afternoon, my speech was impacted.
A day before the onset of my symptoms, I just so happened to have done a facial hot towel treatment with drops of the Yateou Sleep Aromatherapy Blend, French Lavender and Tea Tree (included in our Virus Immune Essentials Set). All of these oils have great anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties) and that, unbeknownst to me, protected me! My face started to loosen up after 4 days but I did go to the doctor and was prescribed prednisone (a steroid) but I wish I had stuck with the essential oil hot towel compress because I had a really terrible reaction to the medicine, and it caused a lot of pain. The pain was crippling, and I had to go back to the doctor to ensure whatever I was experiencing wasn’t life threatening. I do highly recommend going to a doctor because it’s good to have a medically trained person examine you because everyone is different.
Lingering symptoms and effects
Every morning I wake up, the first thing I do is facial exercises and I take note of the progress from the previous day. The left side of my face is still frozen, I look like I got Botox lol! and my smile is still lopsided. As a result of the paralysis, I haven’t been able to close my left eye for the last 4 weeks and have to sleep with a face mask plus apply eye drops so my eyes don’t dry up. Lastly, I noticed stubborn acne breakout across my face and can only attribute that to the medications. But putting everything in perspective, I am grateful to be on the path to recovery. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting start to 2021.
Take care of yourself #selfcare.
For more info: Webmd - Bell's Palsy