My Treatment Plan for Bell Palsy

My New Found Best Friend

I love technology! Within 24 hours of discovering that I have caught the Bell Palsy virus, I googled any information I can find online about it.

Like an impatient millennium, I needed to know how I can get well fast and completely.  What are my chances for full recovery and how long it will take?

My Experience with Bell Palsy

I came to know about Bell Palsy 8 years ago when my mom caught the virus during a holiday in Java, Indonesia.  The symptoms were almost stroke like.  You will notice facial paralysis on one side of your face, this would include dropping of your eyelid, cheeks and mouth. You would have problems controlling your facial muscles and simple actions like opening your eyes or drinking will be a problem as the facial muscles is damaged by inflammation.

I was informed that before such these symptoms surface, one might experience intense headache at the back of your head and facial discomfort – sort of like a numbing sensation.

The factual and comprehensive details can be found at the following website:

To treat Bell Palsy, doctors normally prescribed vitamin B-12 and other B complex. The common medication prescribed would be Corticosteroids. What I was told by my neurologist was that treatment needed to be administered within the first 36 hours.

MY TREATMENT PLAN FOR BELL PALSY

Step 1:  Get loads of vitamin B, especially  B12 and consume it immediately! Get treatment started within the first instant or within 24 hours.

Step 2:  Get an appointment with the neurologist to understand the level of seriousness and get your dose of medication. Ensure to administer of western medical within 36 hours of getting the Bell Palsy virus.

Step 3:  Concurrently seek Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment. This should be done within the first 24-36 hours.  Go for acupuncture, for me, it is a MUST to revive the damaged nerve on top of western medication. While I understand western medication can treat the swelling of the nerves, acupuncture would be the crucial treatment to ensure complete recovery.

Step 4: Include massage and place a warm towel to the affected area 2-3 times a day

Step 5: Eye ball exercise, 20 clockwise and 20 anti-clockwise directions. I had to do eye ball rotation exercises to strengthen back the affected muscle area.

Step 6: Most important, LOTS OF REST and healthy food. And NO STRESS!!!

Note:  Suggested Vitamins to consume include Vitman B1, B6, B9 and most importantly B12.  I was told by both the neurologist and the Chinese physician that treatment within the  72 golden hour is crucial to fast recovery. Beyond that, your chances of full recovery will be slimmer.

I was very lucky that the Hospital I seek treatment at provided a whole range of services (Raffles Hopsital) and it was a one stop shop for me. I have to admit that I paid premium prices at this privately run hospital.

I developed Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) after being medicated for Bell Palsy.  With the additional complication, it can be frustrating to find doctors and coordinate treatment.  Fortunately, it was a breeze for me as all services are under one room.

There was much synergy and the western doctors were also very encouraging on referring me to a TCM physician.

I was lucky that they referred me to the physician that specialist with healing stroke patients.  The Fire Needle Acupuncture method used around my eye was effective.  While Central Serous Retinopathy took about 3-4 months to fully recover, the acupuncture helped the improved the nerve around my eye in less than a month.  I saw the TCM physician twice a week for almost a month before I could feel the pain from the heat of the needle.  The gradual return of the feeling around my eye tells me much about the condition of my damaged nerves.  Mostly importantly, I took almost a month off work to rest and chill out, not wanting to think or worried about work.

Stress affects your immunity and thus enable virus to attack you body.  Thus it is important not to overwork (which was what happened to me) and have sufficient rest to recover. It’s a fight for both the mind and body. Positivity and rest is the first step to recovery. 

Mommy is sick….. I pray for your eye to recover 100%.

Excuse me for my long absence and my apologies for those following me.  It has been an eventful 2016 for me.   Lots had happened, with some incidents leaving permanent damage physically and some emotionally.  I managed to pull through 2016 with GOD’s saving grace, the love of my husband, sons and support of family members.  I was provided a chance to rethink my priorities, and questioned myself on what is important to me.

I can’t feel my face!

It started in the morning during late May 2016.  I went in to work feeling unwell. Within 5 minutes after I stepped into the office, my right eye was dropping to a close and I can’t control my eyelid to open it up. My right cheek started to feel strange too, there seems to be a numbing sensation that was enough to set me panicking.

The immediate thought I had was “Am I going to suffer a stroke?

I left work without any hesitation and admitted myself into A&E.  I was kept in the observation ward and was treated as a priority case. For the next 4 hours the doctor run loads of blood test, went for an X-ray and MRI to rule out stroked.  Fortunately, and probably unfortunately, they detected a virus infection from my blood test results that explained the symptoms.  They confirmed it was Bell Palsy.

What is Bell’s palsy?

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop . The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
Bell’s palsy is not the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.”
http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/bells-palsy-topic-overview#1iiIt 

Relief!!!

It definitely was a great sign of relief for me.  I was familiar with Bell Palsy as my mom had this condition 7 years back.  I knew what needed to be done to get myself treated.  The race is  against time

Things never go the way you plan.

Things went on fine for a couple of days after treatment. Then I started having problem with my vision.  My right vision started to blur and I could hardly see at night. I was referred to an eye specialist immediately by my neurologist.  Test results showed that there is a water growth in the middle of my eye that causing the obstruction of my vision,  they termed it Central serous retinopathy (CSR).  Apparently, I do not take well to steroid and it was the side effect the medication to cure Bell Palsy.

A photographic scan below illustrate how the water can impact my visual and the gradual move of the water downwards.  The cross section photos showed the gap caused by the water affecting my vision.  The gap finally closed up after 3 months and we ruled out the need for laser surgery to rid the water.


L &  L – Love and Lessons

The journey to recovery from Bell Palsy was both weary in body and spirit for me.  What I have learnt from this experience was that ultimately, it was family that cared and worried about you the most.  My oldest rascal was extremely concerned when he saw my face paralysis.  He asked me almost every day when I will get better.  He was also unusually quiet when he went about his daily activities. He hushed his younger brother a lot, telling him that mommy needs to rest when he gets too playful.  I was very touched by his actions and more so when he told me quietly one day, “Mommy, I pray everyday to GOD for your eyes to recover 100%”.

This sentence alone has provided me the strength and will to get well.  I am grateful that my family will always be there for me.  My aged Dad that was helping me to care for my boys so that I can get sufficient rest.  I am grateful that Jesus is always watching over me.  The combination of both prayers and family love is good enough medication as any doctor’s prescription.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31:8