My name is Grant, I am from Glasgow and I am approaching my 40th birthday in a little over a week’s time. I have been recently diagnosed with facial palsy and wanted to share my story in hope that it may help others who have recently been diagnosed, those who are on the mend or have suffered from the condition in the past.
My job takes me all over the world with the past 18 months being based in Mogadishu, Somalia. Last Sunday 19th August 2018 I was going about my usual duties when I felt an instant numbness to the left hand side of my face, and within a few hours I was unable to move the entire left hand side.
Thankfully, we have on-site medics who instantly recognised my symptoms and immediately administered medication for suspected Bell’s palsy. Three days later I left Somalia to travel to Dubai for a second opinion by a fantastic neurologist. This was more for peace of mind and to take me away from the stresses of working in a place such as Mogadishu. The neurologist in Dubai confirmed my diagnosis and provided me with excellent advice on the gradual reduction of medication and the healing process.
So I am now on day six, I find it very difficult to eat, drink, talk or do any of the “normal” things in life that we all take for granted, especially smiling. I consider myself to be of strong character, I shrug most things off in life and focus on the positives that come following disappointment.
That said, being diagnosed with Bell’s palsy has amazingly changed my perception and outlook on life. Where I work life is cheap, I’ve witnessed some moments that no one in the western world would see on a day-to-day basis, I thought I was unbreakable and could deal with anything. But when it happens to you, its different, you begin to think of others who are less fortunate even more. As much as it is hard to take, being diagnosed with Bell’s palsy is not the end of the world. It has gotten me down, when I look in the mirror or go about my daily tasks like simply brushing my teeth, it’s just not me who I am seeing in return, but I will get through this.
Having Bell’s palsy has inspired me to do more about about raising awareness of the condition. I was shocked to hear that a condition named 200 years ago has yet to be fully understood in the world of medicine – crazy!!! I have made a promise to myself to do all that I possibly can to fundraise or help others suffering or linked to this condition.
I will be focusing on getting myself back to full health over the next few weeks and months, this is my priority. I have booked acupuncture in Dubai and started to practice some gentle massage techniques to help me on my way. I may be some way off a full recovery, but I will remain positive. Alongside support from my loving family and some lifestyle changes, I know this horrible condition will eventually subside.
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: 29-08-2018 || Next review due: 29-08-2021