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Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 96 - My Life Compared to Liz Lemon

Alllo! I'm sitting here on our new love seat watching Liz Lemon's sad portrayal of life in 30 Rock, and I thought, well, if I remain on this path I am on, I could turn into Liz Lemon one day! Just kidding. I sure hope that isn't true. Although Liz is my idol, her role on this show makes her out to be a poorly dressed, routine woman. I like to think of myself as well dressed. I also would like to think that I will be successful one day. But Liz is successful. Baldwin is just busting her chops.

Back to my point. I realized I hadn't blogged in a while so here I am! Doug and I moved into our first apartment on November 15 and we've been slightly busy with moving and lugging all of our belongings up three flights of stairs with no elevator. It wasn't as bad at it sounds. Both sets of parents were along for the ride and to lend their hands. Everything is moved in and unpacked. Wednesday our remaining furniture will arrive including our dining room table which we will be serving our Thanksgiving meal on. I will be preparing all of the fixens, however, the guest of honor will not be present. I've never made a turkey before and therefor the guests and I deemed it not necessary. Alternative meats will be present by the mothers of the new apartment holders, and I'll be making a whole slue of yummy sides, treats and scrumptious things.

My jaw is doing good but I'll be back in a few weeks for routine check up. My last appointment (on move-in day) went well, however, my surgeon and ortho would like my mouth to open wider. I would like this too. Daily exercises have not been helping much. I'm back to only wearing the elastics at night but I have not noticed any difference in being able to open more since I've decreased my time wearing them. Surgeon mentioned physical therapy if my jaw doesn't open more. Our insurance ended and I'm now on a swell payment plan to knock down my current balance of my twenty four thousand dollar surgery. Fortunately I'm only responsible for about 3% of that and although that is a wonderfully lower amount, my pockets are still burning a whole with all these bills!

In efforts to save money we opted for basic cable. I must say I'm taking advantage of the channels we get as I never used to watch these low-number channels. Shows like 30 Rock, According to Jim, Terra Nova, House and Big Bang Theory, supply quality background sound while cooking or lazying around the apartment. It's all we need for now at least and it's much cheaper. Our wireless allows me to work comfortably from the couch and write my articles. Well, chao!
Doug and my office, sunny and bright and welcoming of our desk and my makeup table.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 81 - Update!

Currently there are a few things going on in the world of my post-surgery jaw, eating habits and overall health and well-being. I've been slacking with keeping my blog up-to-date. The problem is that I have somewhat of a life and my time must be managed properly. Between watching Mrs. Doubtfire and drinking Bosco chocolate goodness I somehow struggle to find the time to type up this here blog post. But, since we gained an hour today with Daylight Savings Time, I thought I now have no excuse and that this one extra hour should be spent in total productivity.

First, I've recently developed an odd pain in my shoulder/neck region,  similar to what dad experienced a few months ago when he was being irritable. He had a problem with his rotator cuff, the group of muscles that act to stabilize the shoulder. He messed it up when he tried lifting a tree singlehandedly. My pain began in my back as a mere dull ache a few weeks ago. I stand for several hours each shift at work and the hard cement floors certainly cannot be healthy for ones posture. As it progressed, my pain worsened and transmitted down my right side to my arm and shoulder. So what did I do? I didn't go to the doctor because last time I went to find out why I was tired, achy and had persistent headaches around the clock, tests were performed and one large bill was issued. Our insurance didn't cover the tests that were conducted. Results came in and I was told I'm normal and only a few hundred dollars in the whole.

After leaving the doc's office I did what anyone would do after receiving no helpful pieces of information in regards to making me healthy. I did my own research and discovered a lot of good information on TMJ. I subsequently decided it was a potential cause of my headaches as there's sufficient evidence to back up that claim. I self-diagnosed myself with TMJ. I figured that even if I didn't have it (although there's a great chance I do since uncle Pete says it is genetic as he also has it) my surgery was necessary due to my enormous overbite. Well, guess what folks, my headaches are back. I'm not jumping to conclusions as surgery was only two months ago and I'm still healing. Feeling is still coming back in different areas of my face and perhaps that explains the small, short, jolts of mild pain I've been receiving in my jaw area this past weekend.

