I’ll explain as briefly as I can my history.
I’m a 37 year old female. In 2015 I was diagnosed with Basilar Migraine caused, in my case, by abnormal brain waves. Due to this condition I have annual check ups with a neurologist.
In 2016, following an operation with general anaesthetic, I started falling over to the side with very little provocation and sort of tipping over as I went round corners. This was alongside some dexterity problems (difficulty putting key in door and turning, dropping things) and misjudging where objects are - so knocking them over instead of picking them up and walking into door frames.
At this point Parkinson’s was briefly discussed, in part due to my family history. There are two relatives who had Parkinson’s, five with MS and others with Essential Tremor, all down the same family line.
By my check up last year the falling had ceased, although I still tip occasionally. However a tremor that had been mild and intermittent for a couple of years had become obvious enough for the neurologist to diagnose Benign Essential Tremor.
In the last year I have begun to move around in my sleep. I’m not doing anything violent. I am always looking for something and this involves me patting the bed and moving around on it. I became fully aware of this when I fell off the side of the bed and woke up but remembered what I’d been doing. I have begun having horrible dreams that often involve aggressive arguing and physical fighting. My husband tells me I have also started to shout out in my sleep.
I have also developed insomnia. I’m still very tired, I’m not churning over thoughts etc - I’m just not asleep.
In addition, for the last few years I have had a problem where I wake up and try and move during the paralysis part of sleep, so I’m trying to sit up and move and talk but I can only sit up a bit and my speech is slurred. This happens more often if I have a nap in the day.
I have also noticed reduced arm swing although this is intermittent and seemingly at random. It also affects both arms, although the right hand side is worse. I’ve developed arm pain and get pins and needles in my hands when I lie down.
Now onto my question… over the last few months I have been aware that my face ‘feels’ funny. My forehead in particular and my mouth sometimes feels stiff to move and my speech occasionally slurrs. I had put the latter down to some fairly invasive dental work that had been ongoing btwn 2015-18.
I’d decided that I was perhaps imaging it until a family member recently asked me if I was ok, because my face seemed ‘surprised’ all the time and my expressions don’t match what I’m saying and she’d found it confusing. She has also said she sometimes has difficulty understanding me because my words seem to run into one another.
I realise that you are not doctors and cannot offer me any real answers about if this is Parkinson’s or not and of course I will be discussing all this with my neurologist.
However, what I’d like to know is whether those of you who have facial masking were aware that something was different? Could you feel it? Did/does it affect your speech etc?
Sorry the post is so long, I felt it best to include everything I thought might be relevant. Thanks for reading.