Ups and downs

I don’t know what to make of it. I’m in more pain now than when I left the hospital. To some degree, I understand when it comes to my leg. As I explained in the post yesterday, the extent of the numbness on my right side has reduced, and with that has returned both feeling and pain. There’s still a lot numb and stiff there, but naturally, that will clear eventually, as it must, and I want it to. It’s a sign of healing.

Is it possible that’s what’s happening with my head also? That’s harder to assess. The leg and hip are active joints that are constantly tested by movement. The face isn’t. The doctors tell me the swelling and the numbness will go on for months, though ultimately, the swelling will fade, and the area of numbness will shrink.

I’m talking much better than I was, though far from normal. It may be that I’ve adjusted to the circumstances, or I’m experiencing slightly more freedom of movement. I think a bit of both. There’s still a big lump in the middle of my cheek, and the skin is numb to touch, right to my earlobe. The thing is, though it’s numb, I can feel the right side of my face in a way that I don’t anywhere else. There’s a tightness from the swelling and the occasional sense of pressure within. More recently, I’ve begun to feel an occasional radiating pain centred on my eye socket.

I seem to think there has always been some of that, only it’s more frequent now. That lends credence to the theory of numbness fading, though I also wonder if it might be the case that some slow-release anaesthetic has lost its effect. The lump in my cheek is wadding that will dissolve over a period, infused, I think, with proteins to knit the grafts together and perhaps some anaesthetic. That’s only conjecture.

Sometimes I wonder if it might be the remnants of cancer emerging.

I take painkillers in the morning and at night now, though I’m experiencing some reflux which means I can taste them long after ingesting them.

Yesterday was the worst day since leaving the hospital. I felt fragile and tired, though there was no chance of sleep. Several times I staggered with the dizziness I had thought I had got by. I was blinded by it a couple of times, though I managed to stay upright.

I record all this as a record and as a means to analyse and understand. It’s how my mind works – I want to know. I understand how tedious it might be to the casual reader. It would be so much easier if I knew how I was supposed to feel at this time if any such thing exists. Am I on track? Is this unusual?

One of the doctors last week said I’d done very well. I tend to take statements like that from doctors with a grain of salt, but I was willing to believe it at the time. But, as he emphasised, I’d undergone quite significant surgery, and recovery would be long and hard. This is the thing that perhaps I need to accept in my body.

I keep on thinking that one day I’ll wake and feel so much better. I expect a steady, linear improvement in my physical strength and capability. My logical mind has modelled a recovery much like building a wall – one brick after another, building upon previous work.

That may ultimately be the case, one way or another, but obviously, the body is a complex machine, and it isn’t as clear-cut or linear as that. There will be good days and bad days. There will be pain, and managing pain is an important part of the equation. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry and let it be. Be less impatient.

Mayhap. I can live with that, but I don’t want to be going into radiotherapy feeling as I do now. I need to be stronger.

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