I began to have severe pain behind my ear, which became worse the next day and day after. The following day, I awoke with no taste in my mouth or on my tongue; by 2 p.m. that afternoon I couldn't shut my right eye and by 5 p.m. I couldn't control the right side of my mouth. Not certain what was happening, my wife and I left the house and headed for St. Luke's ER.
From the moment I arrived, the calm, clear focus of each staff member made me feel that I was in good hands. The concern was that I might be having a stroke and not a second was wasted in getting me checked in and to a room with the proper work being done for the doctor to see me. I must admit, it was a little scary, but it was also comforting to see things moving so fast and so smoothly. The doctor arrived and the inflammation behind my right ear, just under the base of the skull was pressing on my facial nerve and trigeminal nerve. This resulted in the sharp pain from behind my ear out into my face and I was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy.
I left the hospital and headed home to begin dealing with the recovery. However, in this experience, I learned something else. If I should have a stroke or know someone having one, it is St. Luke's ED that I wish to go to and I will make that recommendation to others as well. You are truly a place of caring and professionalism. Thank you for all you do to help others and for being there when the true challenges of life arise.