Monday, September 03, 2012

i woke up but my right face didn't

Electromyography (EMG)
it pays to be vain. at least that's what my neurologist told me when i was admitted to the Makati Medical Center last week. had i not been vain, i wouldn't have noticed the symptoms right away.

i've been experiencing consistent pain at the back of my right ear since i got back so i went for a neuro consult last week. at first i thought it was just a simple jetlag so i didn't give it much thought until tuesday (aug. 21) when i noticed that my right eye wasn't blinking as fast as my left. being used to allergies, i thought it was just a simple attack so i took some antihistamine.

on wednesday (aug. 22) it got worse. my right eye was watery and i couldn't pucker my lips nor make bubble faces. when i looked at the mirror, i knew something was wrong. my right face wasn't reacting the same way as my left. i googled all my symptoms and looked for a good neuro so i could schedule a consult.

thursday afternoon, i went to Makati Med and was admitted right away. what i thought was jetlag turned out to be an early symptom of Bells Palsy  - "a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side" .

at the ER, the attending physician told me it was good that i went to the doctor right away. usual prognosis takes about a month or two while some percentage never recover. mine took a week. i was given antibacterial and steroids and physical therapy sessions which include electric stimulation and heat therapy as well as facial massages and exercise.

by the time i got out of the hospital last monday (aug. 27), my face was almost back to normal.

i'm still taking some meds and i still need to have physical therapy at least once a week but all is good.

so there, that's how my first month in Manila was spent. i say that's one helluva homecoming.

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