Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

November 27, 2001

When I woke up this morning at 4:50, I was tempted to pass on my Tuesday walk. It was darn cold outside, and I wasn’t feeling all that good anyway, what with this Bell’s Palsy thing I contracted about a month ago. Bell’s Palsy is a virus that causes one side of your face to droop. But my neighbor was back home after being gone about a month, and I knew he would be up and waiting for me at 6. When that hour came around, I went outside and sure enough, there he was.

We took off toward town with him setting the pace, which was faster than I walked when he was away. I found myself breathing hard through my mouth. And that presented a problem with the Bell’s Palsy.

Due to it, my mouth is still slightly twisted and uncontrollable on the right side. Heavy breathing makes me look like Popeye, because the left side of my mouth opens much wider than the right. Also, my right eye won't close completely, and the cold morning air makes it burn.

Since that Saturday when I was struck with this annoying affliction, two different doctors have confirmed that I had Bell's Palsy, and at least 10 friends and relatives have given me their remedies on how to cure it. I was surprised to learn how many other people have also suffered from Bell’s Palsy.

My friend Nancy got hit by it twice, once for a short period and the other time for almost a year. The experience led her to try various cures, and it was her recommendation to drink some kind of exotic tea. Now, I don’t really have anything against tea, but I much prefer a good martini or a little bourbon-and-branch.

My other next-door neighbor is an acupuncturist, who told me she has cured several Bell’s Palsy cases. So now I’m getting treatments from her on a regular basis.

My 91-year-old mother-in-law has a home remedy for almost any illness one might get. In Spanish we call her a curandera (healer). She gave me some concoction she made up in my kitchen when I wasn't watching, and told me to rub it on the side of my face, next to my eye and corner of my mouth. Having had experience with her remedies before, I wouldn't have put the stuff anywhere near my face, except for the fact that she was standing right there watching. So I shook the bottle of who-knows-what, then opened the cap and put my finger in the bottle as directed. I gently rubbed the stuff around the corners of my mouth and my eye.

I'm pretty sure there wasn't hydrochloric acid in that bottle, simply because we didn't have any in the kitchen. So it must have been jalapeno chili juice. The corner of my mouth began to burn, and my eye flooded with tears.

As I stood there drenched in tears, feeling like my head was on fire, my mother-in-law said, "That's good, hijito (little son), the tears will cleanse your eye." Boy, am I glad she has gone home! One more dose of that stuff and I wouldn't have an eye left.

After hearing all the opinions on how to cure Bell's Palsy, I've decided that probably the best overall cure is time. I sure wish time would hurry up and pass, however, because my bar tab has gone way up since this virus stuck. Because of the leakage at the corner of my mouth I have to order three martinis in order to consume one—and I'm too vain or embarrassed to catch that expensive vodka with another glass and recycle it.

Have a good day.


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