I have Bells Palsy

Initial Symptoms

This morning I felt sort of out of it, but I had a hard time sleeping because I couldn't get comfortable and the side of my face and my ear hurt. I felt better after I got up and started to get ready for work. After my shower I felt pretty good. I left the house for my hour long commute and was looking forward to getting to work.

I got to work and started off the day by cleaning my room up and straightening our little kitchen. I did feel tired and a little out of it, but I thought it was just because I was tired. But the day went along OK, until lunch time when I noticed that I couldn't really taste my sandwich and my tongue felt all big like when you have your mouth numbed at the dentist office. I thought that was weird but told myself that I must have a cold or something coming on because my throat was feeling pretty bad.

I went to my last class and worked with my students on some of their projects but noticed that I couldn't keep my eyes focused on my computer. Then I was laughing and drooling and I realized that I couldn't keep my smile up on the left side.

I then looked on line to see where I might get some urgent care in case it was something serious.



Rely on the People Around You

Just as I was looking up where I should go, one of my wonderful co-workers said to me, "Steve, I want to ask you something personal." "I noticed that when you are talking and laughing, that your mouth is not all working and that when you are blinking one of your eyes is not blinking."

I told him that I had just noticed that something was wrong and that I was trying to figure out where to go. Just then another co-worker came in and when he got the information he said, "Let's go, I will take you over there right now."

I gathered my stuff together and went to the urgent care center.

Checking in at Urgent Care

When I got to the check in counter, I told the receptionist my symptoms and she had a nurse come out to do triage. She took me in ahead of the other patients waiting in the waiting area and put me in an exam room.

They hooked up a ECG up to me and did a brief interview asking a lot of questions about when it happened and when did I first notice symptoms, etc. They began to monitor my oxygen levels and heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.

I laid there waiting for the Doctor to come in and was interested mostly in the machines and monitors and stuff all around me. I even got up to see what some of the buttons were and to see if I might be able to operate the machines.

Soon after that, in came a far too young physician, who by the way looked all business.

Lucky to Have a Good Doctor

The doctor seemed very good and was very thorough with her questions and her examination. She had my heart monitored and then performed various physical examinations including reflex in various parts of my body, and several simple tests to evaluate neurological exams. She then concentrated on my face, lips, tongue, ears, and eyes.

Her conclusion was that there was not something more serious going on and she concluded that I had classic symptoms of Bells Palsy. Including lost of taste in part of the tongue, ear pain, numbness in left part of face including the eye lid, cheek, left lips, and jaw. The throat and swallowing deemed normal.


Diagnosis

The doctor's diagnosis: Bells Palsy. Undetermined cause, with unknown prognosis but promising. She said it is not too late to treat and she prescribed prednisone a steroid, Acyclovir an anti-viral and eye drops and eye ointment.

With instructions to:

Continue to do simple exercises such as tightening and relaxing facial muscles, Massaging forehead, cheeks, and lips with oil or cream.

Keep the eyes moist and lubricated and manually close the eye often.

Prognosis: complete recovery in a few weeks to a few months.

Attitude Makes a Difference

The people around you may depend on you to have a good attitude.  I am not so good at counting my blessings, but equally I am not a person to drown in my sorrows.  I have always had a hard time being depressed, it just seems so funny.    I am grateful for my general demeanor and emotional state.   I can't help seeing the humor in my set backs and can't get too caught up in my successes.

I have a general glass half full outlook and it has served me well in my life.  I have not had to deal with too many down times, and when they come, they are always intense but very short lived.  I have a lot to give others and enjoy it every time one of my friends or family is happy because something that I did or said.   This my friends is the secret to enjoying life.   I am indeed lucky and hope you all see the humor in my photos as I enjoyed them myself immensely.   

See Your Doctor

Unfortunately, this article took me two days to complete due to the fact that I cannot look at the computer screen for too long. I will be continuing to write hubs, just slowed down.

I was happy to be able to share this experience. If you have any of these symptoms, please see your doctor or emergency room for a complete evaluation.

