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."

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