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.