September 11th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Former senator Norm Coleman diagnosed with Bell's palsy

Former senator Norm Coleman has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy .
Former senator Norm Coleman has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy .

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, widely considered a potential candidate for governor next year, confirmed to CNN Friday that he has been diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a generally temporary condition that affects the nerves of the muscles on one side of a person's face.

"[I was] heading back to the Twin Cities, I'm getting on a plane taking a little sip of water, and realize I'm dribbling out of the left side of my mouth," Coleman told CNN in a phone interview from his home in St. Paul. "I'm smiling, but only half of my face is smiling, so I realize I think we have a problem here."

Coleman said when the symptoms first came on last week on the plane he wasn't sure if it was a stroke or something else, but after seeing his doctor the next day, he had his answer.

"Bell's palsy, paralysis on the left side of my face," Coleman said. "The good news is that...I had a little movement, and by having a little movement it says the prognosis recovery is really pretty good."


Coleman said he expects a full recovery - the condition generally disappears within several weeks or months - but that in the meantime he'll have to endure "the two-faced politician jokes, and talking out of one side of my mouth comments."

"Other than that, this too will pass," Coleman added, calling it a mere "temporary inconvenience."

"It's a slow, steady improvement. It could be two weeks, it could be six weeks before back to normal, but in most cases there is a full recovery."

The Republican politican finally conceded defeat in the contentious recount and court battle over the 2008 race to current Sen. Al Franken just two months ago.


Filed under: Norm Coleman
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Mario, mtl, ca.

    Who cares

    September 11, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Joanna in PA

    While i do not like his politics, i am sorry he has Bell's palsy. Hey but at leaST HE CAN GET TREATMENT.

    September 11, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom

    Too bad, God bless him and his family.

    September 11, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Debi

    I do not agree with Coleman ideologically, but I am sorry to hear he has this condition.
    If it is curable, I hope he has the resources to get the treatment needed.

    September 11, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Clay

    Too bad. I hope this republican/democrat turncoat has good health insurance. He might have been covered had his new peers supported a publc option, but since this is a progressive disease it had to be a prior illness and I expect himt o be dropped immediately by his insurance company. Turnabout is only fair play.

    September 11, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Samuel

    Get well soon sir

    September 11, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    Lucky Coleman!He has gov. insurance.

    September 11, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    I wish him a speedy full recovery.

    Though I hope that his disgrace as a politician haunts him for the rest of his life.

    September 11, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Erik

    I am not a fan of Sen. Coleman......but I wish him well and hope he feels better soon.

    September 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Deborah Black

    Gee good thing he has health insurance.

    September 11, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Just Me

    I guess if I lost my senate seat in a bitter contest that dragged on for months, my face will start drooping too. Stop the malingering Norm. You lost. Get some counseling, find another job, and get on with your life! The Bell Palsy is all in your head.

    September 11, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Farrell in Houston

    He'll be just fine. I've experienced having a boss who was diagnosed with the same. Not sorry he lost the election but he also needs to get away from the stress.

    September 11, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Ron Ft. Myers

    HaHaHaHa and Just Me, you have to be two of the most ignorant people on the internet!

    September 11, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. fanturnip

    al franken is a poop on a stick.

    September 11, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. janelle

    What is wrong with some of you people!!!!!! I truly hope your parents did not raise you to be so unkind and ungracious!!!!

    September 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. DanMcCollum

    Its not "all in his head." I had a friend in college who came down with this very same thing, and its very real. Luckily, it passes with time and isn't that serious.
    None of this, of course, should be taken to suggest that I'm a Coleman supporter. I find him to be almost the archetype of the 'politician' and willing to say and do what ever it takes to get elected at the time.
    But, that being said, I don't hate the man enough to wish any injury upon him. So, let me just say this: "Norm, I'm glad you lost the last election, but let me wish you a full and speedy recovery over the next few months"

    September 11, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    "Let the wackos suffer"
    So now you are cursing:
    PETA
    SEIU
    Code Pink
    ACORN, etc
    You did say let the WACKOS suffer, right? Yep, it appears you did!

    September 11, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. WIll 18E

    Why, is CNN reporting this on there political ticker?
    Americans are diagnoses with this decease everyday.
    Coleman, was rejected by his own voters. CNN reporting this gives credence to the Rock Star persona that GOP politicians have always wanted to achieve in the public eye, like the Hollywood types.
    I certainly hope Colemans fairs well with this battle.

    September 11, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. etl

    My spouse was diagnosed with that and with no health insurance, we had to pay out over $600 for the diagnosis and treatment (it is curable by the way)

    September 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    nobody deserves what he has and I hope he can overcome it. And I don't support the far right AT ALL but would not wish ill health to them. That's not for me to decide.

    September 11, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Jason

    I wish Norm a speedy recovery. To the other people with mean-spirited comments, how dare you! God forbid anything happens to you, hopefully nobody will say awful things about your unfortunate situation. And yes, 250 million people would be covered for this in this country. The other 50 million (including illegals and those who don't want coverage) will have tax payers foot the bill anyways. Believe it or not, most hospitals write off bills if you cannot afford it and can prove that you cannot. It is just a tax write off for them! I should know my mother had one of hers written off. Anyways my two cents!

    September 11, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
1 2