My jaw is wired shut. No, not just wired shut; my jaw is wired, then my teeth are blocked from behind with plastic, and then banded strategically shut. What does this mean? I’m STARVING!
In the hospital and the first week home I could only take liquid medicine along with my liquid diet. This meant that any pill/capsule we couldn’t get in liquid form had to be crushed/opened and mixed in with water and/or my other medication. And let me tell you, opened/crushed pills taste nasty. I had to wake up every four hours to take this medication, and because I didn’t want the medication burning a whole in my stomach, this also meant I drank a fair amount of chocolate Ensure every four hours. Needless to say, as soon as I didn’t have to take the medicine so often, I decided to never drink another Ensure again.
People always wonder how I drink all of my liquid food if my mouth is wired shut. I use what is basically a giant syringe with a tube attached to the end of it. I put the tube in the gap at the back of my mouth where my wisdom teeth have been pulled out and then push whatever liquid I’ve got through.
After the back and roof of my mouth weren’t numb anymore, I started pushing pills in the same gap I used for the tube. Once I realized I could fit them through without choking (yes, it was worth that risk), I stopped all of my liquid medication. This happened about two weeks in and I was beyond thrilled.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that nothing but liquid is getting into my stomach. So I drink blended soup, juice, applesauce, Denny’s smoothies, milkshakes (although they usually remind me of Ensure too much), etc. The syringes I use to eat often get clogged, are hard to physically pull the liquid in with, and also take forever to push a syringe full of food in. Because of this each meal is usually one, maybe two syringes full of non-filling food. So when I’m so hungry I start to cry, I imagine everything I will eat when my mouth is finally free.
First my mom and I will go to a Denny’s that is close to my surgeon’s office (because there’s no way I’m waiting until I get home for solid food). There I will order the sampler. For those of you who don’t know, this includes fried mozzarella sticks, seasoned fries, and chicken strips. Because I’m a vegetarian I will replace the chicken with more mozzarella sticks. Then when I get home, I will bake a frozen Freschetta pizza to soft, chewy perfection and devour it. Last, I will procure some kick-ass macaroni and cheese from the nearest grocery store and then make it disappear.
So even though I’m ravenous as I write this, I’m just going to close my eyes, picture gooey fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, and then cry a little when I realize I still have about three weeks left of my tummy rumbling.
If you have any tips or tricks to help me manage my hunger I’d LOVE to hear it, so feel free to comment below!