Saturday, October 25, 2008

Diagnosed with Bell's Palsy

I really felt that I needed to post about this subject because after being diagnosed, there was not a lot of info posted by individuals who had dealt with this trauma.

In short, Bell's Palsy is a facial paralysis brought on by damage to the 7th cranial nerve. Generally, this type of paralysis is triggered by some sort of viral infection. It can also be caused by stress (me, stress?), but there is no exact cause.

So two weeks prior to being diagnosed, I woke up one morning and my right ear felt a little "full" and a little itchy. So, the first thing I did was grab a Q-Tip and I cleaned my ear out. I always do this after I shower anyway because I cannot stand to have water in my ears. After I cleaned my ear out, it still felt like I had water in it or still felt like it was "full". You know, that feeling you get when you're in an it needs to pop, but won't.

So after two days of this feeling, I decided to schedule an appointment with my general practioner. When I went in, he said everything looked fine. There was no wax build up, no ear infection. So, he gave me a nasal prescription spray and Alegra, thinking it might be allergy related. Well, 4 days later, no change. So I called my Dr. again and he referred me to an Ear/Nose/Throat Specialist.

***Side Note: I have NEVER in my life had any type of ear problems. Maybe ONE ear infection when I was four, but aside from that...nothing! And, I've always been healthy!***

***Also please note that if you have any awkward feeling or loss of hearing in your ear(s), seek medical attention immediately, as generally medical professionals will NOT be able to bring back any hearing loss after 72 hours of the onset of hearing loss....scary lesson learned here!***

Ok, so back to the story here! So, I went to the ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) Specialist and had a hearing test done. Yes, my right ear was far below what the norm was in every range....way below in fact. Definite hearing loss...was temporarily diagnosed with SHL (sudden hearing loss). I was then told by the ENT that I should come back in a month to have another hearing test done. This is when my instincts kicked in...what? Come back in a month to find out why, although in my 33 years in existence that I've NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE HAD A PROBLEM WITH MY EARS AND NOW I FEEL 50% DEAF, I should come back in 30 days with no diagnosis??? Um, no thank you! So, I set up an appointment with another specialist.

Thank God that I did make another appointment. The night before, I told Jason that my face felt a little weird. He thought I was just being a little looney. Oh, and not to mention, my tastebuds had faded two days earlier. I really didn't think much about that though...I just figured I had one too many glasses of vino ;)

Again, God was on my side. The morning I woke up to go to the second specialist, I had lost the ability to blink my right eye and move the right side of my mouth. Yes, it felt like I had just gone to the dentist and had my mouth wouldn't move for anything!

I freaked out! Having NEVER heard of Bell's Palsy, I had no idea what was going on...I literally felt for the first time in my life that I may be dying. It just felt like my facial functions were fading little by little.

I remember the morning of my Dr.'s appointment writing out a list for Jason of what Macy liked and didn't like for her lunch, when she needed to take her bath, what she liked to wear to school, what Mylie and Chance liked for lunch, what entertained them during the this point, I didn't really know what was going on. Was I going to go to the specialist and find out I was dying within the next 24 hours, did I have a brain tumor? Seriously, it was that crazy and eye opening.

So, when I went to the speicalist, I had to do a few facial movement tests and more hearing test. This is when I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. I did research this before, so I kind of (hopefully) knew already what was going on.

Again, thank God the morning of the paralysis, I had already set up my second specialist appointment. I think this saved me a lot of recovery time!

For the next three weeks, I slept when I could, made sure I took the prescribed medications of Presidone (steroids), a diuretic, postassium and zantax...and massaged my facial muscles....even thought my Dr. said that really doesn't do any good...I beg to differ. Within four weeks, I was 100% recovered. I give credit to being able to diagnose this within the first 12 hours of the onset of Bell's Palsy.

I also feel (although the Dr.'s said no) that the hearing loss was an onset to the Bell's Palsy. Never having any hearing issues EVER in my life and two weeks before the onset of the Bell's Palsy, I lost hearing? I also failed to mention that not only did my hearing feel "full", but the kids screaming and pan clanking (when putting the dishes away) also made me cringe! And also, I did have sever neck and shoulder pains...I even had Jason buy me a heating pad...and I'm never that big of a baby!!!

If you feel that you may have Bell's Palsy, it could be hereditary, or from a viral infection. The more I look for answers, I did have a real bad upper respiratory infection two months before Bell's this could be the reason (no, I don't smoke). My grandmother also informed me that my Great-Grandmother also had an onset of Bell's Palsy back in the day...which also supports the fact that it can also be hereditary.

