So I'm going to post pictures of me during this journey with Bell's Palsy. This is *not* a pleasant thing to do and I'm scared to death. It's akin to walking around completely naked and hoping no one laughs. I need to do this though. I feel like this is part of my emotional healing process; me facing my fears. And right now the mirror and how others see me are 2 big fears.
So first off a before picture of me....ready?
So then 1 week after my daughter was born I woke up with Bell's. All of a sudden half my face didn't work. At all. And after about a week it looked like the right side of my face was sliding off my skull. Seriously.
This photo is from about the second week in December. Not so different from the last picture. I took it on my 6th month anniversary with Bell's. It seems I hit a sort of "plateau" with my recovery here. I am better here but still....off.
This photo is from the first week in January. I took this at 1 week shy of 7 months living with Bell's.
This photo I took last week - still a bit off but better. This was right before I left for my Acupuncture appointment. My eyes are almost the same size again. Although I think one of the damn residuals is that now instead of my right eye being too large it's actually becoming smaller than the left. *shaking head* This is the craziest condition ever I think.
And this is the same day/time but with my eyes closed to show the residuals. My mouth is still pulling upwards but not as bad and my eye is closed. Now I'm having to really try to hold my eye closed but it's so much better than it was.
This is me today. I just went and put my contacts in (I have not been able to wear my contacts in almost 8 months) and put makeup on. Still not normal yet but so much better. I see improvement just from last week. I am 4 days shy of having had this damn shit for 8 months. Here are the places I still need to heal: my mouth - I still can't pucker my lips or really control my top or bottom lip on the right side, and the top of my eye/forehead - I can't raise my right eyebrow or wrinkle the right side of my forehead.
I would like the residuals to go away. The one that causes my mouth to pull upwards and the newest one - the dimple on my chin. See it? I don't actually have a dimple but now the muscles that connect there have also become hypertonic and pull constantly in two different directions causing the weird dimple. *sigh*
BUT I'm hopeful. I'm working at accepting me the way I am. Some days I am considerably better at it than others. Today is a good day and I'm hopeful. There is improvement and I am holding on to that. Maybe. Maybe it will still come back. Baby steps. And courage in small doses.