So, as it turns out, “neuropathy” (in my case) equals Bell’s Palsy.
I guess I was lucky. Some people get cases of it that are so bad they can’t close their eyes, or can’t eat solid food. My case was not ever that bad – though I did sleep with my contacts out for the duration, just in case. Maybe that’s why mine was so hard to diagnose – the total paralyzation did not last very long, though it was definitely there. I managed to convince them to give me Prednisone, which I credit to making it go away more quickly. And it was gone in 2-3 weeks (miraculous, considering many people have it for months).
Simultaneously, I got an ear infection. It wasn’t that bad – not nearly as bad as some of the ones I had when I was little – but since the ear infection came on at around the same time the Bell’s Palsy did, I can’t help but wonder if they are/were related. But ear pain (without an infection) is also a symptom of Bell’s Palsy.
Almost overnight, the symptoms in my face went away (though my ear still hurt – that’s when I went to have my ear looked at and realized there was an infection). The doctor gave me a Z-pack and more Prednisone (for the pressure) to relieve the ear infection.
About a week after I stopped the Prednisone, the twitching came back… but this time on the other side of my face. I had high hopes that it would not do what the other side had done, but I was not so lucky.
Now it’s the other side of my face that’s crooked. But only slightly. Not nearly as drastic as it was the first time. Same symptoms… ear pain, twitching, slight pulling of the mouth. But not the eye droop. It’s not even at a half smile. There’s just a crease (that looks like a smile line) on one side of my face that’s not in another. And I stretch that out regularly (so as not to cause wrinkles), and have figured out that I can almost make it disappear.
I have hopes that this side will heal as quickly as the other side did. But I’m not taking more Prednisone. That shit wreaks havoc on your immune system and, for me in particular, it causes severe pain in my knees.
But… like I said… it’s not as bad as it was. Unless it gets worse, I’ll probably tough it out.