When I woke up on the 3rd day of my personal experience with Bell’s Palsy, I thought I was super smart. I had worn the tape over my eye for the first night and I thought I would go get in the shower and that would do two things – help keep the water and soap out of my eye during the shower and then the tape would be loosened enough that it would come off much easier. The problem, I guess, is that the tape is paper. So the water immediately soaked through the paper tape and got soap and water into my eyes. Ouch! Lesson learned.
So many things become more difficult when you have Bell’s Palsy. I mentioned in my last blog post that the eye is very sensitive since it does not blink or close normally. When my eyes blink, the left eye tends to roll back in my head a bit (bell’s phenomenon.) The eye is very sensitive to light as well so I bought a pair of dark wrap-around sunglasses that I can wear over my glasses if needed. Very cute, I know. But it does help when I am out of the house.
My left ear is also very sensitive. I call it supersonic hearing. Any sound on the left side is much much louder than normal. Normal sounds can be excruciatingly loud – kids yelling, singing or laughing. Things dropped on the floor. The vacuum cleaner. My own coughing or sneezing. Dishes in the sink. The hairdryer! All of these things could cause me to put my hand over my ear and wince in pain.
Eating is also a pain. It’s exhausting to try to chew food when one side of my mouth will not function properly. This is gross and embarrassing to admit, but I have to chew with my mouth open in order to get the food to move around enough so that I can chew it. I usually end up eating with one hand in front of my mouth. Drinking out of a straw is also hard. I use one hand to hold the left side of my mouth closed against the straw so that I can drink. Drinking without a straw is hard, too. The poor lips don’t do a good job of holding any liquids back. I also have to use my fingers to hold my lips closed so that I can rinse my mouth after brushing my teeth.
I tried to eat an ice cream cone. That was nearly impossible and extremely messy. Noah had one too, but I’m pretty sure I got more ice cream on my face than he did.