Strokes and Bell’s Palsy

Ok I get into Dayton on Tues night and I had noticed all day that things didn’t taste quite right, I figured maybe I just burned a taste bud or two or something but when I got to the hotel I noticed my smile was a bit crooked.

So I figured shit I got Bell’s Palsy.  I got to the club and the numbness and the crooked smile are worse.  and one of the bouncers wives is a nurse and she is adamant that I get to the hospital because I could be having a stroke.

So I finally agree and Autumn takes me to Good Samaritan Hospital where they immediately take me in and start with tests…..They didn’t ask for anything except name and what had happened.  They are rushing around taking my blood pressure, asking me questions, quizzing me about is anything wrong with this picture, follow my finger with your eyes, and they wheel me in for a CT Scan.

After that thing settle down a bit and a doctor comes in and says we think you had a small stroke.

Now let me tell you, when you are almost 53 years old one word you don’t want to hear is stroke, as in you had one.

She disappears and in a while two more doctors come in, one I believe is an intern Neurologist she does lots of reflex tests and such and more follow my finger with your eyes, close your eyes and describe how and where I touch you.

Then she says you didn’t have a stroke you have Bells Palsy, but we are going to admit you, keep you overnight. Schedule you for an MRI an MRA and a 2D Heart echo.

So they have 2 IVs in me and are taking blood every hour from someplace else and yada yada.

The next morning (dont take this to mean I slept) A new doctor comes in and says you had a stroke. Your MRI and all will tell us more.

An hour or so later 2 more doctors come in and said you have Bell’s Palsy, at which point I said do I have Bell’s Palsy or did I have a stroke, they said no you have Bell’s Palsy.

Finally the attending physician came in with six doctors (interns, and not the same ones that had been coming in) and she proceeded to show them why I had Bells Palsy and not a stroke. They all felt movement in my forehead and my eyelid ability to close and thankedme.  The Attending said we are going to release you and cancel the mri and mra and echo.  You will get a little worse but we will give you meds and you should improve within two weeks. This was at 1130 AM.

at 11:45 a nurse comes in and says we are taking you to radiology for your MRI and other tests….So I explained those had been cancelled blah blah and she looked them up and said no they hadnt but she would check for me. She comes back about an hour later and says they are releasing me and she’d be back to undo the IVs and all in 5 mins.

3 hours later I was still there, with IVs in…but finally they released me and I’m now back at the hotel and looking like some hillbilly Popeye with my crooked smile and squinting eye. The hospital promised to send me the bill for 5K and I am sure they will.

A bit about Bell’s Palsy.  Ya I know, it LOOKS funny and yes I laugh at myself when others laugh at me. BUT, it really is a pain in the ass.  One whole side of your face becomes paralyzed.  You can’t taste, your mouth wont open right, your lips on that side won’t move out of the way when you try to eat and my eye wont even blink so I have to keep drops in it and wear a patch.  Chewing is a slow process because anything that gets on the affected side you cant move to the other side without putting your finger in your mouth or something to move it.  I slur my speech because half my tongue wont work right. and I look like some Hillbilly Popeye with a crooked smile and a squinted eye. But it IS a ROYAL pain in the ass so if ya ever know someone that gets it remember that and cut em a little slack between laughs.

I  will try to write something more lighthearted or entertaining tomorrow.

43240cookie-checkStrokes and Bell’s Palsy

Strokes and Bell’s Palsy

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8 Responses

  1. I am sorry for your bad news. I had a similar scare recently with my heart, I had chest pains (I have congestive heart failure anyway) and went to the hospital. Luckily there wasn’t any further damage, but it was scary! I don’t know what is worse, a stroke or Bell’s Palsy, but hope you feel better and get back to work soon.

  2. a stroke is way worse bells palsy usually goes away. and dont feel sorry..hell we all get trials in life bad things and good ones, Id say ive had more good than bad so im happy.

  3. Mike, I had Bell’s Palsy back in 1990 and it was not fun and the after-effects still linger with me to this day. Make sure you take the meds to relieve the swelling in your 6th cranial nerve as that internal swelling must come down otherwise you risk permanent damage. This is super important!! When I had it, they didn’t tell me much about the entire situation other than take these steroids (I forget which type they were but they were to relieve swelling in the nerve canal which controls many facial features) and get a battery operated machine to ‘shock’ your face to keep the muscles moving but I can tell you this is all very important to keep any potential damage to a minimum. I couldn’t close my right eye for six weeks and wore a patch but the girls liked banging a pirate so I was good there (lol I’m serious). If you do everything they tell you then you should be fine but if you are not on any meds that to me is a red flag unless treatment methods have changed in the past 20 years and they might have I don’t know. I wish you well and I am sure you will be fine but do the therapy and whatever else they advise.

    For those that are wondering, they really don’t know exactly why Bell’s Palsy hits but they do know that if you are over-worked, filled with stress and have the flu or a cold, you open yourself up to the possibility of your body shutting down. My advice for all to avoid Bell’s Palsy is to relax, watch a good X-Play comedy and enjoy life. Good luck Mike I am sure you will be fine.

  4. Mike, I also had Bell’s Palsy in 2006. I remember having a bad pain in my neck the day before. I tried to sleep it off and it just never went away. I woke up, brushed my teeth and drooled toothpaste all over the place. That’s how I first knew something was up. It scared the living shit out of me. I went to the doctor and they hooked me up to several machines and did the reflex tests you mentioned. I didn’t have a severe case but it was enough to irritate my eye (had to wear a patch) and eating was a royal pain in the ass. I was prescribed a couple of medications, one being a steroid. It took over a month to improve. I was told it could come back at any time or it may never show up again. I’m hoping for the latter! Get better, dude!

  5. I mentioned your experience to my parents and my mother said that my grandfather had Bell’s Palsy in the 1950’s. He had it once, it cleared up within a couple of months and he never had it again. Hopefully yours clears up quickly and never comes back as well.

    BTW, that $5K bill — send it to your medical insurance company (the one you married that chick to get). Any permanent full time job worth having in most fields comes with hospitalization coverage (usually at a highly reduced premium conveniently deducted from your bi-weekly paycheck). You will have a deductible but it should be around $500-$1K rather than the $5K the hospital is billing you for. I know this is getting rare, but I even have “supplemental” insurance as part of my retirement package (I am on Medicare and I am retired). When you and your “wife” retire, I would look into it, whether your “wife’s” company offers a plan or you have to get the AARP version.

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