5.29.2016

Temporalis

Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done

My sweet friend Tim made me a Spotify mix for recovery and the first song is one I'd never heard before, Be Still by The Killers. When I listened to it 3 weeks ago I bawled in the shower and decided I wasn't ready for the rest of the mix. Those lyrics above are from the song and they hit really close to home but are also strengthening. 

During the surgery they detached (and then reattached) my temporalis muscle on the left side of my face. Here are actions that I've learned through real-life experience that the temporalis muscle is involved with:
- yawning
- chewing
- whistling
- licking ice cream (spoon is ok)
- eating tiny things like quinoa
- talking
- opening wide enough to bite a hot dog in a bun

Sometimes if I overuse this muscle I am totally unable to do those things. One night around 3am I couldn't yawn. I kept halving it, unable to complete the yawn because it hurt to stretch. I took IBProfen and 40 minutes later I finally yawned. 

I've had a good stretch of days but last night I suddenly fell apart with my family at my sister's house where we had a little BBQ. It was because I couldn't bite a damn hot dog but (obviously) it was more than that.

It's so hard to pace. It was much easier to lay in bed when my eye was swollen shut and my head bled on the pillow. But as you start feeling better, you kinda forget to rest or to say no or ask for help. Not only was I overwhelmed by being out of the house with the boys and A missing a nap and the rest of it, I was just pissed that this is not over yet. I have been patient and loyal to the recovery cause but it is not my personality to passively wait things out. 

Alas. This is where we are. Ironically the labor The Killers talk about in the song is just the opposite for me- NOT laboring, NOT actively doing things is my labor. The temporalis muscle needs "many weeks" to get back to normal. So I'll watch how much I talk. And chew steak. And yawn.

But I can write. Ain't nothing wrong with my fingers.



2 comments:

Robin DeGracia said...

It's totally your right to feel overwhelmed and break down. This is hard, what you are recovering from is hard. It's especially hard for those who are used to breaking down barriers. This trying too hard is ultimately what will help you recovery faster. I'm not advocating ignoring your body, but just emphasing that your tentious spirit is what is driving you to a final vicotry. Good luck, take a nap for now, but use that beautiful spirit to get up again tomorrow.

Kelly said...

I totally understand and empathize. I'm like that too, and the first weeks of motherhood were a lot like this for me. I wanted to DO THINGS, but was limited by my own recovery and the needs of a tiny person. The important thing is that you're on the path to recovery and it WILL happen. Hold fast.