Final Surgical Update

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2014-07-29 07:52:07 -0500
Started 2014-07-19 16:33:22 -0500

I went to my ENT surgeon yesterday. He said the site was healing nicely and to expect to be sore and a little swollen for a few more weeks.The good thing is the scar cannot be seen unless I hold my head up.

Bottom line is that there is no muscle movement on the right side of my tongue. It will take the nerves around a year to fully heal. At that time I may or may not have to see a speech therapist. Because of this, my right eye will tear at times but that will clear up as my face heals. He will not release me until next year. That sucks because now I can't get a job. No one will hire me because I can't speak as clearly as I did before the surgery.

Talking can be a problem because my tongue gets tired and my words slur and I get a really bad lisp. This makes it hard to talk on the phone to people who are not familiar with the problem.

Eating is still going to be a problem because of swallowing. I also now have to use a straw for drinking. It is easier to control liquids with a straw than attempting to drink from a cup. Drinking coffee is an adventure because I have to take very tiny sips to prevent burning my tongue or getting too much in my mouth. There is no feeling on the right side of my tongue,

I came home very frustrated and angry. I don't know why so I spent most of the day crying. This morning i got up refreshed. I decided that today is a new beginning. I am going to make the most of this. I don't think I will be comfortable eating in a restaurant because i have to cut food up into tiny pieces. I can't eat bread or boiled eggs or anything that is going to get soft and stick to the roof of my mouth. It will not look good having to push food to the back so I can swallow and I can't use my tongue to remove it.

I am going to stop skipping meals because eating was frustrating. If I don't feel like eating I am going to add a bottle of muscle milk to fill in. My primary care doctor fussed because I am losing weight too fast so I am trying to add more foods and eating more food.

Do I regret having the surgery? I did but I know that with the infection beginning to spread, I could have been far worse than I am not so i no longer regret all that I am going through. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and I am going towards the light.

I see so many people on this site who don't like being diabetic. Well I don't like not having the ability to speak properly but I do have my life and I am going to continue to do all that I do and I am not going to look back. Each and everyone of us can accomplish anything we choose to accomplish. All it takes is patience and perseverance. .

This morning my only aunt who is 85 years young and never stays home called. I told her what happened. She said play James Cleveland's "No Ways Tired" (old gospel hymn) and listen to the lyrics. I did and I got a whole new level of energy and i am going to do all I can to make the best of my situation.

I listened to these lyrics

I don't feel no ways tired,
I've come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told me that the road would be easy,
I don't believe He brought me this far to leave me.

God didn't bring me this far to leave me and I am going to keep going no matter what.

Again thanks friends for all of your kindness and prayers.

13 replies

Nick1962 2014-07-29 07:52:07 -0500 Report

Well Joyce, good to hear you’re through the woods now and out in the sunshine. Recovery after any surgery is always a battle especially when it affects the normal day-to-day things we take for granted. You know, when I got the scars on my chin and neck, I just grew a beard. That might not work for you, but you could always claim you got it in a bar fight (which I’d believe knowing you).

lanykins 2014-07-28 09:25:47 -0500 Report

Sorry I came in so late about your surgery. I'm sorry your recovery is difficult. I hope the surgery site heals quickly so you can get to a speech therapist. Getting help to swallow is a big thing! Try to take your time with all of this. Be patient with yourself. You will heal and find a job. Remember, God is watching over you, all that happens to you and all you do. He will guide you. Take good care Joyce, one day at a time. Lani

Glucerna 2014-07-20 20:00:21 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing your story Joyce. Perhaps you can ask your doctor for a referral to a speech therapist now, instead of waiting for a year, so she can help you with speech and swallowing? I know that you'll find a job that you enjoy and fits your needs and skills, since nothing keeps you down for long! ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-20 21:39:05 -0500 Report

Lynn he won't let me go until the surgery site is healed it is still very sore and slightly swollen. I go to see him again in November and I can see him anytime I have to before then. He sent my Primary Care doc instructions for care. Then we will work from there. Thanks for you concern. Steve gave me some information in his response and I am reading through it.

rolly123 2014-07-20 13:11:03 -0500 Report

Hi glad came out good! Glad u doing good! Joyce u very strong person just time I been on this site! Keep strong and doing good! The road u going is hard but u can do it! Keep us inform u progress u in my prayers ! Take care of u self !!

haoleboy 2014-07-19 17:09:17 -0500 Report

I'm right there with you Joyce. After my stroke I had speech therapy twice a day six times a week for three weeks. Not just to help with speech but also to relearn how to eat (swallow)
Look up "dysarthria exercises" on the internet … you'll find a bunch of ideas on stuff you can easily do yourself at home. I revisit these often. When I get tired I tend to really slur my words so I try to exercise my mouth regularly.
You may also want to look up "dysphagia" for suggestions on dealing with eating/swallowing problems. The tips I found most useful were … chew thoroughly, take small bites, SLOW DON and tuck your chin in when swallowing.
This may or may not be useful but thought I'd at least throw it out there.

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-19 18:51:48 -0500 Report

Thanks so much Steve, I looked them up and I tried the tucking the chin tip. It worked to a point. I chew slowly because I can't tell if I am biting my tongue. TI was prepared for being this way for 6 months but now knowing it will actually be a year took some getting use to. I am going to look up tongue exercises to see if there are any. I had eye exercises after eye surgery many years ago.

I am not going to be reduced by this. I have a meeting at the end of the month and our Major and Sgt. asked if I will be okay doing it. Yes I will be okay. I am going to write out the Presidents Report and one of them can read it for me if my tongue gets tired. Nothing can hold me back but me and that ain't gonna happen :)

haoleboy 2014-07-19 20:05:25 -0500 Report

yup … if I don't concentrate and take my time I bite the heck out of my tongue. I eat a whole lot of raw vegetables so dinner can take up to an hour to eat.
I don't have a whole lot of Maya Angelou "in my pocket", but that one seemed appropriate and I know she is a favorite of yours.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-07-19 20:15:38 -0500 Report

Yes she is a favorite. I read "I Don't Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" when it came out and I was hooked.
She is followed by Langston Hughes.

I am determined I am going to beat this thing.