Better, Bit by Bit

Well friends, it’s been over a month since my wreck and my surgery to repair and wire my jaw. At this point, I am looking at about 2 1/2 more weeks until removal date of the arch bars, stitches, and wires inside my mouth.

N58493def7fcfb73e7a735d6f1f452137ot that this has been easy, in any form, but it has certainly been easier than I imagined it being. I’ve got quite a bit of people rooting for me, visiting me, checking in on me, sending me cards and gifts, and most importantly praying for me. 823ab202e547c8028fb3ee76b4f77a90

I’m truly beginning to miss the whole chewing thing. I’m not yet tempted to throw crazy things in the blender and slurp it up, but I do, and have nearly all along, go to bed hungry or wake up in the middle of the night craving food. The things is, the problem of being hungry can’t be resolved so simply with just having another smoothie. On a liquid diet, somehow, your belly gets full. You have no room left in your stomach cause you have so much liquid in it. Yet, despite the fluid, you are hungry. I’ve read on the web from some other jaw injury people that this is the case with them too. Contradictory and paradoxical as it may be, it appears to be true. If you doubt me, I challenge you to 7 weeks of all liquids and see if you find this to be accurate or not. I assume now you will just simply take my word for it. :o)

When this first happened, I had a plan for what I was going to eat when the wires came off. I had decided on something completely unhealthy but totally yummy. Pizza was the plan. Then, after about 2 weeks, I got on Google to see what the rest of the wired jaw community had to say. Turns out, there is a big factor I didn’t really think about at the time. When the freedom returns, your teeth are sore, your mouth barely opens from being pressed together for so long, your jaw muscles have atrophied, and all amounts of other complicated matters in between. Basically, you can’t eat whatever you want yet. And things like raw carrots, nuts, biting into an apple, and similar food choices might be a full year off for me. So, for about 2-3 weeks after removal, I will be restricted to a “soft foods” diet. This made me change my “freedom meal’ to pancakes from Cracker Barrel, perhaps even biscuits and gravy. Likely though my eyes will be bigger than my stomach and my enthusiasm greater than physical ability, and it will turn out to be just a few bites of pancakes. Nonetheless, I have a CB gift card reserved to the side and a date planned with the location nearest to me for October 9th.

I’ve also found some great wired jaw essentials, along with some favorites, should anyone else ever wind up in this condition by some great misfortune or if I happen to become some wired jaw Google hit for a desperate stranger.

1) Best soup to buy:

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Now, some folks are fortunate enough/unfortunate enough to lose teeth in their accident or planned oral surgery. The unfortunate part is that it is a tooth, and as an adult when it is gone you are out of luck (but at least a dentist can fix that right up!). The fortunate part is that a missing tooth means a clear and easy access for food. I kept all my teeth. Some of the things I read on-line had people eating things I could not imagine getting into my stomach simply due to space to get it in, not desire. All I have for my food to go through in route to being digested is the small little portion in the very back of my mouth. It’s tiny folks. So, a little thing like an herb can block that pathway and clog my mouth full of soup and then nearly suffocate me. No exaggeration. So, I have been blending most everything, even that which looks blended, just to be safe. “Creamy Tomato” written on a can is not necessarily gonna be doable for me, cause “creamy” to a person sucking it off a spoon that can chew and “creamy” to a person squirting it in via a syringe through a small little gap in the back of her mouth do not mean the same thing. This above soup was truly creamy and very accessible/drinkable for me. I also added in some sour cream and mixed it in real good until dissolved for extra yumminess. It’s a winner.

2) Best soup to make:

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This is squash soup. I am not usually a squash fan, but my friend that made it said her whole family loves it. She did some extra pureeing on my account and left the bacon pieces off the top upon delivery. This was the first meal that was good to me, and I consumed soooo much of it. I am contemplating taking her up on the offer to make me some more. I’ve got 2 1/2 more weeks to do it. She did share the recipe with me though, so I guess I could just make my own: http://honest-food.net/2012/10/31/squash-soup-recipe-bacon/

3) Best choices for oral hygiene/care

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There is so much there that makes up my cleaning routine. Ultimately, it is important to do everything you can to keep the teeth and gums clean. And don’t forget your emergency wire cutters, in case life gets any worse and you need them to not die. I suggest alcohol free mouth wash, cause there will be spots in your mouth that you don’t even know exist that are injured and don’t need the sting. I did use the dental wax at first but it annoyed me for a million reasons, so now I mainly have built up resistance and sleep in that red mouth guard that had the middle cut out by my dear husband. Best .97 cents we’ve spent.

