So: today I saw the DDS who will be making the prosthetic for my mouth. Or, rather, prosthetics, as there will be three: one for the immediate post-surgery period, one that I can wear about a month after that, and a third to be worn....at some point in the future, and forever (or as long as I want).
I asked; they do not come in different colors. Also, I won't be taking it out much. So sad: no rainbow-stripey palate with a unicorn shitting a rainbow on it.
Anyway: the widget will be a hard plastic thing that goes across the part of my hard palate that's missing. That's to start: it'll still be possible for me to snort stuff out my nose in the beginning, since they can't put anything over the soft palate tissue until it heals. Therefore, I'll have to have speech therapy to teach me to swallow safely and to speak intelligibly again.
Yeah. That took me aback a bit.
In addition, I'll have to do some very high-tech exercises starting immediately after surgery, whereby I shove as many stacked-up tongue depressors as I can into my mouth. Since the surgeons will be cutting my jaw hinge muscles, this'll keep the healing muscle from stiffening up. I found out--and you may make what you will of this--that I have a record-settingly large mouth opening: 55 millimeters. The average is ten millimeters smaller. I can put 32 stacked-up tongue depressors into my mouth at once.
Bask in awe. I'll give you a minute.
The second and third palatal obdurators will have what's called a "speech bulb" on them. This will apparently help me deal with the loss of a chunk of hard palate, but it's going to take some time to sculpt them properly so I don't sound like something out of a cartoon. That's fine; it's down the road a bit. I just won't answer the phone 'til then.
Tomorrow I'll work again, huzzah! You know it's getting tiresome when twelve hours with the differently-brained looks like a vacation.