Monday, April 23, 2012

Man v. Food (jaw surgery edition)

Can you guess what this is?

I'm sure you guessed the rice and beans. But what about the third item? That, my friend, is a tamale with some salsa and Tapatio on top of course.

This was my second non-liquified meal since my surgery on April 12. The first meal was mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. It's not easy eating, but it sure is satisfying.

I can't bite my food, and can open my mouth only enough to fit a toothbrush. So what I have to do is use a flat spoon (in this case a spork), slip the food past my teeth, and use my tongue to slide the food down my throat. I take a sip of my drink to help moisten everything.

The past few days, what I've been doing -- and what I hope to continue doing until I'm able to eat hard food -- is continue the liquid diet throughout the day. That diet consists of Complete Breakfast, Ensure with some protein mixed in a couple of times a day, fruit smoothies, a ton of water (hydration is very important), and various juices. The highlight will be dinner, when I will eat a mashed up meal. Carla has talked about making biscuits and gravy, hamburger, and pizza using recipes she's found online. Any other suggestions?

Not being able to eat solid food was one of my biggest worries heading into the surgery. In hindsight, it hasn't been that bad. Sure I crave an In-N-Out burger, nachos and pizza. But the way I see it, the liquids taste good, I'm eating fairly healthy and getting all the nutrients I need, and I'm really going to appreciate eating normal again once it's time. Plus, it's going to be nice to use actually bite food using my front teeth, something I haven't been able to do in years.

In other news, today I had my first orthodontic appointment since the surgery. And Dr. Montano and staff were blown away. They were surprised how fast I've healed (I have little swelling now) and how well my bite turned out. Montano said he was also surprised Dr. Relle did not place a splint in my mouth, something he said he typically does. That splint would sit on the roof of my mouth, take up valuable space, and essentially hold my top teeth in place. Apparently my bite fit so well after surgery, it wasn't needed.

Montano expects rubber bands to be in place just a bit more. I will return to Montano in two weeks for another checkup, and then a week after that to have a new wire placed. Looks likes it's all coming together just fine.

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