Symptom Changes, but not all for the better
Since the specialist consultation I have been very conscious of the negative changes in my face. Strangely the positive changes seem to have accelerated too – Bell’s Palsy recovery seems to come in fits and starts. The issue is the Synkinesis, and also muscle tightness that I need to do more stretching to combat.
The synkinesis is the most worrying with the words “it is much easier to stop it that to TRY and reverse it”. Well given how hard it seems to be to stop it happening I don’t even want to think about how hard it will be to try and undo things if they do really wrong. This has meant that I am now trying really hard to not move my face very much. This is not easy for me and goes against some original treatment advice (there’s a surprise!). I seem to move my face a lot, even my wife says I have a very ‘expressionist’ face. When I laugh, shout at the dog, talk, even yawn I suddenly think I am moving my face too much. I was visiting my parents at the weekend and the whole time I was conscious of movements around my eye – that while people couldn’t see – I am sure were occurring. This meant that I tried not to laugh, joke, or really get animated about anything. I even found myself making a conscious effort not to smile – something that I hadn’t felt the need to do since the early days of bells palsy.
Dealing with Bells Palsy Symptom Changes
So how am I dealing with these changes? Well I see that there are two bad things going on right now as part of the ‘improvement’ in my bells palsy. The nerve signals are clearly developing again in parts of my face, last weeks test verify this, but it means that my muscles are now more active ALL of the time. The first problem symptom is the changing in ‘resting state’. You will see from my neutral photo if you look carefully that my mouth is now being pulled in and up slightly on my right side – a bit like the joker in Batman, but fortunately not that bad. Yet? Indeed – the yet is serious because if the nerve signal gets stronger and more constant will it pull that part of my face more and more. I think this is an issue of muscle tightness as it seems to be worse first thing in the morning. Therefore treatment is:
DO MY EXERCISES MORE
I had started to slack off a bit, but now I am doing them more, and more intensively.
The other issue of the phantom movement is the synkinesis is harder to deal with. As well as simply trying not to move my face I am also trying to stay relaxed when I feel my face starting to get these ghost movements. I even stopped mixing cement for my Dad a couple of times at the weekend and just laid down with my head on a coat, shut my eyes and trying to relax my whole body. I think making my whole self ‘quiet’ is a way of trying to stop all the facial movement and therefore nerve signals for a short while. It does seem to help me.
So in summary a worrying time – and also I have to say one where everyone seems to focus on the “Oh you are getting so much better everything will be alright soon” when my mind is on the ‘sh*t if my eye is moving now when I have 41% nerve signal its going to be going nuts when I get 100% signal – I need to sort this out or else I’m going to end up with some permanent big issues. So if you are having the same kind of changes then I feel for you – people want to be positive for you but they don’t understand that getting better feels like things could be about to get a whole lot worse!