After self-diagnosing my symptoms, I was reluctant to seek any medical care, mainly because there really is no successful treatment or cure for BP. Most people recover on their own in a few weeks to months.
However, because of my medical history I do think it is important to document any unusual symptoms or experiences, and BP is unusual, so I called my primary care provider, who is also a "HIV" specialist.
His office staff would not even make an appointment for me, telling me to go to an emergency room instead. Within 30 seconds the ER doc pronounced "Bell's Palsy". There was no need to further examination to rule out a stroke or TIA.
Because I had told him about the injury with the car door, he did order a cat scan of my head.
Prior to prescribing any treatment, the ER doctor called the doctor who refused to see me in the first place and based on that consultation, prescribed prednisone and informed me that he was certain that the Bell's Palsy was the result of my "HIV".
These are words I would never have heard if I were able to hide my HIV-status from health care providers. Once they know you are poz, they need not consider any other possible explanations for health problems.
The cause of Bell's palsy in most people is unknown. Recent scientific studies have called into question the prevailing belief that it is caused by a virus:
"The results cast doubt on previous hypotheses suggesting herpes simplex as the cause of Bell's palsy," Lockhart and colleagues said, suggesting that researchers should look elsewhere for the condition's cause. John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
That BP can be caused by physical trauma is not questioned. I don't know how a cat scan can rule out damage to a nerve passing though a bone in my skull, but maybe a medical professional could enlighten me.
To see more funny pictures of me, you can watch my youtube video about today's experience: