Bell’s Palsy and Learning to Live with it

Operation: Fix Yo Face

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Though I’m known for being lucky, it’s important to remember that there are two kinds of luck—good luck and bad luck. 2012 saw a lot of great luck—the spoils of which will carry over into 2013—but I’m at a man of extremes, and the other shoe had to drop sometime.

I was planning to come out swinging in 2013 with blogs, new content and a fire in my belly that the world hadn’t seen before. 2012 had been ramping up to some serious moves, and I was excited to show what I was capable of!

But then I got sick.

A meme I made of my face affected by Bell's palsy

It came out of nowhere—one day I was fine, living life as usual, but the next thing you know, I’m losing hearing in one ear. And then it turned into an external infection and sharp headaches, and on New Year’s Eve, I suddenly couldn’t move the entire left side of my face.

I’d come down with a sudden case of Bell’s Palsy.

It doesn’t take a grievous illness to throw you off of your game. Some illnesses, while not life-threatening, can deliver a real blow to your ego and confidence.

Here’s my story of how Bell’s Palsy affected me.

Two-Face: My Battle With Bell’s Palsy

A profile shot of my face affected by Bell's Palsy
“We thought we could be decent men, in an indecent time.” — Two-Face, The Dark Knight, 2008

So what is Bell’s Palsy, anyway?

Like I said, imagine not being able to move an entire side of your face. What Bell’s Palsy is is a viral infection that inhibits the movement of your muscles in your face. You can have it on either side or across your entire face. We still don’t fully know what causes it or how you treat it—there’s lots that we can try, but nothing’s guaranteed.

Ciprodex. Cephalex. Valtrex. We tried a number of different medicines over weeks to try and remedy the problem, but nothing actually seemed to stick.

Dealing with the bouts of pain and decreased abilities that come with Bell’s has definitely been a challenge, but I’m trying all sorts of methods to win this battle. Doctors, vitamins, facial massages, acupuncture—I don’t take something like this lightly, but we often need to show patience in the face of adversity and just see it through.

Me Sick? That’s UNPOSSIBLE!

A look at the antibiotics I've been on these past few weeks.
Ciprodex, Cephalex, Valtrex, oh my!!!

Palmers are generally very resilient human beings. My little brother Adrian has survived through countless illnesses in his youth, while my baby brother Brian managed to get into all sorts of trouble and emerged unscathed. Me, I’m rarely sick, never broken any bones, needed surgery or had to go to a hospital outside of volunteer shifts and the odd illness.

So you can imagine how disconcerting it is, being sick with something that sleep and a few extra litres of water just won’t fix.

Being diagnosed with something potentially incurable is never any fun. The waiting. The “will it? won’t it?” thinking that you go through while you’re stuck with the symptoms. Thinking that if you can just get through this one, you’ll make sure it never happens again!

At first, I felt self-conscious about it and didn’t want to speak to anyone. I didn’t want anyone seeing me at anything less than 100%.

But these are the hurdles that we need to overcome in our lives day after day.

“I’m not smart enough.”

“I’m not cool enough.”

“I’m not handsome enough.”

Rock the Bell’s

In its own twisted way, I feel like this has been a lesson in getting over myself. A lesson in getting past my exterior and focusing on becoming better in general. While I’d love to regain full motor control of my face, if it takes weeks, months, or never even heals—I still have a blog to write. A job to do. A life to live with my family and friends.

A facial flaw is not the end of the world.

So while it slowed me down, it’s time for me to get back on my game and do what I came out to do in the first place—create awesome content in 2013!

I’m far from invincible, but Bell’s Palsy ain’t gonna break my stride. 2013’s all about the promise of the future—not dwelling on the troubles that plague us today.

How’s your 2013 looking so far?

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

By Casey E. Palmer

Husband. Father. Storyteller.

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey Palmer the Canadian Dad spend his free time in pursuit of the greatest content possible.

Thousand-word blog posts? Snapshots from life? Sketches and podcasts and more—he's more than just a dad blogger; he's working to change what's expected of the parenting creators of the world.

It's about so much more than just our kids.

When Casey's not creating, he's busy parenting, adventuring, trying to be a good husband and making the most of his life!

Casey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

21 replies on “Bell’s Palsy and Learning to Live with it”

Thanks for the support both here and on Facebook, Christine 🙂 No IDEA what caused it. No doctor has given me a solid idea of where they think it started, but I’ve started cleaning my earbuds a lot more thoroughly and exhibit more caution when cleaning my ears, that’s for sure!

I’ve heard from a lot of people who’ve had it in the past, and they all said that it randomly occurs. Sucksville.

Ah well. Just going to wait it out and we’ll see how everything turns out!

Thanks, buddy — prayer is one thing I’m definitely not shying away from 🙂 I’ve let my church know about it so we can all pray together about it and hopefully see it improve over the coming weeks. I’m far from giving up!

Appreciate you dropping by!

