Several years ago, I came down with a case of Bells Palsy. For those of you not in the know, the symptoms of Bell’s Palsy mimicking those of a stroke. It becomes difficult to move your tongue from side to side, your cheek seems frozen to one side, your lips don’t seem to work correctly, and your speech becomes slurred.
In most cases, it occurs from narrowing a nerve channel to the left side of one’s skull.
As far as I know, the symptoms are temporary, and mine was treated with medication for about two weeks and disappeared, although I did bite my tongue several times during healing.
What was unusual in my case was the illness first surfaced the day after a golf tournament in over 100-degree weather where there was a shortage of water, and the playing was languid. It was highly uncomfortable. At first, I thought I had a sun or heat stroke, so I decided to seek medical assistance.
I called my physician and described my symptoms, and he asked me to come by his office immediately. I arrived within ten minutes, and he immediately called me in for examination. After a few minutes of the exam and discussion, I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsey and not a stroke; however, he wanted me to visit another doctor for a second opinion.
The nurse quickly sent me to a second doctor, who told me I had experienced a stroke, and my first doctor had misdiagnosed my malady. This was very disturbing news.
The response from the second doctor was upsetting to the first doctor, who, without hesitation, wrote an order for me to have an MRI at the local hospital to prove his point.
The following day, I showed up at the radiation department at the Hilton Head Hospital. When I entered the radiation area, I was greeted by the registration nurse, who I had known socially for years.
Peggy was always a good sport socially, and over cocktails, she was always upbeat and very much a real jokester. She asked me what was wrong with me, and I answered, “I have Bell’s Palsy, and I’m here for an MRI. She repeated, you have Balls Palsy? I said no, I have Bells Palsy. Then it dawned on me that due to the slurring of my speech, what I said might have sounded like Ball’s Palsy instead of Bell’s Palsy. I didn’t let it slide and repeated myself Bells, and Peggy repeated Balls with a twinkle in her eye and a slight smirk on her face. She told me to sit tight, and she would be back to get me in a few minutes.
After a few minutes, Peggy appeared at the door and shouted out, “Mr. Balls Palsy” I looked up, and I knew just what she was doing. Then she blurted out, “MR NUMB NUTS, you can come with me now.” The spell was broken, and we both became hysterical, and so did everyone else in the waiting room..”