Last Friday my husband and I had a typical busy day. I just dropped off the kids to school and was about to head to the gym. (Friday’s are LEG days! A friend of mine was coming with me for the first time, so she was in for a real treat working out legs for her first time!)
My husband had prepped his Class A’s that Thursday night for his important DA photo that Friday morning. Friday morning after dropping off our girls to school, I stopped by home, I promised Chris I would look him over in uniform before he took his photo.
He looked handsome, as always, in uniform! I gave him a “once over” look, a kiss goodbye and an “I love you…see you later!”
By Friday afternoon, my hubby called to tell me that his face was feeling a bit weird, his eye kept watering, and that when he looked at himself in the mirror, he felt as if he couldn’t lift his right eyebrow up as high as his left eye brow. Rather safe than sorry, he decided to go see the flight doctor to check it out. “It could be nothing or it could be something” I remember him saying.
That afternoon after picking up our girls from school, he called me with news. His face was definitely drooping on the right side due to a virus or a condition called, “Bell’s Palsy”.
What is Bell’s palsy?
Of course since we have Google.com and WebMD at our fingertips, I quickly started Google searching like a crazy person trying to understand this condition my poor husband now has. My biggest concern was how Chris was feeling.
Thankfully, Bell’s Palsy is NOT stroke related! There is no real link to how it happens, but it could be viral, due to an inner ear infection. It could be due to a herpes strain that was always in the body. It could be due to elevation and altitude change. It could even be stress induced. There is really no telling exactly how and why random people get Bell’s Palsy.
By Friday evening I was a ball of nerves, sending out messages to friends and family asking for prayers. I was still Google searching online to figure out what others have done to cope with this. I even scared myself with readings from WebMD. (We all can drive ourselves crazy reading WebMD about certain medical conditions)
Treatments and prayers
Chris surprisingly was in good spirits! He was laughing it off (which was good)! He was laughing at himself at times when he would see his half-smile. The novelty at first was what kept him in good spirits. The Doctor had given him an antibiotic and a steroid to treat it, so at least we were able to act quickly.
He got to look at the proofs from his DA photo and thankfully even though you could already tell a little droopiness in his face that mid morning, the uniform and pins were correct and straight, which was the important part anyway. So at least he wouldn’t have to take that over again.
Saturday he was still in good spirits about his face. We had a friends daughter’s 3rd birthday party to attend that afternoon, so he was able to chat with his good friend and have a few beers over it. The more and more we talked about it with friends, the more we found that they knew someone who had experienced Bell’s Palsy as well. From what friends told us, this virus or condition varied depending upon person. Some people had it anywhere from three weeks to 6 months. Worst case scenario was some had it permanently.
By Saturday night and into Sunday, Chris had passed the novelty stage and now was in a “B…S…” stage. He was starting to become very much aware that one side of his face wasn’t cooperating with the other side. Drinking was starting to become difficult. He couldn’t form a tight seal to pucker his lips, so it was a challenge to drink out of a cup without spitting water all over himself. Unfortunately one of the other symptoms of Bell’s Palsy is loss of some taste. So eating some of his good foods at dinner just don’t seem to taste as satisfying for him. His right eye also does not close all the of the way, so his eye becomes very dry throughout the day because it is not being lubricated as much.
Sunday we had our church family praying for him. Monday he had a chiropractic appointment to speak with the Doctor he had just seen that Thursday morning prior to this all happening. It became somewhat comforting for my husband to find out that the Chiropractor had Bell’s Palsy as well. The Doctor claimed his condition lasted about six weeks. (So we are clinging to that hope and faith that it will heal quickly).
Tuesday we had our regional pastor and friends praying over him. Wednesday he had his men’s connect group praying over him, and Thursday he had an ENT appointment to check him out and give any more medications for the dry eye. This week has been a busy week for us all, but we have continued to say prayers that it will leave him as quick as it came. This Friday mark one week of Chris having this sudden condition.
Dealing with it for now…
We continue to say prayers every night, believing and declaring that this will crazy Bell’s Palsy condition will go away and quickly as it came the last week. He thinks he looks worse than he really does. Of course, aside from a cute side smile, he still looks handsome to me. Thankfully it hasn’t stopped him from joking and smiling. He has often made jokes that if this condition continues through Halloween, he will be the character “Two-Faced”. (Of course we don’t want this to persist, but at least he is making jokes in light of the situation.)
Who do you know?
It is one of the craziest things I have ever heard of myself. It came on so quickly on a Friday. I had never heard of Bell’s Palsy before. The more I looked into it, I found support groups on Facebooks and Instagram. I read about celebrities, like Sylvester Stallone, Katie Holmes, Pierce Brosnan, Terrance Howard, and a few others, who were born with it or had dealt with this condition at young ages.
Do you know anyone that has had this virus before? If you have any stories of friends, family members, or co-workers who have dealt with this, I would love to hear about it! How long did they have it? Did you know of anyone that had it permanently?
After the little research I did do this week, here are a few resources I have found. If you think it may help, you are welcome to share it. Unfortunately since there is no real cure, all we can do is pray that GOD’S GOT THIS! I believe it will go away soon!
I don’t love my husband any less, but I definitely would love to see that big full smile from his handsome face again soon!
Resources and Blogs on Bell’s Palsy