Recently I had welcomed my 3rd little angel, Tala Sofia, into the world. Upon returning home from the hospital, the first 36 hours were pure bliss. With a brother and sister at home, little Tala was surrounded by love and happiness. The entire family was in great spirits.
We decided to take it easy on Friday and enjoy our first “Family Day” at home. As I was clearing the table, I was blabbing away about our family bliss, my husband looked at me and asked if I was feeling okay. “Yeah, what do you mean?” He just said I was talking funny.
My tongue did feel tingly. Then I noticed that the left side of my face did feel weird. Oh No! I thought I may be having an allergic reaction. I am not particularly allergic to anything but have had a history with acute articuria. With all the changes in my body recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if anything triggered it.
This was not what I needed. This meant a trip to the hospital was needed. With 3 children (ages 4 and under) this was not ideal.
Looking back, it makes me chuckle that I thought it was an allergic reaction – if only!
I arrived at the ER where I was seen to immediately. I did a few physical tests and then the doctors ordered a brain MRI to make sure that I didn’t have a stroke or an aneurysm. What????? Are you kidding me? That was my cue to freak out! The doctor was very positive and said he didn’t think it was either of those things but he had to make sure. I was given a bed in the ER to wait until my turn for MRI.
What a nightmare! This was not how I imagined our first Friday with the new baby. I won’t go into all the details but it was dreadful waiting. The MRI was even more horrifying. Despite fearing the worst (I am my own worse enemy) scenes from Grey’s Anatomy kept popping into my head. How come no one ever freaks out about going into an MRI machine on that show? And where was McDreamy? Isn’t he supposed to be here? I made them cover my eyes and I braved the machine head first. In the end, the signs were positive. I did not have a stroke or aneurysm but that did not make me feel any better.
It turned out to be Facial Palsy. What is Facial Palsy? Also known as Bell’s Palsy it is a form of facial paralysis. It is resulting from your facial nerve swelling and making it impossible to move your facial muscles. It is still unknown why or what causes Bell’s Palsy exactly, it is thought to be brought on by stress but can be triggered by just about anything. I am lucky to have received treatment after only hours of onset. Bell’s Palsy only lasts temporarily, however, there is no finite time period. It could last 2 weeks to 1 year before full recovery.
For me, it took a few days to actually let it sink in as to what was happening. Here I was with my new baby and I wasn’t even able to give her a kiss properly. Nor was I able to eat, drink or speak properly. It was very depressing – especially when I looked in mirror. I did have a breakdown in the first 2 days but being physically upset is actually bad for recovery.
Doctors orders to get lots of rest, reduce stress and remain positive. I am using this as my excuse to spend hours playing with my baby, binge eat chocolate and watch loads of crap reality TV – which makes me realize that things for me are not THAT bad.
Positivity, Positivity, Positivity. I am remaining optimistic that the recovery is quick. I am getting used to looking a bit funny with half my face drooping. I wear an eye patch to protect my one eye and I have become better at eating, drinking and speaking. I know that everything in life happens for a reason, the fun part is figuring out why!
So next time when you see me, if I smile at you and it looks like the “wink and the gun” it is not because I am being smug – It is because I have Bell’s Palsy…..