Bell's Palsy: My Story

I was only four when I suffered with Bell's Palsy. I'm not quite sure how I actually developed the illness, but it has completely changed my life. I'm sixteen years old now and I am still reminded, every day, about what I went through as a child and how much it has impacted my life. For most people, Bell's Palsy comes and goes without the requirement for any surgeries, but that wasn't the case for me. I had been prescribed medicine, which had actually made me even worse. One of the earliest memories I have is opening my presents on Christmas day and being unable to smile, like every child should be able to do. The nerves in my face had collapsed in the left side and I was temporary paralyzed, making me unable to move my mouth properly.
Eventually, I was taking into hospital and I was told that I would need surgery. My Dad told me how hard it was for him to hold his daughter in his arms and watch her fall asleep on the operating table. Hearing that always made me emotional. Talking about my condition is a really difficult topic for me because I am always afraid that people won't understand how much it has truly affected my lifestyle. After the surgery, however, I was happy for the first time in a while. I don't know why that was, though. I had just lost the hearing in my left ear. Statistics states that only three to fifteen percent of patients will lost their hearing due to Bell's Palsy. I never understood why it would be me that was a part of the minority of people.
Twelve years later, I struggle to hear in my lessons and when I'm talking to people who are standing on the "wrong side" of me. The saddest part of it all is not being able to do some of the simplest things, which I have never even had the change to experience. If a friend gives me the left side of their earphone, I have to tell them that I can't use them. It's the same with talking on the phone in a noisy environment. I know it's not my fault, but for some reason, I still feel guilty of having to carry this burden with me, but I hope that by sharing my story, I can reach out to someone and tell them that they're not alone. Trust me, it does get better and you will adapt, if you have been as unfortunate as I have been. It gets easier, just don't give up.

Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me that I am able to share my story after all of these years. Feel free to leave me a comment and give me some feedback.
RockyHorrorHannah RockyHorrorHannah
18-21, F
Dec 6, 2012