Well. Perhaps I’m not as “done” as I thought? Perhaps I am? I don’t know.
I went to the surgeon yesterday for my 6-month check up. Everything went great right up until the end. I mentioned to him the fact that the left side of my tongue is still numb–like serious numb, not tingly like my bottom lip, but dead numb–and he got pretty concerned. He seemed a little miffed that whichever of his residents I mentioned it to last visit didn’t mention it to him. He pretty much told me that I’d need surgery to fix it.
He said that the fact that it has been 6 months with zero improvement makes the odds pretty low that that the feeling could come back on it’s own there. To fix it, he would need to call in a different surgeon, as he said the surgery is very specialized and he doesn’t do it. He said the nerve they’d need to get to (I believe, from the little bit of research I’ve started, he’s talking about the Lingual Nerve) is on the floor of the back of my mouth… so they’d slice open, remove the damaged area of the nerve, connect the ends, stitch me up, and hope for the best. He said the surgery is pretty intense, and isn’t a sure thing. Then he asked if I wanted him to get me an appointment with the guy.
I don’t know.
On February 25, 2009 I said I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER NEVER have another surgery again unless it was life or death. I’d never volunteer for it again. And I fully intended to stick by that decision. And now I find out that unless I have surgery, I most likely won’t get feeling or a sense of taste back on the left side of my tongue. It’s not a huge problem, I guess. I am always aware of it, but…. I can eat, chew, and talk just fine. (well, 99% talking…. words that end in an “sh” sound don’t quite sound right) It is annoying, but not as much as a giant chin with a complete inability to eat normally was. Will I eventually get totally used to it? Or will it slowly start to drive me more and more crazy?
I don’t know.
I went with my gut reaction and told my surgeon that I didn’t want tongue surgery. Right now. He said if I change my mind all I’ve got to do is e-mail him. So I’ve been doing a little bit of poking around on the internet, trying to see if I could find anything about any kind of success rate, risks, what recovery is like, if insurance pays for it, or maybe, oh, I don’t know… a blog of someone who had it done. So far I haven’t found anyone who has had the surgery, just people with nerve damage, wondering what to do about it. Count me as part of that group for the time being.