Brittney Carter McKinnon is the Founder and Chief Social Strategist of B. Carter Solutions, LLC, a top-performing Social Media Marketing & Advertising agency that specializes in Social Media Management, Content Curation and Advertising utilizing today’s modern technology and trends. McKinnon is a millennial entrepreneur who is truly ahead of her time, and a thought leader paving the way in her field. Her company is comprised of women who look just like her and who fully support her like no other. They say that when you become a business owner, one of the hardest things is finding “good help”, to assist in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Personally knowing McKinnon, her character, level of professional, and selflessness, we know that it takes a good leader to lead the pack, and cultivate a team of vested individuals that will help when the going gets tough, “to help” the tough get going.
Recently McKinnon experienced and was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. Instead of allowing it to defeat her, get her down, and challenge her, she fought it head on, toe to toe and became the victor, in the end.
We had an exclusive opportunity to chat with McKinnon her journey to beating Bells Palsy:
MillBuzz: Sometimes life will throw a curve ball out of nowhere. We know that you are a strong, fierce, motivated millennial who is truly unstoppable. First tell us how you have been able to manage having Bells Palsy, while still running and keeping up with your business uninterrupted.
McKinnon: I truly just had to accept that this was temporary; I trained my mind to thinking that my entire body was healed, no matter what it may look like on the outside. I’m managing it now on a daily basis by still working hard, but not as hard. I had to learn to truly value taking proper self-care when needed and not when a problem arises. I’m learning to take needed breaks throughout the day opposed to working insanely non-stop.
MillBuzz: What exactly is Bells Palsy, the symptoms that you experienced and for how long?
McKinnon: Bells Palsy is a rare condition in which the muscles on one side of your face become paralyzed. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to droop or become stiff on that side. It’s caused by some kind of trauma to the seventh cranial nerve. Today, I’m about 85% healed, but a month ago, my face was drooped, I would drool, my right eye wouldn’t close, I would have to hold my lips together to drink, I couldn’t feel anything on the right side of my face. It was really a scary experience, but I’ve embraced it for what it was and started to incorporate this new me into my everyday life and journey. A few days ago, was one month with it, and I’m certain within a few weeks, I’ll be completely healed.
MillBuzz: During this time, a lot of people would have given up, thrown in the towel and been completely distraught. Too distracted to focus on business and being able to balance. How were you able to avoid becoming depressed and giving up?
McKinnon: I knew I had a lot of people who counted on me – that’s what pushed me past depression. I knew if I had stayed in this sunken place, that is what the devil would have wanted. God didn’t build me like that though. I’ve always been pretty tough in a lot of things that I do, so this was just another mountain that was going to be moved. The first two days I was depressed, I felt ugly, I was on seven pills a day, so many different emotions and feelings. After about a week, I knew I couldn’t stay there – that’s not me. I was able to find strength is seeing other people share how much I motivate and inspire them even when I’m at my lowest. If someone can still find inspiration in me, at this very moment, that said a lot about the platform that I have, and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t let anyone down who followed me.
MillBuzz: What are some tips that you have for millennials that may experience Bells Palsy in their lifetime?
McKinnon: When you think you’re working too hard, listen to your body and stop. Bells Palsy often comes from stress. In business, in life that’s the biggest thing we do, we stress. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever experience this because it’s painful; it’s an emotional rollercoaster of what ifs. I encourage millennials to get yourself checked daily, not when you feel sick, but preventative health care. Take time to eat healthier, change your diet, exercise and know how to listen to your body. I was straight work mode, 7-days a week, 10-15 hours a day. Know when enough is enough or your body will stop for you.
MillBuzz: Now that you are completely healed, looking back on the time that you were going through this, how did it make you stronger?
McKinnon: It made me stronger in faith, I was a believer before, but to really see God move was completely amazing. I knew I would be healed from this, I had no idea how quick I would be healed from it. It made me stronger in knowing that my outside appearance doesn’t define me. Because we live in a social media driven world, we often times let the world validate us. This experience allowed me to see a deeper version of me, and also let the people who follow me see that behind all those followers are regular human beings who go through things just like everyone else.
MillBuzz: What are a few resources that you can share with us for people that are currently experiencing this?
McKinnon: There are Bells Palsy support groups on Facebook that I am a part of called Bells Palsy Support Group. I go to acupuncture in DC that helps a lot called Urban TAO Acupuncture. There are some great videos on YouTube called: Facial Nerve exercises that has helped me and just doing additional research to see what works for your body.