ok ive been promising for awhile to put up some of this info from this bells palsy site about facial retraining and the social stigma of having stuff wrong with your face… we do -not- have bell’s palsy, but we do have partial paralysis of the face, caused by nerve damage, (and a lot of associated issues) some of which people with bell’s palsy share. (such as crossing of the nerves or abnormal movement patterns during healing) and they definitely share the stigma and depression of having your face be paralyzed, or abnormally functioning and appearing, due to nerve injury. for this reason, i think theres a lot we can learn from information about bell’s palsy, becuase its considerably better understood than botox poisoning and theres a lot more information on how to heal it and help it.. and there arent any big money interests muddying the waters of normal research. unfortunately, there is already a big market being pushed for botox as a -cure- for bells palsy!! so i guess there realy isnt anywhere where the botox mafia hasnt reached in the field of how to mess up people’s faces and bodies and get more money. but ignoring that part, theres still alot of good info on dealing with facial paralysis on these sites.
either way, my favorite thing though is that people on bell’s palsy sites dont try to sugar coat how distressing it can be to have your face deformed or paralyzed. they dont try to act like ‘at least’ your not ‘something else’ or whatever- or try to convince you its not that big a deal or its ‘just your face’. they go right to the point. having your face messed up can be devastating for a million reasons, and its totally not necessary for ANYONE to understand this, but you, the person who are dealign with it.. so it really doest matter what anyone else thinks or says. if your face is messed up and it bothers you, thats true for you and its not up to anyone anywhere anytime, to try to minimize that for you.
i know there are peopel here suffering a lot from being suddenly forced to look like a freak on top of everything else we are dealing with, and im putting this up as validation for what you are going through. anyone who -isnt- goign through it, has -nothing- to say about it. bottom line. -nothing-. here as some quote from the site:
“Psychologically, facial paralysis can be devastating, particularly in cases that extend for a long period, or where residuals are significant. Friends, family and doctors often have no true concept of how deeply the patient’s sense of self and self-esteem is affected. You will also find that they have little or no understanding of your physical discomfort, difficulty and frustration as you struggle to do seemingly simple things that they take for granted.
“There are many physical symptoms associated with facial paralysis, but the effects will differ between individuals. They can vary in accordance with the degree of nerve damage, and the location of the damage.
Muscle weakness or paralysis
Forehead wrinkles disappear
Overall droopy appearance
Impossible or difficult to blink
Nose is constantly stuffed
Difficulty eating and drinking
Sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis)
Excess or reduced salivation
Diminished or distorted taste
Pain in or near the ear
Eye closure difficult or impossible
Lack of tears
Tears fail to coat cornea
Lower eyelid droop
Sensitivity to light
Eye appears smaller
Blink remains incomplete or infrequent
Mouth pulls up and outward
Nose runs during physical exertion
Post paralytic hemifacial spasm
Synkinesis (oral/ocular well known, but can affect any muscle group)
Sweating while eating or during physical exertion
Muscles become more flaccid when tired, or during minor illness
Muscles stiffen when exposed to cold, when tired, or during illness
“Recovery is not consistent among patients. For some people the mouth may move before the ability to blink returns; in others it will be eyelids first and mouth last. Twitching may precede movement, but it doesn’t always. Pain in areas starting to “wake up” may occur, or may not. The sense of taste can be odd as the sensation returns, or the sense of taste may return without any awareness of the change. Recovery can be gradual, rapid, or hit occassional plateaus. Et cetera.
“Residuals may be due to one, or a combination of several factors. Initial trauma to the nerve can be minor and temporary, or significant and long lasting. When the damage is minor, recovery is likely to be essentially complete, and rapid. With more extensive damage, other factors begin to effect recovery.
“In longer recoveries, other cranial nerves may try to take over for the 7th nerve, growing into passageways formerly occupied by the 7th nerve. Also, the 7th nerve can regenerate incorrectly, taking some different paths than it had followed before Bells palsy. The result is “crossed wiring” and synkinesis, which is further described in the next section.
“After paralysis facial muscles have a tendancy to become hypertonic. This means they tend to be overactive, contracting when they should be at rest. Typical signs are a squinty eye, the mouth pulling up, a sore or swollen cheek, and deepened creases. Unlike skeletal muscles, facial muscles lack spindles. Muscle spindles sense when a muscle is in a contracted state, and nerves can send the appropriate signal to the muscle telling it to relax. Without these spindles, there is no awareness of the contraction, and the muscles remain in a state of tension. A muscle that can not fully relax also can not fully contract, so the range of motion becomes limited.
“Learned misuse and disuse of the muscles also can effect both appearance and mobility. While the muscles are paralysed, it’s natural to try to eat, drink and speak, etc., as well as you can. New habits may be learned while you’re compensating for the nonworking muscles. You may inadvertantly call on inappropriate muscles to join forces and work together to accomplish movements that aren’t happening on their own (learned misuse). Or you may become accustomed to compensating without using the lazy muscles (learned disuse). The effects of both may remain after nerve function returns. Both can also effect the “good” side, which may have learned unnatural patterns while its muscles were assisting the nonworking muscles.
“Physical therapy can minimize asymmetrical appearance and improve mobility, even when therapy is started years after the initial paralysis.”
theres a couple little points to take out of here i think: one is the idea that muscles recovering from paralysis often respond with overcontraction or hyperactivity…. some of this is resposible, i think, for the weird way our faces start to move (or not move) -after- the poison wears off… lots of us have muscles that seem permanently contracted, spasming, or abnormally enlarged.. long after the botox effect has supposedly worn off… or facial problems that got worse -after- it wore off. (i know mine did ) even if its not externally noticeable to you, the fact that some of your muscles are overcontracted while others are still weak, is probably a big factor throwing off the balance and normal look/function of your face as a whole. (my personal guess) and this is normal when recovering from paralysis.
the other thing is that facial muscles are different from body muscles in some key ways. one is, they dont have ‘spindles’ which other muscles have which tell them to relax when they are contracted. for this reason facial muscles that are overcontracted wont just heal on their own. they need to be exercised and loosened through massage or biofeedback or meditation or any other technique that works. but they -dont- have the mechanism to relax normally on their own when they are overcontracted, like other muscles in the body. this limits the range of motion of our injured muscles, whether we notice it or not, and affects the way our face functions.
the other point at least on this page of the article is that these thigns can still be improved even years after the paralysis occurs, even when it has healed abnormally and all kinds of other secondary problemse have happened. they still expect to see good improvement with therapy aimed at retraining the nerves and muscles. we – dont- have bell’s palsy but i definitely think we can apply some of their training techiques to what we have and that its possible to see improvements even long after the original injury. there are other points too not listed here, such as it takes much, much longer for facial muscles to atrophy than other muscles… and its easier for them to recover from atrophy. thats a good thing for us.
so i hope this article helps a bit, to validate those who are suffering, and also to maybe give a bit of hope, there is no cure for botox poisoning or botox damage to the muscles, but thast becuase noone is studying it. tons of people study bell’s palsy and they are confident of making improvements in facial function and appearance even years after the original injury.
its just flat out nerve damage.. which has caused paralysis, and a lot of secondary problems because of this paralysis.. this is how i think it is similar to bell’s palsy. and if other people with nerve paralysis in the face can see improvement and results with a little focused effort i think we can too. and dont let anyone tell you its ‘just your face’ yeah on some levels the face is just a superficial thing, on other levels, its who we are. its the way we interact with the world and the people we love and care about. its what people instantly judge others by. thats no small thing to lose, for something as utterly stupid as getting poisoned by what was promised to be a totally reversible extremely minor -totally- unecessary procedure.