I have a confession to make. I drool sometimes. It’s the kind of problem older people tend to have, but for me it’s been an ongoing issue that I have had to deal with.
I was reminded of it recently when I sat at work dressed in a coffee-stained shirt that I noticed only on the bus, too late to do anything except get through the day in some discomfort and hope not too many people noticed.
Drooling is part of my everyday experience and part of the fall-out from my accident. The things you take for granted are for me a daily hazard, so that drinking liquids is fraught with danger – and spillages. Most of the time I’m well aware that I might drool, so I keep tissues nearby just in case. But other times I hardly notice until too late. I’m dependent on Trish and the kids (when they’re around) to alert me.
It’s not just the absence of muscle control in my chin – although that is a major problem – no, the unfortunate fact is that I have so little feeling there that I never notice liquids trickling down. The same applies to food. While many people are used to the occasional crumbs attaching to the sides of their mouths, in my case the objects tend to be larger.
A couple of operations on my chin eased the problem for a time, but not for very long. I just get on with it and and I’m now at the stage where I’m not even embarrassed when I drool.
I can’t do anything to remedy the situation short of walking around with a mirror in front of me. Back in my teens, and in the wake of one operation on my chin, I had weekly elocution lessons to improve my mouth control and… it all ended in failure.
I still have this lovely Cork accent, though, but still drool occasionally. Just keep that confession to yourself.