So today I am at it once again, typing away on WebMD.com and it appears I have one of three things: a rotator cuff problem, a slipped disc, or frozen shoulder. Personally, all three of them sound very similar and I'm having trouble self-diagnosing my condition any further. All three of them say to rest it away and take anti-inflammatory medicine. Rest has helped a bit and I've been utilizing my left hand and neglecting my right for the time being. I'll also mention that my mild backache first began on my first day back to work. I figured my body wasn't used to work as it had been through so much trauma during surgery and afterwards I was use to resting all-day with no physical, heavy-duty movement. Standing for a long period of time can be especially rough for people in recovery.

On another note, I'm sick of wearing these elastics to keep my mouth closed. I'm back wearing my elastic bands 24/7 and removing them for a few hours each day. Orthodontist appointments have been less than ideal as my mouth isn't opening wide enough and my jaw is being "lazy" - according to my orthodontist. Apparently my jaw is much stronger than the bands that hold my mouth together, and I should bounce right back upon removing the elastics each morning and be able to open much wider. Currently one and a half finger widths can fit in my mouth but two would be more ideal.

Don't worry though, I have no problem with shoveling food into my mouth. I had a salad a few nights ago. I didn't think I could do it but I attempted, as I was in public and thought total regurgitation might be an unfortunate sight for fellow dining patrons. Besides salad I have been mowing down foods such as beef stew, chicken parmesan, and delicious cookie treats like the one below.
Not quite as good as Uno, but Applebee's Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae hit the spot!
Yum.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 72 - Bosco

Mom brought home this chocolate syrup goodness one day and my life has never been the same since. I simply add it to a wholesome glass of milk and bam, my previously innocent and chocolate-lacking beverage has been transformed. I like how I can monitor the chocolate level and rev it up or minimize my chocolate intake... if that were ever needed, although I'm not sure why I would want to have less chocolate in my life. I found a Bosco recipe on their website and it's super easy to make. Stay tuned for future news of my Bosco cake. I'm sure it will be fabulous as I've been seeking out a perfect chocolate cake recipe with ideal levels of moiste-ness, and chocolate syrup may be the ingredient I had been missing.
Add Bosco Chocolate Syrup to your milk, dessert or bake into recipes.

Doug is healing up well after his wisdom-teeth removal, so now we are both almost entirely patched up and back to normal. I'm wearing two rabbit (the small size) elastics currently 24/7 but removed for eating and brushing. However, this ratio of time spent wearing versus having them off has been tweaked slightly. I spoke to my surgeon who suggested I remove them for a few hours each day. The current placement of the elastics is for strengthening purposes. My jaws are quite strong (according to my surgeon) and my elastics wearing have been reimplemented by the orthodontist. This coming week's ortho appointment will reveal the next step. If I'm able to open my mouth wide enough for work to be done then they will surely be satisfied. But somehow, when jaws are forcibly closed for the majority of hours each day, they do not want to open much when they are allowed to do so. I guess they are expecting a miracle on Thursday. Let's hope the one centimeter current opening will be doubled by my enormous amount of food I enjoy eating and daily mouth stretching exercises.

After reviewing my last blog post, I just realized I have forgot to mention that we got approved for our apartment. Our background and credit checks passed and we are moving into our new home (a place to call our own) on November 15, just in time for Thanksgiving. I would love to spend the holiday in our new place and prepare our first festive holiday meal. Sure it will be a lot of work but it will be a whole lot of fun to use all of our appliances and have everyone over.

The job market (as you probably know) is still looking meek, weak and depressing. I don't like saying "the economy" because what does that even mean? It's boring talk, like the stuff they speak of on those financial channels that only old people watch. Truth be told though, there are few jobs. I'm cherishing my current job and working hard because it's all I, or anyone, can do. I read somewhere that old tactics and tricks used for finding a job in a good economy are not going to work anymore. You must up the ante and try harder, work harder, be smarter and be so much better. Kiss ass even if it hurts. That's my tidbit of inspiration for tonight but I'll leave you with one thought. Don't get discouraged because that won't get you anywhere either. If you don't want to take my word for it, fine, but take Lucy's!


One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.



