I’ve got Bell’s Palsy. My face has gone haywire!

“What’s up with my face?” Bell’s Palsy is what. What’s up with your face!

Bell's Palsy Face

Yarrrr!!!! This be my lopsided smile me hearties!

Three nights ago, the left side of my face went on strike. I had headed off to bed with an uncomfortable feeling in my jaw and by the time I got up the next morning it was clear something weird was happening. I’d squeeze my eyes shut but my left eye wouldn’t close properly, I’d smile and half of my mouth would just stay where it was. My mug had gone haywire!

First things first, excessive sympathy is not required. I’ll almost definitely be fine, or 90% fine at least. It’s really a giant nuisance. It’s not a stroke, it’s not very painful, it’ll last for a few weeks or maybe a few months and then hopefully I’ll be right again. What it is, is pretty unusual to have thrust suddenly upon you. I thought I’d describe what’s going on and perhaps do a few updates as I recover. Maybe you’ve come across this post because you’re dealing with Bell’s Palsy yourself. Hopefully you’ll get an idea of what to expect.



How did this happen?

It isn’t clear what causes Bell’s Palsy, the best thinking is that it is a viral condition. It causes inflammation of the nerve controlling the muscles on one side of the face such that they stop receiving instructions from the brain. For me, it started one evening with a dull ache in my jaw. The discomfort kept me awake most of the night and I convinced myself if was a toothache.

In the morning I was working my jaw over trying to loosen it up and noticed things didn’t move quite right. I couldn’t shut my left eye and I had a weird, slightly bitter taste in my mouth. Dr. Google advised me that occasionally a toothache leads to swelling that can disrupt nerves so off I went to the dentist. By now blinking was problematic and driving there and back was a bit dicey. My dentist couldn’t see much wrong and she referred me to my GP. He patiently waited for me to finish my description of why I was there before telling me he knew I had Bell’s Palsy about 20 seconds after I walked into his office.

What’s Bell’s Palsy like?

It’s a pain in the butt mostly. Not literally, my butt is actually unaffected. I can’t blink so I wear an eyepatch and getting around with one eye takes some getting used to. My peripheral vision is not really there and my spatial awareness is all off. Reaching for things takes a little extra focus to grasp them properly. Also, I think because my brain is doing all this extra work to keep on top of things I get really tired so need to nap or take things easy a fair bit.

Also, my mouth doesn’t move right so I look ridiculous when I smile. Eating and drinking is a little tricky (and a little messy) plus I have a bitter taste in my mouth and things taste funny – a bit like drinking orange juice just after brushing your teeth.

Besides all that I know I just look weird. Fortunately, I have the loving comfort and support of my wife. We were discussing have a bunch of people over for a church thing this week and she sent me a very encouraging text message.

Sloth from The Goonies

Love you too honey…


If you want to learn more, you can read Web MD, or Wikipedia. Meanwhile, I should go charge my phone!

  7 Replies to “I’ve got Bell’s Palsy. My face has gone haywire!”

  1. June 3, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Good post Greg, is it true when the Dr told you that you had Bell’s palsy, your face dropped?

    • June 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Yes, I was truly down in the mouth.

  2. Thomas Milne
    June 5, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Hey Daddy! WebMD isn’t the most trusted website for Medical help or advice
    Great post! I’m sure you’ll be fine! ^-^

    • June 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      What should I look at Dr. Thomas? It’s pretty good for general information!

  3. Thomas Milne
    June 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm
  4. Joeli Kerber
    September 3, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I googled this condition under “Bell’s Palsy NZ” and ended up here. Did you do any other treatment for your condition other than steroids and anti viral medication?

    • September 4, 2019 at 10:52 am

      Hi Joeli, no there was no other treatment directly for BP besides wearing an eyepatch for a while to make up for my inability to blink. That was only really for a few weeks though if memory serves. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things you need to ride out.
      One thing I recall is that I got a mild infection in the corner of my mouth. I think it was down to my lips not really moving like they should and maybe a bit of spit or something collecting there. I think I just got some cream from the chemist for that.
      If you’ve recently been hit by BP, I wish you the best for your recovery. All things being equal you should feel assured that it’ll just end up being a weird experience you tell people about, but nothing more than an odd memory.

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