I have a health update for you. On Thursday (5/21) I started having pain deep in my ear. I thought it was the start of an ear infection. Of course my busy schedule did not allow me to go to the doctor until sunday afternoon, by which time the right side of my face had become paralyzed. This is a freaky sensation. That coupled with the pain in my ‘ear’ had me thinking that my middle ear was inflammed and was pressing on the nerve causing the paralysis. The doctor diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy. (http://www.bellspalsy.ws/) I don’t mind the sneering looking smile, or the half-closing eye, or the difficulty eating/drinking… what is really really hard is the SEARING BLINDING PAIN!!!! Now the pain is no longer localized in my ear, it is spread out to my jaw, all around and in my right ear, and into my neck. Loud sounds (or even not so loud ones) make this worse – wylie will you PLEASE stop barking!!!! Stress makes it worse (thank you nursing school!). Also my depression is being triggered from this extra stress and having to deal with nerve pain that does not seem to diminish much even with 800 mg of Ibuproffen 3x/d. Warm compresses are comforting but hard to tell if it really effects the pain much. Mostly calm quiet, and rest help the most. I am getting lots of love and care from the people close to me (especially Autumn – she is babying me and taking excellent care of me while still attending to her own needs – what a woman!) The message is for me to take life on life’s terms. I get to live through this. It is an ordeal, but a)no one died, and b)this is a short-term problem and I will most likely have a full recovery. This has come at the 10th anniversary of my sobriety. I was blessed enough to be asked to speak at 2 different meetings this week – both my AA and my NA homegroups. I get to be an example of a person who inspite of the difficulties I’ve had with life, alcohol and drugs gets to live life on it’s own terms (including illness, depression, and HUGE accomplishments, i.e. getting into and succeeding in nursing school) and still gets to live life clean and sober. I can’t ask for much more than that. Although I still want this pain to end. 🙂
So, that’s my story. All messages of love and support are welcome!
It is now October and most of the BP is gone. Anyone looking at me can’t tell that I ever had it. I do still have some lingering minor symptoms: aching and tenderness in my jaw, ear and cheek, weak feeling muscles in my cheek, and occassional twitches and/or spasms and around my mouth on the right. My eye closes mostly ok, although I have been able to tell that it isn’t a completely tight seal – but even that is gradually getting better. All in all I’d say im 98% healed. Thank goodness! I’m also off of the neurontin now and I’m glad for that. Again, I so appreciate everyone’s love and support through all of that.