More by this Author


Comments 61 comments

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Steve - thanks for sharing this. Hopefully your symptoms will clear up soon. You really do have a great sense of humor, it seems. Your photos are priceless.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

suziecat7 thanks for the comments. Glad you came by, I will post an update when things start to change around.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Steveo, life is crazy, the older we get the more stuff seems to go wrong. I'm like you, I don't spend much time worrying about things. I wish you all the best and thanks for the lesson. (the photos are a hoot) Peace!! Tom


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

justom Thanks for the visit, I know, getting old sucks, LOL. Glad you liked the photos, I loved making them, got a few laughs out of that. Still kind of laughing that I had the guts to post them. My wife said it was ok though, so I guess it ain't bad.


drmingle profile image

drmingle 6 years ago from United States

SteveoMc

Great write up and glad you were brave enough to inform the rest of us...

Looking forward to more.

I am giving this a thumbs up.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

drmingle Thanks for the comment, appreciate it. I hope the updates come fast.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

SteveoMc-

Sorry to hear of your trouble, but with your attitude I'm sure you will be "up and around", so to speak, in no time. Thanks for sharing - the pictures are hilarious!

Best wishes on a speedy recovery.


jeri741 profile image

jeri741 6 years ago from Lancaster, Ky

Hope things get better quick. know a few people ths has happened to and t seems they just woke up with it to. And thanks for sharng.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I am very sorry to read about your misfortune. Hopefully it can get cleared up. It must be an awful handicap. It shouldn't have happened to a nice person like you. Wish you speedy recovery and all the best.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Wilderness Thanks for stopping by, I actually loved doing the pictures, my wife wanted to know if I had lost my mind, and then she enjoyed it too. Haha. I'm sure things will improve.


wearing well profile image

wearing well 6 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

With a great sense of humour I'm sure you will recover.Thank you for sharing,really enjoyed your photos you've cheered my day:)


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

You better recover. I refuse to not have new hubs by you to read.

I will not stand for it, so watch out!


CYBERSUPE profile image

CYBERSUPE 6 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

So sorry Steve to hear of your condition. Here's wishing you the very best and a speedy recovery. You will be in my prayers, God Bless!

Joe


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Steveomc, Keep doing those exercises and keep up the good humor! If it helps..my dentist's receptionist had Bells Palsy and her face showed the effects to a far greater degree than your pictures show...and the good news is; her face is completely back to normal!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

You're an inspiration - but then, you've always been one! I share your optimistic attitude and mine has endured and survived various down times too. The sooner you get past this one, the better, but meanwhile your cute facial contortions are entertaining and at the same time a very positive effort to improve the condition. Sorry it happened- but you are obviously doing what you should and with such a good doctor, - well!

Soon!


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

Good humor and a positive attitude all in one man. And the pics are cute. How can you go wrong with a combo like that? Very thoughtful of you to share this experience with us. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery. :)


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

I worked with someone who had bells palsy. She was pretty self conscious about it. I'm glad you can laugh about it now, but it would have been weird, even scary, at first. Looking forward to updates, SteveoMc.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

jeri741 thanks for the support, I am optimistic and I am beginning to feel better already. Glad you read the hub.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Hello Hello, It sure is funny to hear people say that I am a nice person, my wife thinks I'm an old fart. She might be right you know. Thanks for reading and supporting, always like to see your comments and visits.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

wearing well Thanks for stopping by, appreciate the support. Glad you liked the photos, they were pretty fun to do. Gotta get a laugh where ever you can. LOL


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Pcunix thanks so much for the ultimatum...LOL I promise, I will be back. Maybe even be Governor of Ca. Thanks for the support.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

CYBERSUPE Glad you stopped by and thanks for the support, already feeling better, think it will be short lived.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Scribenet Thanks for the encouragement, but if she looked worse than me, she must be one ugly girl! Hahaha. Sorry, couldn't resist. I really appreciate the support.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Nellieanna As always it is a delight to hear from you. Your support and encouragement has been a great help to me from the first HUB I wrote. You are an amazing individual, love knowing you.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Joni Douglas Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the photos, as I said before they were a hoot to do. I will be glad when I can laugh again with my whole face.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Kimh039 Well, have to say that having a face like that keeps everyone from looking at all the rest of my flaws, like the gut hanging over my belt. LOL I will update this situation as I go along and let everyone know how it goes for me. Thanks for your support.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Sorry to read you have Bells, Steve. May you recover entirely and quickly. Not a lot is known about Bells but medical research indicates it might be viral. It appears from "out of the blue" and disappears the same way.

