I Had The Same Facial Paralysis As Angelina Jolie — Here's What It's Like

"My face — and my life — split in half ten days after my second daughter was born," running coach and writer Pam Moore wrote in an essay about her Bell's palsy diagnosis.
Moore said that a little less than two weeks after giving birth to her second child in 2014, she realized she couldn't move her face.
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"I was in the bathroom and I put on lip gloss, but when I tried to press my lips together, I couldn’t do it," she recalled to People. "I thought to myself, that’s weird. My face isn’t working."
After a visit to a doctor and an MRI, Moore was diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a condition that made headlines last week when Angelina Jolie revealed that she was diagnosed with it last year.
"I was relieved it wasn’t a stroke or brain tumor," Moore told People. "And I knew I should have been happy because of that, but instead I was sour grapes because my face was messed up and I felt depressed for not being grateful that it was just Bell’s palsy."
"I miss my old face," she wrote in her essay.
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Bell's palsy is a type of facial paralysis that occurs from damage or trauma to the facial nerves, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It's temporary for most people and is unclear exactly what causes Bell's palsy — though it can be associated with viral infections and is also common in pregnant women.
"It's very common, especially in pregnant women compared to not pregnant women, or patients who are immunocompromised, like a diabetic patient," Jessica Zwerling, MD, MS, director of the Memory Disorders Center, Montefiore Health System, told us last week.
Moore told People that she had developed temporary paralysis on the right side of her face, and couldn’t blink her eye normally, press her lips together, or even form the letter “P” when saying her name.
Two years after her initial diagnosis, Moore wrote in her essay, she is about 90% recovered, but the condition has affected her self-esteem.
"When I look at myself in old pictures — pictures from before — I think, 'That’s when I was pretty,'" she wrote.
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It's taken her some time to make peace with her own diagnosis, but she's telling her story in hopes of helping others who might struggle.
"If you have it, be more forgiving of yourself," she told People. "And if you know someone that has it, don’t be afraid to ask how they are doing. We want to know you care."
Refinery29 has reached out to Moore for comment and will update this piece when we receive a response.
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