Great attitude in dealing with it Casey, I’ll be thinking about you. Hopefully you’re one of the cases that turns over in a couple of weeks, but either way your positive outlook will help you dealing with it.
It’s always interesting in dealing with something where the doctors don’t really have a cause or cure for it. I had a heart infection the second year of college that the pain level was equated to a persistent heart attack. They really just give me high grade pain killers and stuff to reduce the swelling and said they didn’t know what causes it, it just comes and goes and it happens to guys around your age. The doctors seem kinda out of sorts when they don’t really have an answer, it’s an interesting reaction to things once you’re out of situation and the issue has passed to think back about how they handle not really being able to deal with something or give you a solid answer.

Also; awesome using the two-face quote.

Indeed, sir — I can’t pretend to be an expert on the healthcare system by any means, but watching enough medical dramas has helped to remind me that doctors are only human and that they’re trying to do the best they can with the information that’s available to them.

With that said, part of this entire mess is the fact that I’ve been going to walk-in clinics instead of taking care of establishing a new, dedicated doctor earlier. I’m going to work on quickly rectifying this through some paperwork and persistence, but I’ll be happy to see an end to this saga.

As for Two-Face, that’s the FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF as soon as this happened, but I didn’t want to scare Sarah by walking around flipping a coin….

HA! Funnily enough, a colleague brought that story up not even 15 minutes ago, as I relayed the story of my Dad freaking me out the other night as I was watching The Walking Dead. Long story, but the moral was clear:

Karma’s a biatch 🙂

Thanks, bud — I was having some trouble speaking at loud volumes, but for the most part I can still hold a conversation and eat and drink well enough as long as I remember to take smaller bites. Nothing I can’t work through with a little effort 🙂

I just hope that people remember to not blow things out of proportion and enjoy their lives as best as possible, regardless of circumstances. Not always possible, but the more we can do it, the better!

It seems dear Sir, that you are not without enthusiasm, positive thought and strong emotional support in overcoming this situation. Actually, I like to call these moments challenges because challenges provides us with the opportunity for growth. I know you mentioned briefly in your post but I’m curious as to specifically what forms of treatments (allopathic, alternative) you are using as this would fall under something I would look at in my practice. Let me know if you would like my help and we can talk offline. I am almost certain there is at least something that can be done on a nutritional standpoint. Many people don’t realize that chronic conditions, if this ends up developing that way, can sometimes be eliminated or at least drastically reduce the severity of the condition by change of diet and lifestyle. If anything, it can at least improve the quality of life. My thoughts are with you CP. Sending lots of good vibes your way.. Suzanne
PS One more thing. On a totally different topic. I love your website! I am instantaneously jealous as I have yet to develop one myself 🙂

Feel free to drop me a line sometime on this, Suzanne 🙂 I’m mainly doing acupuncture and hope to start some probiotics soon. Thanks for your support and caring during this period of my life — everything’s coming together, but it’s just taking time to piece it all together!

As for the site, thank you 🙂 It’s taken a lot of work to get it to this point, and I’m constantly working at making it better — hopefully by this time next year, I’ll have taken it to a completely different level.

When you want to put yours together, let’s chat. I likely have some tools and ideas that would help speed the process up for you 🙂

Hey Casey, I’m glad we talked about this, and that you’re doing better. This is truly a fantastic post. I thought I had something profound to say but, all I want to say. Is I’m glad you’re better and that you’re recovering both physically and emotionally.

Talk soon.

Thanks, Chris 🙂 It’s getting there bit by bit, but I’m glad that I was able to share my story and stop hiding under a rock. As you know better than most, there’s so much we can go through and still persevere 🙂

2013. Let’s make it awesome 🙂

I wanna say something, but I don’t know what to say. Or rather, how to express it. You don’t know me and obviously I don’t know you – ‘cept for what you put out on this online presence. But yet, what you’ve shared – you’re experience – has moved me to think. I hope that you DO keep working on healing yourself. I’d try a natural route (I’m looking at teas – instead of the steroids I’ve been taking for years – to manage/cure my asthma) if possible. My 2 cents. But I will say, it’s caused me to think (which hurts my brain :). Made me a little sad actually; because I know how lucky I really am (despite all the whining and moaning i’ve done/do). How fortunate I am. And that I shouldn’t take it for granted and should really work on going about living – really living – before the opportunity is gone.

I don’t know you Ardean, but I DO remember you from our brief interactions beforehand 🙂 I hope you’ve been well!

After finishing the antivirals, the only things I’ve been using is a change in diet, acupuncture, prayer and vitamins. It’s helping so far — I’d say I’m 3/4 of the way there and hope to see further improvement in the coming weeks 🙂

As for living, as you can tell from what I wrote, I 100% agree! If we let the little things get us down, the only one they hurt is us. Life’s already complicated enough without a paradigm dragging us down further.

Each day is rife with potential and opportunities — just have to be willing enough to go out and grab ’em!

Thanks for commenting — I really appreciate it!

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