Bell's Palsy Update - Week 6 Begins

First of all, let me share some Summertime with you! What says Summer better than crape (or, crepe) myrtle? This picture is the first bloom on this particular tree, which we transplanted to the Way Back last year.

And, Mr. T harvested the tomatoes, peppers, and okra (pictured below)...after he bushwhacked his way through the overgrown Kitchen Garden in HPNC. Amazing that anything has survived our benign neglect while we've been in KY. He also reports that my tiny stand of Nanking Green cotton is thriving.

So what has that got to do with an update about Bell's Palsy, you ask? Maybe not much, but it seems to me we can draw a parallel or two.

For most of the past week, my forward progress in my recovery from Bell's Palsy has felt glacial, as I've sleep-walked my way through the days, neglecting even my facial exercise routine. Teeny, tiny, itty-bitty signs were there each morning: a little more feeling in my lips and cheek and a little more release of my mouth, allowing me to chew my food more easily and to comfortably floss and brush my teeth after eating (extremely important because tooth, gum, and mouth care are paramount with the paralysis that is Bell's); and, a bit less of a droop of my left eyebrow, making it easier to consciously close the lid, meaning less tearing of that eye...and therefore better eyesight overall (although neither the blink reflex nor the ability to independently close the left eyelid has returned yet). I am still taking 300 mg Neurontin/gabapentin twice daily...and still spend each day in a haze, with nothing really registering and no energy to care. The price I'm paying to allow time for the nerve to regenerate, I suppose you could say.

And then...

Friday dawned. I awoke to a markedly different feeling inside. Where I had previously been clumsy, dizzy, and disoriented from the moment I opened my (right) eye each day (remember, I still wear an eyepatch on the left eye at night), Friday morning I felt clear-headed, with the ability to decide what came next...without having to concentrate too terribly much. It felt good!

OK. So I'm still not ready to run any races...or even to walk around the block...and I still have to take a long nap in the afternoon, in response to the day's dose. But I was looking forward to watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics Friday night...and I knew they would run way beyond my usual bedtime. So was I ever surprised and pleased that I made it all the way through the Parade of Nations to Sir Paul singing "Hey Jude!" Possibly I am adjusting to the med?

For sure, good things have indeed been happening "behind the scene," so to speak. By Saturday morning, Mr. T (who is back home at Casa 3917) could tell a difference on our FaceTime call...and he remarked on the positive change in my appearance as well as in my speech. Now, that made me feel great, don't you know?!

And by Sunday, I was looking forward to taking my weekly documentation photos. I just knew I would see a difference.

And, lo and behold, I did. I saw what I have been waiting for these past 36 days. I saw improvement in the paralysis...and the beginning of a smile. Just a little one, mind you...but a smile, nonetheless. Right there...corner of the left side of my mouth. It's turning up in response to my mental command of "smile!" Fantastic!!

I can't wait to see what this week brings, can you?


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