My Encounter with Bell’s Palsy

It was January 2, Monday, when I arrived from my first site visit for this year. Like the usual routine, I rested in my room and eventually fell asleep. My phone’s beep woke me, there’s a text message, I read, replied and tried sleeping again with my body on one side of the bed. I felt tightness in my face particularly my left side. Since I had no mirror near me I used my phone to see my face. There was a lump. I ignored it thinking that it was just an insect bite and it will be back to normal anytime soon. After two hours, the lump grew bigger. Also, I felt a little pain. It continued growing affecting my whole left face only. I could barely talk. My facial movement is limited. I suspected my teeth had caused the swelling.

A day after, I went to see my dentist and told my experience and the pain I felt. I was recommended for a tooth extraction. However, my instinct told me to have a second opinion. So, I went to see my previous dentist. I was given a referral slip for a panoramic x-ray in a diagnostic center. After two hours, I came to my dentist and gave the result. The result showed negative abscess that could have the reason for infection. Because of the findings, I was referred to an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) doctor. I felt uneasy and decided to buy a mask at the nearest pharmacy. I then went to see an ENT doctor but it was already past 4PM and usually clinics have cut off time; I was advised to be there early for the next day’s appointment.

I was at Dr. Arcenas’s clinic at 10AM. I was the first patient. His diagnosis was Bell’s Palsy, Parotitis and was advised to go back to my dentist as he suspected a possible infection in my 4th and 5th upper left teeth. I went back to my dentist and I am in for a root canal after I will have my clearance from my ENT doctor for Bell’s Palsy. I was given a medication of Co-Amoxiclav, Polynerv, Sinupret, Isoprinosine among others. Supposedly, steroids will be given to me as this is the usual medication for Bell’s Palsy. Since there was a probability of infection, I was not given yet.

Today is 8 Jan 17, my lump is getting smaller and I am close to my normal aura and movement. The doctor’s first diagnosis may be Bell’s Palsy because of the symptoms but it is not the only reason. It could have been Parotitis and tooth infection also. My doctor explained to me very well about Bell’s Palsy. The only thing that’s confusing is my face swelling while I am feeling pain. Pain is always associated with infection. In Bell’s Palsy, there should be no pain, just swelling and/or inability to move the facial muscle.

Bell’s Palsy is non-transmittable. I wore the mask because I do not like being stared at a public place. It is in the face and other body parts are not affected. There is paralysis of the facial muscle but it is only temporary. Also, there is twitching of the eyelids and dryness of the eyes. In some cases, it will be difficult to open your eye. It is not painful but disturbing. You cannot use your other side of the face! It is awkward for selfies and videos! But, do not worry, therapy is of great help! Exercise the affected muscle as much as you can. The cause is unknown until now. It affects the nerves and it can happen without knowing when.

As for me, I need to get a clearance from my ENT doctor. Mine may or may not be Bell’s Palsy, Parotitis, Tooth Infection, it can be a combination of any of those. I am just happy it is not Cancer or anything that will permanently disfigure my face ^_^.

Here is a link you can read about Bell’s Palsy: http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/bells-palsy-topic-overview.

droopy

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