PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish announced on his Facebook page he’s been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.
“While it sounds awful, there is no cause for concern,” he wrote. “Bell’s Palsy is relatively rare (200,000 cases a year), treatable, and usually goes away in time.”
Fish, 58, said he began noticing symptoms Wednesday on the left side of his face. His mouth, he said, “feels like I just left the dentist after getting a big shot of novocaine.”
His doctor isn’t sure what triggered it, but Fish said he’s confident it won’t last long.
He’s currently taking steroids for a week. He joked that means he can’t play pro football and that steroids can make people irritable. “Not me, of course. But just in case, apologies in advance.”
Fish was first elected to the Portland City Council in a special election in 2008, then re-elected in both 2010 and 2014. He is the commisioner in charge of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services.
Among the celebrities who have been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy at one point are Pierce Brosnan, Sylvester Stallone, Katie Holmes, Ralph Nader, and George Clooney.
“Bell’s palsy occurs when the nerve that controls the facial muscles is swollen, inflamed, or compressed, resulting in facial weakness or paralysis. Exactly what causes this damage, however, is unknown.
“Most scientists believe that a viral infection such as viral meningitis or the common cold sore virus—herpes simplex—causes the disorder. They believe that the facial nerve swells and becomes inflamed in reaction to the infection, causing pressure within the Fallopian canal and leading to ischemia (the restriction of blood and oxygen to the nerve cells). In some mild cases (where recovery is rapid), there is damage only to the myelin sheath of the nerve. The myelin sheath is the fatty covering-which acts as an insulator-on nerve fibers in the brain.”