Bell's Palsy; Day Eight
Today started well in that I was able to go without my eye-patch for significant stretches of time. This is a good thing as the patch is beginning to irritate my skin. Going without the patch worked better in the morning. I don't think this means I'm getting better, though.
I wear the eye patch to gently hold a cotton 'round' against my eyelid and keep the eyelid closed. I do that because my eyelids were not fully closing and to prevent dryness and actual pain, it seemed better to keep one eye closed.
Going for times without the patch allowed me to drive short distances and regain depth perception. However, when I went too long without the patch (about a half hour), then I would experience tearing, dryness, and pain. Getting the patch, the cotton, and the strap placement right is tricky and takes a while to get right.
Once on and stable, taking it off again was immediately uncomfortable. It takes some time to readjust the eye as it has been pressed on and somewhat deformed so it's immediately out of focus and sensitive. Taking the patch off leads to an immediate sense of dryness and pain. Both eyes star tearing up, the tears run down the face and into the sinuses, I need a facial tissue to clean myself off and blow myself off. It seems to take about five minutes of care to get the eye so that it can go without being fussed with. Cupping my hand over the eye seems to help. Then I'm good for a half hour or more.
I went walking at the local mall both last night and this morning to stretch my legs. Walking the mall is something I do three times a week - I know it well. I found that walking with the eye patch takes concentration and found myself feeling fatigue after a walk that should have just gotten my heart going.
I had a breakfast with close friends and then a meeting at my office - again, people who know me well - and found that my capacity for conversation was lower. It is plain ol' physically more taxing to speak when half my face is just flopping along. I found myself fatigued by even pleasant conversation and realized I was beginning to get a stress-related headache.
By the way, to make my speech clearer, I have found that I can hold my hand up to my face. My technique is to place my finger tips on my cheek near my mouth and then press a bit up and back. That seemed to give the best effect - your mileage may differ.
One last thing that I have neglected to mention before: my hearing seems to be more sensitive in the left (affected side). For example, when I sneeze the sound seems nearly painful in that ear. I causes me to wonder if there are affected facial (7th cranial nerve) muscles that contract in response to loud noises to somehow lessen the impact of that sound.
Summary: symptomatically stable.