Wedding Bells and Bells Palsy: Alison Recalls the Early Signs of Facial Paralysis

April 18, 2013

In May 2008, I had four weeks left to put final preparations in place for my wedding.

Then one morning, I suddenly came down with a severe ear ache. I did not want anything standing in the way of my upcoming plans, so I quickly visited the doctor.

After an exam, he couldn’t find the problem. He suggested that maybe I had an ear infection on the way. I went home and tried to forget about the pain, but when I woke up the next morning–I thought I’d had a stroke.

My face had completely dropped! I couldn’t close my right eye at all; I couldn’t speak properly; I was devastated. My fiance, however, knew somebody who had had bells palsy— which I had never heard of.

Straight away, he took me to my physician who confirmed our suspicions immediately. With the wedding just four weeks away, this was terrible news. My doctor gave me steroids and anti-virals to take. He also sent me to a physio therapy center at the hospital. While there, I was given electric treatments and acupuncture everyday.

I taped my eye down to sleep at night and other than my daily trip to the hospital, I refused to leave the house.

The pain in my face had become so severe that I was given Tramadol (pain killers) for it.  I also had B12 injections every other day for ten days. I even tried holy water!!

Unfortunately, my symptoms didn’t improve by my big day. I ended up cancelling the photographer–but continuing with the ceremony.  I continued with the acupuncture treatments for six months until I became pregnant. Just those six months did end up improving my symptoms by 85 percent! Five years later I still have symptoms, though not as severely.

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