Bell's Palsy Update - Day 19

And so it continues...

I shared the following information with my brothers yesterday, so I'll take a shortcut and paste their update into this post.

I'm seeing daily improvements in my Bell's Palsy...possibly not as visible to Mr. T or Missy M, but it FEELS like improvement to me.

My lower jaw has all but quit cramping, and the pain is receding from moderately excruciating to merely annoying. My drooping eyelid feels less droopy, and I'm blinking easier...but I can't raise my eyebrow or wink yet.

I can open my mouth much better and chew easier, but my upper lip is still numb. I drank milk from a glass this morning WITHOUT A STRAW, although I'm not quite ready to do the same with my coffee just yet. Maybe tomorrow...or the next day.

Although bright light and loud sounds are still bothersome, I'm wearing my eyepatch much, much less without too many problems, especially since I'm following this new doctor's advice to use artificial tears every hour. Dr. E says "one month to three months," and he has put me on stronger meds since I saw him on Monday.

I'm making an effort to REST and recuperate, and the time is passing...slowly, but surely. I didn't make that 15-day deadline, but I have high hopes that I'll hit the one-month mark with a whole smile on my whole face!

Today I've noticed that my eye is tearing much more than yesterday. I'm trying to leave my patch off as directed to give "the eye muscles a chance to strengthen," but I may have to give them a longer rest this afternoon. We'll see...

I must admit that, while I continue to be optimistic about my recovery, I am experiencing some well as a good deal of insight. This "lightbulb" came on about my speech difficulties.

My grandfather Keaton, known to us as Papaw, suffered a series of TIAs, or mini-strokes, in the year or so after his retirement. Then, in his mid-60's, he had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and robbed him of his power of speech. Therapy helped return most of his abilities...except the speech part.

He would struggle to say the word that was in his head, but it would not come out as he wanted. Made him so angry...and those words ALWAYS seemed to come out perfectly. As a teenager at the time, I remember just wanting him to be like the Papaw I used to know and love.

Now...I'm getting a little tiny taste of what he went through, all those many years ago. Through my numb and frozen lips, I struggle forming words, especially those with the P, B, F, S, and double-consonent sounds. And the more I have to re-pronounce and enunciate, the more tired and strained and frustrated I become. Vicious cycle.

Ah well...

I watered the garden today for the first time in a couple of weeks. Mr. T has been trying to keep up with this chore, too, but the high temperatures of the past days have devastated the most vulnerable plants in the smallest containers, which dry out much quicker than the larger ones.

So, how dry is it after all that heat, you ask? This message from my friend Just Jane in Missouri, put a half-smile on my half-face:

IT'S SO DRY IN MISSOURI.. that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling, the Methodists are using wet-wipes, the Presbyterians are giving rain checks, and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water!

And Bro J added: ...and the Episcopalians are drinking whiskey under a shade tree!


The weeds, however, are a different matter entirely. They have moved into the Secret Garden with a vengeance and are enjoying the benefits of all that fertilizer I applied for the veggies and flowers 6 weeks ago. Oh my, I want so badly to weed...and I HATE weeding! I thought that might happen today, as it is over-cast and the temperatures have dropped to the 80's, but my teary eye is telling me "not a good plan." Still, having the desire to be back in the garden must mean I'm getting better, right?

Progress. Celebrate the signs of progress, no matter how small.


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