Monday, September 15, 2008

Bell's Palsy

In a previous post I wrote that I had suffered another allergy attack, making my face swell and causing me to drool when I drank. It turns out that this is not due to allergies but to Bell's Palsy. The right side of my face is drooping and unresponsive. I cannot easily blink my right eye and must hold my right lower lip tight against a glass with my hand when I drink. I am having trouble focusing my right eye so I am using the larger font size.

In the upper pic I am trying to smile evenly. Below, I am trying to forcefully close my eyes.
Bell's Palsy is of unknown origin and tests typically rule out other possible causes for the unresponsiveness. It is likely of viral origin and my blood test confirms that; I have a high white blood cell count, particularly of E-Lymphocytes, which fight viral infections. The doctor told me that another type of white blood cell, which primarily fights bacterial infections was low but I didn't keep track of the name, I think it was the E- neutro(cyte).

I have been given a whole lot of pills - 12 steroid pills to be taken each morning as well as three other pills to take three times a day and eye drops to lubricate my eye as I often have to use my finger to close it completely.

It is amusing that I am now on steroids as I have just started the 100 pushups workout plan suggested by the EFL Geek - I hope he doesn't think I am cheating - look out Barry Bonds!

In researching Bell's Palsy, I have learned that former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien had Bell's Palsy as a child and apparently suffered permanent damage as he was easily caricatured as speaking from one side of his face. A friend of mine, Rowdy Roddy Swimmer also seemed to speak from one side - I will have to ask if he had Bell's Palsy. Anyway, it is typically temporary and I should be fine in a few weeks. In the meantime, I will be working hard to speak clearly for my students -my 'P's are now a Korean style 'F' - "I like to eat affles!"

More info at WebMD or at Wikipedia - and thanks to my mom, a retired nurse who explained some of the details to me. Great thanks to my wife who came with me to the hospital and took care of the little guy after working a 24 hour shift at the Coast Guard.

Oh, some words I may need for classes:
not contagious
전염성이 있지 않음

Bell's Palsy
Bell's 마비


Anonymous said...

That's an odd condition, I trust it will clear up soon!

kwandongbrian said...

Me too.

It is also my excuse for the nearly incoherent comment i left on a post of yours - I have trouble focusing on the computer screen.

MissingMySmile said...

Did things eventually clear up? I was just diagnosed today and am wondering how long I maybe without a full smile.

surprises aplenty said...

Missing my smile: Yes, I have recovered fully. It was about two weeks and I was pretty depressed and tired of holding the side of my lips to drink without spilling.
The onset was fast but the recovery took a few days.

I had some accupuncture treatment - needles in my face with electricity run through them to exercise the muscles. I don't think that sped my recovery, but it might have.