My name is Daniella Isaac and I am 21 years old… I am from Trinidad and Tobago and I was born with facial paralysis and club feet.
Life with facial paralysis is not an easy one for me but day by day I am learning new stuff to help me navigate my life better and face challenges that may come my way. I had surgery on my feet to straighten my bones when I was a couple weeks old. I had to be walking in a cast as a toddler and the 1st year of kindergarten. Kids made fun of my appearance, which made me feel really insecure.
Fast forward to elementary school. I isolated myself for fear of my peers teasing me or laughing at me for being different. This sent me spiraling into a state of depression and I basically used food to try to help me feel better. It did to a point but when it didn’t I would just eat and eat and eat until I was literally stuffed (don’t ever do that).
I made one or two friends in my second to last year in elementary school but we split up because we went to different high schools, which forced me to make new friends in high school (something I did not want to do).
Entering high school, overweight for my age, the struggle began. High school was no easier than primary school, in some cases it was worse. My peers were mean, called me names, made faces/tried to mock the way I talk. I again went into a state of depression, worse than in elementary school. This time I ate until I was physically uncomfortable.
I am now 21, I still have facial paralysis but I am so much wiser now than I was back then. People still question me as to why I talk like that, etc. but I just answer them and don’t get offended.
I did not see any doctor/therapist concerning my depression. One day I stood up in the mirror and told myself how beautiful I am and I did that (and still do it) everyday for the past few years. I reprogrammed my mind from thinking that I was ugly to now thinking that I am beautiful and God did not make a mistake.
My ultimate goal is to work out at least three to five days a week to work on my weight but that still does not stop me from feeling beautiful. I am currently striving to make wiser decisions in regards to my diet and my overall health. I may slip up sometimes but you could always start again. That’s the great part about it.
My advice for anyone out there battling facial paralysis, Bell’s palsy, Moebius syndrome or any other rare disease, is to believe that you are beautiful/handsome…
Disclaimer: Please note that views expressed are person’s own and should not be considered a recommendation of particular medical treatments, therapies or surgeries. We would always advise you seek advice from a health professional with experience in facial palsy who can assess your individual needs.
Last reviewed: 19-12-2017 || Next review due: 19-12-2020