~Lucille Ball

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 62 - The Best Part of the Muffin

I figured I would write a blog post today and utilize my downtime. I'm bad at the blog thing when I don't have excessive amounts of free-time. I figure one post every week or so should be sufficient. Doug had his wisdom teeth removed this morning and I'm here taking good care of him. Who else would know all about oral surgery and the recovery period, than I? I must say, upon seeing Doug in recovery I couldn't help but smile and be glad that he didn't have his jaws broken but only two stubborn teeth removed. I also smiled when the surgeon mentioned that Doug was a tough guy and that he had to supply extra drugs to put him under because apparently he was giving the doc hell. Hmm... I'll have to find out more later but I am aware of how defensive he sometimes gets when medical persons get too close to him! Ha.

Prior to taking more meds, I made him some delicious instant mashed potatoes, and I'm in love -- they look like fish food before cooking and take only a minute or two to make! My favorite moment is when you add the flakes and they settle into the liquid and instantly become mashed potatoes. I'm in such awe at this revelation because I grew up in a family that did not eat instant potatoes. But, since I'll be moving out of aforementioned family's house very soon, (we found an apartment and are still waiting on appending approval as we are first time leasers and have an established move-in date set for November 14, I will certainly be stocking up on the instant mashed potatoes! After all, something has got to fill up all the empty cabinets!
Doug resting peacefully, and me staying current on my blog.

I'm not sure where I left off in my last post, but I'm now done, cold-turkey with wearing my rubber elastics. This past week I resumed with wearing one sole elastic on my front teeth while sleeping. My surgeon suggested this because my surgical hooks should presumably be removed Wednesday by the ortho and it's wise to use these hooks while we have them! (Two weeks ago I visited the ortho but was unable to open my mouth wide enough to accomplish anything -- Fortunately I have more range now and this week's appointment is looking promising).

My next appointment with my surgeon isn't scheduled until December, so I'll be taking a break from the weekly or bi-weekly visits. My swelling particularly in the chin and cheeks is decreasing at a steady rate.  My weight is gradually going back up and I can now eat cheeseburgers after slicing them finely and forking in bite sized pieces.

Pork and crunchy vegetables are still no-no's but that's fine with me. Never was a big fan of either one.

What's not to like about 30 Rock, starring my favorite Tina Fey (Liz Lemon)??????
Do check it out. The best part of the muffin....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 50 - Regurgitation and Slobbering

Yikes, it's been a week since my last blog post! To my defense, I had a busy week. This past weekend consisted of exciting wedding festivities to celebrate the wedding of my cousin. This event was my first big event since surgery and I managed to scarf down a select few food items. I was appreciative of their gateway into mealtime with delicious soup, I think it was called Italian Wedding. I easily consumed this as well as soft rolls and scrumptious chocolate cupcake for dessert. The main entree was difficult to get down without whole-swollowing chicken but I did okay. Especially since I whole-swallowed probably a dozen little cheese chunks prior to dinner. Whole-swallowing, although not recommended, works decently well.

The night prior at the pre-wedding festivities, Doug and I escaped for a short time to the pizza shop next door (for me to avoid awkward eating pictures of me inhaling food in its entirety). Cut into tiny pieces and partially de-cheesed, pizza (with an abundance) of water can pass through the esophagus nicely. But I sure had one heck of a tummy ache the next day. 
Doug and I after the ceremony testing out the alter ;)

I'm happy to say I can partially chew now. I'm still gumming things down but without thinking much I can get pasta down. Lucky for me spaghetti is our main staple in this house.

The seasons are changing and I'm freezing my end off. Mom and dad don't like to put the heat on until after Christmas. Well not quite but seriously here, I'm cold. How about you invest in a fireplace heat exchanger and save moments of complaints from number one daughter? These are nifty because they help build up amazing heat in the fireplace while making sure to keep smoke from coming into your home.

Monday night was my last night wearing elastic bands and I'm currently bandless. I had my orthodontist appointment Wednesday but not much could be done. I can only open my mouth the smallest amount and wires could not be changed. They did replace my stained front brackets that had got a little nasty while being wired shut. I've also been given a week off from my weekly sugery post-op visits. I'll be seeing the surgeon in five days to see how everything is going. My orthodontist remarked that my bite right now looks fantastic, but that could change and I may have to wear elastics again. Oh give me a break. Now you would think that since I'm robotically assembled with nuts and bolts that nothing is able to move but I guess anything is possible. Only time will tell...

