Welcome back, Tracy. I don't have any experience with Bell's Palsy either, but in reading about it, some sources said that respiratory infections were the cause in about 75% of cases, and that diabetes, hypertension, etc., are less likely sources.
Hi there. Yup, I got it 15 years ago. I was then age 47 (going to be 63 tomorrow). I woke up, tried to sip something and the water dribbled out of my mouth. I went over to my husband saying "I'm having a stroke". We went to hospital, I was sitting on the gurney, the doctor comes over, examines me and I said "did I have a stroke?" and he said "No, you have Bells Palsy"
I will never forget what he said because I knew plenty of people who had this happen to them. The doctor found out I was diabetic (not controlled at all), and he said "that's why you got it'.
I went to a neurologist and he examined me and told me "I want you to go for a nerve conduction test" Now I know what that is (had it on my hand for carpal tunnel), not a pleasant test at all.
So this had to be the worst two weeks of my life. The pain on the side of my face drove me nuts. I had to get pain meds. Holy Moly.
I prayed and prayed. And I'm not even religious. lol
I remember this happened around Palm Sunday, so I had the palms in my hands and I went to bed with them on my face. I'll never forget doing this.
Do you know it went away 99% in two weeks. I never had to go for the Nerve conduction test. The neurologist was happy and believe me I was happy.
And on a funny note, one year later I was back in the office (the office has various specialist), and I was there for one reason or another and I saw the neurosurgeon. I waved to him, he looked at me and said "Oh you had the Bells Palsy". I said "you remember me?" and he said "No, I can see it on your face"
I said "where??" because I thought I looked perfectly fine.
The doctor explained "oh, it's only visible to a doctor because we know what we are looking at, your left eye brow is a bit higher than your other one".
He was right.
Many people who get this have no lingering symptoms and others have droopy this or droopy that.
As I am writing my introduction, I can vividly remember one of the first things my doctor said could be an underlying cause of the facial paralysis I got a week ago could also be due to diabetes. While the palsy is caused by misfiring of the facial nerve, people with diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as pregnant women, are at slightly greater risk, but there are people who have no risk factors still getting it.