No, you really should go to the Hospital!
Have you ever gone to work and found yourself struck with wonder at how some people can go to work when they obviously should have gone straight to the hospital that morning instead of showing up for their Job? I am officially one of those people. You see, the benefit of being pour, out of money, and not able to pay your bills, is that you can not afford to miss a day of work when you have already used up your sick days.
How did I use up my sick days? I’m a crisis counselor for Public Schools in Riverside County. I will have been in this job for two years in February. When I first started this job my supervisor pulled me aside, and recommended that no mater what I sign up for one of the company health care plans. People who enter the world of education are surrounded by children who’s parents have taught them to share; that includes the diseases they contract. It will take, on average, two years for a teacher to build up their immune system to tolerate such an environment with out getting sick at the drop of a hat.
So, despite the fact that I am sick, I had to go to work in order to get the money I need to pay the rent (bills will have to work themselves out latter). I felt a weird tingle on the right side of my jaw as I drove into work. No big deal, I’m also in need of some dental work, I figured it was just another side effect of my bad teeth. Then my lips went numb on the right side of my mouth. Them my right eye stopped blinking unless I focused on it. By the time I finished me 45 minuet commute to work (got to love living in So. Cal), I was a little worried. After all, these are some of the signs of having a stroke. So I felt my pulse, it was fine. I felt for any tingle in my arm, none. And I focused on sensing any pain in my body, and found only a slight burning sensation behind my Jaw and under my ear.
“That explains it,” I say my self. “I pinched a nerve and now my face is on strike.” So I walk into work like nothing is wrong. After all, I couldn’t see what I looked like, and I felt fine. Well, I felt really annoyed that my face was acting kind of weird, but I thought that’s just part of getting old. Never mind that I’m only 27, I feel like I’m getting older and older as the days go by.
I went into my boss’s office to talk about an issue with one of my sites, and when she finally looked up at me (she’s nice but very busy at times) she looked like she has just seen a ghost. When I asked her that was wrong I realized that what I said was not, “What’s Wrong,” but actually, “Bhat’s Brong?” She told me to go to the bathroom and look at my face. So I did. Wow, it was weird. My eye was big. Not Dialated like I was high or anything, but the eye muscles did not keep it closed at all. My other eye (the good one) looked like I was tired so the two together did not look right at all. And as I opened my mouth, the entire right side was crocked. “My God,” I thought. “I look like my great grandfather after he has his stroke.”
So I went back to my boss and said, “Isn’t bhat weirb.” She told me I need to go to the hospital. I told her that I couldn’t because I had no sick time to cover the time I would miss. She looked it up and found I was right. “So what are you going to do,” she asked. I told her I was not in any pain, and that I felt fine. I would go to my site like normal for the day, and promised to go to the Urgent Care when I got home.
So I when to my school site, where no less that 3 people told me that I really need to go to the doctor because my face looked like I was having a stroke. I told them that I was fine, and would be going to the doctor that night. Some of my kids pointed and laughed at my funny face, and it really was a great chance to kind of make their day brighter at my expense.
So Why did I not freak out? Simple, this has happened to my Mother-In-Law a times. The doctor told her that it looks like a stroke, but is not. Simple medication can take care of it, but it takes a few weeks to get you back to normal. I thought that it was the same thing. It should not be an issue, I thought. I would just go to the doctor and get some good drugs and be ok. I would go right after work.
So I went to the doctor, she told me I have Bell’s Palsy. She said that there is no know cause for the condition, but that some how one of my facial nerves (there are two that control each side of your face) is inflamed and that makes the muscles that it controls do nothing. I feel no pain, I just have no control. I get to stay in the office at work, instead of going to my sites, and I get to catch up on all the paperwork that I’ve been falling behind on.
When I came into work today, I apparently look worse than I did yesterday. My Boss said that she was certain I was having a stroke, and I had to hand her the doctors note that said I was not before she would believe me. Go figure! At least I got a great perk out of it. My boss said to go home at 1:00 and count it as an 8 hour day.