These days, I can sometimes go for several days almost forgetting my massive cancer trauma. Yesterday was not such a day, however. I had two reminders of the changes that that experience wrought on my body.
At work, with my youngest cohort (1st – 3rd grade elementary), we were crafting robot heads with cardboard and colored paper, and thus I was wrangling cardboard with scissors. As some of you might know, I have some missing sensory nerves in my right hand – when they took out the pieces of my wrist and forearm to use for my tongue reconstruction, that included the loss of some nerves. I have full motor functionality – the motor nerves weren't touched – but I have numb spots running down my right arm to the tip of the outside of my thumb: zero sensation.
I managed to stab myself with the scissors on one of those numb areas on the back of my thumb, and simply didn't notice. One of the students noticed, when I dripped blood on her project. It was quite alarming, at least for the kids, for a moment, until I got some tissues and a band-aid.
It wasn't really a terrible gash, but it was a bit disconcerting. There was no sensation of pain at all – it's like the area is under permanent local anaesthetic. This is one of the fairly minor risks or side effects of the nerve loss, and I think, except for some small nicks while shaving (from the similar numb area on the left side of my face), it's the first time I've had that issue. Then I had it again.
Last night when I came home, I was eating and I managed to bite the inside of my mouth (also entirely numb in some parts on the left side), and drew blood, but only noticed when I tasted the salt. I suppose it's good that of all the tastes I've lost from my tongue, salt is the one I retained.
So it was a day when I deeply missed the nerves I've lost.
Which isn't to say I lost my nerve.
[daily log: walking, 6.5km]