Thursday, March 31, 2016

(Half) facing it.

Not a great day today. Not the best of moods.

I'm tired, and last night I felt weird and off. My mouth tastes like metal because of the steroids, and I'm feeling slow.

I don't know what's to be expected and what's psycho-somatic.

The prognosis on Wikipedia also mentioned how earlier healing is a good sign, so I'm well aware if things don't start improving in the next two weeks, things could be long for me. A co-workers buddy had it for over 9 months. That's significant. From Wikipedia:
Most people with Bell's palsy start to regain normal facial function within 3 weeks—even those who do not receive treatment. In a 1982 study, when no treatment was available, of 1,011 patients, 85% showed first signs of recovery within 3 weeks after onset. For the other 15%, recovery occurred 3–6 months later. After a follow-up of at least 1 year or until restoration, complete recovery had occurred in more than two-thirds (71%) of all patients. Recovery was judged moderate in 12% and poor in only 4% of patients.Another study found that incomplete palsies disappear entirely, nearly always in the course of one month. The patients who regain movement within the first two weeks nearly always remit entirely. When remission does not occur until the third week or later, a significantly greater part of the patients develop sequelae. A third study found a better prognosis for young patients, aged below 10 years old, while the patients over 61 years old presented a worse prognosis.
 Also, some "facts" according to Health:
  • Men or women of any age can suffer Bell's palsy, but statistics suggest that people aged 20 to 35 are at a slightly higher-than-average risk. 
  • Your risk of experiencing Bell's palsy in our lifetime is about 1 in 60.
  • Japanese research has found that 80% of cases can be traced to the common virus called herpes simplex 1, the virus that causes cold sores. The virus infects the seventh cranial (facial) nerve, which helps control the muscles associated with facial expression. As the nerve swells up, it starts to malfunction.
  • There is no known way of preventing Bell's palsy.
I guess it helps as I read more and as I am more informed. Sometimes I read articles that are like, "it's so temporary and you'll see improvements in 3-4 weeks!" But other times it's stories like, "I had it for over a year, my face never fully healed, and now I have synkinesis, and crocodile tear syndrome." So it's kind of a crap shoot.

So, synkinesis is when the new nerve paths make links to other nerves while regenerating, so every-time you might smile, your eye might blink, or curve a certain way.

And Crocodile Tear Syndrome, from what I understand, would mean tearing up when hungry, or when eating. For some reason this is kind of funny to me. I guess it depends how bad it would be. It's just kind of absurd as a chubby girl, to cry when you're hungry. 

Speaking of that, being chubby and hungry that is, the steroids are making me rage-hungry. Not in a craving kind of way, in a real "I need to eat" kind of way.  

I'm trying to up my water intake too, I'm always thirsty. 

Today I have my yearly work review, which, let's face it, will be awkward and hard. I was worried about it before, since I've been waiting for a raise for 2 years, and now I'm impaired and not really able to work as much or as hard so it's hard to feel justified in expecting a living wage. 

It's weighing on me. I'm looking forward to it being over, but I'm so tired, and I'm worried about "rolling over" to not being compensated properly. I also just really don't know what to expect since there have been so many changes company-wide. I've been where I am for over 2 years, and it's been rock and roll since I got here. Lay-off's and retirements and buy-outs and project cancellations and big contracts and drama, and I just don't feel secure. 

Work stress and money stress do not help. But they've been constant since my lay-off prior to this job. It's not a great job economy and I know I'm lucky to have a job, even if I'm under-used and over-qualified. I don't make good money, but I do make some, and that's not nothing.

I know I don't have to be grateful for what I have, but it's hard for me not to be. I am. It could always be worse. It's a mentality that gets me through, and it's hard to see things otherwise. 

It could always be worse. 

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