“I’m through accepting limits
’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know” – Defying Gravity, Wicked
Something has happened that I honestly didn’t think was possible: I can move the left side of my mouth. I can smile more evenly, with control over it. I still am not entirely sure what to make of this new ability!
I honestly did not entirely believe Sara Rosenfed-Johnson when she said this might be possible from the exercises she was giving me. I could believe her with lip closure, with bilabial sounds, with jaw strength… that seemed attainable.
But smile movement on my left side just seemed…unattainable. When I decided as a young teenager that the smile surgery wasn’t for me, I thought I had lost any hope of having a full smile. And I was okay with that.
But this is pretty great now that it has happened!
I’ve been doing exercises on and off (sorry, Sara!) for the past 6 or so years, working on different things. They started with jaw strength, then moved to lip movement. They’re great for adults to do on your own (maybe minus the rather creepy Casper the Ghost vibrator next time!) because they are easy. You can double-task, I spent a lot of time a few years ago reading the New York Times Arts section while doing exercises. And at least for me, you see results.
I didn’t actually hate speech therapy all that much most of the time as a child (private-public school speech was hit or miss)-I liked to talk, and getting an adult’s undivided attention was not bad). But doing specific exercises makes a lot more sense as an adult.
So those are my experiences so far. I’m interested to see what is in the future for me.
(Note: These are my individual experiences, I am not paid in any way by TalkTools to promote their product.)