Life Unexpected

Hello readers. So the next time I was going to blog, I was planning on talking about mental struggles I've been going through the past week, especially last weekend. Well, I am going to talk about some mental struggles, but not the stories I originally planned on talking about. It's a subject I still want to one day touch on, but this one I really have to share. It's about what happened to me on December 14th, 2017.

Before I get to that day, lets do a little backtracking. On November 28th, I've been struggling with, what I originally thought, a cold. They're not fun, I certainly do not enjoy having a cold, and once I get a cold, I take anything and everything, drink several kinds of teas and lots of liquids, and eat so much chicken noodle soup, in order to get better. For me, my colds only last a week and go through stages. Day one I have a sore throat, day two my nose is stuffy and runny, day three are the coughs, and so on and so forth. Well, by day three..four..seven, my cold wasn't the same.

After day five, I noticed that my nose was still extremely stuffy still and it just wouldn't end. After doing a little research, I realized, "I don't have a cold, I have a sinus infection". The last time I had a sinus infection was in December 2014, and I'm pretty sure I didn't get better until a little after three weeks. So my month starting with having to deal with a sinus infection really wasn't great. So lets fast forward to Wednesday, December 13th, 2017. I started noticing signs of getting better! I barely blew my nose, I had some coughing here and there, but nothing sever. I was so excited because this coming Sunday, I'm going to help out my church on this amazing event where the church helps families in the neighborhood who are struggling financially. In the event, the church goers are given a chance to donate items for the Christmas shop, and in the shop, the children, who are in families that struggle financially, are given an opportunity to "buy" the items donated to give to their parents as gifts for Christmas.

I signed up for this event even before Thanksgiving. I was so excited to take part in this and help out the children to bring a smile to their parents' faces. So of course with this sinus infection, I was so worried I wouldn't get better before the event (I signed up to bake cookies and help out by bagging and passing out cookies to the families). So knowing I was getting better before the event, I was extremely thrilled. Later in the day, my eye started bothering me a lot. It felt like something was stuck in my eyes and it felt really off. I mentioned it to my mom and she said that maybe my eye is dry, so I accepted that answer and let it be. 

Now we enter to Thursday, December 14th, 2017. I woke up, feeling completely fine. I was still coughing a little, but nothing that worried me again. I packed my mom's lunch for work, took out the trash and recycling bin, cleaned my makeup brushes, and went on with my day. Around 9:30 AM, I was laying down, and my face, out of nowhere, felt numb. I was freaking out, my anxiety was at an all time high, and I was crying. I could barely feel my lips, my eye movement got worse; it was the worst feeling I've had in so long. Trying not to freak out, I did some research online, and I found something that it could be, but after reading about it, I just started crying more because I was reading how some people deal with this issue permanently.

My mom called me and told me the moment she got home from work, she was going to take me to the hospital. Now, I tried avoiding the hospital because, at the moment, I am currently unemployed, turned 26 in July, so I have no insurance. I wanted to avoid the hospital as much as possible, but I couldn't any longer. We got to the hospital and waited in the lobby until they called me back. My mom's phone was ringing, and it's my sister in law. Now, I never brought up my sister in law or more of my family, but she's pregnant with my brother and her's first child. He's due in February, but we've been so excited to see him and plan so much.

My mom picks up, and apparently my sister in law is freaking out on the phone. My mom starts freaking out, and she told her she can't go to her because she's in the hospital with me. My mom hangs up, I asked her what happened. Trying not to panic, she told me, "she said she thinks she's in labor." Now, I'm already freaking out about my face, now we add a potential, unexpected labor!? So here we are, sitting in the lobby, worried sick and feeling guilty. I told my mom I can stay in the hospital myself and she can go to her, but my mom said even if she wanted to, my sister in law was at her job, which was a good 30 or more minutes away where we were, plus there's traffic. All we could do was pray and hope it's just a false alarm.

