Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This may seem an odd "post" to you, but I feel compelled to share it.

How many times in the past minute have you (involuntarily and unconsciously) blinked your eyes?  How many times have you passed someone you know (or don't know) today and exchanged a smile?  Hard to count, isn't it?

What I've experienced this past 3-1/2 weeks has literally opened my eyes to how thankful I am to have been able to do that my entire life.  In the post prior to this one, I wrote about this out-of-nowhere, rare condition called Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome I've been dealing with.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it has been a gift to me in many ways.

The paralysis of half of my face (that looked like it would be permanent) taught me how much I depend on being able to communicate with people - those I know, and even those I don't know.  I've gone from hiding in my house not wanting to lock eyes with anyone - to really yearning to have human contact with anyone who would take the time to try.

It's easy to find yourself in despair when dealing with things out of your control.  I love this message of hope:

Things have begun to turn around - and every time I see a little bit of movement, I get an adrenaline rush & say another prayer of thanks.  I know I couldn't have done this on my own - there is real power in prayer - and not just my own.  I'm so grateful to my family, my ward & stake, and good friends out there I don't even know who have exercised their faith for me.  It is working.  Thank you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What is Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome?

Over two weeks ago I developed what initially was diagnosed as Bells Palsy - a paralysis of one side of the face.  It's not pretty... I even scare my own grandchildren.  I took the medications, rested, and tried to stay hopeful - but nothing seemed to be changing.  I then developed worse pain in my left ear that increased to the point it scared me.  I sought out another opinion from a new doctor, who (luckily) knew immediately what it was.

It's called Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome.  Extremely rare (of course) - fewer than 200,000 people in the US have ever had it (I'm honored, I'm sure)  To explain it simply, it is caused by shingles of the inner ear.  To give you the entire low-down - that can be found HERE.  What happens is the shingles virus attacks your inner ear, where the facial nerve passes through to control that side of your face.  In my case, my nerve was tested and they found that it is 91% damaged.  I'm in the process of finding out if I'm a candidate for a nerve decompression surgery - and if so, that will have to be done immediately to save what they can of the nerve before it dies completely.

I'm a firm believer in the power of the Priesthood, and I've been the recipient of Priesthood blessings.  That may seem a bit strange to some, but I have a testimony that if my faith is sufficient (and it's God's will) - I will heal enough to function as I did before.  I'm part of an amazing ward & stake that have been fasting & praying for me this past week.  I've also been touched to hear of people I do not even know who are adding their prayers to mine.  I'm so thankful for everyone - who I know and DON'T know - you are wonderful to be concerned.