James 1:12

 

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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

 

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Interruptions

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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…

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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/

I GIVE B-12 AN A-PLUS

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!