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.