Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Face Doesn't Work

As if growing and having a child isn't enough for one's body, I've developed some super awesome conditions postpartum.

First, I noticed I couldn't taste things properly.  I kept describing foods as "metallic" on one side and "a dull sweet" on the other side.  Even water was "wrong".  My taste buds simply weren't working.

A few days later, I had to take out my contacts because my vision was blurry on one side and my right eye was dry.

The next day, I realized I was having problems moving my face and started self-diagnosing on the internet.  I decided I was 95% sure I had Bell's Palsy.  Bell's Palsy is a condition where half of the face is partially paralyzed.  I can't even close my eye and have to blink my eyes manually with my fingers (hence the dry eye).

This is one of the tests I did before I went to the doctor.  In this video, I am trying my hardest to puff out both cheeks.  As you can see, I failed:
video
There is a lot unknown about Bell's, but the short is that it is usually temporary and more annoying than serious.  The cause is uncertain, but can be caused by pregnancy/postpartum.

The treatment is aided by steroids for inflammation and anti-viral medicine, which may or may not work.  Conditions can last weeks or months or even a year.  Simply, there is a lot uncertainty about Bell's Palsy.

Of course, I was pretty concerned going into the neurologist for the official diagnosis.

The main reason for my concern: I had classic Bell's symptoms except one factor, my hands and arms have been going numb and falling asleep as of late.  Bell's is only supposed to affect the face.

I went into the neurologist worried about much greater problems and was thrilled to get an official diagnosis of Bell's coupled with carpal tunnel syndrome (also likely a postpartum condition).  Good times.

Check me out.  Hello, Grandma Bethany at the drugstore with my wrist braces and eye patch.
Add my night guard to the crooked smile at night and I am super cute:
-Bethany

3 comments:

  1. Oh no! Here's hoping it clears up quickly. I still think you look fabulous!

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  2. Because having a newborn isn't enough?! Hang in there!

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  3. Get better soon!!! Sending prayers your way!

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