A Day After the Bad News.
A year, the doctor said yesterday, before I "might" get back full functionality from my facial nerves.
Today, he explained that nerves grow back at a rate of 1mm a day, and that I'd lost 80-100mm. To me, that means 2.5-3 months for regeneration. So perhaps a year is very conservative; I mean, I was teasing the nurses in the recovery room at the hospital within 15 minutes of coming out of the operating room. While I was in ICU, I didn't use morphine. And once I was in the wards, I only asked for acetominophen. Plus, they said most people were in the hospital 5-7 days, whereas I left the third day. My hope, of course, is that I'll heal as quickly.
I asked the doctor about various vitamins and minerals that could affect nerve growth. These included Citicoline, Retinoic Acid, and Nerve Growth Factor. The Bell's Palsy website suggested that B1, B6 and B12 were helpful, so I've been tailoring my diet toward those. Lots of fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese, beans, etc. I don't know whether a diet supplement would help or not.
The doctor responded that he felt prayer was a better alternative than any vitamins or minerals. Of course, doctors don't usually pay a lot of attention to such things.
One website I have read suggested using heat on the affected nerves, to help them heal faster.