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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: reoccurng bells palsy every 3-4 months.


 TATY18 - Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:53 am

I am 27 years old, and have had Bell's Palsy 5 times this year. it all started 2 weeks postpartum. when i woke up one morning & my left side of the face was all nimb, no eye movement, & mouth was not symmetrical. i went to the ER scared i had suffered a stroke asleep or something which is where i was told i had bells palsy. i was given prednisone 20 mg & told i would most probably fully recover. i did in about 2-3 weeks. during this time we (my husband & i ) started to notice my new born's mouth was also not symmetrical & i took her to be seen by pediatrician as well as neurologists & cardiologist. i was told she had a heart murmur & that she seemed to have palsy as well but would fully recover o her own, today she is 14 month's & currently attending speech therapy, eating therapy & physical therapy. her mouth is still not symmetrical. but noone can tell me why or what is going on i keep trying all medical advise hoping to get the right one that will explain this phenomenon. back to me, since the first episode i have had 4 more episodes of bell's palsy, without the mouth being un symmetrial but the numbness returnes, pain in the left side as well as joint pain on my left thigh & knee only when i have had the episode, then with the course of the medication (prednisone) it goes away & so does the all the pain, then 3-4 months later it returns. i have seen a neurologist who simply told me this is unexplainable, maybe stress would be the cause. i don't believe it could be, as the episodes also occur when i am not stressed about anything. i do have lack of sleep with my daughter that doesn't sleep a full night, 7 wakes me up 3 times during the night either or a feeding or just to cry. i need to hear maybe something new maybe a new study has come out about this, i don't know as well as all the Dr's we have seen if my daughter's palsy & my reoccuring episodes are related?? Yesterday i woke up with my face numb again, eye in pain with numbness & droopy, my mouth had some unsymmetrical feature & pain all on my left side again. i have had so many prescriptions for the prednisone & now no medical insurance to go back to the Er that i was able to obtain it on my own. this morning my eye is still a little droopy but 80% better still have the left side pain in my shoulder area & thigh & knee. even though it is a little better than yesterday. I have done lab work & have been ruled out herpes simplex, auto immune disorder, & HIV. i can't take this anymore, this is awful, & with my medical bills through the roof i can not afford to go visit the ER again or see a neurologist never the less my internal medicine Dr. they always prescribe the same thing with no explanation. but i am desperate to find an answer & explanation for what to me is a phenomenon, how does my 14 month old daughter have bell's palsy on her left side like me, and me have so many reoccuring episodes & it not be related? & what could be the cause of this? by the way my baby was born with the bell's palsy as i had my 1st episode 2 wks postpartum, also prior to yesterdays episode (TUESDAY) i started with a migraine on saturday night in which i had to apply a bag of ice to the back of my head towars behing my left ear, monday the eye started watering & tuesday i woke up with all the symptoms. lso i find it wierd that all episodes seem to occur while i'm menstruaing, could this also be a factor?? please help me! here is my e-mail incase it is easier TATTYY18@yahoo.com
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:58 am

User avatar Hello -

Recurrent Bell's Palsy is fairly unusual (4-14 per cent of all patients) and such frequent recurrences, as well as the transmission of the condition to your baby, suggest something specific to your experience has taken place. While it is unclear what causes Bell's Palsy, a viral inflammation of the facial nerve is usually suspected in the absence of some trauma to the nerve. In your case I strongly suspsect a different virus of variant virus has taken up residence and repeatedly attacking the facial nerve. This would most likely be a member of the herpetic family, which also causes shingles. You may, in fact, be experiencing a rare manifestation of shingles rather than typical Bell's Palsy, which could explain why your daughter contracted it during pregnancy or delivery. This is not the norm for Bell's Palsy, which is not considered contagious nor transmittable, but is very much the case with herpetic viruses. While a member of the herpes family may well be the most common cause of Bell's Palsy, no one has identified this culprit specifically. Usually the virus, if a virus is the cause, dies or goes dormant, and very few people have a recurrence, let alone such frequent recurrences as you've experienced.

I'd strongly suspect a coincidental, possible herpetic, involvement in this instance. This could also explain the sequelae of headache you're now experiencing.

The involvement of your menstrual cycle is of interest but the connection isn't clear to me. This problem will certainly warrant ongoing study and care. Best of luck to you. Please stay in touch with us. I hope this is helpful.
 TATY18 - Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:09 am

thank you Dr.

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