4) Best way to go out to eat:

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I’ve read some people that avaoid being around others while they are eating. This is not soemthing I consider an option, so I have been around lots of people while they ate lots of yummy things. It’s not like I am making a choice to refrain from a food. No matter how much I may want it, that buttery roll will not find its way into my mouth, period, so I opt to do what I can and enjoy the company of everyone else. I did foolishly try once to eat a bowl of soup from a restaurant while out with some family. Likely you just shouldn’t try, but if you do, make certain to have your syringe and water pick with you. I made several trips to the bathroom to clean out my mouth and continue breathing and the precious ended up going home with me, where I blended it, and then ate it the next day. Be sure to take your muscle milk as backup.

5) Best way to have your morning coffee:

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Now, I guess I could sip on real coffee but that intimidates me. Last thing I need is a burnt tongue inside my mouth that I can’t even see or get to for a few more weeks. Being I need so much protein for me and baby, this protein coffee smoothie is fantastic. Pair that with a good morning Bible study and start your day off the best you can.

6) Best blender to buy:

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Some of my friends from high school shipped this little beauty to my home. First, the color is lovely, right? But this thing is SO practical.  It comes with a little cup that can be microwaved and is dishwasher safe. I can make a personal serving of something without making a mess of my kitchen or big blender, which requires so much cleaning. This is just a rinse and go most days. I can even pour into it something that needs extra blending and make it happen. Perfect!

So, that’s it for now. I’m getting better, bit by bit, and even though some pain does still linger and certain movements or touches can truly hurt, for the most part I am just dealing with irritation caused by this barbed wire in my mouth. I have been feeling my little baby boy/girl move and flip and flop for about the past week (I am almost 19 weeks!) so it feels good to know that I’m doing enough nutritionally to give baby enough energy to move! I’m one month into this wired journey! Ready to be done so I can tackle other things in life with the best focus that I can.

Enjoy a picture of me, showing just a little bit of my grill/bling at the top of my teeth to the world (trust me though, there is so much more of that in my mouth!)

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6 thoughts on “Better, Bit by Bit

  1. I feel so bad for you. When I had my Nissen Fundlplication (acid reflux surgery where they take the top portion of your stomach and twist it around your esophagus) I had to go for a month on liquids but at least I could open my mouth. Then I had a few months on soft foods and finally after about four months I could go back to eating anything. But as I said I could open my mouth and after the surgery healed It didn’t hurt to eat. We are praying for you and the family and go slow on the eating after the wires come off. We love you all.

  2. Summer, your a tough little lady. heal up so we can bring you some eggs and we will have sausage in december som get the stomach ready.

  3. Emergency wire cutters? Oh my! I never would have thought of that but it makes sense. Reminded me of when I was a teen and had braces. My orthodontist accdently did something wrong and later that night when I was in pain, my parents called him at home suspecting something wasn’t right and he explained to my dad how to cut out one of the wires with wire cutters. I will never forget my dad walking me out to the garage and sticking wire cutters in my mouth. But it eased the pain until we could make it back to the orthodontist. I hadn’t thought of that in years. Reading your story is bringing back all my suppressed memories of orthodontia!

    Still praying! And counting the days with you. :)

    • Ha!!! I can so see that braces story happening. Your dad likely had everything needed!
      I am not totally sure what could happen that I would need them (cause really the worst thing I can currently think of is throwing up and something make a risk for choking but I’ve done, not to mention everything is already liquid to begin with).
      But it is stressed pretty hard to have
      them with you. Who knows. Just hoping to never find out!!

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