Bell's Palsy diagnosis

Hi everyone - yesterday was quite hellish - spent 3 hrs in A&E since the left side of my face had become paralysed. It all started Saturday night with the odd shooting pain through the gland under my left ear. On Sunday evening, my lips on the left hand side had started feeling numbish like after a dental injection. By bedtime that feeling had crept up my left cheek and my eye wasn't blinking properly. I also felt terribly tired and had a dull headache at the back of my eyes. Went to bed, next morning, headache was still there but lessening, however the 'paralysis' had affected the left side of my mouth more and I couldn't smile on that side. A bit of googling was frightening (shingles, stroke and worse). Then I had a sudden thought - an ex neighbour had Bell's Palsy and had a frozen half face for awhile. I looked it up and it seemed to fit what was happening. I also noted the recommended prednisolone within 72 hrs of it starting which may help to reduce the symptoms.

I phoned the doctor's (closed) and the local community hospital that does minor injuries (no sorry we don't have a doctor on, you'll need to phone 111). Did that - 20 mins wait on phone - nurse I spoke to said she couldn't rule out a stroke and they were sending an ambulance (which made me feel a bit bad due to all the other people probably more ill). Anyhoo it turned up after around an hour, two lovely ladies ran through checks and questions. They decided it would be best if I went to hospital to be checked out for a stroke. Luckily my other half was home and able to follow in his car. Me majorly nervous as I haven't travelled that far in over 6 yrs due to knackered back. Took a low dose of diazepam and we travelled 20 mins to the nearest hospital where I was positioned in a corridor behind a ton of other people in various states of distress on gurneys. Staff were great but it was clear they just don't have enough resources for when it's busy.

Eventually saw a doctor after 3 hrs, she confirmed I had Bell's Palsy after ruling out shingles (thank Goodness!) and a stroke (even more thanks!). Given prednisolone for 10 day course and eye drops. Got home around 4.30 pm. Left eye feeling ghastly and dry/scratchy.

By this morning it does feel a little easier as I can put in drops whenever I need to, also keeping the room dim works best. Eating and drinking a bit challenging. Vision quite blurry as right eye is blinking a lot and watering (due to my left one trying and failing! Seems it will take a few weeks to resolve so I'll have to get used to spilling my drink down my front or nearly tripping over the cat! 2017 sure got off to a poor start.

In the light of all that I don't believe I was having any kind of reaction to my new Mercury Pharma levo pills - poor things probably got unfairly blamed. I've also had to reduce the other vit/mineral pills I take temporarily as I have enough trouble swallowing the tiny Levo/prednisolone tabs, I don't want to accidentally choke on those larger capsules.

Anyway thanks for listening to that ramble and hope you are all faring well. :)

Edit: Meant to add, doc didn't think it was connected to hypothyroid but am pretty sure it is, in some way, simply by being more under par and vulnerable now. After all, Bell's Palsy comes via a virus left in the system, in my case probably from Chickenpox as I've never had herpes.

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16 Replies

  • Aw.....I'm sorry to hear about that, Jadzhia :(

    What a rotten start to 2017. Take good care of yourself and take it easy. A friend of mine had it for a few weeks and it really affected her eye (drooping, dry etc.) and she felt a bit self-conscious about it so took to wearing very glamorous sunglasses when in company and roundly ignored any pithy remarks about wearing sunglasses indoors!

    I'd still like to wish you a Happy New Year though.......and everybody else! :)

  • How frightening for you. I hope you feel better soon x

  • How awful for you .

    I hope it goes sooner rather than later ! 🌷 Pp

  • Thanks all of you. I've taken to wearing an eyepatch over a pad to keep the eye closed during the day. It feels a lot better that way (and I can pretend to be a pirate! Arrrr matey!) :D

  • It's a pity it isn't 19th September


    I hope your recovery is uneventful. :)

  • Hahahaha yes! :D I hope this is well and truly just a memory by then!

  • Just thinking it might help to reassure - my mother had Bells in about 1945/50! She recovered and, apart from mentioning it occasionally, it seemed to cause no lasting damage or issues for the rest of her long life.

  • Thank you, yes it does, very much. :) Worse thing about this era, computer screens are too glaring (TV not much better), so I have to use them sparingly!

  • Hi Jadzia sorry to hear you have this I had it about 40 plus years ago - all I had was pains behind my ear thought nowt of it went to work and one of my colleagues asked me to blink which I did and she says your left eye isn't closing - I thought what!! It was the time where you didn't need appointments to see doc - she did various tests and said you have Bells Palsy and gave me steroids she reckoned it was a virus I'd picked up as the days passed my mouth drooped and had no feeling in that side of my face - drinking was a nightmare resorted to straws so I didn't dribble - thankfully after about six weeks it cleared up but slowly. I hope this is the case for you. Sending hugsnkisses your way. 😘😘😘🤗🤗🤗

  • Yes, those pains I shrugged off - a 'something and nothing' moment. I too am using a straw, even with that I have to clamp my lips around the straw or drips still leak out! Other half making jokes about it at my expense of course! LOL. He's trying to cheer me up, naturally. :D

    I did feel a bit of a fraud at the hospital, but am grateful they were so thorough and confirmed it wasn't a stroke- that doesn't bear thinking about, for a number of reasons. I decided to push that out of my mind and just wait for the diagnosis. Apparently if you can feel normal touch sensations on your skin on the paralysed side it's an indication it's not a stroke - I explained it as sort of 'numb on the inside'.

    Thanks so much for the well-wishes, very much appreciated. :)

  • Hi Jadzhia

    Aw that's a shame you have been ill.. hope you make a speedy recovery... take care hugs Xxx

  • Thank you Dreamer, all the best to you, too. :) xx

  • Should've added I had nothing wrong with thyroid - try the straw for drinking and when you go to bed put your drops in as the eye needs to be lubricated put a patch or pad over it too this is what I did.

  • I'm actually way better at night than during the day, my eye will stay shut, the drops I put in seem to seal the eye shut for the night. During the day I'm wearing the eye pad and patch to keep it closed or else I go mad with the irritation.

  • Good morning Jadzhia,

    So sorry to hear what a terrible time you having. I knew someone with Bells Palsy - as usual the doctors couldn't help her but she went to see an Acupuncturist and my goodness within a few months of treatment - she looked just like she had before - it really was quite amazing.

    Take care

  • Steroids were standard meds when I had it 30 years ago prior to u/a thyroid diagnosis which I believe is linked due to long standing debility. Jadzhia, rest, rest and more rest. The chronic headache alone is very debilitating so be very kind to yourself to effect a speedy recovery. My best wishes to you.

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