James 1:12



I titled my last post on Bell’s Palsy James 1:12 for a very specific reason. This verse is about perseverance, something which was necessary for me during my illness. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” Beautiful, right? If you’ve been following my blog you know I relied much on my faith during my battle with Bell’s Palsy. It was not easy. It was hard. Everyday, when I woke up looking the same, I felt defeated until I realized there was no need to feel that way. God was with me all the time, holding my hand, walking by me, ensuring I would not lose hope or faith. And I never did.

Last month Hubert Tate did a special report on me. If you didn’t see it, I’m including a link at the end of this post. During the interview I was nearly cured of Bell’s Palsy. So things went full circle for me because my illness began one night on television and ended there as well. To those of you following my posts and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers…THANK YOU! I was overwhelmed with all the support I received during this time. You helped me realize I never really had half a smile anyway, because a true smile comes from the heart.

Here’s a link to the special report that aired on KARK 4 News in February: http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/web-extra-reporter-with-half-a-smile-extended-vers/26623/NqHAhm8Y2kKN3wDTy3d6pQ




I’m naming tonight’s post after a beautiful sermon I heard at church this past Sunday. The pastor talked about interruptions. They’re never convenient, right? Even as I’m writing this post I get anxious thinking about all the things that can “get in the way.” And, if you’re like me, when you receive interruptions, you usually get annoyed and frustrated. These interruptions can be anything from a flat tire to an unexpected visit and a conversation that lasts longer than you had hoped. However, there can be growth in interruptions. I really related to this Sunday sermon…a lot.

My Bell’s Palsy was a huge interruption in my life. So, I wanted to be angry. I wanted to ask God, why? I wanted to know what caused it and the quickest way to get rid of it. I didn’t want to take the time to just be silent and let God work through this “interruption.” But when I calmed down and grew silent, it’s then when I really heard God. He whispered two words to me: faith and perseverance. I wrote those two words down. Those are my words, God’s words to me. I kept my faith strong during my battle with Bell’s Palsy and my perseverance paid off. I was fully recovered in about a month. And during that month, I grew and I learned how to be silent and listen, even through the interruptions.

I want to end this blog with a song that also reminds me of my journey through Bell’s Palsy. It’s called “Blessings” by Laura Story. My favorite verse: “What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near…” If you haven’t already heard this song, please, please, please take two minutes to listen. I hope it speaks to you as it did me. Here’s the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOOFAaUGfRE

Stay Tuned…


Earlier this month, Hubert Tate came to visit my husband and I at our home. He wanted to tell my story of Bell’s Palsy. It was a bit strange to be on the other side of the camera. I’ve become very comfortable being the one asking all the questions. So I found it very strange that someone was asking me questions with a camera present. But, I’m glad I got the chance to experience what it’s like. It made me more sympathetic to the people I talk to everyday and also very grateful because it’s not exactly easy. Hubert did a great job though, he did his homework and asked some wonderful questions.

Hubert also talked to another woman who has never fully recovered from her Bell’s Palsy. And, he spoke to a neurologist to get insight on the condition. I am looking forward to seeing the full story. I’m honored my station decided to do a special report on this topic. While I’ve heard Bell’s Palsy isn’t very common, the ER doctor told me he only treated 2-3 people for it last year, during the process I realized it may be more common than you think. So many people emailed me with their stories or stories of others they knew who had Bell’s Palsy. I think this special report will be a great inspiration for those struggling with the condition or something similar. I also think it will be educational for those of you who don’t know much about it. It’s such an unusual condition to have. Waking up with a paralyzed face can be frightening and also very embarassing as you try to learn how to deal with Bell’s Palsy when you’re out in public.

So, I hope you’ll tune in to KARK on February 11th, look for me…the girl on T.V. with a FULL smile!

I’m Free of Bell’s Palsy!

Image   This picture was taken today 1-13-2014.

So, I’m happy to say I’m free of Bell’s Palsy! At this point, I don’t really notice any of the side effects. No dry eye, no drooping, no numbness, headaches are subsiding and my energy is back…on most days. This is just a quick post to let you know: God is good…all the time! I so much appreciate your prayers for my recovery. Thank you!

