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Lip tingling - mouth droop?
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Lip tingling - mouth droop?

At the beginning or March, I moved into a new apartment and went through a pretty stressful few weeks of grad school (including two four-hour round trips for classes). A week or so later, I started to notice that my joints & muscles seemed more fatigued and weaker than usual, though I was able to operate largely as normal (no significant issues, it seems, with objective weakness). These symptoms come and go, and I was dealing with some other general tingling and muscle fascillations (sp?), so after a short period of feeling pretty freaked out by it all (deciding that I had ALS, thinking I had found cogwheel rigidity in my ankle, etc), I marked it up to stress and anxiety.

Four days ago, a new symptom arose; one that has me concerned for another reason. I was feeling a bit of tingling at one corner of my mouth. It came and went, but I noticed it seemed more persistent on Sunday, and while looking at the mirror to see if there was any sign of a cold sore (not yet), I noticed the right side of my mouth seeming to droop a bit. I've always had somewhat of a smirk, so I know my mouth isn't wholly straight, but upon close inspection, there seemed to be a slight drop that I hadn't noticed before. I can't see any other signs of drooping (my forehead wrinkles just fine, no eye symptoms). Also, I have no real issues smiling, whispering, holding air/water in my mouth, or pursing my lips to whistle (though I've never been able to actually whistle). I have noticed, though, that when my mouth is left open (at rest), my bottom lip seems a little uneven (moving slightly downward to the right), and when in certain positions (an exaggerated mimic of making the "ch" sound, for example), the left side of my mouth is higher than the right. There are moments that I think I'm drooling, but there's never actually any significant moisture on my lips, so it might just be the tingling making it feel that way. I've noticed that when I move my tongue over that corner of my mouth, I can feel a spot that seems to be slightly irritated by the contact/moisture, but there doesn't seem to be any visual evidence of any irritation or cold sore. I've used a tack to lightly poke the area, and haven't noticed any real numbness. My girlfriend tells me I'm crazy, that my mouth is a little uneven, but that it's always that way, and that the droop isn't anything significant or noticeable until I draw attention to it. No other friends/coworkers have brought it up to me, so perhaps they don't see it.

I recently changed my doctor, and the change doesn't take effect until April 1, so I figure I'll wait until then to make an appointment, but I have a tendency to let medical anxiety get to me, and have been having some trouble with it now. Given the ability to smile, purse my lips, etc. Bell's Palsy doesn't seem a possibility, but I'm a little worried about the possibility of something else causing this problem. Is it possible that a tumor or something else might cause my mouth to droop without any significant signs of palsy, or am I paying too much attention to a simple asymmetry in my face and allowing my anxiety to make a mountain out of a molehill? I plan to make an appointment with my new doctor as soon as I'm able, but some piece of mind (or an idea of what might be going on) would surely help right now...

Thanks!
Adam
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