Eight years ago after a very challenging time in my life I was on my way to work one day when I noticed that my face was going numb. I looked in the mirror and for some reason one eye wouldn't blink and I had half a smile. I came to learn that I had a condition called Bell's Palsy. I think I have mentioned this before. For most people, this is a very temporary condition, one sided facial paralysis taking (on the outside) about 3-6 months to completely resolve. While mine did improve significantly, I never fully recovered. Although my husband and family swear they don't even notice it anymore, it was always there...in the mirror....staring back at me every morning. A reminder of that horrible time in our lives.
A week ago I was shopping at the mall with my parents and I felt an odd sensation. I felt panic. We raced over to the emergency room to learn that my Bell's Palsy was back. This time, on the OTHER side of my face. If you have never experienced anything like this, I don't know how to explain to you the mental and emotional ramifications of having a disfiguring condition effecting your face. Your face is so much of who you ARE. This has been so hard for me. I went to bed for a few days and wouldn't look at anyone. This is one of my worst nightmares. What if it stays like this forever? My husband has to have a wife that looks like this? My kids are going to be embarassed at school.... Horrible thoughts.
Last time I had this, people would talk...really....slow....to....me. People assumed that I was mentally challenged. One woman in my church told me that she knew a guy in college who had Bell's so they called him Quasimodo. Nice.
Having said all that....I have a wonderful, spiritually warrior like family that got on it right away. Before I knew it family, friends even strangers all over the country...continent really....were praying for me. My husband has been a rock. The medication that they give you for Bell's makes you a lunatic for a while and I have been an emotional wreck. The first time I had this, I did not have any movement in my face, no improvement for 6 whole months. It took a few years to get back the mobility that I did achieve. I started acupuncture right away, which I did not try last time and it seems to be helping tremendously. It has been one week, and I have regained movement almost equal to what I have on the other side of my face already. The truth is, I know that God is doing it. There are a lot of faithful people praying for me. I know God can heal me. And I know that He will. I have even been having sensation on the original side that I have not had in YEARS. I don't know or understand why this has happened to me, but I am choosing to use this as an opportunity for the Lord to teach me something about His healing and grace. Already, I have seen so much. It is going to be a long road ahead I am sure. Good days and bad but I am determined to hold on to my faith.
Six years ago today I married this REALLY hot guy. Tonight he is taking me out for dinner and a movie. And we are going to celebrate....for lots of reasons.