So thankful for modern medicine. I feel 90% of my facial/blinking has returned to “normal”. I did want to share and a shift in a few things physically and emotionally after after a 10 day regiment using oral steroids(Prednisolone). All was well until 3 days after stopping taking them. If you are familiar with the comedy skit team, The Kids in The Hall, you will likely be familiar with one, Mr. Heavyfoot.
This is a great depiction of how both my arms and legs feel. The sensation is one of pumping iron to the point of feeling like my arms are going to burst but at the same time, weighing me down like sandbags.
Emotionally, I am so thankful to have my family around me. A few stresses left me finding it hard to focus and wanting to distance myself and regroup.
I have a new found respect for those that require steroid treatments such as those with Lupus, and other conditions. Big thanks again to good friends and family for sharing not only best wishes but especially their experiences with Bell’s palsy and Prednisolone.
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For those who know me, they have learned to wince when they sensed a bad pun or play on words. My intention is always to entertain and perhaps brighten ones day. A few days ago I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy which I had never heard of and is pretty much as I understand a temporary condition (4-6 weeks). For more information Click Here
From Web MD:”Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop camera.The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.”
Bell’s palsy is NOT the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.”
Although I initially felt numbness on my face, I thought it was from our recent trip to the water park where the side of my face was being pummeled by high velocity highly chlorinated water and was simply a reaction to the chemicals.
It was when I was eating the next day that my lips felt swollen and numb, and I kept dribbling liquid out of the left side(right side below) of my mouth when drinking.
As you can imagine, I thought I’d had a stroke. This is when the “me caveman!””me strong” mentality set in. My Dr. confirmed the Bells palsy with a few physical tests to rule out a stroke. Obviously I was relieved am optimistic of a full recovery. With my blogs intention of “breaking chains” I felt it important to share the reality of how men tend to “live in denial” when it comes to their health but unfortunately too many”die in denial” thinking things will just go away. Good advice from my older brother Danny years ago. “Take care of yourself so you can care for those you love.”
On a lighter note, the pun side of my grey matter can’t help but with literally a “stiff upper lip”, appreciate a new found ability to do a impersonation E.G. Robinsons ” Little Caesar“. Edward G Robinson of Ya see,it’s curtains for you! Curtains, ya hear me!”
To Little Caesar, Curtains for me? not quite yet, not yet!
Take care of yourselves.
Blinking: it was like my eye had memory loss, forgetting to do what you take for granted (wipe clean lubricate/protect the eye). Intitially I set an hourly timer, and used artificial tears. I wore and eye patch at night to keep the old guy from drying out. After a few days I used Mineral oil eye ointment which although at times clouded vision a little, lasted longer and was more comfortable.
You take your smile for granted and it was an emotional challenge getting in public, talking to people and noticing that the content of the conversation was secondary to the look you received as they noticed half your face wasn’t moving.
Thanks to the support of my family and friends. The daily “How’s your face” inquiry from my life partner kept it light, to the wonderful Guardian Angel out there sharing of personal experiences with Bell’s palsy helped me keep my spirits up! I am honored to have you in my life.
I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie.
The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago.
Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”.
I blurted out, “15 years old sir”.
All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall.
The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows.
I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager.
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him?
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key?
What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing!
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.
There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail.
Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you.
Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.
“Forgive others and you will be forgiven” ,”Forgive and forget”.
In Luke 23:34 Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
All familiar phrases. We love to provide this advice to others.
Others that we might not have any idea what they have experienced.
Then, as he only can, C.S. Lewis hits you between the eyes with, “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea… Until he has something to forgive.”
Recently myself and loved ones experienced deep emotional wounds caused by those who we had thought to be trustworthy friends, almost like family. As merciful time has provided some healing of these wounds, a mental inventory tends to naturally take place and much like hitting the refresh button for a website, an evaluation takes place on the status of personal relationships. Personally as I described in an earlier post, “Human Nature”, A simple approach to the worthiness of a personal relationship can be evaluated by what others do while you are at your most vulnerable.if they cut your jugular, this is a reflection of their character and more importantly, NOT YOURS. At that point it’s not about forgiveness, all that matters is having enough self respect to sever ties to that person. Although it may sound harsh, to engage with them is to engage with a fool or a drunkard.
With a seemingly endless supply of pompous self righteous memes at our fingertips, within 3 taps on our smartphones another passive aggressive zinger/ “gotcha” post is on its way. It is so gratifying isn’t it? At least for the moment. I once had two older colleagues that had never met face to face but being in the same industry had nonetheless clashed while pursuing the same business. I knew for a fact, neither were on social media(i.e. FB) With me in the middle, I would hear each of them talk trash about the others shortcomings. By chance I was to meet with each of them at the same venue. What a surreal moment as I introduced them to each other. There was an awkward silence, eyes met and they shook hands. They exchanged niceties and even managed to smile. I realized then that It is so easy to throw a grenade at someone not knowing the extent of the damage it might do. But as these older gentlemen showed, it is much more difficult to take a shot at another within point blank range when no doubt you could have blood on your hands. Point being this type of behavior is nothing new. Much like missile carrying drones.,social media just makes destroying and attacking others easier and more precise. Recently it has been a struggle for me as I felt wronged by many I thought to be friends. My only real path to finding peace was to ACCEPT the “status” of my relationship with each of them. In that acceptance I had to take ownership of whether I might be tempted to lob “grenades” their way. If that temptation was there, I unfriended them. Against conventional wisdom, I choose to keep my friends close and my enemies, a little farther away. Peace to you all.
Being hurt or angry doesn’t mean you are bitter as bitterness requires you to hate. To those that hate, look inward as the bitterness you sense in others might simply be the stench of your own caustic guilt.Expressing your anger with another just means that you’re healthy and confident enough to communicate that another’s will is not welcome in your personal universe.
A reassuring thought to those with a weary heart is that peace CAN be given even when trust and respect have yet to be earned. Peace.
In honor of my Stepdad Tony’s birthday in heaven, I wanted to share one of my favorite stories is about him. When I was about 10 years old, it was a beautiful spring day, in Lynden, WA. The sun was shining with a soft breeze. Tony and I had been planting trees(more like sticks we had ordered from the back cover page of The Family Weekly magazine) and we took a break. We sat on the soft pine needled ground under the shade of a big tree. Cars zipped by on Northwood Road. We were enjoying a Shasta soda talking about how nice the weather was.
Suddenly I felt something biting me on the legs, I jumped up, started dancing around, brushing away the ants that had crawled up my pant leg. Tony and I both burst out in laughter in response to my unscheduled ants in the pants routine. You always knew when Tony was busting a gut laughing as he sounded like Frank Burns of the TV series M*A*S*H. As I sat back down, Tony was still chuckling as he took a drink of his pop, “Oh Ray, I’m sorry haha but man that was funny”…suddenly his face had a startled look, he started spitting out soda as he scrambled to remove the ant that was now biting his lip.(apparently one had crawled on his can)
I cherished the times we would work on thing’s together, I learned by doing with Tony. Including learning how to laugh at yourself. RIP Tone, Love Ya Man and Happy Birthday.