Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What the crap is wrong with my face?!?!

So do you guys remember a little less than a year ago when I posted about me getting Cellulitis? Durham friends, I ended up removing my post because there were just too many HIDEOUS pictures of me on it... and all taken in a melodramatic fashion like this picture you see below. To make a long story short, I would not wish Cellulitis on my worst enemy. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life and I just wanted to cry, like all the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did cry all the time. To this day, I still have a little redness and scar tissue from my cellulitis site. But at least I don't look like Bozo The Clown, Roudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, or a severe wine bibber anymore. And the pain is gone. That's all I care about. Anyhoo... here is a little pic from that.

I kind of looked at that whole experience as a "That was the worst thing I've ever experienced" sort of thing but got past it since it is gone and make up can cover the remaining redness now.

But alas, my friends, I have had yet another issue come up with my dear face. It's called Bell's Palsy. Basically, it's the inflammation of the 7th cranial nerve that you get from a virus (I had a teenie, tiny cold) and you just happen to be unlucky to have it enter that part of the nerves in your face. The result? Paralysis or weakness on one side of your face. I am EXTREMELY lucky that I do not have full paralysis like a lot of Bell's Palsy patients, but I do get to have the facial weakness. Symptoms are supposed to last about 6-8 weeks and in rare cases, they may never go away.

So here's my little story...
About 2.5 week's ago my hearing in my right ear became really muffled and I had no idea what it was. A doctor checked it out and he said it wasn't fluid or wax and said it should return back to normal in a little while. Oh, and another thing, is my right ear is EXTREMELY sensitive to loud noises... which doesn't help when you have two little girls who like to do high pitched screams for fun :) And THEN, about a week ago I noticed some slight changes in my facial muscles that weren't exactly quite right. A few examples:
  • If I flared my nostrils, my left nostril would flare out a lot more severely than my right.
  • I couldn't lift my upper lip on my right side like I could on my left... not a huge difference but it was noticeable to me.
  • My left eye was going CRAZY. When going out in the sun, it would instinctively shut almost completely without me being able to do much about it and my right would only squint a little. Also, if I closed my right eye to take a picture looking with my left eye, I couldn't do it. It would take EVERY bit of eye strength to keep that eye open and it still wasn't enough to look through the little peep hole. When I would laugh really hard or cry, my left eye would just shut really tight and I kiiiiind of look like a crazy person.
Nate was gone for an interview most Thursday, Friday, and he came back Saturday. I told him about all the weirdness on the phone and he just said to go in on Monday to have it looked at. But when he came home Saturday and we were at a Duke basketball game, he got a good look at what I was talking about and he was like "Um, maybe you should go in tonight". Which, in Nate terms, is like "What the crap is wrong with your face"? Plus, I guess the longer you wait with these things, the more likely you are to risk permanent damage. Not cool.

So, we found someone to watch our kids while we went into Urgent Care and to make a long story short, (not to name-call or anything but) the guy was a moron and said to me "Well, not everyone's faces are symmetrical". Really? You think after 25 years of living, I would choose to go into an Urgent Care on a Saturday night because I am suddenly upset because I don't have a symmetrical face? I don't think he understood that it USED to be symmetrical. I wanted to punch him in the face. To add to it, he told me it was DEFINITELY not Bell's Palsy, he thought I was fine, and that if I am really worried (which I was), I should go into the ER. So we did.

Long story short, after seeing 2 nurses and 3 doctors (including a neurologist) they finally concluded that it was, in fact, Bell's Palsy (I should write Urgent Care guy a letter). The docs thought that was what it was but they weren't sure about my issues with my left eye and seemed a little worried about that. But the neurologist said it was because my left eye was trying to compensate for my right, which makes sense. And they said that's most likely why my hearing went to crap as well. So, they put me on some crazy steroids and some anti-viral medication and sent me on my way. Bell's Palsy sounds like such an old-person's disease and so to add humor to my situation, I tell Nate in my oldest sounding old lady voice "I have the Palsy"! Probably doesn't sound funny but at least it makes us smile :)

So here are some pics...
My "relaxed" face. This was taken the day I went into Urgent Care/ER. Notice my "little eye" on my left side and my droopy face on the right? I'm a babe.
This is what I look like in the sun when my left eye goes REALLY tiny... (phone pic & in the car)
These next two photo's are taken from my computer and are a flipped/mirrored pic. So reverse me.

Also, the next two were taken tonight. I think I am looking much better. My face gets worse when I am tired or in the sun. But other than that, you can't tell THAT much. Right? :-/

A smiling pic...
My relaxed face again...
So, at this point, I don't think you can really tell unless you are really looking at my facial structure or my crazy flaring nostrils (but who does that?) :) The medicines are just supposed to "speed up" the whole returning back to normal thing. I think I have seen SOME improvement and it doesn't take as much effort opening my left eye while my right is closed as it did before.

And just to add some cherries to this post... Both Lyla and Ruby have some wicked coughs. They are getting a little better each day and seem to be coughing less. Ruby had a slight fever but that could have been because she got 2 teeth this last week. Fortunately though, both are still their happy, loving selves. And then Nate is super sick as well. Luckily he didn't have class today and he stayed in bed for most the day. Hopefully he will be better for an interview he has in Atlanta on Friday. PRAYERS PLEASE!!!!


Emily said...

Kelly-I love it when you post a new blog. I know I don't always comment-but I think you're hilarious! It doesn't matter how long or short your posts are-I can never stop reading them. I hope the interview goes well, and that your face responds well with the meds!

Candace said...

Kelly, I'm so sorry you've been having this problem! What a scary thing. I want you to know that I really can't see a problem in the pictures at the bottom though. You look like your beautiful self to me. Love you!!

Stacy said...

Whoa, you told me about those symptoms but I hadn't heard the verdict. Yikes! I am happy to take the kids if you need a break tomorrow (and good luck Nate- how did it go with Bain?).

Dale, Julie, Jaxon, Britta, and Max said...

Seriously Kelly - this is getting a little crazy. You've had your fair share of face "ailments"

Michael said...

#1- I wish it upon Barack Obama. He is our worst enemy and I'm ok if he has Cellulitis.

#2- I know I shouldn't but this post kind of makes me chuckle. I think it is because I know it isn't a permanent or serious thing because you caught it early. I’m sorry for chuckling Kelly. I guess I’m a bad brother. You know I would protect you from anything though. Anything but Cellulitis, Bells Palsy and Barack Obama that is. Nobody can protect you from those things.

abby said...

i'm sorry kelly! that is stressful. a friend of ours who actually lived in summertree before you guys came just got bells palsy recently. i think it lasted just a couple weeks and he is fine now! i hope you get rid of it soon.