Today is day 50 in my recovery from jaw surgery. My first day back to work was this past Tuesday. It took me long enough and my finances are kicking me in the butt for taking my sweet time going back to work. Five hour shifts of work are perfect right now as eating (shoveling food through my tiny opening) in front of co-workers is not ideal. Although one co-worker today commented that she has successfully raised her children, implying that my regurgitation and slobbering during meal time is nothing to be ashamed of.

Future blog posts will be written on a need-to-write basis meaning that they'll be posted for important, worth-mentioning topics. Since I'm back working, my downtime (excessive sleeping) has been replaced with hours of productivity. Although I consider my blog productive, the world still continues if I don't post. I think. My jaw is doing fabulous today besides the remaining numbness in my chin which hasn't disappeared yet. Massage is said to stimulate circulation so when washing my face I pay particular attention to the numb areas.

While paying attention to my numb parts of my face, I do so in front of my little bedroom mirror. I've always wanted a vanity mirror that comes part of a vanity bedroom set. Different sizes, colors and materials can be used in creating the perfect one for you. Many cheap vanities are available. Cool lights are fun accessories too to have while using your vanity mirror. Have you ever considered possini lighting to give your room some sparkle? Add glow with different color hues. From traditional to extraordinary, different lighting options are available from chandeliers to table lamps. Explore your options and put some color into your world.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 42 - Sad Blender Story

Yesterday was a monumental day but I was too tired to blog as I had sufficiently talked and eaten for the majority of the day. I got my bands off at my appointment and now I only wear them at night for one week. In a week I will see my orthodontist for the first time since before surgery. She will hopefully fix some parts on my braces that have loosened up during surgery. Afterwards she will call my surgeon and report to him how everything is going on my mouth in regards to orthodontics. I will stop wearing my elastic bands at night one day before my ortho appointment. This way my mouth will be completely free for 24 hours and hopefully I'll be able to open my mouth a bit wider.
Doug and I at my 6th week post-op appointment.
Currently I can open my mouth about 1/2 a cm. I haven't measured it but this is what it feels like. I'm not to open my mouth wider than it will go, but overtime it will gradually open wider. I can eat soft foods such as scrambled eggs which I had for breakfast. I also had a piece of toast covered in butter and strawberry jam. After cutting it in tiny pieces it was able to go down easily. Pasta, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, yogurt, jell-o, macaroni and cheese and Ghiradelli fudge brownies are all great options for a soft food diet. Doug and I made the latter last night and they were oh my God, to die for. I've tasted brownies in my frequent ice cream shakes, but not like this. I could feel the soft gooeyness in my mouth as I washed it down with chocolate ice cream. Soft foods are good. I also tried french fries today. I ate about five fries. I'm taking it slow and considered this a great improvement as last McDees experience I merely lapped all the salt off the fry. One step at a time.
Aforementioned Ghiradelli fudge brownies for dad's birthday.
 I retired my blender today and put it back on its perch in the corner of the kitchen. I feel more swollen today, probably from the sudden increase in talking and chewing. My jaw is becoming adjusted to using the chompers again. It's definitely a lot of work having to chew my own food and it's definitely a compromise. The blender was doing all the work for me but I was suffering in consistency. Now I got flavor, body, texture and consistency but I'm a little puffed out. It's a fair trade. I'll take it.
Teethy smile and I'm suddenly not overpowering the picture with my teeth.
Doug and I preparing another delicious meal.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 40 - New 'Do' and Twigs

I just got back from the salon for my quarterly cut. I seem to get my hair cut every four or so months. I don't make regular appointments, but head to the salon when my hair tells me it would like a trim. I had a lot of dead ends, uneven bangs and my hair was getting to be too much to handle! My stylist Jillian did a fabulous job, like always, and added layers, trimmed up the ends (took off 1") and  helped blend in my butchered bangs (my error, I thought I wanted bangs awhile back and they've never grown out properly).
New layers, length and shine.

