zotmeister: an 8-bit yellow pig with flight goggles on his forehead and a red scarf, striking a heroic pose (Default)
zotmeister ([personal profile] zotmeister) wrote2010-10-03 08:42 pm
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Alright, you're all getting a bitching session life update, if for no other reason than advance warning if you'll have to deal with me in person soon. If I'm not terribly talkative - or just generally not my usual denying cheerful self - for a few weeks, you can assume it's because I only have half a face.

They call it Bell's palsy. Basically, the muscles on the right side of my head just aren't working, their common nerve non-functional. The three areas primarily affected by it are:

1) My forehead - I can't raise that eyebrow. I know, whoopdee-shit, but wait, it gets better worse.

2) My eye - I can't shut it all the way. That's worse than one can realize. As I've come to learn, it dries out in short order unless I use eyedrops or remember to "blink" it manually. At night, I will need to literally tape my eye shut and wear a patch, lest it become damaged permanently.

3) My mouth - I can't operate that half of my lips. I have quickly come to realize just how much is done with the lips instinctually; apart from the obvious inability to smile, it turns out that quite a lot of the processes of eating and drinking use the lips in ways difficult to describe or even notice until they stop working. Even with a straw, I'm likely to dribble if I don't use my tongue to stop it up after sipping.

So how did this happen? Well, they don't know for certain yet, but they have an educated guess - shingles. About three days ago, I got the sensation something was in my right ear, as if I'd been in a sealed car too long and needed to swallow to clear it, only it wasn't clearing. Looking inside the ear didn't find anything, nor did a cotton swab. The day before yesterday, the skin around the ear began to occasionally tingle, or even sting. Yesterday, the ear turned red and hard. The plan to make a doctor's appointment first thing Monday was rapidly scrapped in favor of a trip to the emergency room when I woke up this morning to find half my face didn't work. I literally woke up with the paralysis, with no sign of it when I'd turned in. The ear was (and still is) very swollen and appears to have blisters. Apparently that aforementioned nerve is, like, right there.

My hearing has also started being affected, with certain sounds coming through as strangely tinny. I asked my mother to confirm that I'm really 34, not 84.

They have me on a steroid to get the swelling down and an antiviral to get the ear infection to back off. There's also a blood test in the works to see if I have Lyme disease. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes, but right now it's still very much "IT'S IN MY EAR AND I WANT IT OUT". - ZM

[identity profile] seraphwings.livejournal.com 2010-10-04 12:48 am (UTC)(link)
Shingles is a terrible thing to happen upon. I'm guessing you've had Chicken Pox, then?

[identity profile] avenger314.livejournal.com 2010-10-04 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
I'm terribly sorry, Adam. I hope you recover quickly.

(Anonymous) 2010-10-04 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)

Zot I'm sorry to hear this, I hope that your face resumes to normal quickly!

This stuff is scary but I read this on wikipedia:

"Even without any treatment, Bell's palsy tends to carry a good prognosis. In a 1982 study, when no treatment was available, of 1,011 patients, 85% showed first signs of recovery within 3 weeks after onset. For the other 15%, recovery occurred 3–6 months later."

Trying to figure out what recovery times are if it turns out to be Lyme's disease is much harder, but in the end it looks quite recoverable as well, but close to the 3-6 months rather than 3 weeks.

I hope you have a quick and speedy recovery and tomorrow you wake up with blinkable eyes and a smileable face! Take good care of your eye and face while they refuse to move and keep a good humor (the aqueous humor in your eye paralyzed, so you'll have to source your humor elsewhere... (bad pun bad pun)).

--stanza, who hasn't logged in since I can remember

Lyme Disease test

[identity profile] anita1228.livejournal.com 2010-10-06 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
Be warned, the Lyme titer is not reliable...I would suggest getting a Western Blot. Also, steroids are not good with Lyme Disease....it makes it worse, we found that out the hard way. My husband was given steroids in the hospital before the doctors ever tested for any bacterial infections. Several months later, we went out of state and had him tested...it was definitly Lyme Disease. Granted, there are several other illnesses/disease that Lyme mimics...so be careful until you know for sure.

[identity profile] jezendar.livejournal.com 2010-10-11 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh! Just Ugh! This is definately worse than anything that I've had the misfortune to suffer from. I think about all I can really say is:
It's in your ear and I want it out, too.