Most people I know listen to me talk about my schedule and say, ‘wow you’re so busy!’ Or, ‘you may be one of the busiest people I know.’ But, you know I’m an everything girl right? I love keeping myself occupied and this is something I am unapologetic about. However, I do listen to people’s concerns of ‘you don’t stop.’
What many people don’t know, is how ill I got at the age of 16 when I ran myself into the ground. I was going to college in the day, studying in my breaks, working night shifts and full day shifts on a weekend, while still going out in every other waking moment.
I was 16 and I thought I could do it all, who needed sleep anyway? One afternoon sat in class, I felt a chill and the one side of my face literally felt like it had been numbed, it was a weird sensation that crept over my face very slowly. I remember poking my face and not being able to feel it, panicking and thinking what’s going on? I opened my mouth to talk and felt that my face wasn’t moving correctly. I headed straight home, avoiding my reflection all the way, knowing something about my face wasn’t right. I got home and looked in the mirror, okay I look normal… I opened my mouth like I was trying to yawn and there it was. Half my face was paralysed, it essentially looked like the scream mask.
I was FREAKING OUT! My mom laughed and when I called my dad in hysterics, he bluntly told me ‘you have Bell’s palsy, you need to see a GP first thing tomorrow.’
‘But I have work tomorrow morning.’
‘You can’t work.’
I started to panic again, I didn’t love going to work, but I couldn’t not turn up to a shift, I’d worked shifts low staffed and it’s horrible. I didn’t want to put people through that.
When I woke in the morning, my face was stiff and numb, like when you come out of the dentists after a couple of hours trying to have your teeth removed. Also, my eye had started to drop in fact the left side of my face had dropped even the side of my mouth.
The GP confirmed my dad’s theory, Bell’s palsy. He explained this was trigged by a viral infection and most likely not allowing my body to recover correctly, it occurs when the seventh cranial nerve becomes swollen or compressed, the result facial paralysis action. The recovery… 9 months on average.
Back then medication was rarely prescribed and I refused steroids. I was going to get back to me and on my own terms. I needed to prioritise my schedule and recovery had to be up there.
It has taken many years of practise and building habits to break them to start to find something that works well for me, so click below and what it is I do to help myself keep running at light-speed and a few tricks I use to help prevent my skin giving away how tired I really am.