Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bell's Palsy Eye Patch Solidarity

What does Bell's Palsy have to do with dogs?  Absolutely nothing... unless you count my dogs' fascination with the eye patch I've been wearing lately.

Awhile back, I awoke one morning to find that my face had broken.  At least that's what I've been calling it.  

To make a long story short:  Bell's Palsy.  It's a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face.  Damage or stress to the facial nerve that controls those muscles causes that side of your face to droop.  

This nerve damage can also affect sense of taste, saliva, and tears.  It comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on it its own in a few weeks.

The main symptom of Bell's Palsy is the facial paralysis and droop (and it can be hard or impossible to close the eye on that side of the face.)  Other symptoms include:
  • Drooling
  • Eye problems, such as excessive tearing or a dry eye
  • Loss of ability to taste
  • Pain in or behind the ear
  • Numbness in the affected side of the face
  • Increased sensitivity to sound.
Frankly, there's not much in the way of treatment.  Facial exercises may make the affected muscles recover more quickly.  Ditto massage.  Eyedrops are a good thing to keep the eyeball from drying out.  (Oh, yeah!)  What no one bothers to mention is how really terrifying Bell's Palsy feels.

And then there's the eye patch.  The one I wear at night to make sure my eye stays closed (and doesn't dry out overnight.)  The dogs love the eye patch.  Especially Rudy who watches very carefully as I apply it every night on our way to bed.  He is fascinated.  Totally.

Look out, Captain Jack Sparrow!  I suspect our dogs may be pirates at heart!


  1. I wish you well on your challenging journey. I have found the Shelties are often my best supporters and they are really facinated with all aspects of anything we change. They are also the most accepting of those changes.

  2. It sounds like it would be really scary. And I'm sure sleeping with the eye patch on is awkward. I had to sleep with these stupid goggles on after getting lasik and could hardly sleep at all with them.

  3. Sorry to hear of your journey with Bell's Palsy. I, too, have a condition that doesn't have a treatment, comes and goes and can be a huge pain to deal with. Glad your pup is providing some comfort and smiles.

  4. I'm sorry to hear that this is something you have to deal with. I'm glad that the pups are providing appropriate levels of moral support, however.

  5. Thank you so much for all your comments (and thanks to all who've emailed me, too). I really appreciate the support! Looking in the mirror is no picnic, but the most frustrating thing is not being able to read! Things are improving (albeit slowly) and this morning I was able to read a few blogs online. Good for the mental health, you know :-D As is snuggling with my dog pack!


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