Emily Maynard is opening up about her Bell's palsy diagnosis. The Bachelorette alum had previously suffered from temporary facial paralysis when she was in high school, but had it once again while she was pregnant with her fifth child.
"Lucky me [I] am one of the very few people that get it twice. It started with a bad headache that got progressively worse and went into my jaw," she wrote on Instagram Story on Saturday. "Thought it was an ear infection but then woke up one morning and couldn't spit out my toothpaste or put on mascara."
She wrote that she "knew exactly what it was," so her doctor prescribed her a steroid. "It got worse before it got better," she noted, adding that every morning she would wake up to see if she could whistle or wink.
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Bell's palsy -- which rarely occurs more than once -- is a condition that "causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. It can occur when the nerve that controls your facial muscles becomes inflamed, swollen, or compressed. The condition causes one side of your face to droop or become stiff," per Healthline.com.
In another IG Story, she wrote that she thought by age 34 she would be "free from the vanity" she cherished "so much in my 20's."
"But there's something very humbling about being 9 months pregnant and not being able to move half of your face!" she expressed. "I cried a lot and felt horrible but thankfully it got better day by day."
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Maynard is currently married to Tyler Johnson and they share four children together. She is also mom to daughter Josephine, whom she shared with the late race car driver Ricky Hendrick. She welcomed her fifth child, daughter Magnolia Belle Johnson, in October.
The I Said Yes author first got engaged to Brad Womack on the 15th season of The Bachelor. The couple broke up while the season was airing, but got back together in time for After the Final Rose. They split for good in May 2011. She went on to star as the Bachelorette in 2012 and got engaged to Jef Holm. The couple split that October.
She and Johnson got engaged in January 2014 and tied the knot months later in June at his parents' farm in South Carolina.