Monday, June 21, 2010

A Small Celebration!



Ok, I know, sooo not a good picture of me! But I am loving this picture. It's proof that my nerves/ muscles / whatever you want to attribute it to are making small strides. They may be small but I am thrilled with it!

I guess to explain this I have to tell you partially about my pregnancy, back in '06.  I had many many things happen during my pregnancy.  Some things were semi-expected during a pregnancy like carpal tunnel and preeclampsia. I also had some "freak" things happen. You know how doctors always tell you about complications and add that there's a 2% chance that "this" or "that" will happen to a person?  Well...I seem to be that 2%. I ended up with Bell's Palsy, during my third trimester.  It left me with one side of my face completely paralyzed. To find out more about Bell's Palsy, see WebMD.  According the EMedicine there are 25 cases per 100,000 people.  Pregnant women (almost entirely during their 3rd trimester.) are more likely to get it than non-pregnant women. Facts that I find fascinating now, but was down right bitter about when I was one of the "25".


This is what I looked like the day that I gave birth. That's me smiling just in case you couldn't tell that. The right side of the face in that picture is completely frozen.  I couldn't even chew without food falling out, or talk without slurring. The red patch of skin at the corner of my eye, just under my glasses, is raw because I had to tape my eye shut every night to be able to go to sleep. My eye burned constantly because it was always exposed to the air.  So I had to use a thick gel to keep it moisturized. (You won't find me complaining about having to use "normal" eye drops for my Sjs dryness.  After what I experienced with BP that is fantastic!)

According to my ob, my face was suppose to "go back to normal" shortly after giving birth.  There isn't too much that is known about BP.  The ob's suppose that pregnant women end up with it because of all the hormones overwhelming their bodies.  I question that since I found out about having Sjs the fall after I gave birth.  There's also the fact that my brother and father have also had BP. Guess we won't know about that one! Things really didn't change afterwards.  They sent me to a Physical Therapist who helped a little. I stopped short of getting electrical stimulation done.

Since 2006 they have found out about me having Sjs.  My rheumy. Dr. "A" seems to think that my body is working so hard to fight off the Sjs that is doesn't have enough resources left to work through the Bell's Palsy's after effects.  My body has been slowly getting better.  Now, you really can't tell that there was is anything "wrong" with my face unless I smile or try to raise my eye brows.  And really my smile is just a little crooked now.  So you wouldn't naturally think that there was anything different about it.  Occasionally it's more pronounced when I am tired, but I can live with that. 


I've come so far in appearance from when I first found out that I had Bell's Palsy.  I know the picture at the top of this blog doesn't look like much. If you look real close you can see a little wrinkle over the right eyebrow.  That means that something is "coming to life" in there.  It gives me hope that I might actually be able to raise both my eyebrows, at the same time, in the near future! That would be a great thing! Until then I am happy with the new "wrinkle" and will go do a little "Yay Me" dance!!

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