Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman has revealed that he has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy
The condition has resulted in partial paralysis of the left side of Coleman's face — due to inflammation of the nerves leading there.
Bell's palsy tends to imitate the symptoms of a stroke. It seldom lasts longer than eight weeks. And doctors have told him he should recover fully.
Coleman discussed the situation with BringMeTheNews reporter Rick Kupchella — in his first in-depth, on-camera interview since the U.S. Senate recount ended in June. (Coleman's full interview will be featured on this site, in its entirety, beginning Sunday.)
The former senator said he first began experiencing symptoms of the condition — on a late-night flight from Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis on Wednesday, September 2nd.
He says it started with the realization that, while talking with fellow passengers, he was "smiling out of one side of my face."
He said, "It's a big surprise when half your face is working — and the other half isn't."
The senator has been lying low since his diagnosis — spending time with his family at their cabin in Northern Minnesota. But he said he didn't intend to "hide out" until his condition improved. There is no treatment for Bell's palsy except time. However, Coleman emphasized, the condition will not affect any of his future plans.
"It puts a lot of things in perspective — my smile is a part of me. I love to smile, and to all of sudden — part of your face isn't working as it used to — the good news is it will."