Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My! What a Sly Smile you Have

What do I have in common with George Clooney. Guess. Come on guess! Give up? Bell's Palsy, yaaaaaay!

Last week I began to notice the left side of my face was feeling a bit sore, but I put it down to grinding my teeth at night. When on Saturday I woke up and realised I couldn't close my left eye fully, I first thought my body had finally packed in and I'd had a stroke. "You must have sat in a draft" everyone assured me, "it'll get better. Put a hot compress on it."

By Monday my speech was starting to be effected so then began my epic adventure of three hospitals in two days, various tests and horrified looking doctors screaming "This is very serious! The effects may be permanent!" and other doctors saying "No big deal, it'll pass on its own in a couple of months."

A couple of months? Great! Perhaps the worst part was yesterday when I had to get an MRI scan. While we were waiting, I asked Mr Zeus if you can hear anything while you're in the machine since he's had one before. No, he declared. Nothing. He thought I meant if you hear a buzzing in your head. In grim reality, that machine makes a crap load of noise and I nearly wet myself each time it did.

"How long will this take?" I asked the doctor before he popped me in like a cheese pie in an oven. "Twenty minutes" he lied. More like 45 minutes and very unentertaining beeps, bangs and vibrations. I thought it felt like it was taking so long because I was having a bad time.

At one point they stopped to ask me how I was doing and I made the mistake of opening my eyes and seeing just how close to my face the machine was. I've never been claustrophobic, but being imobile like that under strict orders not to move a muscle and struggling to keep my left eye closed and thinking if it accidentally pops open the magnets will blind me or something... not the most fun to be having when I had taken the day off weeks ago planning a chillaxing session of shopping for myself.

Anyway it's over now, and my face is still lopsided. All I can do is wait it out. "Just tell people you botoxed one side of your face because you couldn't afford the whole face." a friend suggested helpfully. "If it doesn't go away, maybe when you're old you'll have a stroke on the other side and it'll even out" said Mr Zeus.

Hmmm. I'll keep those in mind.



jinjir minjir said...


toomanytribbles said...

i'm very sorry to hear this... but it does make for a very sexy smile.

and you've got good friends -- laughter's the best medicine.

Woody said...

Been through something similar which turned out to be a minor stroke caused by a congenital hole in the heart (patent foramen ovale). These are very common and normally asymptomatic but you need the MRI results QUICKLY. Live in UK but worked in Cyprus & Greece so know the healthcare systems there too.

Of course it might be something else entirely but you do need the scan results, so push them.

Hope all works out OK!

bollybutton said...

Woody I get the results in a little while. They only looked at my head though, so I don't know if any heart issues would show up. Dang! Wait and see I guess.

Anonymous said...

i heart you girl.

bollybutton said...

Ok update, the MRI showed nothing. I'm getting referred for some facial physiotherapy but that's it. Thanks for all the love!

Bridget said...

I've missed reading your updates! I'm very sorry for your diagnosis, but I'm glad that it was not a stroke.

Thank you the Mr. Zeus-isms. They brought a smile to my face in amongst some horrendous earthquake stress!

Take care and feel better soon!

Woody said...

Great to hear! Keep on smiling! :-)

Anonymous said...


Brionna said...

getting Bell's Palsy is scary until they figure out that it's actually Bell's. I thought I had had a stroke as well, when I started getting symptoms (especially as it followed a month after intensive tests for repeated and strong headaches).
I ended up buying an eye patch to sleep with, to make sure that eye closed. Don't know if they figured the cause for you or not, but mine was most likely due to a facial nerve infection gotten while sick with something else.
I hope it passes quickly for you!

Anonymous said...

hope you get better.. i myself (from hinterland and fanland) never really understand the fuss about sitting in a draft!

Grant Cassell said...

Hello, my name is Grant Cassell and I am trying to find some more information about Greek culture in general, and I was wondering if you could help. To get started, what is life in general like in Greece, on a day to day basis? If you have been outside of Greece, how is it different from other cultures?