Bells Palsy at the Fort

We had a scary incident last night at the Fort. One that caused us to drive all the way to the emergency room on some of the iciest roads that we have seen this winter.

Our son, Tyler (17) had been sick for the past week and a half with a really nasty bout of the flu. He was bed ridden for 5 days and threw up close to 40 times. Wanting to stick it out he refused to go to the doctor and we made sure all the home remedies were in place: plenty of fluids, small meals and plenty of rest.

Super Bowl Sunday Tyler was feeling well enough to to participate in the stampede sled dog event at the Willow Winter Carnival and headed off to school Monday morning. Not feeling 100% but he said, “Mom, I have to get back to school. I have missed too much.”

Monday and Tuesday he participated in basketball practice and then things took a turn for the worse. He noticed that he couldn’t quite move the right side of his mouth and he was having trouble blinking. In short, the right side of his face was droopy.

On Wednesday, Tyler went to the school nurse and she mentioned it looked like Bell’s Palsy. That sent all of the alarms ringing!

Michele and I were in Anchorage meeting a new service dog client when I asked him to send me a picture on mu iPhone with him smiling at me. It was very noticeable at that point and we decided that we needed to get him to the hospital.

We arrived home at 9:30 and headed the 30 miles back to Palmer to the closest emergency room. It was a slow night so we were seen within just a few minutes. As soon as Dr. Check came in he said what we thought he would; Bell’s Palsy.

Bell’s and also known as facial palsy, Bell’s palsy is the sudden weakness of one side of the face. It is often temporary and is attributed to the inflammation of the facial nerve that controls the muscles on the weakened side of the face.

While not life threatening it is a serious condition. The doctor said Tyler is about a five on the one to ten scale and with proper intervention the prognosis is good for a full recovery. There is an outside chance that some of the weakness will remain.

The doctor didn’t seem to overly concerned and wrote a few prescriptions and began to do his job as a public health professional. He told us that while they don’t know for sure what causes Bell’s Palsy it is most likely a form of the Herpes Simplex virus that attacks a weakened immune system. It was probably brought on by someone that carried it into the school and passed it along with a simple cough or too much touching.

Best course to prevent this, as well as 99% of common illnesses, wash your hands religiously and stay away from people that are ill–the doc said.

We headed to Walgreens and filled Tyler’s prescriptions and saved a ton of money by using our little used prescription program. I think we got most of the medicines at 60% of the normal price.

You know me, I have to add my two cents here. First. We are self-employed and we do not have health insurance (can someone tell P-BO I need some of that Obama-care!). I have a real problem with people going to the emergency room for primary care and we would not have gone unless it was a perceived emergency. This trip cost us well over 700 bucks and we will be happy to pay knowing we did what was best for Tyler.

Second. Not only do I hate the hospital, but you will be lucky to see me take an aspirin. Tyler is the same way. We would rather sweat it out than get poked and prodded by someone in a white coat. That’s just how we roll.

I know what some of you are saying: how could he not take his son to the hospital when he was sick for 10 days? How could he be such a bad parent?!

Hardly the case. How many times have you, rabid reader, rushed to the E.R. when you had a bout with the flu? It’s not 1918 and very few otherwise healthy people, especially teenagers, require medical intervention.

But the real issue here is today’s youth. For some odd reason everyone born post 1991 thinks it okay to hug, hang on, and otherwise molest, everyone they come in contact with. I once witnessed my daughter, Nicole being hugged more than a dozen times by a group of friends as she walked across the auditorium at her middle school. In short they touch each other WAY too much.

True it’s not 1950’s Leave it to Beaver where a guy and a girl have to be chaperoned to the local soda fountain. But still, what is up with all the groping? I just don’t understand it. My little girlfriends in school were lucky to get a little note, fancy folded and all, much less hand-holding in the hall.

I don’t know about you, but to me, enough is enough. Maybe then we wouldn’t have all these creepy crawly germies floating around. This isn’t the free lovin’ 70s. Kids, you should spend more time on Facebook for cryin’ out loud! 

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