Bell’s Palsy Progress Report: This Girl Is On Fire!

Image      Photo taken the evening of 1-9-2014


I’ve come a long way from where I was a month ago. I owe all my progress to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I did question why *I* had to be diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, many times I might add, I kept my faith strong throughout the healing process. It’s something that really helped me get through the emotional part of being a TV News Reporter with a half paralyzed face.

With that being said, today’s progress report is…This Girl is on Fire! Really, I’m on fire! On fire for the Lord, on fire for my quick healing and on fire about life in general. I really can’t say there are too many side effects left after my diagnosis of Bell’s Palsy on December 8th, 2013. My smile is nearly COMPLETELY back. My dry eye is only a problem when I’m outside and it’s windy, which may happen whether I had the condition or not. I rarely bite my lip anymore when I eat, and my left eye has nearly returned to normal. However, I do still suffer from some exhaustion and headaches. So, when I get a day off, I try not to push myself too hard. But, most of the physical issues, ones you would likely notice if you saw me in public, are gone.

In the future, look for a post on my blog about my interview with Hubert Tate. Hubert is also a reporter with KARK-FOX16. He talked to me, this week, about my struggle with Bell’s Palsy and how I got through the condition as a TV News Reporter. The story will air next month…more details to come.

Quick Post: Immune Support Diet

Just a quick post today for those of you suffering from Bell’s Palsy or another similar condition. I found this diet online, that helps to boost your immune system. Bell’s Palsy was specifically listed as a condition that could be helped with the diet. The 7-day plan is made up of fruits, vegetables and meats that help to strengthen the immune system.  It includes several great recipes too like a Crunchy Salad, Strawberry Shortcake and Shiitake Chicken. Here’s a link to the site: http://www.kitchentablemedicine.com/immune-support-diet/


Image     (I know this photo looks a mess, but it shows a lot of progress. I can do kissy lips again! I can raise my eyebrows again! And, I’ve got wrinkles on both sides of my forehead again! — well maybe that one’s not so great…)

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on the B12 vitamin. When I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, my doctor didn’t recommend B12 to me. I was given a prescription for steroids and that was about it. When I started blogging about my condition though, I received so much feedback from others who suffered from the same thing. Many of you told me you took B12 vitamins and felt like they really helped speed up the recovery process. So, I too began taking the vitamins, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I got the sublingual B12 vitamins. You apply the vitamin under your tongue and let it disolve. I really feel like taking these vitamins helped to quicken my recovery. After taking B12 for just a couple days, I noticed some pretty major changes in my face and paralysis on the left side! So, I wanted to provide some of my research to you on this blog. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful, as B12 can be used for much, much more than just Bell’s Palsy. Some of the sites I used to gather info for this blog include: LIVESTRONG.COM, MDJUNCTION, THE HEALTH WYZE REPORT and MAYOCLINIC.COM.

From what I read, vitamin B12 is hugely important in your neurological health. Studies show Bell’s Palsy patients, who took 2,000 mcg a day, recovered much more quickly than those who did not use a vitamin supplement. The sublingual tablets (what I’ve been using) were also found to be the best, as your body absorbs more of the vitamin in this form. According to mayoclinic.com, B12 may enhance the integrity of the facial nerve and help with nerve growth, both important things for those suffering from Bell’s Palsy. And here’s some more for ya…Malaysian researchers found B12 accelerates the time of healing, sometimes dramatically, in Bell’s Palsy patients. Their studies also show when B12 was given with steroid drugs (my regimen) patients recovered one to three weeks faster and almost always within six months. One more thing…the vitamins are also good for brain health and concentration…and who couldn’t use more help in those areas, right?

While reading up on B12, I discovered many people suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin, it’s not just those of us who have the unfortunate luck of getting Bell’s Palsy. If you have a lack of this vitamin in your system, it can cause depression, fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, inabililty to focus, slower reflexes and nerve pain. Looking over the list, I realized I suffer from quite a few things on it. That’s why, even after I fully heal from Bell’s Palsy, I will continue taking one B12 tablet daily. If you’ve noticed a lot of these problems, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor. From what I understand, you can be tested for B12 deficiencies to see if that could be an issue for you.