Tomorrow is my sixth week post-operative appointment. If everything goes well I will leave tomorrow's appointment with news that I only have to wear my rubber bands at night. This will be a good-case scenario. An excellent-case scenario would be that I don't have to wear my bands at all anymore.  I actually have grown accustomed to wearing them and my jaw feels more secure, like a finely wrapped Christmas present that's all dolled up and ready to be delivered. I'm mechanically put together with screws on each side of my jaw, that hopefully will never fall out and will naturally be covered by the tissue in my mouth. Whatever the doc decides is fine with me. See how easy-going I've become? He's smart and I put my faith in him to not mess up my whole facial construction and he did not let me down there. He's good. 

I'm now eating the most in six weeks. When I have my bands off I set the clock and try to cram as much food in me as I can in that period of time. Oh gosh that isn't true; I would feel sick if I did that. It's close though, but it's more like this. I've been eating whatever everyone else is having for dinner with a nominal amount of liquid. The consistency no longer must be extreme in regards to liquidness. It now can be rather thick, just as long as when I pick up my glass the liquid will eventually pour out into my mouth. I've been having about four scoops of ice-cream each day. It's all air I'm telling you and it's very disappointing when I walk away to let it melt and come back to find a sad, quarter filled glass of melted ice cream. I sometimes add a little chocolate or regular milk to compensate for this air phenomenon and to make myself believe I'm really drinking a whole fattening glass of ice cream. 

Mom told me yesterday that if she didn't know me she would think I was very sick because of my weight loss. This is a little bit exaggerated because I've only lost nine pounds in the past six weeks and if you recall I was determined to stick to my goal of not weighing less than 100 pounds after surgery (or ever in my lifetime). People weighing less than 100 are children, those creepily-skinny-smoker type people, and then of course people with extreme sickness. Don't worry, my weight will bounce back once I'm eating food that my blender hasn't modified. I must say that my legs look twig-like and although I may be on the skinny-side, prior to surgery I've always had chunky limbs. Today I flaunted my twigs as I know they will not last and went to the salon to get my hair done. Dad commented that my new 'do' was getting me a lot of doors being held open. The new 'do' was a fine accomplice but I think the twigs had something to do with it too. 

These twigs look good and they may, key word 'may' have enticed me to tone up these twigs once I start eating regular and maintain a healthy body physique.  But what fun is that? Exercise + me just does not mix. I try to run on the treadmill but I just get bored, out of breath or I find something more exciting to do like eat a big juicy cheeseburger. Skinny people should exercise too because heart conditions and health problems can effect anyone but what motivation is available for us twigs? Non-exericising twigs are constantly being told throughout life how skinny they are and what is their response? Oh why thank you I eat burgers and fries until they come out my ears but I'm sorry you can't do that too because you're a plus size supermodel and those things would kill you. Everyone tells us how skinny we are but can we tell you how fat you are? Oh gosh no that would be terribly rude. Both scenarios have it hard. Eating a fry and gaining ten pounds must be irritating, but eating a whole box of fries and a burger and not gaining a pound is also irritating. Or eating all the before-mentioned items and not gaining any new weight but stockpiling the lard into those thunder-thighs is a real burden too. Everyone has got a bone to throw and it's fine as long as it's not a chicken bone or if it is make sure to devour all that meat on the bone first. ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 38 - Real Crapper of a Day

Today is a real crapper kind of a day. It's humid and muggy, dreary and damp outside. I'm wearing shorts because I feel so sticky today, it's real gross I'm telling you. Mom and dad went to the Greek fest and brought home a whole slue of goodies such as baklava, grape leaves, spinach pita (you know the thing with feta cheese inside, outside fila dough), and some solid (I mean delicious and 100% real, not hard), double chocolate brownies. I finished off my taco meal by blending up some brownie frozen yogurt, half of one of these large brownies and some milk to blend it up properly. It's just delicious and my bands are currently off so I don't have to worry about any small chunks getting in the way.

