It's been nearly 4 weeks since my operation to remove the left acoustic neuroma. On a whole I am still extremely thankful for how well I have come out the other side however I would be lying if I said that the facial palsy doesn't plague me along with the problems it causes...dry eye, numb tongue, difficulty eating and drinking.
Sometimes I am able to forget that anything about me has changed. But then I go to talk, eat, drink or look in the mirror and the change is evident. It's so frustrating not being able to move one side of your face no matter how hard you try. I don't like what I see in the mirror. If that makes me vain I'm guilty as charged. The specialist advised that it could take as long as 12 months for the function to be restored in my face. At the present moment in time I don't want to wait 12 days let alone 12 months. No matter how strong my will, the left hand side of my face will not move. I have started speech therapy and practice in front of the mirror countless times throughout the day and although I was excited this morning that my tongue can sweep from one side of my face to the other, in the scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal. When I can drink from a cup without fear of spilling it everywhere or eat something chewy like a steak or chicken parmigiana then I will be jumping for joy.
Whilst I was in hospital the surgeon made frequent comments about my left eye and began me on eye drops 4 times a day however it wasn't until the turban was removed I discovered my eyelid is unable to close. Because of this my eye is constantly dry and extremely sensitive to light and wind. I can't go outside without sunglasses on (which at first was a challenge with the arm rubbing on the scar) and my vision is always blurred due to the drops. I cover my eye before bed with Glad Wrap (a great look!) and apply eye ointment to keep the eye moist overnight.
In saying this, everyone I come into contact with are amazed at how well I am doing. It is my impatience for seeing dramatic results which is what gets me down. When I look at the bigger picture, I must remember that I am only nearly 4 weeks post op.