Cranial Nerve Recovery

I started having symptoms two and a half months ago following a vaccination that I had from an injury to my leg. It started with tingling in my toe and moved gradually up my leg with weakness in both legs and eventually involved my arms to a lesser degree. It continued to progress affecting my cranial nerves where it disrupted my speech, hearing, and chewing briefly. Fortunately, I could still walk unassisted and never suffered with respiratory symptoms so they considered this a mild case of GBS following MRI and Spinal Tap results. My nerves are starting to regenerate now and I feel like I am making improvements each day. I wondered if anyone else had any cranial nerve involvement and how was their recovery with this.

Motor nerve damage (like speech and chewing) seems to vary a lot with each case. In my case, I was completely shut down for a while (no muscle movement at all), but gradually came back to almost normal. The only facial issue leftover has been numbness/limited movement in the left side of my face, which will apparently be there for good. There was a patient in the hospital at the same time as me (with GBS) who had full facial paralysis that hung on after the rest of his muscle movement came back. I left the hospital before he did, so I don't know how far he was able to recover.

Glad you were able to improve so much. It’s encouraging to see what’s possible.

I got gobs 13 yrs. ago.i am left with some loss of movement on the right side of my face. Also I only chew on my left. I practiced my speech and my smile. I do fine. Good luck with your recovery. Jennifer

I lost my sense of taste and my entire face was paralyzed (couldn’t chew or close my eyes). The left side of my face recovered faster than my right, but it’s evening out. I can’t whistle yet, my right eye still closes a little weakly, and my lips aren’t super strong yet, but everything is continuing to improve. I was recommended to a facial physiotherapist and have been doing face massages, stretches and exercises to get things back to normal. Nobody (except me) notices the little things that aren’t quite right anymore.

Glad you are doing better, Kimberly. I did not realize there were exercises to help. I will ask when I start Physical Therapy next week. I notice the little things too. I'm trying to ignore them but it is difficult. How long has it taken to get to this point for you?

I went into the hospital April 6th. My treatments were complete April 14th, so it’s been about 4.5 months of healing. Everyone’s timeline is going to be different, but it can get better. I was lucky to get into an out-patient program with a physio that specializes in facial rehab, but I’m sure any physio can do some research to find a program that will help you. Simply massaging your face is a good start as it brings blood to the face.

My daughter had cranial nerve involvement and lost her ability to open her mouth, chew or smile. That was on 06/15/14. Her MRI showed cranial enhancement on 3rd,6th,7th and 8th nerves. Not good, but neurologists said that everything was consistent with GBS. She plays clarinet, and was able to play again three months later. Her neurologist originally said that the face would take between 3 weeks and 12 months (!) to recover. When she plays the instrument, often air escapes through her nose (she cannot seal it). Otherwise, she is pretty okay. Good luck. Facial exercises do help, I heard.