A Decidedly Scottish Disorder

Posted: 02/20/2011 in daily life
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve written and re-written this post a zillion times and then it struck me that it should be more about recovery than discovery. So here I go (again) – a few days ago Alex developed Bell’s Palsy. I know what the fuck is Bell’s Palsy and why does it sound so Scottish? Bell’s presents as paralysis of one side of the face. It is commonly mistaken as a stroke, and diagnosed through the lack of other symptoms.  It comes on suddenly, and without warning. That really is the frightening bit but it clears up over time (generally weeks or months).

If it had happened to me I am not sure if I would have carried on as calmly as Alex. Alex being Alex reasoned that since he didn’t have any other (stroke-like) symptoms that it probably wasn’t a stroke. So he of course finished off the rest of the day without mentioning it to anyone because you don’t need to be able to move both eyebrows to program just one will suffice. He did however call me to so I could set up a doctor’s appointment for the next day because not being able to move the right side of your face isn’t normal.

Before the appointment I emailed one of my friends that trained as a nurse not so much to fish for a diagnosis but to get a feel for the types of questions that Alex should ask. My real fear was that the doctor was going to dismiss the symptoms but the fabulous Nurse Debbie came back straightaway to tell me that she thought it sounded like Bell’s Palsy. My gods Nurse Debbie is better than WebMD (which hadn’t yielded anything useful), and the symptoms were a match (even the photo on the wiki page kinda looks like Alex). Much relief all around but when I told Alex and he was all “Bell’s what?”, and all I kept thinking was that it sounds like he’s got something from Edinburgh. Something classy. Something Scottish. How bad can that be? (Bell’s Palsy is named after Charles Bell the 18th century neurologist who connected the disorder to the facial nerve. You see prior to Scotland many being known for deep-fried Mars Bars we use to be known for our doctors, scientists and philosophers. Hello, Enlightenment.)

The doctor came to the same conclusion as Nurse Debbie and has put Alex on a course of steroids, physical therapy and he needs an MRI (just to be be sure). Alex is taking this bump in the road like a champ. It’s not great but it definitely not the worse thing that could have happened. I’m channeling my inner Jewish mother and trying to cook food that is interesting, and easy to eat. He might have a Scottish disorder but I don’t think he wants to live on porridge.

  1. BookishlyFab says:

    I’m glad it is something that will clear up! I can imagine how scary that would be.

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