Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bell's Palsy -- 2.11.17

2.12.17   Yes, I am proud to be a Christian.  I love Jesus.  Our God is an awesome God.

Yesterday I woke up to my cell phone ringing by the bed at 9:02am.  I didn't recognize the number of the person calling.  I hit the button to decline the call.  It did not go to voicemail.

9:02am!  I normally get up between 5am and 6am on Saturdays just so that I can sew!  My husband and son were still sleeping as well.  I went to the bathroom to start my morning routine.  I noticed my face (on the right side) felt like I had just been to the dentist and she used Novocain on me.  There was a tingling sensation, but no pain.  I also felt a little dizzy and out of it.  Part of it made sense because on Friday (the day before) I felt a cold coming on.  I took Nyquil before going to bed.  That made sense that I was in a fog.

I went about my morning routine and noticed I had trouble brushing my teeth.  I couldn't spit.  I then took inventory on my face.  I couldn't smile.  I could only make a weird half smile and part of my face looked like an expression Mr. Grinch would make.  I couldn't wink.

I knew what Bells Palsy was because one of my friends had it about 10-11 years ago.  She was a nurse.  She explained it well.  She would get frustrated and e-mail me because it was "picture day" and vent because her picture looked awful when the photographer told her to smile better. 

Instead of waking up my husband, I went to my computer and started researching Bells Palsy.  Yes, I was also concerned that I had a stroke during the night.  But I was either in denial or just felt in my gut that it was Bells Palsy.  The part that was throwing me off was that I was dizzy and had some blurred vision.  The top of my right hand was numb and tingly as well.

I waited until my husband got up (around 11:30am!)  (He's on vacation the whole month of February.  He deserves to sleep in on the weekends because he works a lot.)  (In the fall of 2014 he worked so much he got sick with mono.  He needs his rest more now than ever.)  In the meantime I texted my good friend (about 9:15am) to let her know what was going on with me.  (We text our weird ailments...just in case.)  As soon as my husband got up he took one look at me and off to the ER we went.  I told him to take me to Stat Care because I thought it was Bells Palsy.  My husband wanted me checked out for a stroke.

Once at Stat Care they took a look at me right away because of the symptoms I wrote down on the pre-registration paper.  In the examining room the doctor asked me to smile.  It was obvious I could only smile on one side.  He asked me if I could raise my eyebrows.  The left one went up the right one just budged.  He said, "That's good!"  He said something that Bells Palsy is just a temporary paralysis in one side of the face because of cranial nerve #7.  If I had a stroke I wouldn't be able to raise my eyebrows -- good to know!  He then did some strength tests (squeeze my hand, push up with your legs, push my arm down, move your eyelid while he held it down with his thumb.)

The doctor at Stat Care diagnosed me with Clinical Bells Palsy.  BUT because of my high blood pressure (195/91), my dizziness, and my blurred vision, and especially the tingling and numbness in the top of my right hand, he and his boss discussed that I had better go to the hospital ER to have a cat scan.  I told him I'm hoping my blood pressure is just up that high because of the excitement of the day.  He agreed. 

After arriving at the main hospital ER, they quickly got me situated in a room.  Doctor Brian from Stat Care had called ahead. :)  Dr. George Janas examined me at the hospital.  My blood pressure dropped to 179/79 in the short amount of time it took me to get to the hospital and get situated in an examining room.  Dr. Janas didn't see a need for a cat scan.  He did more physical tests such as push down with your legs, do this with your arms, slide your foot up your leg to your knee.  I wasn't dizzy any longer (could have been due to high blood pressure earlier).  I wasn't having as much trouble with my vision.  My hand was still tingling, but I told him that could be from playing a computer game too much... or sewing... or typing on my keyboard like I am now...

He released me and gave me a two prescriptions:  Prednisone (my most favorite fix all drug ever!) and Acyclovir (an antiviral drug).  I will follow up with my doctor probably on President's Day.  He also recommended that I wear an eye patch to bed because I cannot close my right eye.  It may become dry while sleeping and I could scratch it and not know it.

This is what my face looked like after I had rested a while at home.  I was trying to smile.

It's not really known what causes Bell's Palsy, according to both ER doctors.  They noticed that sometimes it could be due to stress.  I am normally a pretty laid back person.  Life is good, especially since I realized that GOD is in it and in control just a few years back.  But I have to admit that this is the most stressful time of the year for me because of the annual writing of the IEP (Individual Education Plan) that we have to do for the school system.  I was so stressed this year that I had my husband go with me.  This is the first one he has attended.  I don't think it will be the last.
Now do you want to see a funny picture?  Here I am getting ready for bed.  (Our son, 9.5 years old that just happens to have special needs (Down's Syndrome) thought I looked funny with my eye patch and homemade anti-snore devise. 
The anti-snore devise, you ask?  It's just a knit winter headband that I hook onto my head using my ponytail.  It seems to hold my chin in place while I sleep and my husband says that I don't snore as much.  My fitbit says that I sleep better on the nights that I wear it.  I purchased a similar product on eBay with Velcro for a better fit that doesn't work as well.  I like this one for now.  It's probably going to get hot in the summer.
Below is a selfie taken by my little pirate.  My little pirate gets the rest of the eye patch.  I just need to use the plastic part to keep the cotton balls in place.  "Boy I hope this tape comes off tomorrow,"  quote from my husband...

Ugh.  Not the most flattering picture of me... yet here it is to document this day.

I'm hoping that this is just God's way to tell me to slow down and smell the roses.  Maybe it's his way to help me cut my appetite and eat liquids for a while.  Feeling this situation with a positive attitude because He is in control.  Hoping its an answer to my "God, please help me with my healthy eating choices."  I do drink Shakeology (a Beachbody product) that is a healthy choice to start each morning.  I might be having one for lunch now too.  It's packed with tons of healthy stuff!


ES said...

Look after yourself. I hope it passes soon. I've known a couple of people who got Bells Palsy, one lady found a straw helpful for drinking. X

Unknown said...

I have had a Bell's Palsy. It is not fun. One thing that helps alot at night there is a eye gel that stays wet all night so your eye stays moist. I would close my eye and place a cotton ball on my eye lid and used the eye patch. My friends daughter was going to massage school I was their test for her daughter as she did face and head massage and it seemed to help my face return to normal. Hang in there get well soon.

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