This is.....

My photo
Probably insane, sometimes cynical, mostly absurd and occasionally feisty, buddhist, sapiosexual witch with a passion for love, food and life. Convinced that most people either need a hug, or a damn good slap :)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Living with Bells Palsy

No one told me that, once you'd had Bells Palsy, that you were likely to get it again, but on Friday night, when I realised that what I was eating tasted strange, and the pain in my neck was travelling up to behind my ear, 6 years on from the first bout, I knew exactly what it was and my heart sank.

It had taken over 18 months to recover from my first meeting with this illness, and to this day certain nerves don't send signals to the correct parts of my face, causing my eye to water when I eat, and my eyebrow to dip when I smile.. not noticeable by most, but I can feel it happening. You live with those things though after fighting complete paralysis of one side of your face, the dribbling, the drooping, the not being able to eat and drink properly.. any recovery from that is gratefully received.

Now, 6 years later, I'm sitting here with an eye that won't close, a numb tongue and half a face that remains completely immovable, no matter how funny Most Haunted gets.

Saturday morning I trotted dutifully off to the emergency doctor, got tested and they agreed it was back, prescribed me steroids for 10 days and sent me away. That's all they can do, there is no miracle cure, they aren't even convinced about what causes it, viral or damage or bad luck.. nothing is conclusive. What they do seem to agree on though is that one visitation creates a weakness, a higher likelyhood of getting it back.

I'm glad they didn't tell me that at the time.

For those interested in the medical side of things this is how it works... This bugger attacks the 7th Cranial nerve that travels your neck to behind your ear, where it enters the skull through a small hole and basically makes your face work. The nerve swells as a result of either the virus or the damage, and the small hole constricts it, stopping it working and exactly half of your face goes into dead-pan mode at best, drooping similar to a stroke if you are unlucky.

That's what happened to me the first time, I had enormous problems making myself understood as my speech was impaired. This time I'm luckier.. I have to think about what I'm saying, but I can be understood.

With any luck, 3 - 6 months time and I'll be back to normal.. I'm actually hoping that as it's on the other side of my face this time, that it'll actually even my face up again.. but I'm not sure this illness is that kind.

By the way, I'm smiling in the picture.. hard to tell isn't it. (cover half of my face and you'll be able to tell) A real "smiling on the inside" moment :) I'd like to say I'm putting on a brave face, but I'd only be half right... lol

I'll keep you updated if you're interested, but really posted this to let people know that this is something that can attack ANYONE.. young or old, healthy or not, apparently George Clooney suffered with it.. so even the rich and good looking aren't safe! If you do get it however, as horrible as it is, only a very few people are left with lasting damage, most of us recover completely.. Fingers crossed eh?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

That Old Devil called...

I sat down here today, ready to put down my thoughts on a certain subject that I've been musing about recently but find that now I actually have that metaphorical pen in hand, I have no idea where to start.

Of course it's the subject that probably been written about most in all the history of the world and far be it from me to say that I've had any original thoughts on the matter or indeed have anything new to say on it. People have died, killed and been killed for it.. not something I think I could do, but hope never to be in the situation where I'd have to make that choice.

Is there a difference between like and love? Are those who use the word 'like', just not wanting to admit to the love they feel? Is it dependent upon how much you care about something or someone? I could say that if I get to know someone, then I care about what happens to them, about their well-being. How much do I have to care before it moves from liking to loving?

I've met people who, for whatever reason, will do everything to avoid saying the word and actually go pale if you say it to them. I feel sad that I can't express my love for these people because of their own inhibitions and fear that it makes them somehow responsible for me.

On the other side of the coin I've also met people who seem to love everything they come into contact with. Does that dilute the word? I don't think so. It may be a very splendid thing, but it's also a very individual thing, personal to the person who feels it and none of us, not a one, can define what it means to them to another human being.

I love the friends I have, I care about them, I hope they are healthy, successful and happy and would hurt for them if anything happened to them. If it were in my power I would find a way to make their lives even better. Is that not what love is? I doubt I could tell them though, possibly because I fear their reaction, fear that they would take it the wrong way and feel awkward.

Is it all a part of being "British" that we find it so hard to express emotions and usually fear seeing them in someone else? I hate not being able to say "I love you, please take care" to a friend. I hate not being able to call someone up that I have known and loved in the past, just to remind them that the thoughts I have about them are still loving, still caring.

I love to express my love too.. I love to hug and kiss and cuddle, again all frowned upon in 'polite society'. Think about the impact a touch of another human being has on you. Not getting it? Ok, this must have happened to you, being touched by a stranger.. possibly in a queue for something, you get chatting with someone, you laugh at something and the stranger reaches out and touches your arm or hand as you laugh. Do you feel the need to recoil? Do you feel warmth? I'm willing to bet you felt something, that the stranger not only touched your skin, but also touched you deeper, on a base level. Years ago people shook hands when they met for the first time, now it's not something you see often. I think that's a shame. To be a 'touchy feely' person now can be a very isolating thing.

I love my world, I love the people who have touch my life, both past and present, I love the fact that the sun is shining... s'cuse me while I kiss the sky :)