Category Archives: health

Numb and Number: Or, Healing is Not for Sissies

It’s now been five weeks since my surgery. Although I look almost normal, with some visible swelling on the right side of my face, I still feel as though I am wearing one of these:

mask 1

I can tell the numbness is going away by the sometimes tingly, sometimes sharp messages I’m getting from the nerves in the affected areas. As my doctor described this, it’s like the “pins and needles” you feel when your foot or something goes to sleep and it starts to “wake up” again. Still can’t do lipstick by “feel,” or who knows where it would end up?

And now I have been advised to do some jaw stretching exercises to regain some range of motion there. This is really hard! I have a stack of tongue depressors rubber banded together that I place in the opening I can manage now, then wiggle the stack up and down, teeter-totter like, in an effort to make the opening a little bigger, slowly and gently. I’m afraid my lighthouse imitation days are over, and if you never saw me do it, well, too bad. I might be able to pass the torch to someone else in the family. In any case, not only can I not do the lighthouse, I find that anything with alcohol or anything mildly acidic does not feel too good in the healing areas. These days I am more like Ms Kleenex than Ms Barstool. If you’ve seen me lately, you’ll know what I mean. The drippage factor is out of my control, and I give everyone fair warning. I’m told that this is just the way it’s going to be, since things have been rearranged and removed up in the area where such things originate. (My husband assures me that it’s not as bad as I think it is, but I have to disagree, speaking as the new Kleenex Queen around here.)

In the last week I saw both my docs and got a good report. I’m healing on schedule and taking appropriate care. One thing I discovered is that I need to build up my iron supply, which would explain my sudden craving for spinach.

I hope that with lots of spinach and some iron gluconate, I can get back to my former energy level and strength in a couple of months or so. As I am finding out, healing is not for sissies!




During my last visit with my surgeon, I asked if he could show me what he’d done during my surgery on a model. He brought in a model of a skull, and–alas–was happy to demonstrate where he’d removed this and that–and my immediate reaction was, why did I ask?

Hamlet with skull


Still rocking the mushy foods, and have a great supply of healthy soup. I’m hoping to gradually advance to intermediate chewing. The road will be long, but I’m feeling lots of love and support from so many. And I’ve got Ziggy to cuddle.


me and Ziggy










But seriously?  I’m hoping no one will take any more pieces of anything ever again.

Healing Update: In Which we observe Changes That Have Occurred in the two-plus weeks after surgery

Some things are the same, and a few have changed, slightly. Same: numbness, sensitivity, eating/swallowing related challenges, and getting used to the obturator. I have been getting better at taking it out for cleaning and putting it back in, and was reminded of the story about Eeyore’s unhappy birthday. No one can throw a pityContinue Reading

An Update on the Fiendish Thingy

As  friends and family are aware, I had surgery one week ago today to remove a benign tumor from my upper jaw. I’ve written about this tumor before, a couple of times. It may be too much information, but here is a health update on the ameloblastoma that I refer to as “the fiendish thingy.”(AndContinue Reading