The best advice I can give to those of you who are reading this and are suffering from Bell's Palsy is to make sure you keep your eye moist with an eye moisting solution. I think this is the worst part of the whole onset is having to maintain your eye!

If you have any questions about this paralysis or need any pointers, please feel free to email me...whether this post is 1 day old or 500, I'm I know this ia a scary and difficult thing to experience :)

I'm Back!

Ok, so maintaining this blog is a bit harder than I had ever imagined! Since my last post in August, life has handed me much more than I could have ever imagined. Since August I have had a sudden loss of hearing in my right ear, survived a hurricane and have been diagnosed and have recovered from a sudden onset of Bell's Palsy; amongst the midst of running my business, having Macy start the First Grade and of course the ups and downs of marital bliss ;)

So, believe me, in the next few days I will have a number of posts that will highlight the crazy trials and tribulations that I've experienced over the past couple of months that I've been MIA. Stay won't want to miss this!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Drum Roll Please....and the Winner is....

Yes, we FINALLY have a winner for the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! I printed off numbers 1 through 240 and added any names that entered via email and put them in my little magical flower power dish and voila! We now have a winner for our Diva Glam Package Giveaway!

So, without further hesitation, the winner is.....

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Your comments were all so greatly appreciated and I will be making my way to each of your blogs to visit your world!

Congratulations to Ebie! Looks like she's racking up the wins ;) You can checkout her blog here

As a special thank you, I am offering 25% off your purchase total on my site,! through August 15, 2008. All you have to do is enter voucher code FTJBLOG upon checkout and you will automatically receive 25% off! What a great way to get some early Christmas shopping out of the way :0)

Be sure to drop by every week because every Monday I will be featuring a new giveaway and great discounts!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Winner....

Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who dropped by to enter the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. It was my first and it won't be my last! I'm hoping to post weekly giveaways and I have lots of limited and exclusive jewels I will be offering, so please drop by often! My next giveaway will be on Monday...not quite sure what jewels will be up for grabs, but I promise you won't want to miss out! I will be announcing the lucky winner of our fabulous "Diva Glam" Package from the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival this evening! I know a lot of you have been anxiously awaiting who the winner is, but between getting orders out from the site and life in general, I haven't had a spare moment to print out all the entries! But, please check back this evening and we will have a WINNER! In the meantime, as a little "thank you" for all of your fabulous entries, I'm giving everyone 25% off their order from now until August 15th! So, if you are in need of a Baptism or Birthday gift or if you just want to do a little early Christmas shopping, just use voucher code: FTJBLOG upon checkout and you'll receive 25% off your total order...just my little way of saying "THANK YOU"!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Home Again, Home Again...Thank God!

Well we finally made it back home on Thursday from our little mini vacation down to Galveston Island. But before I post all the gorgeous pictures of our fabulous getaway, let me brief you on our glorious adventure!

We decided about a month ago to take the kids down to the beach for one last "horrah!" before the school year began. Nothing fancy, just a a couple of days to kick back, relax, view the ocean and have a few yummy cocktails. We being my sister, my mom, hubby and three kiddos....and of course myself.

We arrived in Galveston around 4'ish, which was perfect because we couldn't check-in until 4 anyway. So, we unload, get the kids in their swimsuits and head for the pool.

Well about 45 minutes passes by and of course Mylie is ready to go back to the room. She has eczema and the warm water irritates it and makes her super itchy. No problem...I dry her off and take her back to the room to rinse her off. Six o'clock rolls around and now it's time to head off for a little surf n' turf. When we are half way through our dinner, Jason and I noticed that Mylie has started to develop these red dots that resemble mosquito bites. We just figured she must have gotten a few bites down by the pool. Not even 10 minutes later, she began developing welps all over her body. She's never had an allergic reaction to anything before, so we were kind of in shock. We ended dinner early to head back to the room and call our pediatrcian back in Houston. Of course with it being after hours, we were only able to talk to the nurses on call. Meanwhile, Mylie was itching non-stop and the welps kept spreading and before we knew it, the back of her legs were covered in welps. The nursed told us to put cortizone on them to relieve the itching and to see if they would go away.

By midnight she was crying and so itchy she couldn't sleep. I woke Jason up and we both knew something wasn't right, so we rushed her to the ER. As we were on our way to the ER, guess what happened?

