I am 37+ weeks pregnant (29 years old) and have just developed Bell's Palsy over the last week. Not what I needed right now, but I was dealing with it fairly well until I was told by our neurologist that he would like to do an MRI (with contrast) of my brain (can't have it until after baby arrives) to see if I have MS. The reason for this: approximately 2 years ago I had 2-3 episodes of Right sided facial paresthesias, burning (the skin felt like it was very sunburned with light touch) and pain along my jawline into my ear; it was painful enough that I needed medication (acylovir). At the time of the first occurrence I had a cold sore on my lip on that side; the next 1 (or 2? can't remember) episodes occurred within a couple months but without a cold sore. I assumed it was related to the herpes simplex virus, and I KNOW Bell's Palsy can be caused by this same virus, and obviously this virus is in my system.
The reason the neuro wants to rule out MS is that apparently 5-7% of MS patients present initially with the facial burning/numbness/pain symptoms like I had. I have NO other symptoms (except fatigue - but I'm VERY PREGNANT!) I have also read that MS tends to go into remission during pregnancy, so that makes me feel a bit better.
Do you think I could really have MS, or is it more likely related to the herpes simplex virus, or some other cause? Or just coincidence?
Also, if anyone has experience with Bell's Palsy (and especially during pregnancy) how long did recovery take? When did recovery (even minimally) begin?
Any input would be greatly appreciated. It is stressful to have to wait to be able to have an MRI and not know!!!