Bell's Palsy Update - Week 7 Begins

Before we get to my Bell's report, I wanted to share my exciting (!) Cotton crop report from Guilford County. Seriously, I planted 10-12 heirloom seeds from a variety called Nanking Green that I got at the Seed Exchange at Old Salem back in January. And, now I have 10 beautiful plants growing and thriving at the end of the bean fence in the Kitchen Garden (photo below)! Can you see the pink-edged flowers (top of plant) and the green bolls(center)? Even though picking cotton by hand is one of the hardest jobs on this Earth (yes, I did it once...and only once!), I can hardly wait until I get to pick my own little stand. No, I won't harvest enough to spin, but I'll have enough to share next January...and to plant more next year.

Green cotton, you ask? Yep. And you thought all cotton was white, didn't you? Well, I sure did until I did a bit of research.

Turns out that naturally colored cotton was grown at one time, although it was not found to be as marketable as white cotton fibres. According to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

"Naturally colored cottons were grown by the slaves prior to the Civil War. In many instances, slaves on plantations were not permitted to grow the white cotton of their masters. Brown cotton was the most commonly grown, but there are other naturally colored cottons such as green, blue, yellow, and pink cottons, and they all have their own subtle beauty. These heirloom cottons are now difficult to find. They have fallen out of favor because the fibers are shorter and not as suitable for spinning and dyeing as modern white cotton."
From Southern Exposure Seed Exchange's website

I wish I could report big, exciting discoveries in my recovery process. No such luck. Same old, same old. Tortoise-like progress as Bell's Palsy slowly recedes from my body.

And, as I told Bro T and Bro J last week, I relate what is happening to the tide receding...going out...away from the beach. Yeah, and my focus on The Beach. But with each day, a little of the misery that is BP seems to recede...go out...leave me. And, while that may not be Big News, it is nonetheless Positive News.

Missy M summed up my last week's progress yesterday when she said "you can see you are getting better; you can hear it, because your speech is better." She also said "you can tell when you are tired because you start slurring your words." A little good, a little not-so-good. Still some way to go to complete recovery. Ah well.

I didn't take my weekly documentation photos yesterday, because I thought any progress they might have shown would be overshadowed by the dark circles under my swollen eyes and the red tinge to my nose. I hadn't slept well the night before, and I had done my share of shedding sad tears in the morning. You see, yesterday marked a year since Nana/Momma/Edith passed away. Without a doubt, we still miss her so much.

And as any regular reader of my posts will know, it was a tough 6 months prior to 8/5/11, and it has been a rough 12 months since then. One can only hope it will begin to be a kinder, gentler chapter from this day forward.


You may not be able to see much change in my mouth (less paralysis, more of a smile on the left side) in this photo (below). And I think there is possibly more left-eyebrow droop...but I "credit" that to residual "puffiness" from yesterday's tears rather than a reversal in the previous week's progress.

What you will probably see right away is that I wore a different color shirt for this photo. Sweet friend BS commented earlier about my wearing some pink lipstick (which I have rarely, if ever, worn in my life...:~\), instead of sticking with the same old aqua shirt I've worn in all the photos for consistency's sake, I switched to a pink one that I borrowed from Missy M for this set.

So, now I have entered the decisive part of the recovery period: weeks six through eight. Whatever happens now, is probably what I will be living "new normal," as friend LB says. My NC Nurse Practitioner calls this the most telling of the recovery period. While she said it can take up to a year to completely recover, it's the two weeks I am living now that can be the most important.

Fingers crossed. Toes, too!

Bell's Palsy Documentation Photo - Day 44


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