As background - after COVID, virtually all of my playing opportunities ceased. I continued practicing a general program every day, even working on specific literature pieces. Nothing that was over taxing. Continued to play in our Brass Quintet and a Community Chamber Music program.
About a month ago I underwent a MOHS surgery for Base Cell Carcinoma on the back of my neck (left side - midway between the ear alignment and the cervical spine). The surgery went down four levels and left a golf ball size divit that was stitched up. At the first post surgery check, I noted numbness radiating up from the surgery site to the back of my ear (mastoid). Repeated observation and post ops 2 and 3. Stitches removed etc.
I followed my basic maintenance practice,
After a rehearsal for an All Saints Day Mass, I noticed my lower left lip swelling and increased numbness in the left cheek - radiating up into the left eye orbit.
For a brass player this is: WTF!
I changed my practice routine and monitored the numbness.
Basically - numbness has continued up the neck - and the left cheek feels like i just left the dentist office after a crown. I feel the lack of responsiveness when practicing. I was concerned for the Mass gigi - but all went well.
I played yesterday at ensemble group and felt not quite in control but managed. Practiced today and feel the left side not responding like i want.
My research suggests that the MOHS surgery could have impacted the lower occipital nerve resulting in neuralgia. The facility numbness is more problematic (trigeminal nerve) since that nerve does not normally interact with the lower occipital nerve.
The Mohs surgeon's office responds that numbness may last up to 12 months, otherwise no instruction.
On my own, I am pursuing treatment with acupuncture and homeopathy.
Overall, not a happy experience. All advice welcome - mostly daily practice management is on my mind.