My Droopy Face
Thinking back I’m not really sure what set it off but I could feel my ear ache getting worse. By the Friday night the pain in my left ear was really intense. I slept but it kept waking me up. I’m not one for taking medication, not sure why, but that’s me! I think I like to feel pain as it tells me that something is wrong so I tend to avoid them until I cannot bear it anymore. Anyway, as I was laying there I could hear crackling and gurgling going on and it felt like I had an alien in my ear; it felt so strange. Then all of a sudden I heard a big pop and felt a sharp pain and my ear started leaking. It was awful so to release the pressure I put a towel on the pillow and just laid there and let it drain. It went on and on then started to bleed. This is when I got a little worried thinking my brain was leaking out but I know that is impossible as my hubby said I had no brain to begin with (whack!). Once it started draining the pain did subside and I just thought I should wait it out until Monday then go to the doctor as obviously I had an infection.
Through Saturday my jaw near my ear felt strange; kind of numb and tingling. Then the feeling started to move along to my mouth and my lips felt numb. I thought it was diminishing at one point until the right side of my mouth went really numb up to my nose then rose to my eye. Just on the right side of my face as the left side felt normal now. Then the outside of my eye started to feel weird and the outer edge of my eyebrow; that’s when the whole right side of my face went south! My first thought was ‘stroke’ but I felt ok other than that I couldn’t smile properly and had to drink through a straw.
So on the Monday I went to the doctor and he told me about Bell’s Palsy. As I had been reading up on the internet over the weekend I wasn’t surprised but obviously hadn’t heard of it prior to this all happening. He checked my ear as it had never stopped leaking. It was constant since it popped through the Friday night. He told me that I had a burst eardrum and that I needed to be careful when getting water in it.
It seems that the pressure that had built up in my ear had burst my eardrum and then trapped a nerve that affected my face. He put me on a course of steroids but wasn’t sure if they would help as the condition wasn’t caught within the first 48 hours but we hoped that it would help. He also said it could last anywhere from a week to several months. Well, my poor droopy, half-unsmiling face lasted for close to 3 months. It did improve but took ages to even feel anywhere normal. It was embarrassing too as I had to explain to everyone why, when I smiled, I was lop-sided! Funny but not! Along with my looks, as the outer edge of my eyebrow was drooping it made my eye water which was aggravating and I had to put tape at the corner to pull my eyelid up to stop it watering. I am smiling now thinking about it but at the time it wasn’t that funny (ha-ha).
My face is back to normal now! Well as normal as possible - some would say! Every now and then I have a very slight feeling around my mouth and the right side of my nose which I can only liken to the numbness wearing off after a visit to the dentist. Not numb as such but it just feels strange. I’m glad to say I look normal again as it was a (slight) worry wondering if I would always look like this.
Even though it basically lasted only 3 months, or thereabouts, I still think I feel it sometimes. Another thing I am conscious of now is my ear. For quite a while even after my face got back to normal I couldn’t dunk in the bath. When I went under I could feel pressure and a slight sharp pain. So even now I am careful about getting water in my ear in the bath or shower. It isn’t a real problem but I am still conscious of it.
Anyway, I am back to normal now but it did last for what seemed like forever!
If you have any questions, or would like to seek further advice, please feel free to get in touch.