Bells Paulsy is a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the face on the affected side, and only affects 1 in 5,000 people a year! So of course I just had to be the special one that year.
It was around 4 years ago that my mum rushed me to the doctors thinking I had taken a mini stroke after the left hand side of my face was weak and failed to move. I was then taken to A&E where they poked and prodded at my face concluding that what was wrong was indeed Bells Paulsy. However the doctors never really found out what caused my condition to develop, they took my blood, scanned my brain for tumors or clots and asked numerous questions but with no prevail.
This left me with a fully paralyzed left hand side of my face for at least a couple weeks- where I was having to manually open and close my eye or wear an eye patch so that my eye didn’t dry up due to the fact that I couldn’t blink and I’ve never really regained full movement of the full side to this day.
After being diagnosed my self confidence took a massive knock. Most people I knew were really supported and generally interested to know about Bells Paulsy, however with a few people making jokes and poking fun, I honestly felt that I didn’t want to go to school until I was better (however taking months of school wasn’t exactly an option) thankfully after a while people started to forget all about it.
It wasn’t until my last year in high school, so 2 years after I was diagnosed that I heard all rumors that had gone around to what had actually happened to me; from walking in to a door (I‘m clumsy but not that clumsy) to being punched and that I had a stroke. I honestly found these quite funny that this is what a many people in my year believed is what happened.
Even now where my confidence has repaired slightly and the facial weakness is barely noticeable to those who didn’t already know something was wrong. Meeting new people brings the dread of judgement due to the fact that they may think something is wrong with me and although I’ve been told time and time again that you can’t notice anything anymore. It’s the fact that I can still notice it, and that I still know that something is not quite right.
Taking pictures is a nightmare especially if its not a selfie, as I cant choose the angle or the way in which the picture is taken so that the weakness that i’m left with is not noticeable and pictures before I had gained most of my movement back are few and far between. Unfortunately as you will see in some of the pictures I have put at the bottom, I didn’t regain full movement in time for my prom, a whole 2 years after it first started. Which absolutely sucks as I hate many of the pictures taken of such a great day.
So 4 years on: I’ve regained what I think is going to all the movement I’m going to get back, I can only just smile properly and there are some little things like scrunching up my nose on my left side that is still weak. I’m still very much aware of my Bell’s Pausly and i’m thankful to those around me who tell me I’m perfect the way I am and that they love me just the same. Looking to the future i’m not sure if i will regain anymore movement or if i will look into cosmetic options (such as Botox) that my doctors suggested was a path I could go down. But for now i’m finally starting to regain more and more confidence and i’m just hoping that it doesn’t flare up again and send me ten steps backwards.
Thank you so much for reading!
Feel free to leave any questions or comments you have about anything I’ve said or if you want me to elaborate on anything for you.
Love Danielle x