Your positive attitude goes a long way toward a quick recovery.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

Thank you for sharing this experience, it's very useful for us. I hope that it won't affect you seriously and get well soon.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Thinking about you Steve. I wish you a speedy recovery so you can come back to "breakfast" and start up with me!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Your sharing will have positive unintended consequences. Great idea to share. Most everyone recovers completely... My friend had it and was told by her doctor "cold air caused it.." Sounds dubious... Great article..!


Whikat 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing. I am glad to hear that you are on your road to recovery and you have taken this little setback with a great stride. I am sure your story will inspire others. :) wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to reading more when you are up to it.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

drbj Thanks for the good wishes, I am so much better today it is strange how fast this is going. Love having you drop by.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

augusfanani Thanks for stopping by, I am already recovering and well on my way. I appreciate the support.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

breakfastpop I try to read one of your hubs at least once a week, that's about all I can take. Hahaha. I have made more than one friend out of a raving conservative. Loved having you stop by, thanks so much! I will be back in the saddle before you know it and then I will show you your left from your right.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

dallas93444 Thanks for stopping by, it means a lot to me. I doubt that cold air causes it or all the Eskimos would have frozen faces not frozen arses. Already feeling much better.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Whikat Thanks for the words of encouragement, loved hearing from you. Everything is better already, glad I could share. I hope that everyone with a little down times goes through a little as I have.


alice 6 years ago

My coworker experienced the same thing. Luckly, he recovered. I appreciate your comment of how making others happy make you happy. You take good care and God bless you too, Steve.


Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Steveo, I'm sorry to hear about your Bells Palsy attack and I hope it goes away quickly (never to return). You're right; you have a lot to give. Thanks for sharing, and don't forget your eye-glop!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Allan LOL I knew that glop would come in handy. Thanks for visiting, and for the chuckle.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

In 1991 during my week of finals,I was up studying until the wee hours. I live in Louisiana, and though it was the first week of Dec. ,a warm front had arrived during the day , and the kitchen was warm and humid. I turned the window unit air conditioner on, and studied another few hours. When I woke up, we thought I had experienced a stroke. Turned out to be Bell's Palsy, and my doctor felt that stress and the AC blowing on my face caused it. (Who knows?) It lasted two weeks or so, gradually loosing the droop. In the Spring of the following year, I was in my garden when I noticed that I was drooling. The palsy returned.This time it lasted well over a month. I still get it every few years.

Over the years, the right side of my face has become slightly droopy, including my eyelid.I wish I knew why.It could be lymphedema in my face, as I have lymphedema. Mine never has hurt at all. In fact, were it not for mirrors, I'd forget all about it.

GET WELL SOON!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

bayoulady Thankfully it was not a stroke. I can't believe that you get it so frequently, anyway it is still better than a stroke. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, so many people have come forward and told me so many stories, it makes it easier. Loved having you come by and hearing your story. Thanks again.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hi steve glad to see you smiling in the face of adversity. It isn't that uncommon an ailment, but your message may help others to recognise the symptoms. Good luck with your recovery. Cheers


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

SteveoMC - thanks so much for sharing your experience. There is some very valuable information in this hub. You were very fortunate that others around you noticed and were there to help out.

I knew someone that had this condition once. It was a very scary time for her.

I do hope you are on the mend. Best of luck...

Sage


danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Have I mentioned that you are awesome lately! Those are awesome pictures!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Sage Williams Thanks for the words of support! I seem to be getting better already, Thanks! Glad you came by and read this.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@danatheteacher No I don't think you have, but keep it coming, I want to hear it every day! LOL I think you are the best, too. Glad you liked the pictures.


Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago

Hey Steve, I'm glad it was not more serious. I have known a few who have had this also, it seems to be of all ages also, my cousin got it when she was in high school. Anyway keep doing the exercises they do help. Loved the pictures, they turned out great.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Dian Inside Thanks for stopping by, I have found out that it seems to be more common than you imagine....everyone knows someone who has or had it. It is so strange when a muscle will just not obey. I think I am already recovering.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is a very useful Hub on this condition. As you say, I do know some people who have the condition. Glad to hear that you are recovering. Hope all goes well.

Love and peace

Tony


las vegas lilly 6 years ago

I am a 64 year old woman who got BP about 6 weeks ago. Have my good days and bad days but the good are starting to outweigh the bad. It was really hard at first at my receptionist job but decided to have a good attitude and get thru it. A positive attitude is so important with this awful affliction. Thanks for your great hub. Hope we both recover quickly. Keep smiling.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@tonymac04 Thanks so much for dropping by and for the encouragement. It has made a difference.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@las vegas lilly It is a funny thing huh? Sounds like you faced it well, glad to hear your are getting better. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know of your affliction, attitude is all you have left when something like this happens. You will do well.


dawnM profile image

dawnM 6 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

Hi Steve, the fact that you put your pictures up is awesome; I can’t even look at my pictures when I had bells. About a year and a half ago I watched my very brave and strong father fade away in front of my eye from cancer, he never complained about the pain and he cried in front of me once and apologized for it. In the end he passed away in his bed which were his wishes, with my mom and I caring for him. About six months after his death, I woke up with the right side of my mouth feeling like I had been to the dentist with a shot of Novocain. I looked in the mirror and noticed my mouth drooping, my heart sunk and I knew that I had bell’s palsy, went straight away to the doctor and go t on anti viral and steroid. I was bed ridden for three weeks, and the pain was horrible, I went to the acupuncturist and it helped. The moment when I got better is like you said when I changed my attitude. I was lying in bed unable to smile and I love to smile, and I heard my dad’s voice in my head, (not really but his voice that I remember popped in my head and he said just smile) In that moment I realized that I had been so negative and so sad over his loss and my immune system was compromised, I needed to change my thoughts to healthy thought positive thoughts. The bells palsy thank-god went away, I dos till get a little buzzing in my ear and when I get a cold my nerves twitch and tighten, but for the most part it is gone. I feel as though this experience really changed my life and I have gained an appreciation for all of the good things in my life, my mom my husband and my children, family and friends and mostly my health so that I can be there emotionally and physically for my family.

Great article


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

My grandma had Bell's Palsy but only on one side, as you have, Her paralysis eventually cleared up, but she never lost the slight droop in one eye.

A friend had Bell's on one side, and a few months after it cleared up, she had another bout, but on the other side. That second go-round took much longer to clear up, and she had to wear an eye patch for several months. Joyous.

Neither Granny nor my friend lost their sense of humor, though - like you they were both strong and determined.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

I hope that the Bell's Palsy clears up real soon. You sure are a sport and I hope you keep up the upbeat attitude. This sounds pretty frightening because some of the symptoms might make a person think they are having a stroke.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@dawnM Thanks for sharing your story. It is amazing how attitude and perception can affect us. And, YES it makes you count your blessings. I'm glad you have recovered, best wishes.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@RedElf Thanks for sharing, I think I will recover completely because my progress has been pretty rapid.

Sometimes the sense of humor is the mightiest weapon you have, I don't want to ever lose that.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Delores Monet Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement, I appreciate the support.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

Wonderful recap of your day of unexpected mysterious happenings to yourself. Doesn't life give us such unexpected adventures at unexpected times. :D Glad to read you are doing well after all that. Keep that great attitude you have, you are so right, it helps so much. :D hugs to you and yours :D I did a jug on your buttons.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Sa`ge Thanks, doing very well as a matter of fact. Thanks for the support...and for the kind words. Thanks for the jug!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I am sorry to hear about this, Steve. I knew nothing about this disease until you enlightened me about it. You certainly handled it well and this is encouraging to all of us. One never knows what lies just around the corner. I pray you will not be much affected by this. Thank you for sharing your story.

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