So I’ve got a couple of tangible changes to the way I feel and look. While it’s true that I’m lucky to be here, some of the physical changes definitely take some getting used to. Apparently now is the time for me to grieve or bemoan unwanted changes.
First, during my cranioplasty, the surgeon discovered when he opened me up that I had no Dura where he was re-attaching my skull. He improvised, stretching some of the sublayers (we think this might have been the pericranial fascia). Consequently the area around my left temple is indented more than it is on the right side. Initially it didn’t bother me at all, but now it does.
Most areas affected by surgery are still fairly numb. This includes much of the left side of my skull, and most of the area between my eyes and top lip. It’s a strange feeling, and a bit unsettling. I do not know whether this is permanent, or whether the numbness will dissipate slowly over time.
As a consequence of my broken jaw, my bite no longer aligns the way it did before. I suspect this slid under the radar given the severity of the other injuries, but it’s less fun chewing my food.
Most of the time I settle into seeing from one eye, but there are time when monocular vision feels tunnel-like. This happens when I become preoccupied with it, and sorely miss the roughly 40-60 degree difference in my field of vision. I hear that it is possible that my brain will effectively increase my field of vision over time too.
I’m also self-conscious about the way my left eye behaves. It’s capable of lateral motion, but doesn’t travel well up and down. And sadly, I can no longer raise my left eyebrow archly to amuse my kids. I also cannot wriggle my left ear anymore. It’s strange, but I miss these small things.
I suspect that being more aware of these things is a reflection of where I am in the recovery process. As I said earlier, apparently now is the time for me to grieve or bemoan unwanted changes.