Bell’s palsy

Since this is my blog I may as well write something about me. On Friday the 23rd I found out I had Bell’s palsy. From about Monday night I had been having a very annoying headache for certain periods at a small spot at the back right side of my head (Just behind the ear) which I thought I just banged my head but on Thursday night I noticed some strange reactions on my face but wasn’t sure what these were. I continued on as normal assuming it would just go away in a few days and was just a headache, it didn’t seem that important, neither was it painful – it was just annoying.

On Friday I definitely noticed something was not quite right but I was not sure, as the day progressed I felt that the left side of my face was being odd and my eyes were hurting. In a conference call I really noticed it as I started to speak and mentioned in IRC that I was having difficulty speaking clearly.

[17:25] <Scott-Mc> something is definitely wrong ,  even struggling to talk with the mic on the left side of my face:|
—– then 10 minutes later —–
[17:36] <Scott-Mc> god knows what is wrong with me, but I am even struggling to speak

After the conference was finished at about 6PM I started to think about all the things over the past few days and realized something wasn’t quite right and maybe it just wasn’t a bump to the head. So I decided to call the NHS direct 24/7 helpline and after describing my symptoms and answering some questions I got put through to a nurse. She started asking more specific questions because previously I had been unsure exactly what was wrong or how to describe it but within about 5 minutes she had determined what was wrong, told me what it was and had arranged for me to visit the doctor at the A&E.

During the call she asked me to go stand in front of the mirror and smile, it was then I realized that it wasn’t the left side of my face at all – this was perfectly normal, it was the right side. It was paralyzed and it was at this moment I freaked out, especially because she said I should go to the A&E just now.

It was very helpful just to speak to someone as otherwise I would have waited till Monday to go to the doctor if it had not cleared up but speaking to someone made me go immediately. The symptoms did rapidly get worse between about 2PM-6PM as I never noticed it when I looked in the mirror earlier.

I arrived at the A&E about 20 minutes later and waited 3-4 minutes to see a doctor. Again I described my symptoms and he told me I had Bell’s Palsy and explained it alittle. He prescribed me steroids for 1 week and some eye drops. When I asked if he knew how long it would take he said and I quote, “I wont lie, it can take awhile”. I was unsure what to make of this but when I returned home it was straight onto google to read more on it.

As it turns out the vast majority recover from it (85%) and they don’t know what causes it. So far it’s been 8-9 days and I would say that on the fourth day it showed signs of improvement that I definitely noticed (I could smile slightly more) but since then I don’t think it’s improved any which is alittle disappointing. I would really like it to go away ASAP!

At this point I have another appointment with the Doctor on Monday to check the progress, I am hoping it’s cleared up fully in about 2-3 weeks. I hope this is realistic but to be honest it doesn’t really effect me all that much. As I work from home I don’t notice it, the only thing I notice is my right eye can be alittle painful as I have to manually blink it but this has been improving in the past few days also. Overall I have a feeling I should treat this a serious thing but I have not been, still can’t believe it’s been over a week with it already (I was going to blog about it the day after).

What is surprising is the number of number of friends and friends of friends have had this, especially as I had never even heard of it before last week, the good news is that all of them it cleared up just fine, the bads news is that one of them took 6 months.

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