Since the surgery it's been a case of ups and downs, of moving forward and falling back. I feel like I'm falling back a bit at the moment. When I was first able to talk, it wasn't very difficult to do so. I don't know if it was a combination of meds and damaged nerves, but there was little pain and the majority of my problems stemmed from the sutures in my mouth and the numbness/burning pain in my tongue from the nerve damage. The ability to swallow had returned and I was moving forward, drinking liquids with relative ease and even eating semi-solids like mashed potatoes and soups. Right now talking is more difficult than ever and swallowing is hard.
I feel like, right about the same time the pez-hole closed in my neck, swallowing became harder. Whatever liquid I drink, a portion of it comes out of my nose. Yeah, runs right out of one or both nostrils. I feel like my throat muscles are pushing the liquid up rather than down and into my nasal passages. I mentioned it to my day nurse, who visits me every morning to check my progress, and she assured me that it was normal and I am probably just having to re-re-learn to swallow. Unfortunately, I don't feel that this is quite the case, as I can feel a gap in my hard palette where air passes through when I do certain things in my mouth and throat and that same area is where the liquid seems to escape out and up. Sure enough, a look in my own throat with a mirror (not an easy thing to do when you can't open your mouth too wide) reveals what looks like torn tissue or popped sutures. I'm hoping that it is like my stoma and heals itself inside rather than having to revisit the area with more sutures. The idea of my doctor poking around in there trying to re-seal the hole is not a pleasant one at all. I suppose I have to give him a call on Monday, as I'm not sure I should let it slide until the 6th, when I have a scheduled visit.