Friday, January 18, 2013

Facially Speaking

During my week in hospital the neurosurgeons visited me numerous times. Every time they would ask me to do the same things.

Stick out your tongue. Move it to the left. Move it to the right. Good!
Now close your eyes as tight as you can. Good!
Puff your cheeks out and try not to let any air out. Good!
Smile. Show me you teeth and smile. Good!
Can you hear this? (rubbing thumb and finger by right ear) Good!
Can you hear this? (rubbing thumb and finger by left ear) Didn’t think so.

Then they would ask me the same questions.

Are you having any trouble swallowing?
Do you hear anything in your left ear? What do you hear?
Are you having any dryness in your left eye?
Does the left side of your face have any numbness?
Do you have any trouble controlling the left side of your face?

They were so very impressed with me. I was glad I was able to make them happy.
Then they told me something. They said it every time after the tests. “Over the next few weeks and months things will change. You will most likely experience some if not all of these things. Your nerves are finding their way back to normal. Don’t worry. Things will stabilize in time. Please rest. Try not to do anything for at least six weeks.”

Amazingly, in the last week, many of the things they tested for have started happening. Right now I can’t puff my cheeks without loosing all the air through my left side. My smile is unbalanced. My left eye is dry - I’m using fake tear drops often. My left eye doesn’t like to blink! Closing my eyes tight is not easy and doesn’t look even. My tongue and swallowing are still fine. And I’m still deaf in the left ear (that’s permanent). It is also cool that the numbness is gone. I’ve been able to feel my face since after the surgery.

It is so weird how, at one point in the day, my entire face will work fine. Then an hour later I’ll be slobbering water when I drink or slurring words when I talk. Then I’m back to normal again in an hour or two. My facial nerve is having a heyday. WOO-HOO look at all this room, lets play! 

Of course, I’m looking forward to the day when my face works perfectly. But for now, it’s all very intriguing. I do enjoy the mirror these days!

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