Thursday, February 15, 2018

Falling Apart

Do you ever feel like you have one foot in the grave?

I swear I've been eating so healthy for three weeks and I don't feel like there is any difference. My conclusion is that there is no way to lose weight after the age of forty. I guess I'll keep shaving off the calories and try to exercise more. Helps when you are not on call, which I am half of this month. I do think my body composition is changing some, and I feel good eating mostly fruits and veggies and nuts.

Last week half of my mouth went numb and I couldn't chew without extreme pain in my jaw. I self diagnosed TMJ syndrome, which my mom has, with consequent nerve damage that will hopefully get better. Web MD suggested not clenching teeth ever and stop chewing gum, which I did, but the numbness remained. I thought I was hiding it pretty well, although it still feels very weird to talk, but during a board meeting yesterday afternoon Dr. Music loudly declared, "What's wrong with your FACE? Did you go to the dentist?" and I turned to chief, who I had consulted last week but he said whatever I was feeling my face looked perfectly normal, and said, "See? I told you something was wrong. The chewing pain is gone but the nerve damage is still here. I can't feel half of my mouth." Then everyone spent the next 15 minutes dissecting my face. Their conclusion: my left eyebrow was lower than my right when resting, and maybe I had Bell's Palsy. This morning I was stopped in the hall and by Dr. Music and Chief and they thought my eye socket was now droopy. I laughed out loud. "I think it's a little better today."

But I'm faking it. It's scary. Paralyzed face can mean stroke and we all know my blood pressure is wonky. I called my bff doc who I remembered had Bell's Palsy once and she made me answer a few questions looking in the mirror about facial symmetry and concluded, "Well, it could be TMJ with nerve damage like you said. Or it could be Bell's Palsy. Either way, it started last week. So using steroids and antivirals is not helpful after 72 hours, according to the literature, if it is BP. I wouldn't do anything unless it gets worse. I don't think it's a stroke, but you can check your blood pressure a little more regularly if you want to. You should experience full recovery in the next few weeks or months."

If I smile my face looks normal. So I'm smiling a lot more than usual. I just beamed at everyone in the radiology suite for like 5 minutes while reading a smear on a lung mass. It's funny how people open up to you and talk more if you smile. Except if I overdo it I might start making everyone feel uncomfortable. There's a fine line between happy welcoming smile and psycho smile. Alcohol helps too. I wonder if that's a good enough excuse to drink at work. Probably not.

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