I've been taking my bands off at lunch and dinner for about an hour each time. It's real simple to remove them with tweezers. I change the bands out with new ones at night time as they get stretched out during the day. But even with new bands my mouth is still able to have a lot of freedom, so they are just there for guidance, and to make sure I'm not shoveling food in my mouth. Even if I wanted to start shoveling in the food, I wouldn't be able to at this point. I tried to avoid blending the spinach pita thing but my mouth doesn't open wide enough as of right now. I blended it with just a little bit of water and it tasted and smelt delicious, very similar to the actual thing. My tacos by the way were fabulous so here is the recipe for them below:

1/2 cup ground beef
1/2 seasoned rice pilaf
A handful of grated cheese
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 shredded lettuce
1/4 chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
A dollop of Sour Cream

Add all ingredients into a tall glass, in the order listed.
Toss into blender.
Add one can warmed up tomato sauce + one can water.
Blend until desired tendency, and enjoy.

As you can see I've been eating pretty good. I've been taking care and creating fun meals even though it will always end up in the blender it's still exciting to prepare. I seem to have gotten a cold so this morning I crushed up a vitamin C tablet and added it to my Carnation dark chocolate (new flavor and very yummy) breakfast shake. This is also why I am consuming such a fine quantity of garlic, it certainly does give my meals a real kick, really adds some pizzazz that I just can't live without.

Doug took these photos on his iPhone so I would know where to put my bands each time I took them off.

Flattering pictures, yes?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 36 - 5 Week Post-Op

I just returned from the surgeon's office for my 5 week post-operative appointment. I got some cool elastics in two little bags. There are the rabbit (large) and chipmunk (small) bands to change out and remove for two hours each day. I can brush my teeth and experience freedom during this time twice daily. I made a little diagram so I don't forget what teeth they are on. Next Tuesday will be my 6th week post-operative visit, and hopefully my bands will be removed at that time. I may have to wear them only at night after that for a bit, but that is fine with me as long as they are off during the day time hours. For this week my diet will remain the same, although I won't be wearing bands 100% of the time, I'm still on the liquid diet.

Doug brought over the movie Bridesmaids to watch tonight and it looks real funny. We both like going to Wally World to pick up fun $5 dollar movies but sometimes the selection isn't the greatest. If you want some awesome funny movies at a cleverly low price, check out comedy movies and see their full selection. Also available are comedy television shows. You can even sort through various producers such as Walt Disney or Paramount if looking for a select title. You search by lowest price, highest price or best deal too. The website offers funny movies and sitcoms so next time you're seeking out a movie or show, be sure to check them out. I know during my recovery from surgery my movie watching hobby has increased significantly.

Doug and I playing on the computer, waiting at the surgeon's office.

My surgeon also feather-dusted my face with my eyes closed to see how my regaining-feeling was coming. He thinks it's probable that I'll gain all my feeling back. I say that is good news! Feeling is nice, I would like my feeling back but it's fine right now and I'm dealing. I'm not totally numb by any means, just tingly in the chin and lower lip.

Eating was a breeze tonight. Mom made her awesome veggie and pork stir-fy, and I made some seasoned rice. Try blending that all together with some warmed up apple juice, and you got yourself a delicious meal! Oh, but don't forget the garlic, I did and then had to re-blend it. Garlic is key flavoring, not that mom's stir-fry isn't delicious but when it comes to blended food think flavor, flavor and yes, flavor.

Did I mention Douggie made "homemade boxed Ghirardelli" brownies? That may be an oxymoron, however they were delicious. He said they're homemade because he added in extra chocolate and olive oil. That's my Douggie, he's creative and a wonderful from-scratch kind of cook. I took the brownies, added a scoop of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and cold milk and had myself a tall glass of 500 calories and enjoyed it to the last drop.

I mention all this food because it's considerably easier to eat since today's visit. My bands are in place as a gentle means of holding my jaw but they really aren't doing a whole lot. They are weak bands and get stretched out easily, that's why I have a couple of bags to change them out when needed. This also makes food go into my mouth in a much quicker, easier, less-messy fashion. I think I made a new record and guzzled mum's stir-fry in less than three minutes. I also got more fake Ensure today too and I suggest you try it if you haven't already, it's delicious.

