One week ago today I was wheeled into the operating room humming “I Want to Be Sedated.” Actually, I remember hearing the long version of “Light My Fire” as they moved me onto the table, and wondered if it was intentional. Probably not.
As of today, the right side of my face (all of it: nose, lips, cheek) is either numb, or swollen and quite tender. The numbness will last a while longer, possibly months. What that means is I can’t tell what my mouth is doing, and my ability to swallow is compromised, which makes eating a real challenge. Forks are lethal weapons in my hands.I put food in, but, just like Costner says about Robbins here, “I don’t know where it’s going to go. I swear to God.”
Thanks to my husband Bruce and some of my local pals, I have been able to enjoy a variety of pureed soups, etc. Each bite (or slurp) is a negotiation. My jaws are still not functioning. Solid food? Nothing chewing. Sounds like fun, right?
Tomorrow I see the prosthodontist who will be tinkering with the prosthetic device I’ll be wearing in the future. This cross between a retainer and a denture (four teeth, I think, to replace the ones I lost in surgery), called an obturator, will be my BFF from now on, keeping the right stuff in the right place up in there. As a result of the surgery, I now have a sizeable hole in my palate, so without the obturator–well, let’s just say I could do some extremely gross party tricks if I wanted to.
I’m so grateful to everyone for the support. From here on out, it’s just going to be a long slog of healing and adjusting and getting used to my very own personal new normal, with its odd sensations and food restrictions.
One more thing: If you want to kiss me, ducky, please aim for my left side.
Hospitals are busy, noisy places. It’s good to be home.