Monday, October 26, 2009

The Day My Face Stood Still

This past week has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Enough so that I thought I would take a break from what I usually write about and share my thoughts about it.

On Sunday the 18th, I was home with Diane enjoying a day of rest. About 6 pm we decided to have some pizza. As I was eating, I suddenly noticed that I wasn't tasting anything. I even made the remark to Diane that this was a really bland pizza. After just a couple more moments I realized that I had completely lost my sense of taste. In the back of my mind, I knew that what was happening was potentially serious, but since it was the only symptom manifesting itself at the time, I decided to take a wait and see attitude, in hopes it would go away.

Later that evening as I was preparing for bed, while brushing my teeth, I found that I could not spit the water out of my mouth. The left side of my mouth would not move. As I examined myself in the mirror, I could see that my left eyelid had drooped and I could not close my eye completely. I immediately decided, given all my vast medical knowledge, that I had suffered a stroke, although I had no numbness in my arms or legs, nor any of the other symptoms that are usually associated with a stroke.

When I awoke the next morning things had not improved, so I went directly to my doctor's office, where it was determined that indeed I had not suffered a stroke, but instead had a condition called Bell's Palsy. I had heard of this condition before but really had no idea of it's symptoms, affects, or causes. As it turns out, it is a virus that lies dormant in the body for years and, when triggered, causes an inflammation of the large facial nerve that runs on the outside of the skull.

Needless to say, I was very happy to discover that I had not had a stroke and that Bell's Palsy is looked upon by the medical world as an event and not a disease. I will recover, but each individual's recovery time varies. I am praying that mine will be of the shorter duration. Mainly because it sucks to drink coffee through a straw.

So what does this mean to me now? I know I will recover, but it has had an effect on me that I didn't anticipate. At 55 years old, I believe that God is making me aware through this that I am not immortal. Up to this point, judging by my eating habits and sedentary lifestyle, I guess I thought I was. Not so my friend, not so. I realize now that my body can't take the dietary abuse anymore and that I need to become a little more active. No, a lot more active. Switching from Mountain Dew to water and fruit juice. Giving up donuts for fruit. That's going to be a tough one.

Most importantly I have been spiritually changed, and challenged. My relationship with God has been somewhat palsied as of late too. I have been using the circumstances in my life as an excuse to be angry at God and most of the time, flat out ignore Him. That cannot continue. Today, October 26th, 2009 has to become a new beginning for me. God is priority one. What that will look like, I'm not sure at this point, but God and I will work it out.

If by chance you read this blog, I need to say something to you. Whatever stage of life you may be at right now, both spiritually and physically, start taking care of yourself. The body truly is a temple and needs to be fed wholesome and nutritional foods. More importantly your spirit needs to be fed as well. God is waiting to do just that if we only let Him.

I have family members who are convinced that they don't need God. They live life just as I have, feeling immortal and invincible. Dear ones, you are not either of those things, and to continue to believe that you are is simply foolish. Maybe the changes I make in my life will help you to make some changes of your own. I sincerely hope so.

I'll try to keep anyone who is interested updated about my recovery both physical and spiritual here on this blog. In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences or would just like to make a comment.

Well, it is time for another cup of coffee. Now where did I put that straw?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Excellant reflection of a difficult time. How are you doing?