I’m counting down the days till it’s been a full 2 years with Bells Palsy. Last week was a bad one with the dizziness as well as the depression amped up. Every morning I wake up wondering if today I can keep my balance when I walk. So far the answer has been no.
This week I aimed for small victories. They are of the psychological variety but help some none the less. I finally got together everything I needed to apply for my bus pass so all the drivers know I am over sixty and ride for free. It’s really pretty obvious but some have learned not to presume anything which could lead to an unhappy women accused of looking old when she isn’t. The cane is a dead giveaway but my hat covers my hair.
Then I took my ex-husband to breakfast for his birthday. He drove, I paid. We got our tax papers together in an envelope and after a nice breakfast he drove me to the post office so I could send them off to the accountant. It will be our last year of doing them together but I work hard to keep things calm and flowing forward. Just because living together doesn’t work, doesn’t mean we can’t be civil or even friendly. He enjoyed the morning and I found myself without the typical anxiety. I had him drop me off at the mall so I could get to the bank, take a bit of a walk through the mall and then ride the bus back home. It did leave me quite exhausted but at peace with myself. Since stress is a leading factor for the onset of Bells Palsy, I strive for daily calm. That was actually a big victory to stay calm and relaxed with him.
After an afternoon of rest, not sleep, I did a few chores and when my daughter got home from work we drove to our local AAA where I found out that members can buy movie tickets at discounted prices if you buy at least 4 at a time. You don’t have to use them all at once but you have to buy them in bulk. So now I can take the bus in the afternoon and see a movie if cabin fever sets in. Or I can have my kids go with me if they want to see something I want to see. Like I said, these are small victories for a person who is slightly debilitated.
Everything takes more energy than it used to so at least I remembered to take my B-vitamins. Then we made our way to the local health food store to pick up something easy and healthy for dinner. I have managed to cut out all the processed foods and sugar to give my brain a better chance at healing. That’s been a tough one on a daily basis. But more than anything else, I want my health. The sweet lady at AAA said her sister has had Bells Palsy for 10 years but it only affected her face. I managed not to break down when I heard 10 years. I have to believe that I will get well. Otherwise????
I put this out there every week hoping someone reads it and has something to add. A hint, a glimmer, a new way to approach this. It’s not cancer, stroke, heart or mental disease and I’m grateful. I have looked at all the ways I could be at dis-ease with life and try to make amendments and atonements. I am open to suggestions and experience. Looking forward to hearing from you.
From my heart to yours,
In the last week or so I have been trying something new. Energy Medicine and Qi Gong. Figured it couldn’t hurt and I can do it without falling over. The Qi Gong exercises are a little like Yoga and Tai Chi combined and the Energy medicine is similar in that you do some tapping and moving to awaken the flow of energy in your body. Kind of airy-fairy but like I said, nothing else has worked so I gave it a shot.
On Thursday morning as I was folding up my bed, yes, it’s a sofa bed, I turned my head to look out the window to watch the wind blowing the trees. The turning of my head brought on that snap of a tense muscle in my neck that shot up into my head. It was on my left side that was already tensed from the Bells Palsy. My first thought was of what we used to call a crick in the neck. I’ve had them before and they can be quite painful till they let go.
This one sent a searing sensation up into my head and being somewhat of a worry wart, I wondered for a nano second if it could be an aneurism or a tiny stroke. Well, in an instant it let go. Just that little pop and when I worked to relax my neck and body, it was over. Wow! Did I get lucky. No crick and I felt oddly a bit better. It was as though something tight in my neck had finally let go of something in my head. Since my face has been paralyzed for close to 2 years now and everything on that left side is attached, any tiny bit of relief is a big deal.
I have looked for signs of healing in the most minuscule of changes. Standing in one spot without weaving for more than a few seconds is big. Being able to hold water in my mouth when I brush my teeth is big. Drinking out of a cup without a straw although very carefully is really big. You would think I was 2 again. And the feeling I had after the neck pop was big. I stood there a few moments to feel what was going on. Oddly, I felt slightly less dizzy. Still not planning on going down the stairs without holding onto the railing but something has changed. I can’t put my finger on it and maybe I want it so badly that I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or if I’m really getting better.