Since these new bands are so weak, it's apparent that my jaw has become quite strong once again. It's holding its own well, and the doc says my bite is looking "pretty good". I consider this an excellent remark because he's a serious perfectionist and pretty good is high up there for such a well-thought-out, genius type of man. That's why I have the bands on today. Other surgeons may have let me loose a few weeks ago but I'm glad I'm still banded up and playing it safe to avoid any unnecessary negative outcomes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 35 - Creepy Smiling Photos & Nonstop Eating

I love buying Equate, Wally World's generic version of items. I got Equate Nutritional Drink (fake Ensure), and it's delicious. It actually tastes better than the original, probably because it's in a can. I made chicken fettuccine alfredo again last night because it is so hearty and I don't feel starving when it is in the house. I also had a big juicy cheeseburger for dinner, but only consumed half due to all the tomato sauce I had to wash down with it.

Last night I ate a dark chocolate better-than-Reese's (from our local candy shop) peanut butter cup. I melted it a few seconds in the toaster oven until the insides were squishy. Using my finger I slathered the chocolate goodness over my front teeth making my face look like I just rolled around in a barrel of poo. It tasted delicious and I simply washed it down with some water. It's much easier than figuring out what to mix it with, especially when I wasn't entirely hungry but just wanted a sweet treat for dessert.

Speaking of sweet treats, after my cheeseburger tonight I still felt hungry. I guzzled down a fake Ensure, and still felt hungry. I'm like a nonstop eating machine. I took out a few scoops of Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream and scooped them into my glass. Then I added a carton of chocolate milk to it. The chocolate milk was consumed first but the closer I got to the ice cream the sweeter it tasted. The milk helped melt the ice cream too, so I could drink it all up. 
This wouldn't be complete without me showcasing this delicious sweet treat!
It also wouldn't be complete without a creepy photo of myself: Check out the elastic bands.
So, there you have it. I have basically a normal smile, well, almost, minus the rubber bands and the numbness in my chin and nose and fear of me "smiling" my jaw to uncomfortable places. I still baby my jaw and sleep on my side only with extra soft pillows. I'm avoiding sneezing when I can to avoid throwing my jaw out.

Tomorrow's my 5th week-post operative visit and I'm psyched to go see what position my bands will be in this time! I did not break any elastics this week, surprisingly, and in fact they still seem very tight, normally they loosen up through the week. Each day that passes is a yippee, woo haa, ah hooo -- in the countdown to eating. But seriously, food is overrated, food is food, we can live how many days without food? Quite a few. It's the H2O that must be consumed regularly and I'm getting plenty of that. Drink up my fine feathered friends.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If I Were a Bounty Hunter...

I’m currently onto book number two of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanonvich. For anyone who is unaware, Stephanie is a bounty hunter who works for Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. She takes home 10% of every bond - when she brings in the bad guys (or gals) who failed to show for their court appearance. Some of these bonds are priced high and she makes out with a pocket full of gold, not at all bad for a days work. She picks up various skills that are necessary to have for this career. I’ve considered becoming a bounty hunter myself, for defense reasons and just show that I can kick some serious butt.
Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum in One for the Money released to theatres in January.

For others, different means of defending yourself may be more suitable. Unless you were born with superhero skills, you may want to invest in a more low-key method of surveillance to protect house, boat, vacation home, etc. by obtaining an Adt system. Log onto Adt and type in your zip-code to get an analysis of crime statistics for your area. Adt can be installed next day, and log on to find out how you can get a $100 Visa Rewards Card! What will you use your gift card on? Peace of mind is knowing you are protected.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 33 - Garlic, Spices and Flavor

Since I'm almost all healed up, I plan to dwindle down a bit on the blog posts and post every day or so. Swelling is almost completely gone, however, my acne is uproarious due to aforementioned swelling, and my oily skin is still present too. All thanks to the swelling which thankfully is diminishing.

Mealtime today was enjoyable. For lunch I served up some Chunky Campbells soup, official soup of the NFL. However, this puzzles me. I’m not sure how such tough football men can eat this regularly. Doug had a bowl too and his wasn’t blended, yet he commented that the soup had a very boring taste, or lack-thereof. I added some pasta to it to give it some more oomph. I followed up with blended farm stand melon (none of that diseased Wally World fruit), honey yogurt, and one banana.

Doug and I after eating our Chunky soup.

