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 pity party like Eeyore, so I naturally thought of him as I learned how to remove and reinsert my awkward-to-handle obturator. As it turns out, Eeyore belatedly gets a Useful Pot (formerly full of honey, of course) from Pooh, and he also gets a once-red, once-Piglet-size balloon to put in the pot. Fans of the story will remember how happy this made Eeyore. He picks up the balloon with his teeth and puts it into the pot. He takes it out and puts it in over and over again. What joy!

“So it does!” said Pooh. “It goes in!”
“So it does!” said Piglet. “And it comes out!”
“Doesn’t it?” said Eeyore. “It goes in and out like anything.”

Eeyore and the useful pot

I’ve only had a couple of scary moments with my obturator–when it doesn’t click in just right, it feels so wrong. But definitely progress is being made. I haven’t named it yet. Eeyore the Obturator?

Today I met with my prosthodontist and he made some adjustments, which feels like a big improvement. We meet again in two weeks, when I’m sure there will be more adjustments and tweaking. This is exactly what I was told would happen, so I guess I’ll be measuring my progress by each tiny change he makes.

The most difficult part of my recovery involves sleep, or the lack thereof. I’m trying to change my attitude about this, and just get up to read when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep. I’ve become a champion napper during the day, but remain hopeful that I’ll eventually get back to a more normal sleep pattern. Many struggle with this same problem, I know. If you get an email from me at 3:30am, it should not be cause for alarm. I am staying away from Twitter, for a variety of reasons, in those early morning hours.

The sensitivity part is especially weird. Yesterday I took a cotton ball soaked with warm water and touched it gently to an area of my face–and it felt like sandpaper! I imagine the intermittent tingling I’m feeling means that healing is going on and this hyper sensitivity won’t last forever.

Still unable to chew, I’m exploring the world of soft foods, and Things I Can Blend. Today I went on my first public eating adventure, and had relative success (as in, didn’t get it all over my face). A huge step towards being able to get out and about with friends and family without worrying too much about where everything lands. Plus, since I was accompanied by a toddler, I figured I could do at least as well as he did, aiming mouthward with a spoon. However, as someone who writes about cocktails, not being able to drink without a straw has me in a particular bind. I may either be off the barstool until this issue is resolved, or else I will turn to blended drinks for the immediate future. I know: tough problem to have.

For now, the key word is Smooth. Like these guys.


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

  1. Carol says:

    Sounds like you’re going in the right direction…that’s good news!

  2. Beth Havey says:

    Risa, you are so brave and I love your relating this to the Eeyore story, which I must look up in my collection and reread. So I am assuming, I just did a search, that you have a palatal obturator, which you won’t have forever as healing proceeds. Your take on eating with your grandchild was delightful and your blessing us with SMOOTH even better. I KNOW you will be fine. You have the greatest medicine at your fingertips, one I fear I would not have– HUMOR. Hugs, Beth

    • Risa Nye says:

      Hi Beth! Thanks for your comments and encouraging words. Actually, the obturator will be a permanent fixture. Some people with a similar situation opt for a kind of reconstructive surgery that involves grafts, etc. My doc doesn’t recommend it for me. I’m glad you enjoyed Smooth! It’s my favorite song these days.

  3. Myles says:

    Shake it til you make it!

    If you name the piece Eeyore, won’t you always be looking down in the mouth?

    Are these jokes making you wish you had stronger pain killers?

    • Risa Nye says:

      In fact, today I got some stronger pain killers. You may have had something to do with that. I told you it hurts when I smile, right? Thanks for the laughs (which also hurt). oxoxoxox

  4. Caroline Hiffman says:

    Risa, here is a virtual mango lassi, my go to drink to lighten my spirit and fill my gut. I’d send it in the mail but even with amazon’s drone delivery it would be mush by the time it arrived. Attitude is everything and yours will keep you healing, accepting, moving forward and smiling even though it hurts. Much love to you.

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