There was a time when I’d check the mirror several times a week looking for improvements in my Bell’s palsy. It is, after all, meant to go away soon rather than later.
These days I pay it a lot less attention. Even when meeting new people, as I did yesterday, I feel a lot less conscious about it than I used to. While I think my “look” is pretty dreadful I’m pretty comfortable with accepting other people just have to accept it as it is, and if they joke about it out of earshot so be it!
During the fifteen months of having the condition I’ve only seen one other person with it. At Alcatraz, oddly enough! I stared for a few seconds longer than I should have done. Pondered a chat around shared experience and then decided against it. The opening line of “you look like a gargoyle too” didn’t seem appropriate.
The key change for me happened in May. My right eye became even more sore. And the hearing went from my right ear. Nothing they can do for the eye, so I just paste lacrilube gel on a few times a day and tape over it at night to stop the air drying it and making it sore while it sits there open.
The last few days the eye soreness has worsened. Maybe it’s overuse of the little heater in my bedroom. My landlord bought me a throw for Christmas. Doubtless an investment in his heating bill. The cancer seems to create late afternoon / early evening shivering that my body struggles to control. Maybe the Bell’s palsy has deteriorate further.
The other notable changes in the palsy seem to be an extra indentation on my chin on the right side. I have two there now that aren’t mirrored on the left. In itself, this is small. It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t offend. But I think I look older as a result.
The nostrils remained misaligned with occasional nosebleeds. The right eye still stays open. The right ear is deaf. The left ear keeps forming an air bubble within itself, affecting hearing further. The forehead wrinkles remain gone on the right side of the forehead.
And I’ve given up on it ever going away.