Monday, September 28, 2015


In a moment one’s whole world can be turned upside down. I’ve always known this fact, but never fully realised it until last Friday morning.

I’d just climbed out of the shower and was busy drying myself off when I noticed that my face felt oddly un-synchronised. There was a tingling in my cheek and my eyes weren’t working properly. I leaned over and peered into the mirror above the dressing table. I tried to blink but something was amiss. My smile too had become distorted.  My pulse started to rise as fear took over
Perhaps it will go away, I thought.  But it didn’t. The symptoms were becoming more pronounced by the minute and I started to get very scared indeed.  Should I wake my sleep-deprived-vet-student-daughter? Was my condition severe enough to ask her to take me to the hospital? Was I in the early stages of suffering a stroke?  I paced down the passage, testing various facial expressions. Was this my imagination?  I paced more and then past her room.  She opened her eyes, lifted herself off the bed  and looked at me.

“Are you ok, Mom?”

 “I don’t think so,” I said and burst into tears.
------x X x-----

The biggest thing about an attack of Bell’s palsy is the fear. As the victim, one has no idea what is happening. The symptoms are very much like a stroke?  There are more questions than answers. How bad will it be? Am I dying? Is this the life-event that I’ve always dreaded? Life stops in that moment...

Once I was at the emergency room and the ECG, blood tests and MRI were completed, and the diagnoses confirmed, I could relax a little. At that point, I simply felt gratitude: that I wasn’t dying; that my daughter was around to help me in this moment; that I had received prompt and professional care; that there is hope for a full recovery. But the attack has left devastation in its wake.  The whole of my left side of my face is paralysed.

It may take a while to recover and I also have to get accustomed to my new look – a totally lopsided face with no feeling on the left hand side; an eye that refuses to shut without manual manipulation; impeded vocal ability; a nostril that feels thick and an altered way of drinking and eating. I have to use a straw to drink and I have to be very careful not to spill the more solid food items in my attempt to get them in my mouth. I am not very “pretty” to look at either, and I feel nervous of people’s reactions of horror. I feel constantly thirsty – probably from the medication: anti-virals and cortisone tablets.  But I have my first physio appointment this afternoon. Hopefully this will be the start of a full recovery.

“Dr Google”  reassures me that most patients obtain full recovery – the majority over a couple of months. And then there is also my faith – what does God require of me now?

It’s day 4 today and I feel a lot more upbeat.  I’ve had so many beautiful messages of support, and there are many people praying for me. I feel humbled and grateful to be part of such a large family of Christ. The bible verse which keeps me constantly uplifted is the one at the top of this post.  God has got this! 

I have to accept that there are some things in life which are out of my control. It is at these times, that God challenges me to follow him in my affliction; to accept His love and to believe in His promises and the plan He has for my life. I am in awe of my Lord – how He remained close beside me in the past few days. I feel cocooned in His loving embrace.  In response,  I pray that, in my affliction, I can represent the amazing hope that is in our risen Savior: 

Jesus Christ is Lord!

May God bless you today, dear reader. May you feel His gentle, loving Spirit, wherever you may be. With love, Caryl


  1. Caryl,

    The fear you must have felt is very real to feel for you as I read your blog today. I am so glad that you have your daughter close by and she could be with you when undergoing tests. The diagnosis is yes very frightening and you will be so aware of how you look and feel. Worry not about how you look because true friends and family and indeed true people will not bat an eyelid at that. They will just be thinking of you and wishing you well.
    You were right in thinking that most cases recover quite quickly with the right treatment and the physio will be a huge help also. I saw many cases whilst nursing and the outcome is very good. You have your faith too and that is the biggest thing. Prayers from here for your speedy recovery and thinking of you and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are so right about things changing in the blink of an eye. My mums saying and now ours is seize the day because you don't know what is waiting round the corner.
    Hugs Carol

  2. Caryl it must have been one of the most frightening experiences to have gone though. I would have felt exactly the same way as you did. I will.continue praying for you for a speedy & full recovery. May you feel the peace of our Lord & notice the improvement in your health as you are restored to 100% full health again. God bless you & your family. Hugs & much love, Sue xxxx

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  4. Dear Carol
    My heart goes out to you. How very frightened you must have felt. So glad your daughter was there. May the Lord place His caring arms around you at this time. I pray that God will use you faithfully in these months of recovery. Your blogs and uplifting posts bless many. May God's peace be upon you. I will continue to lift you up in prayer.
    With love in Christ

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  6. Hi Caryl,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us regarding your BP. I hope you continue to recover and wish you all the best.

  7. Caryl, I can understand your fear. I'm so glad your daughter was to hand and could help. It's a horrible thing to happen but I'm sure it will get better ~ I've known several people have this and all got better.
    Don't worry about how you look as it's only temporary and those that know and love you will understand ~ and those that don't know you don't matter. You are a beautiful soul and this condition will never change that.
    Get well soon, we will be thinking about you and wishing you well.
    Love Jan and Peter xx

  8. I have all the faith that you will recover completely. Keep your dogs close to you so they can generate all their love to you.
    Marlene, USA

  9. Dear Caryl....
    Trust that its just for awhile..
    I know that fear you felt,,, I understand.
    God is taking care of you'

  10. Hi Caryl, hoping you are feeling a little better with the love and support of family and friends. Thinking of you from Oz. Take care mate. love Carol x