I did read some articles stating there’s no proof B12 will help patients with Bell’s Palsy. I also read blogs from Bell’s Palsy patients who took B12 and didn’t recover for months. So I’m not saying it’s 100%. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. However, I do believe it worked for me and it appears to have helped a lot of other BP patients too.

Throughout my research, I also found healthy diets for people with Bell’s Palsy. Most of these diets revolve around foods that boost your immune system. I didn’t follow a specific diet during this process, but because I lost my appetite, as it was hard to eat with half your face paralyzed, I did lose over five pounds the past couple weeks. While it’s sad that’s the way it happened, I am glad that it kicked start a diet I’ve been wanting to do for several months now. In my next blog I plan on writing about the Immune Support Diet. Hope you’ll come back to read that one. Have a great weekend friends!

Happy New Year!


Happy, Happy New Year! On Tuesday night, I made my way into 2014 with a 3/4 smile, maybe even more than that. I’m so pleased at how far I’ve come in my recovery from Bell’s Palsy. It will be one month this Sunday that I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. I was told my face would be temporarily paralyzed. As a reporter, my face is part of my tool kit for my career. So, when I first found out I had this condition, it nearly destroyed me. I wept for an entire day and into the next day too. I was depressed and angry and questioning why this had to happen to me. Doctors told me it could take three months for there to be a substantial change to the way my face looked. I was also told, for some people, the condition never completely goes away. But prayers and perseverance paid off and the major, noticeable affects of Bell’s Palsy went away nearly as quickly as they came on. After about a week I noticed huge changes. After two weeks, I went back on the air and by the third week, you could probably not even tell I was suffering from Bell’s Palsy.

Today, I’m excited to let you know I’ve only used my eye drops one time in the past 72 hours!!! For those of you who suffered from Bell’s Palsy, you probably know how huge that is. And if you haven’t, let me put it to you this way…eye drops are your lifeline because you can’t blink on one side which means your eye gets very, very dry. Even after my face started to clear up, the dry eye persisted. I was using drops dozens of times throughout the day. This is a huge milestone for me and I’m thankful for that.

So, it appears this blog is no longer about a reporter with half a smile. Now, it’s more about a reporter who once had a half smile, but has grown into a new and improved one! Thanks again for all your prayers and support. I know this speedy recovery couldn’t have happened without you. Your words of encouragement have been monumental in helping me get over the embarrassment of my appearance and focusing more on what’s really important…my heart and my God.

Three Week Progess Report


It was three weeks ago my husband brought me to the emergency room and a doctor told me I suffered from a condition called Bell’s Palsy. I dealt with everything from dry eye to headaches the past few weeks. But I overcame in a big way and much quicker than I imagined.

So, with that being said, here’s an update on how I’m doing today. I anchored the weekend newscasts, so my face is pretty close to being back to normal. I’m still suffering from a minor case of dry eye, but it’s very minor. I use my eye drops sparingly. My left eye still looks a bit bigger than my right eye, but it’s barely noticeable. My smile doesn’t curve up all the way on the left side, but it’s improved quite a bit, just from last week. The second week my exhaustion was nearly impossible to manage. I’m happy to report my energy is starting to return. I still get headaches from time to time, but for the most part they have subsided. However, when I do get a doozy, I just take my ibuprofin, ask my husband to rub my neck and rest for a bit and I usually feel better. So there you have it. Things are pretty much back to normal and I am so elated to write those words down!

I wanted to pass on a great twitter page for those of you with questions about Bell’s Palsy or maybe you’re even suffering from it. Facial Palsy UK started following me on twitter and posting my blog reports. When I started following them, I realized the site is a great resource for information. It’s been really helpful for me. If you would like to follow them on twitter, here it is: https://twitter.com/facialpalsyuk

My Bell’s Palsy Survival Kit


Hope everyone had a Merry CHRISTmas! Today, I wanted to write about what I’m calling my Bell’s Palsy survival kit. It’s all the things that have been helping me while I recover from this condition. The photo above displays everything in my “kit”. So, I’ll just write a bit about each item.

