Friday, April 29, 2011

Bell's Palsy / Watching Over Our Parents

About two weeks ago, I was home and my mom complained to me that her face was a little distorted and that she was having trouble swallowing food and spitting things out of mouth.   Upon taking a look at her, my mom's face was indeed a little "distorted".  But beyond those symptoms, she seemed to be fine.  She was walking, talking and otherwise moving around without any problems.   Alas, she had told me relatively late in the day so it was too late to call the doctor to schedule an appointment.   My mom didn't think it was serious so she initially wanted to just rest and let things heal on it's own.

On other hand, while she seemed OK, I insisted she call and schedule an appointment with her doctor the next day.  During the evening, I did some research online and discovered something called Bell's Palsy.  Bell's Palsy is inflammation of some facial nerves which cause partial paralysis on one side of the face.  That is why my mom's face looked a little distorted because the facial muscles were locked into place.  There is no direct correlation with Bell's Palsy and getting a stroke.   The good news is that the majority of the paralysis eventually goes away over time though some medication is involved.  

At the doctor's office the next day, it was confirmed that my mom had gotten Bell's Palsy (which could occur for many reasons) and not a stroke.  In thinking about things, it was silly to not have my mom checked up earlier though.  

Unfortunately, as all our parents age, we have to keep an eye on them for sometimes they don't know what is going on.  While my mom seems OK now, I am keeping a close eye on her just in case.  It's good that I am unemployed and have time to be at home.  

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