I awoke this morning to a seemingly normal day...
As always, I made my way downstairs into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and a slice of toast for breakfast.
The girls, already awake, were watching tv in their rooms, so I went about preparing bowls of cereal for them, feeling a bit guilty that I hadn't risen before them on such a beautiful morning. Summers can be like that...
My eyes seemed a little puffy from a somewhat restless night. I'd been having headaches and neck pain for days, and the Tylenol I took before bed took a while to kick in. Oftentimes, when this happens, I use a paper towel and cold water to soothe my eyes and they always feel better after that. But not today.
Within moments, an almost numbing sensation crept across my lips. It felt as if I had just received a Novocain injection in my mouth. What was going on? Had I slept wrong? Had my face had fallen asleep like my arm does sometimes?
I grabbed a mirror off the wall to investigate this strange sensation... To my dismay and utter confusion, I could not move one side of my mouth. I couldn't pucker up! I returned the mirror to it's rightly place and made myself a cup of coffee. Surely this was a very temporary thing... But what was going on??
It took me forever to drink that cup of coffee...
I went upstairs to brush my teeth, which in itself was a chore and a half. I found that I could not even spit! This was getting ridiculous!
I gazed at myself in the mirror... not quite sure of what to do. All sorts of thoughts and fears were running through my mind. Yet within moments, I was laughing it off. Sure that it was just a freakthing that would subside.
That's when I noticed my eyes. When I blinked, my right eye stayed completely open. I tried to force a smile, but the right side of my mouth wouldn't move.
It wasn't going to be such a normal day after all.
To make my long, five-hours-at-three-different-hospitals-later story short, I have been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. A neurological disorder that is caused by damage to the facial nerve. It can be caused by a virus, but can also be a symptom of Lyme Disease, which I was tested for and will receive the results tomorrow. I also received a CT scan. Two actually, because they didn't get it all in there the first time. I never realized that I was claustrophobic until today. I had to really focus on not hyperventilating and staying completely still. I always thought those machines looked so simple. And REALLY they are, I was just affected differently today and reacted in a very unexpected and fearful way.
This is something that may or may not go away. And the time frame is varied. Three out of four BP patients return to normal within 3-6 weeks. Some take longer. As I've come to find out, some live with it for many years or longer.
I know that this isn't really life altering like some diagnoses are. I cannot tell you, how thankful I was, when the nurse who took my scan arrived in the waiting room to tell me I was free to go. Had it been worse... had it been what they were scanning for... I can't even imagine. I was calm and collected as I waited, not allowing myself or my thoughts to even go there.
So right now, as I sit here with the use of my hands, my watery eye and my forced half smile, I am feeling very blessed indeed. I felt the need to record and share this day, as it will be the beginning of a journey into the unknown. A bit uncomfortable, a bit unnerved (literally), but otherwise very, very grateful.
Thank you... for reading, for listening and for caring. Hugs to you all!
(thanks to the Sazzy one for the tag!)