A year has gone by since my oldest son was diagnosed with epilepsy. We were sitting around having dinner and noticed that my middle child, who was three, had some drooping on the side of his face. At first we thought he was just making a funny face, and then we noticed that it was not getting better. He has pudgy cheeks so when it looked droopy it was definitely noticeable, he looked like a stroke patient. We called the pediatrician and told him what his face looked like and was told to go directly to the emergency room, the doctor was calling ahead so we would get right in.
We have a great Children’s hospital in Dallas but honestly it was always a little too crazy to go and wait. We had taken our nephew by ambulance there before when he broke his arm and needed surgery and they had him waiting in a hall on a stretcher for 8 hours, so taking my son there when he looked like he had a stroke was not going to happen. We headed to the second Children’s hospital which was a little further but it was where my oldest son goes for epilepsy monitoring so we trusted them.
We walked went to the triage nurse and explained that his face was droopy like he was having a stroke and they thought we were crazy, I mean three year olds don’t usually have strokes. The nurse had me bring him to her to see what we meant; as soon as she saw him we were right back in a trauma room. There were physicians assistants in there even before we got him settled in the room. The room quickly filled with doctors and nurses and it was very scary for me and I cannot even imagine how scary it was for him.
They ran a neurological exam, took labs and called a neurologist in to examine him. They admitted him for observation and testing. They decided that he did not have a stroke they thought it was something called Bell’s Palsy which causes face drooping and usually returns to normal within a few days. Because he has a sibling with epilepsy they decide to have him tested. Can this really be happening? The neurologist said that it is unlikely to be genetic but if it’s not epilepsy what else could it be?