Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'd give my right leg to smile

Tuesday evening I started to have an annoying twitch in my left eye. I thought nothing of it because that happens every now and then. Then my top lip started feeling a little numb/tingly. Again I thought nothing of it because I'd been putting Anbesol on a bothersome tooth and I thought I may have gotten some on my lip. Yesterday morning I woke up to get ready for work and the whole left side of my face was numb. I had no muscle control of my mouth and eye on the left side. Freaking out, I woke up my husband and we went to the emergency room. I have Bell's Palsy.

They don't really know what causes it, but the 7th cranial nerve is being suppressed or has been damaged somehow. There are 4 different medications that I have to take and certain facial exercises that I have to do which is really a funny sight to see.

I can't blink my left eye, I can't smile, I can't tell if my left nostril is running, I can't taste anything on the left side of my tongue, I can't chew on the left side of my mouth, I can't drink without using a straw, and I can't stop crying because there's 20% chance that I may stay this way for the rest of my life.

I think not being able to smile is the thing that's bothering me the most. I love smiling and making people smile. And I've been told my whole life that I have a beautiful smile. Now I don't. The first thing people notice when they look at you is your face, often your eyes and smile. My left eye droops and I can't fucking smile no matter how hard I try.

Optimistically I could say, "There's more of a chance that this will go away, rather than stay." But it's kind of hard to be optimistic when I had at least 10 different orthopedic specialists tell me I wasn't going to lose my leg. I never once thought in the 9 months after my car accident when I was having surgery after surgery on my foot, that I was going to have it cut off. I was a perfectly healthy 22 y/o woman and I lost my foot. Now I'm a perfectly healthy 27 y/o woman and I've lost my smile. Next thing I know I'll get breast cancer and lose my boobs.

22 comments:

schmims said...

*hugs*

You are in my prayers that your smile returns soon. And even though you can't smile right now, you're still beautiful!

anthony said...

(not sure what to say)
hopefully all goes well and you overcome that 20% and regain your smile.
be strong and fight hard.

Bill said...

And I thought my week sucked. Well it doesn't in comparison. I do actually know what you are not feeling. I took a sharp blow to my face playing football a few years ago. Broken bones and loss of feeling on the left side of my face. Muscle activity fine. The funkiest thing was eating Hot Mustard at a chinese restaurant and only getting the burn on the right side but knowing I should feel it on the left.

The Lily said...

Oh honey! I am so sorry. My little brother woke up with Bell's last year. Granted he is just one case, he got better.

You are in my thoughts sweetie.

Nessa said...

Bell's goes away the younger you are - it's when you get older (over 40) that it has a tendency to hang onto that 20% and stick around. I'm so sorry!! I wish I could hug you right now and get you drunk through a straw!!! My prayers are with you!

Randi said...

Be optimistic, my sweet! My best friend's mom who is much older than you had Bell's and she's all better now. Smiling's over-rated.

pickett said...

My thoughts are with you.

Smiling may not be overrated, but look on the bright side...No one will suggest an AA meeting when you drink your new year's cheer through a straw.

mikey said...

dude, holy shit.

OK, when you're over this (and we know you'll get over this soon), we'll want to see a picture of the "new and improved" smile you'll have. (:

hotdrwife said...

HOLY CRAP!

I hope you are better soon ... I like Pickett's thoughts. Cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

That happened to my friend Penny in high school our senior year. She overcame it and hopefully you will as well. *hugs* I'll be thinkin' about ya.

schmims said...

I keep thinking about you this morning and trying to imagine what that's like. I bet that's the weirdest feeling to try and not be able to move. Does it hurt? Or can you just not feel it at all?

Marit said...

Thinking about you! I hope your smile returns soon. You're beautiful regardless. Hang in there. Hugs.

april said...

THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH EVERYONE!! Your support is making me smile on the inside. I really do appreciate all of your positive comments and I'm sending you all hugs via the internet! *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE*

A.J. said...

Hey kiddo, sorry to hear about that. I have some truly tasteless jokes about it, but now is probably a bit too early for that. If it's any comfort I also know two people who got Bell's and are just fine now. Neither of them were as cute or as charming as you, so I don't have any worries. I'll be thinking about you.

Maine said...

It's not too early for tasteless jokes. I've been making them with ehr all day. April's a good sport, aaaaaaand, on the road to recovery. We're all in your corner, superstar.

april said...

Schmims-It is really weird. It doesn't hurt but I can still feel it. It's like I've just lost all muscle control on that side of my head. My eye is really irritated because I can't blink so I have to manually close it like every damn 2 minutes. Thanks for thinking about me today, hopefully your thoughts will help me get better. =)

A.J.-Tasteless jokes are just fine!! Like Maine said, I'm a superstarrrrr! *giggles out of half my mouth*

fyrchk said...

Hey My Sexy Gimp! There is so much I want to say and you know that people will take offense to it, so I'm just going to say this:

Remember how upset you were about the pig leg? Remember what I said about you getting through it? And you did. You'll get through this too.

It's not how you look as to why I love you. It's your attitude. Big kisses. Just don't drool on me and shit.

Love you.
T.T.

Miss R said...

Beautiful, April!
Hugs and prayers to you. You light up any room and you always will. You'll get through this and see your smile again. We love you!

Mr Vholes said...

It'll go away, so don't worry! Otherwise your lawyer will be PISSED and that's never good.

Mojotek said...

Wow... I bet this is getting you down big time. But keep your head up! You'll smile again, your 7 year old already knows it!

I know I'll be thinkin' about you during your healing process. Just remember that is exactly what it is, a healing process. Nerves can feel like they're being very stubborn when growing back... but all they need is time.

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