We had a wreck! Jason was trying to get over to the turning lane and he hit another car getting over into the turning lane as well. We were fine and the police officer was kind enough to let us go ahead to the hospital. He met us there a little later to get all the accident information.

Well, we spent the next 4 hours in the ER and the Dr. determined she had a case of the hives. So, they gave her Benadryl, she passed out and we were instructed to continue the Bendadryl.

Got to bed about 5am and woke up at around 8:30am and Mylie still had the hives and had actually developed more all over her face and ears. When we had spoken with our nurses in Houston on the phone, their main concern was that her throat wasn't swelling shut. So with that in mind and seeing her face so swollen, I tried to look down her throat to see if it was swollen...and it was!

Now it was almost noon and I told Jason we needed to get her back to the ER. We called our nurse in Houston and they told us, "Yes! Take her to the ER". So, we went back and re-lived the whole night all over again. They said her tonsils were swollen and irritated and wanted to do a strep test (which later came back negative). They ended up giving her an oral steroid (which is a whole other story in itself) and determined that she had Erythema Multiforme, which is a rash that is caused by an infection and can be triggered by almost anything (smelling cleaning products from the hotel, detergent used on the sheets/towels, an insect bite). So basically, we will probably never know what triggered the reaction. Thankfully, the steroids kicked into action and we were able to get back to the hotel around 4 o'clock in the afternoon....just in time to pack and get ready to leave the following morning! Some vacation ;)

As soon as we returned, we took Mylie to our Pediatrician, who diagnosed her with the same rash, Erythema Multiforme. He said it might come back after the steroids wear off, but hopefully that's not the case!

Thank goodness my mom and sister came along...they were able to make sure Macy and Chance still had an awesome vacation aside from the chaos!

Monday, July 28, 2008

My First Bloggy Carnival Giveaway...Woo Hoo!!! CLOSED FOR NEW ENTRIES

So what's up for grabs? I've put together a fabulous little package that any little glam diva will just adore! This giveaway is for a gorgeous Pampered Princess Necklace, a yummy Sugar Kisses Bracelet, a whimsical Pixie Giggles Jingle Anklet.

You may enter once a day and the contest will close on Saturday, August 2nd at 12pm CST.

This "Diva Glam Package" is worth over $150! Each piece can be sized for ages 2 toddler through Tween! Good Luck!

There are a TON of other Fabulous Giveaways over at "The Bloggy Giveaways Carnival" ~ just hop right over here to see the "countless" Giveaways featured there.

My website ~ Fairy Tale Jewels ~ has a large selection of exquisite designs that would make the PERFECT gift for any Pampered Princess. Please take a few moments and visit my website by going over here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ta-Da! The Website is Finally Complete...Almost...

Yeah....yeah me! I have FINALLY completed the site re-vamp for Can I tell you how excited I am! Well, it's not 100% complete, but hopefully by September, I will have all the kinks worked out and have all of the categories updated. I'm still adding lots of new products and will have a lot of new gifting items for the Holidays. Like engraved picture frames, piggy banks, trinket boxes, keychains, compacts...lots of fabulous stuff!

For those of you who don't know, I do all of my website design and product entry. So if you notice a broken link or a misspelled word, please feel free to send me an email.

I finally decided to enter the world of blogging. I've honestly had this blog set up for over a year, but have never really had time to focus on anything other than maintaining my website, processing orders, designing and making jewelry, invoicing, marketing, being a mommy, a wife and the list goes on and on.

The main reason I wanted to launch the blog is for my wonderful online customers. There are so many times that I receive emails and it's so shocking to me how many people think that behind the scenes there are tons of people running Fairy Tale Jewels. I'll get emails that say, "tell your boss you did a great job" or I'll get phone calls from scammers who say they spoke to someone else....and I'm like, "nope, it's just me". I also get emails about the validity of my business. I had (notice that I now have a Toll Free number) people wondering, "why don't you have a contact number...are you a real business?" Before, I did not publish my phone # because I had so many telemarketers and so forth blowing up my phone. It's also hard to explain to a customer that you work from home with three toddlers running around screaming, fighting, laughing...just sounds a little unprofessional.

Being an online consumer myself, you can never be too sure or too trusting. Hopefully this blog will put your mind at ease and let you know that I am just a stay-at-home-mom, following my passion, raising my babies and taking care of my customers. I am very blessed and wouldn't have it any other way!