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“More CowBell”(‘s) Palsy “Mr. Heavyfoot”¬†

3 week update . “Mr. Heavyfoot”

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

Mr. Heavyfoot from “The Kids in the Hall “

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. 

Peace. 

Original post  start here 

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.

Whoa oh, I’m half way there!
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.

Peace

Updated 7/3/2017
Update: 

Physically

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. 

Emotionally 

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. 

Peace. 

Lobbing Social Grenades

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. 

Amatuer Philosophy 

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.

Trust and Root Beer

In honor of the anniversary of what would be my Dad Gerald’s 75th birthday, I would like to share a lesson learned so long ago. I was in 3rd grade, living on 5th Ave. in Kitchener, Ontario. Conditions were as close to a domestic lifestyle as one could imagine given the obstacles my Dad had overcome. His domestic partner, Patricia Fragomeni was a raven haired kind lady and the closest stable Mother figure we had known of late. At school one day I was invited by a friend of mine Ralph to go out and eat dinner that evening. When I arrived home, Pat was cooking at the stove. I let Pat know about Ralph’s invite. She thanked me for letting her know and asked me not to be home too late. 

I arrived at Ralph’s house full of enthusiasm.In hindsight it was a bit odd that Ralph’s mom was preparing dinner. As Ralph grabbed his coat, I verified with him that we were going out to eat. With a quick hush from Ralph, he simply herded me out the door. Ralph assured me we were going out to eat. Soon we arrived at the local A&W drive-in. Ralph ordered two chicken in a box dinners to go and off we went. We chowed down in a nearby thicket, I thanked my friend as we each headed home. 

I had only been home about an hour, sitting in my room when I heard my Dad call me to the front room. There standing in the doorway was Friend Ralph and his parents. I greeted them but the look on their faces told me this wasn’t a warm and fuzzy social visit. I was especially concerned with my Dads serious facial expression. Straight to the point Dad asked if I had taken 20 bucks out of Ralph’s moms purse. I was stunned and my 8 year old mind went numb. I pleaded that I knew nothing about it. All the Adults expressions shifted from serious to that of disbelief while Ralph avoided direct eye contact with me. The last thing I would ever do was to intentionally embarrass my Father much less do it by lying. As my denial continued, my accusers persisted. Could this actually be happening? My hero, my Dad, standing before me as I was being totally forthcoming , not believe me? 

I was in a fog. I saw Dad slip Ralph’s parents 10$ and close the door behind them. As the door latched, I stood there on edge not knowing my fate. Even at 8 years old, I couldn’t remember a time where my Dad hadn’t treated me a person, talking to me as such, with respect as well as expecting the same in return. “Raymond, I will ask you one last time, did you take that money?” I explained the dinner invite etc.. He said he believed me and said I could go back to my room. The evening went on and the incident was never mentioned again. To this day I am thankful for the lesson learned that day. As I strive to break chains that bound my father and presented obstacles in my life’s journey, I can only pray that I maintain the anchoring chain of empathy, trust and respect demonstrated so many years ago. I love you Dad and Happy Birthday in Heaven. Amen