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Showing posts from September, 2012

Bell's Palsy Update - Three Months

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That's right, dear readers. It has now been 3 months since that Sunday when it seemed the left half of my face slid off my skull. June 24 to September 24...13 long weeks...91 interminable days. And, it ain't over yet.

Oh, I've come a long way, baby, as they say. My eyebrow droop is barely noticeable to others, I can wink my left eye without too much difficulty, and the blink response is almost completely restored...almost. Thankfully, I no longer need to tape my eyelid closed, nor do I have to deal with the waterfall of tears that poured down my cheek. I say "thankfully" because my 'bad eye' (left) is now my 'good eye,' due to the aggressive progression of the cataract in my right eye. But that's another tale for another day.

I no longer suffer the constant jaw pressure/facial pain, nor am I under the spell of the nerve medicine that alleviated the pain, but robbed me of most of my "waking" hours. Now, I only have that pain when I …

By The Beautiful Sea

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Faithful readers...in posts past, you have read much and often about my Happy Place...AKA: The Beach. Hooray and hallelujah, I made it! And Mr. T and Missy M are here with me. Who could ask for anything more?

Here is the view from our balcony, where I am writing this post:


We arrived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, just as the sun was setting yesterday afternoon, after driving from HPNC in the rain much of the way. And even though the GPS (fondly known as McGee) in Mr. T's ride had difficulty finding our hotel's address, we eventually tapped into our memory banks, recalling our stay here just last September, and made it on the third try.

This Hampton is really quite a gem, having all oceanfront rooms with balconies and porch-rockers, and one of the cleanest, freshest beach properties we've ever encountered. But we were thrilled to open the door to our eighth-floor room and find that the Hilton Honors Diamond Desk had upgraded Mr. T to a two-bedroom, two-bath suite with a …

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 12

Oh yes. The saga continues. This week has brought highs and lows where my battle with Bell's Palsy is concerned. Hills and valleys. But, sad to report, not a definitive end to this really bad dream I'm living. Sigh.

High point: I've been working with my Speech Therapist Tori for a little more than a week, and I can tell a difference in the paralysis, especially around my left eyebrow and upper jaw and top lip. More importantly, both Tori and Mr. T (he of the Doubting nature) can see and hear improvements. I have a new set of facial exercises that target my mouth, tongue, jaw, and chin...and I have doing them faithfully twice a day.

On my Therapy days, Tori places 2 electrodes on my left cheek and sends electrical impulses to stimulate the nerve and muscles...while putting me through my paces with the exercises. No, it's not painful...it actually reminds me of the TENS Unit (4 electrodes) I use on my lower back when I'm having an episode of back pain. Still, I ref…

First, You Make a Roux...

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The seasons are a'changin' here at Casa 3917. And what better way to welcome Fall than a big pot of Gumbo! And we've been enjoying the perfect days for it, too...daytime temps in the 70's, nightimes dropping into the 50's. I love September, don't you?

Of course, it gets a little confusing around this time of the year. Take this week for instance: we have enjoyed seeing both the Greensboro Grasshoppers in their Minor League Baseball Championship Series, as well as the Duke Blue Devils win their home football game opener. Can basketball be far behind?

Oh well...where were we? Ah, yes...Gumbo!

Now, the classic Nawlins recipe for Gumbo typically begins with "first, you make a roux..." However, for me...since our days living in Louisiana...Gumbo has always started with our favorite Pepper Shrimp recipe a couple, t'ree days before. (Not a typo. Most folks from Sout' Louisiana lost their H's long ago...:~\). And it also helps if you have some le…

That Was Fun!

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Yesterday was Mr. T's birthday, and (miraculously) he was in town (read that: "not on the road again"). Hooray! Of course, that had more to do with the Labor Day Holiday on Monday making for a short work-week and other folks not being available because of that than with it being his birthday...but, hey, it was a gift, nonetheless.

We were thrilled when Missy M called last week to say she was coming for a visit over the weekend. I don't mind admitting I have missed my "roomie" for most of the past three months...and my two four-legged grand-dogs. So their visit was a real treat...and timely, when you consider she would be here to help celebrate her Dad's birthday, if just a wee bit early.

When I asked on Saturday what flavor of cake he'd like, I was happy to hear "chocolate with white icing," which is my fav, too. Yum! Here's a photo of the end result, which we fired up (the candles were actually sparkler-versions!) over the weekend, …

Bell's Palsy Update - Week 11 Begins

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Week 11. Really? Really.

Yes, I'm still dealing with Bell's Palsy. I have come a long way since that scary Sunday in late June, 72 days ago...but I still have a few miles to go to reach full recovery. Sigh.

The good news? If you were to glance at my face, you probably wouldn't notice anything wrong. The paralysis that has contorted the left side of my face has released enough of the hold on my mouth and eyebrow that...until I try to smile normally...or speak...you wouldn't notice anything not-normal. Until I try to smile...or speak.

But wait.

As you recall, I had three benchmarks I was aiming for: whistle, wink, and full-toothed smile. As of this morning's facial exercises, I can check-off 2 out of the 3. Full marks on the wink...partial credit for the whistle, as it still needs work...still working on the smile.

It's my mouth where the paralysis continues to reside. Feels like an old-fashioned clothespin clipped to my top and bottom lip, just to the left…