Today was my 9 week anniversary of Bell's Palsy. As you can see, the face is still pretty much stuck where it has been for the last 7 weeks:
Yep. The left eye doesn't ... wait.
Oops. That's a photo of Greg sharing his ice cream on National Ice Cream day. Gimme a second, I'll figure this out... Here we go:
If you watch my forehead, the brow never- Dang.
I make up bedtime stories for Greg and he asked for one about a clock. I invented a story about the first sundial and then he wanted to build one. We did and it was awesome!
Less adorably, the facial paralysis doesn't show any signs of going anywhere. Impressed by its stubbornness, my doctor sent me to the hospital for an MRI Friday morning. We didn't talk about the why of that very much, but my inferred list was something like this:
- To see if there is an old crayon lodged in the side of my head,
- to look for a tumor pushing up against the nerve (i.e. cancer), or
- mostly just #2.
Sidebar: no cancer diagnosis.
This is happy news. As much as I'd enjoy a good fight with an attack-able cause, I want nothing to do with that. Googling a lot tells me that it can't really be ruled out for a few more months because some of the legion of mysterious causes of this problem mimic the nerve "enhancement" that looks like some cancers for up to 4 months. I suspect my doctor gets his books from the same library because a while ago he mentioned something about MRI and 4.5 months, but right now everybody is quietly celebrating.
So, the rest of Friday goes by. Then Saturday. On Monday, I called my doctor's office and left a message. Then, at 6pm when we were at Panera, my phone rings! I couldn't answer.
I kept doing the thumb gesture to answer and my phone was ignoring me. No big deal, right? They'll leave a message. But then, suddenly the thumb gesture works and I answered. That would have been great, but I was already swiping my thumb again...
And that's how I hung up on the doctor's office. No voice mail. No second call. And, the rest of Monday goes by.
Tuesday morning, I finally talk to my doctor's nurse. (My nurse? I dunno, people call her the nurse. She doesn't do scheduling.) She tells me the MRI was "negative".
"Negative for what?"
"Um... I guess the radiologists said it was normal?"
We chatted for a while longer. My doctor was going to visit with the radiologists and have them point out the areas that were not abnormal so he could see for himself.
Tuesday night at 7pm, I got a call from my actual doctor. He described what he thought looked like inflammation and wanted me back on prednisone. It's a synthetic stress hormone and the internet tells me I'm on the equivalent of 3x a stressful day - for 24 fans, I'm calling that 3 Jack Bauers of prednisone. He also sent me for some blood work this morning.
So, nothing particularly scary. Prednisone isn't one of my favorite things though and going back when my day-to-day general sense of well being has been dramatically improving feels repetitive (we did this at the beginning), useless (we did this already), and potentially more harm than good (in addition to the kinda crappy immediate side effects, there can be some other stuff). But, maybe it'll help this time and the doc and I are a team!
We're holding that pattern until I meet with a local, widely-loathed neurologist in 2 weeks. I've read that I need potassium, calcium, and vitamin D to help with my medication's side effects.
Cantaloupe and lattes. I got this.
I'm totally going to request my medical records from the hospital. I want those sweet sweet MRI pics.