I so wanted to work outside in the yard that day since it’s what I love to do but the wind was blowing hard and it wasn’t as warm as I need right now. The Chinese believe that wind and cold are what set off Bells Palsy. I know it was cold and windy when I got it so I’m not taking any more chances. I wear a hat everywhere now. My head is so sensitive I even wear one to bed. And that’s where I went. To bed for a short nap. Remember, my bed is a sofa and a short one so the nap was a short one too. But I have finally deduced that rest is the most essential part of this healing process. I hate rest. I’m a go go go kind of girl. The more I can get done in a day the happier I am. But if I want to get well I have to go less and rest more.
My vision seems to have settled down from the constant dance a bit as well since the non crick episode. Just a tiny bit better. My son looked at my one good eye that actually has real vision and is the one that is unfortunately also paralyzed and asked me to try to move that muscle and open it more. Still can’t be done. I can’t lift the eyebrow and wink. When I’m the slightest bit tired, the eye just barely holds open. I think that part will be the last to heal. But the jumpy part where everything feels like it’s swimming and bouncing around me seems calmer. I believe I will be able to drive soon and have planned for month 24 to be the end of it. I have made it my mantra. I will be well at the 2 year mark! I will make my body believe it too. There is a glimmer of hope and I’m hanging on tight.
From my heart to yours,
Next week will be 23 months with Bells Palsy. I’m counting on 24 to be the magic number and call it done. Wouldn’t that be just snazzy!! But just in case it needs a little help to go dormant again for another 61 years, I’m on the lookout for new ideas to help me heal.
My belief and my truth (they do not need to be yours) is that illness is the body speaking loudly to messages we were unwilling to hear more quietly in our gut. I heard the message each time it came to me but vacillated on acting on the message. Now even a headache or a tickle in my throat tells me to let go of something I’m holding resentment about.
That being said, I turned my life and many others upside down in order to heal and to prevent more serious illness from manifesting. Yes, I’ll do most anything to get well, even give up sugar. Now that’s a tough one and I’ve been holding onto it. Carbs were the glue that held me together. Now they have to go. Granted, it’s an experiment like everything else I’ve tried but it can’t hurt. Vitamins always make my stomach hurt so I’ve been told to take them late in the day before going to bed. Guess I’m not supposed to notice a stomach ache when I’m asleep but B vitamins are so essential to healing the nerves. Not that I have a nerve left. Maybe I’ll get new nerves to replace the damaged nerves.
Other things I’ve tried as I have mentioned before are Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Neurologists (2), ENT’s, GP’s, Naturopaths, alkaline water, the Vibe machine, herbs, tinctures, medical intuitives, and psychics. What’s left to try? Well, I’m exploring Energy medicine which may help or not. Haven’t devoted enough energy to it yet. Just this week I also tried some Qi Gong exercises for healing. That did refresh me quite a bit and I noticed I didn’t get so tippy while doing them. Yoga is a favorite but my balance has gone missing so I only do a few floor poses.
What’s left to try? I’m open to suggestions. Most people are surprised that I make such a big deal out of Bells Palsy. It’s just facial paralysis after all. I wish! That’s the easy part. The vestibular integration dysfunction, the hearing loss, wayward balance and the difficulty forming complete and cohesive sentences under the smallest amount of stress is mind blowing.
I can tell you this much. I have a healthier respect for people with illnesses that are invisible to the naked eye. My daughter has fibromyalgia. Most doctors and most people think it’s a disease of the mind. I always thought it was just lazy disease. We all have pain, just push through it. Not so easy as it looks. I have found pain and even balance issues to be exhausting. Every effort requires rest behind it. So finally, I’m trying to cut my daughter some slack. I finally understand.
So if you have something new to offer, let me know. I haven’t tried a witch doctor but I did call a Shaman. Unfortunately, by then, I had run out of funds. Whatever you come up with it has to be inexpensive because I no longer have insurance either. It’s been quite an interesting ride. But truth be told, I’m ready for a different ride. Something with wellness and fun involved.
From my heart to yours,