Norm Coleman diagnosed with Bell's palsy
St. Paul, Minn. — Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman says he's been diagnosed with Bell's palsy, which has left one side of his face temporarily paralyzed.
The paralsyis, on the left side of Coleman's face, is 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 in an interview with the news Web site BringMeTheNews.
The former senator said he first began experiencing symptoms of the condition on a late-night flight from Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis on Sept. 2.
He says it started with the realization that, while talking with fellow passengers, he was "smiling out of one side of my face."
"It's a big surprise when half your face is working -- and the other half isn't," said Coleman.
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."
Coleman has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor of Minnesota next year. He said earlier that he won't decide whether to run until next spring.
Information from BringMeTheNews.