A few weeks ago, I wrote about going to acupuncture to try to get the feeling back in my chin, post-surgery. At that point, I estimated that I had 98 per cent of the feeling back in my chin and lower lip after a few acupuncture treatments.
Well, let's just say that I spoke too soon. Shortly after I wrote that entry, I came down with the nastiest flu ever. It hit everyone I know pretty hard, but I seemed to get it much worse. I'm guessing it's because my immune system has been compromised by the surgery and the healing process. I was away from work for two weeks straight and was unable to get out of bed for the first week because my whole body hurt.
I'm not sure if it was all the coughing, my inability to keep down nutritious food, or the fact that my body was fighting off a virus instead of focusing on healing, but the feeling in my chin regressed back to about 80-85 per cent during that time.
It was upsetting and frustrating and scary. Did this mean that the nerve damage was permanent? It was one more thing to worry about that I really didn't need to add to the mix.
I went back to acupuncture and that helped a bit. Getting the coughing under control with a bronchial inhaler (I ended up with bronchial spasms after I got over the flu. Fun with a broken jaw, let me tell you) helped a great deal with the tension in my jaw, too.
But the one thing that made a really big difference was totally unexpected.
I am a big sucker for the clearance section at my favourite Canadian drug store, Shoppers Drug Mart. One day, not too long after my surgery, I found an amazing sale on the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System. I had always been curious about it, so I thought it was a fair indulgence after having my face cracked open and all.
I had chipmunk cheeks and huge yellow bruises,
so anything to help me feel better was quite justifiable,
in my humble opinion.
I started using it on a regular basis while I was at home recovering from the surgery. It is a hand-held vibrating sponge that you use to spread gritty cream around your face. You concentrate on each area of your face a maximum of one to two minutes. Each time I used it, I thought I noticed more feeling in my chin. I wasn't sure if it was just getting better on its own or if the vibrating and stimulation was doing something to help restore the feeling. All I knew is that it was getting better.
Anyway, after my numbness returned, I started using the microdermabrasion more often and I noticed the difference right away. I have no idea if there is any medical evidence for this, as I have been unable to find any online, but I all I can say is, "Hooray for facials!"
Now, if only I could convince my insurance company that going for facials is an essential part of my jaw surgery recovery, I would be a happy gal indeed.