A rum old end to 2016

Work was just winding down for Christmas 2016 and then my life was turned upside down…
Merry ChristmasI woke up on Sunday 18th December and immediately knew something was wrong. I could not feel the left side of my face, I could not move my left eyelid or that side of my mouth. I rushed downstairs and told my better half. My speech was slurred, fearing that it was something like a stroke I ‘Googled‘ it as you do. This sort of reassured me that I was not having a stroke due to the F.A.S.T rules. Still concerned I rang 111 and spoke to the adviser who talked me through various symptoms. Then she told me that she was going to send a paramedic round to check me out! I was taken aback by this and asked if that was really necessary, she said yes and to expect the paramedic within minutes…
Nine minutes later ‘Jason’ my paramedic arrived and was hooking me up to machines and checking me over. He spent a long time asking me questions and filling in paperwork. He mentioned that he had missed his 8 minute arrival target by 1 minute, I was just glad he got here from a town to my village which I would say it would take me around 20 to 30 minutes to drive. Yes he said “blues & twos” help. A ParamedicHe assured me that it was not a stroke, but Bell’s Palsy, something that I did find via my ‘Google’ search. He arranged an out of hours appointment at my local Hospital, which I attended later that day and it was confirmed that it was indeed Bell’s Palsy. It it not known how or why Bell’s Palsy occurs and only time can heal, but I was put on a high dose of steroids to aid recovery.
So here I am, to date 1st Feb 2017, six weeks and three days later and I still have Bell’s Palsy.
My eye still can’t blink/close my eye and have to use gel to keep the eye lubricated. I still can’t feel the left hand side of my face, I have no movement of my mouth on that side, so I have to eat on my right hand side to keep the food from getting trapped on the left. I have to drink through a straw to avoid dribbling, which was quite novel to start with, everything through a straw over Christmas…. beer, tea, coffee, spirits, and that old saying that you will get drunk quicker if you drink beer through a straw certainly didn’t work for me…
It can be very painful on the affected side, with shooting pains running through the ear. I cannot bear any air/wind on my open eye and can’t really focus at the moment so that rules out working as my job has lots of dirt, dust, debris and could damage my open eye. Luckily in my job it does go quiet over Christmas/New Year so I have not had to turn much work away… yet!
Bored, Bored Bored...The prognosis for recovery time varies from Dr to Dr, but is speeded up by the steroids. I have been told that I should start to see some improvement after 6 weeks, that’s now. But also told that it could take 3 to 9 months for me to get fully better. I hope it takes 3 months as to say it is painful is an understatement and I am VERY bored at the moment and being self employed I get no sick pay….
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