Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Uncomfortably numb

Cancer keeps throwing new surprises my way, and the latest one is a doozy.

I've lost feeling in the lower part of my face. A while ago, I noticed that a small region along my left jaw was starting to go numb and I mentioned it in a visit with Dr. B1. He didn't seem alarmed, so I didn't freak out about it, either.

Now the numbness is spreading to the other side of my face. To make things worse, the inside of my mouth feels puffy. And it's feels like I would need a crowbar to open my mouth.

These symptoms have delayed the physical therapy I had hoped to be doing. Last week, my TheraBite –a jaw motion rehabilitation device– arrived but I'm afraid to pop it in my mouth to start building strength in my jaw.

I got in touch with Dr. B1, and he agreed to move up my next appointment with him. I'll be seeing him on Friday.

In the meantime, I may as well have some fun with this situation.

As long as this numbness holds up, I'm betting that I could sustain a good pop on the jaw without feeling a thing.

So maybe I'll retire my goody-goody-two-shoes persona and take on the characteristics of, well, a douchebag.

I could pull up a stool in bars and hit on other guy's dates, like Captain Kirk does in the new Star Trek movie. I could find an Orlando Magic jersey and blue-and-white pom pons and hang outside Staples Center when the NBA Finals return. I could dress up like Rocky Balboa and allow myself to get rabbit-punched by tourists at Hollywood and Highland.

There's pugilism in my family tree, so maybe I could even start professional prizefighting. If nothing else, I bet I would have a pretty good chance on landing on the cover of the AARP magazine.

I probably won't let Dr. B1 in on my plans. If he knew that I was going around town picking fights with strangers, he might not be as invested in getting me past this cancer thing.

So keep it under your hat, will ya? And I'll let you clean my clock.

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