After getting my blood pressure, answering questions, taking some blood, and having the nurses and doctor do some test on me, they told me what I was afraid of hearing: "you have Bell's Palsy". From what I researched, Bell's Palsy is a condition where the muscles on one part of your face suddenly are paralyzed. It's pretty rare, and usually happen to people who either have diabetes or recovering from a viral infection. Lets see...sinus infection...left side of my face is numb and slowly getting droopy; yep, that's me right now. I started crying my eyes out once the doctor said Bell's Palsy, but he did state that my case of Bell's Palsy is very mild, not as bad as compared to people who have sever signs, and we caught it early. He also said with the steroids he prescribed me, 95% of patients are healed from it.

Regardless of what he told me, I was still in a panic. I started thinking, 'I must be a terrible person to have this'. If you remember the negative thoughts I've spoken about in my blog post, "Loving Yourself" and "Deep Dark Thoughts", those voices have certainly been having a field day with me. I was in the hospital for a good hour and a half, and after we left, my mom and I quickly drove to the hospital my sister in law was in. We were about 15 minutes away from her, and my brother called us earlier saying he's on his way to the hospital too, but he seemed calm and just assumed maybe she's just "complaining about some pain" (yeah my brother is a great husband). He called again and told us, "The baby is born". My mom and I started screaming and sobbing halfway through the car ride. 

We cried because we were so happy, but then worried because how can the baby be born? My sister in law was only 29 weeks, it's way too early. Our worries suddenly became guilt, from my mom wishing she could have been there for her, and me because while she was going through this alone, I was in the hospital. We finally made it to the hospital a little over 15 minutes later, and my mom cried, I cried, and it was just one big crying fest. My sister is law is perfectly fine, that baby came out in 30 minutes, but both mom and baby are doing good. It's so weird to say it now, but I'm officially an aunt. My nephew may not be my child, but he's like my child, and I love and adore this baby so much. I sadly won't be sharing photos because I want to wait until my sister in law puts out photos first, but I will say he is cute, adorable, and perfect.

The nurses and doctors said he's doing good, looks very healthy for 29 week old, and will need assistance breathing the next 6-8 weeks, but it's all good! The doctor said the baby will be released in February (near his due date), but as long as the baby is taken care of, all is good. Oh, I never shared his name! My adorable nephew's name is Dante and I love him so much. I guess the moral of this post is...you never know what life will throw at you. December 14th, 2017 started horrible for me, but just being able to see my nephew made it all better. For me, however, with this Bell's Palsy, my self esteem has been going down drastically. My mom says it's barely noticeable, but I can notice it.

Today was horrible to be out in public. My left eye barely blinks, the corner of my mouth is a little droopy, and very noticeable when when I speak (I sadly speak through the corner of my mouth and it's a challenge to say any words that start with the letter F). I also have a crooked smile. It's very difficult to drink, so I'm starting to drink through straws so I won't spill liquids over myself. When I chew food, I can only chew comfortably on the right side of my face. If I chew on the left, it's doable, however, my taste buds are barely there and food gets all around my mouth. It's difficult sharing this with you all. I know the doctor and nurses said all of this is temporary, the steroids (as well as the antibiotics I got for my sinus infection) will heal me, but it's scary to look at the mirror. It's scary seeing myself so differently.

I'm trying not to let this bring me down, because I know this is what the dark voices want. When I look forward to my future and plan my life, something always happens. I thank many of my friends that have reached out and comforted me. It's going to be a challenging 10 days, but I will not let this break my spirit. I think was scares me the most is going back to that event I'm volunteering for at church. I was so happy that I can now bake and won't be sick, but now I'm afraid of the children and adults judging me for how I look. Of course my physical features aren't as bad or barely noticeable, but I notice it, and it breaks my heart. I want to continue my goal of inspiring people, but how can I inspire people when here I am crying over how I look when I was told this will go away?

I can still inspire, and I will. I won't let the Bell's Palsy affect how I see myself. I will be cured from this, and I will be stronger than ever. Thank you for reading all of this, if you have. I thought my last blog post was the most vulnerable I've ever been, but I think this one takes the cake. All I ask is that you send positive, healing vibes and prayers my way during these next days, but I also ask that you please add my nephew, Dante, to your prayers or send him so many positive and good vibes. I love this baby, and I know it'll be a rough few weeks for him as well, and I want nothing but the best for him, I want him to overcome and fight any obstacles in his way. Thank you again for reading, I truly appreciate it.

*Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash