Bell's Palsy Update: Day 5

Ever heard the expression blind in one eye, can't see out of the other? One of Big Daddy's favorites...along with if it had been a snake, it'd bit ya. Well folks, I'm living it.

One of the main concerns about Bell's Palsy is dealing with the eye on the paralyzed side of your face, in my case the left. I have no blink response, so the eye doesn't have the benefit of protection from tears or from the eyelid, which normally serves as a protective barrier to wind, dust, and debris. Hence the reason BP patients are warned repeatedly about using artificial tears (eye drops and eye gels) and keeping the eye covered with tape or a patch...or both. The faintest breeze is painful, as is a bright light. And since we are now a 5-dog summertime when the shedding is significant...well, I probably don't have to go into detail about the debris part. As painful as it is, though, it's not really about the immediate pain. No, it's all about the potential of scratching the vulnerable cornea. So, I wear tape and an eyepatch almost constantly. The eyepatch seems provide outer protection. The tape, because my eye muscle is determined to lock in the open position, and I need extra help in forcing it closed, under the eyepatch. So that would describe the blind eye.

I've shared this in earlier posts, but I've been living with a developing cataract in my right eye for over a year now, just biding time until it gets "ripe," as the ophthalmologist said. Yeah. Makes it sound more palatable that way, I suppose. I am due to see him for my annual exam in July, and he was to make a recommendation about my next step then. Well. That would now be the "other" eye.

To step beyond the hyperbole and speak with perfect honesty, I do have some limited vision in my right eye. It's a bit like looking at the world through a sheer window curtain. And, for tasks like posting on my blog or updating my Facebook status, I am forever grateful that I got stuck with the so-called blind typewriter in Mrs. Curry's typing class in good ol' RHS. (It was an IBM Selectric, if I remember correctly...a coveted electric model in the olden days of manual typewriters, but one with NO letters or characters on any of the keys. It didn't improve my typing speed any, but it forced me out of the hunt and peck group...:). Fortunately, on almost all aps on my iPad, I can increase the text size on my screen and accept all the help I can get from autocorrect. So, you will be kind if you find errors, won't you? And, if you are a game-buddy, you will bear with me on Words with Friends and Scramble...I'm a little slower on the uptake at the moment.

Reading? Well, thank heaven for large print...and the ability to adjust the type on my both the iPad and my Nook reader. Check out the screen capture shot of my latest P. D. James' Adam Dalgleish novel ebook...type big enough, you think?! I don't know what I would do if I couldn't read...

Knit, maybe? True, I can knit and purl by "muscle memory," as they say...not having to look at the needles and stitches as I knit. But...and this is the game-changer...I'm struggling with reading patterns and/or counting stitches. Have to work on this a bit.

Outdoor activities? Well, the sun is my enemy at the moment, more so than usual. We are going through a spell of scorching-hot, not-a-cloud-in-sight, Summer weather...more like August than June. Who would believe it could register 113 degrees in Louisville, KY, on June 28...or that today is supposed to be even hotter? (Below is the photographic evidence, taken by Mr T, should you be skeptical.)

KD, my sweet suitemate from college, who has had Bell's and lived to tell about it, has shared so many helpful hints and bits of advice, one gem being: WEAR SUNGLASSES, even inside to protect against bright, blinding light. And I find they help with protection from gusts of air, since I have totally unfashioanble, large, wrap-around shades.

But driving Missy M back and forth to work and to appointments? Now that's a whole nother subject. Not only is the vision in my right eye blurry, but covering my left eye means loss of depth perception. How far is that car bumper in front of me? Hmmm. Your guess is as good as mine! Talk about your flying Big Daddy used to tell us about simulator exercises when he was in pilot-training in the Army Air Corps, where he had to learn instrument flying. "Congratulations Cadet Lunn, you have just landed your plane 6 feet under the ground," was one of the memorable quotes from his flight instructor. One of the few fit to print. Ahem.

So you will understand how relieved Missy M and I were when Mr. T got here late Wednesday night. Hooray! The cavalry to the rescue! He is now shouldering almost the entire workload for the family: bread-winner as well as chief cook and bottle-washer, to quote another one of Big Daddy's favorites.

He drove her to work yesterday, and then later to her doctor's appointment. I wish I could report good news from that trip, but it isn't what Missy M had hoped. She had her heart set on getting a walking boot, so she could put weight on her foot. Ah well, after reviewing her X-ray, her dr. said she just wasn't ready for it. Three more weeks in a Fiberglas driving...continue with the work restrictions of 4 hours a day with her foot elevated at all times. Of course, that last part is impossible to achieve, with her dr. visit as a prime example: by the time she finally got in last night with her new Kelly green cast, her toes were bluish-purple and swollen. I guess he knows whereof he speaks (another Big Daddy-ism...:). Here's a shot of the newest cast in the making. I said I thought it was the prettiest so far. Missy M said she sure hoped I like it, 'cause we'll be looking at it for three more weeks. Sigh.

And so, we carry on. We count on each other, we count on you for messages of love and support, ...and we count our blessings to remind us it could be worse.

Repeat after me: it could be could be could be worse.


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