1) NyQuil. Yes, I know it’s typically used for people who have a cold, however it also helps you sleep…like a baby. That’s not easy to do when you’re suffering from Bell’s Palsy. Two NyQuil tablets and it was lights out for a straight 8-9 hours. Sleep is very important in the healing process and so these tablets really helped me to get my Z’s.

2) B12 vitamins. A woman who said she got Bell’s Palsy several times recommended this vitamin to me. I started taking it a couple days after I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Now, I can’t say for sure if that’s what helped, but I did heal much quicker than most so I’m giving some of the credit, anyway, to the vitamins. I take one in the morning and one at night. Once my Bell’s Palsy is gone, I plan on continuing to take one a day as I’ve read some research that shows patients with Bell’s Palsy often times have a B12 deficiency.

3) Nivea lip balm. My lips got very dry during the process of Bell’s Palsy. This lip balm helped to keep them protected while I was at work and especially outside in the elements.

4) Vasoline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy. This stuff is the bomb. I put it on in the morning and at night before going to bed and it helped to keep my lips moist so they wouldn’t get cracky and dry. The lip therapy along with the balm really made a difference and I would recommend using both to anyone with Bell’s Palsy.

5) Visine Natural Tear eye drops. In two weeks I went through about two bottles of this stuff. It’s great! I’ve blogged before about how the worst part of this condition is the dry eye. Well, this helped out a lot. My doctor told me it’s very important to keep your eyes protected while suffering from Bell’s Palsy. With the left side of my face being paralyzed, I couldn’t even blink and this problem made my eyes dry out quickly. That’s why the drops were so necessary. It’s been going on three weeks and I still have the dry eye, but it’s not nearly as severe and I’m using my drops only a couple times a day instead of a couple times a minute. I’m exaggerating of course, but really just a little. I mean, I used the stuff like crazy!

6) Steroids. These were prescribed to me by my doctor. New research shows that if you start on a steroid treatment within a couple of days of noticing the first symptoms of Bell’s Palsy, it can help shorten the time you have it and prevent it from becoming a permanent condition.

7) Orbit chewing gum. This was also a great tip from a woman who was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Since the muscles on the left side of my face were so weak, I wanted to keep them “excercised” if you will. So I chewed gum all the time to keep those muscles active. It could be difficult and sometimes painful so, I just chewed as long as I could stand it and it seemed to work quite well.

8) Camera. I took a photo of myself everyday. I think this was an important part of my “mental” healing. It took about a week, but everyday after that I could notice subtle changes. It was also empowering putting my Bell’s Palsy face on my blog. I NEEDED to prove to myself that there’s much more to me than my face. Sharing this experience with you has been very rewarding for me. Words could never even begin to describe how amazing your comments and support have been. So, thank you!

9) Bible. Many verses in the bible helped me to find comfort while I was hurting. I have so many favorite verses that I’ve shared with you along the way. Here’s one more: 1 John 5:14-15 “And this is our confidence, that if we pray according to His will, He will hear us, and give us what we ask for, because our desires are in agreement with His thoughts for us.” Everyday, I ask God to heal my face. I did not put boundaries on His power or love for me. Even though everything I read said it would take at least three weeks to notice any difference, I knew God would take this burden away from me quickly. I believed it, I lived it. But, I had no idea how quickly it would happen. My God is an awesome God!!!

10) Last but not least, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. If you are a Jesus guy or gal, get this book. The powerful pages will be sure to touch you and bring you closer to Christ like they did me. There are so many amazing entries in this book and each one seemed to speak directly to me at just the time I needed it. Here’s just a portion of one entry, “I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you. The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self – the one I designed you to be. Because you are one of a kind, the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people.” I think this is perfect for my struggles and what I’ve been dealing with the past few weeks. I like to feel sorry for myself, it’s a sad and embarrassing fact about me. I also like to  ask God why me? Especially, when I look around and see so many other people not struggling. Then I realized, each of us have our own unique paths and struggles. God knows those struggles bring us closer to Him…and who can argue with that?

Anyway, I hope my “survival kit” helped those of you who may be suffering from Bell’s Palsy or a similar illness. And if you’re not…maybe it brightened your day knowing that I’ve learned a lot on my journey as the reporter with half a smile.