I’ve been joking about it since before my parotidectomy, but it looks like I got my wish: gustatory sweating!
Tonight, during dinner, I reached up to my cheek on the surger-ized side and felt some serious moisture. Sweat! Sweating while eating (or “gustatory sweating”) is one of the possible side effects of a parotidectomy, but I thought I’d dodged that particular bullet until now. Ah, well, at least it’s hilarious and (so far) not inconvenient!
Aside for my science-y friends: The reason this happens, as I understand it, is because the salivary gland (the parotid) and the sweat glands use the same neurotransmitter. So what’s left of the parotid (or whatever connected to it) is still sending out the neurotransmitter saying “Salivate!” when I eat, but there’s nothing left there to pick up what it’s putting down. Except that my sweat glads (still happily intact) are still there and go, “Hey! For us? How sweet! Let’s get this sweat on!” And thus, I sweat out of my cheek when I eat.
We’ll see if this lasts or if this was a fluke. I seriously hope it doesn’t get bad, since the “treatment” for it is putting deodorant on your face. Um, no thanks.