Dinnertime was delicious, and more filling than lunch. Dad grilled chicken and sausage but since I’m not sure how sausage would blend with the skin and all the delicious mystery items incorporated in sausage, so I took a big chunk of chicken, cut it up into small pieces, and added it to my macaroni and cheese mixture. I made a cheesy mac n’ cheese for the fam and segregated out a small portion into a separate pan for myself. I added extra milk, some half and half, sour cream, a few spoonfuls of minced garlic and olive oil (really gives it some spunk) and about a half cup of water. Then I loaded up the blender and pureed it all together. 

I could tell from one wiff that it would taste great by the aroma that emitted from the blender. The garlic was the key ingredient and really made it special. It was much better than the Hot Dinner Drink recipe I tried a few days home from the hospital. The mere problem with that was that the recipe didn’t call for any flavorful ingredients. It simply requested milk, rice or pasta, and chicken. A successful blended meal requires spice, flavor, or anything tasty.

I had hummus today. Everytime that little hummus container lands on the kitchen table I ooh and aaah at it, but today I said hey, I’m going in for the good stuff. I dipped my finger and got a little tad on the end and planted it in front of my bottom teeth. I’ve got mobility and movement now so I can squeeze yummy foods down. I’m also getting lazy with the blender routine so for dessert I left out some ice cream for a while in a glass and let it melt. Slowly the chocolate goodness would be melted enough for me to get down a nice big sip, or slurp. It’s a little time consuming but tastes better than blended ice cream because it’s not all frothy.

I also got more Ensure, or actually, fake Ensure (Wally brand) because it’s a dollar cheaper, and fyi it tastes exactly the same. It comes in an 8 oz pop-top can, which is convenient and handy for on the go, just like the bottles. I got the regular vanilla flavor this time as the Clinical Strength ones basically taste like medicine, or something served in a clinic – appropriately termed clinical strength.

It twas’ a good day. I'm not going insane anymore at the sight of good food. I can eat good food, it's just in a different form and heck, I'll be eating real food in due time. My appetite is not skyrocketing anymore either; I get hungry like a normal person but not insanely hungry. 


Goodnight! That's all folks...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 32 - Go with Your Gut

Okay, I gave in and tried a blended cheeseburger. I decked out half a cheeseburger (bun included) with fresh homemade salsa, mustard and ketchup and lots of cheddar cheese. I blended it all together with watered down Campbells Cheddar Soup. The meat was a bit difficult going down, same with last nights meat sauce. I did manage to get it down by eating my meal in the bathroom and using my Waterpik each time my teeth got clogged. It tasted good and the flavors that really stood out were ketchup, salsa and of course the cheese soup. These key ingredients provide amazing flavor and are helpful to include in blended creations.
The before picture of the tasty, meaty burger with salsa, ketchup, mustard and extra cheese.
I'm determined to get back to work as soon as possible, due to financial constraints and all-out boredom. In today's tough economy, even minimum wage retail jobs help pay the bills, as long as I'm conservative and avoid expendable shopping trips. I plan on working a few short mornings this week to see how things go. I'm sure I can handle it. I've been getting out each day, taking regular walks and trying to stay busy. 

Dinner was great tonight. I made up a can of Campbells Cream of Chicken soup and watered it down. I added leftover pasta, chicken, green beans, and garlic, salsa, cheese and a few spices for flavor. It tasted great and had its carbohydrates and protein, however it wasn't filling and I'm hungry. I think I'll make a repeat of last nights apple crisp and ice cream treat.

I'm contemplating asking my surgeon to remove my rubber elastics a few days early. Towards the end of this month a certain cousin of mine will be tying the blessed wedded knot and I should be getting my bands removed one day prior to this occasion. It would be splendid however to move this date up a day or two, so I can exercise my mouth and hopefully open it enough to shovel in soft food at the wedding. However, I will be trucking along my handy dandy baby spoon because we all know, I'm all style. If it's not doable with the surgeon, I'll live, but I don't think a day or two would make a huge difference, particularly since I probably will be wearing bands at night for a bit longer.

I've always known I enjoyed food, but I'm not sure I understood the severity. The number of times a day I think about food now have become overwhelming, and mind boggling to comprehend. Dining out is a social experience, one that I'm socially lacking. Dining out with Doug is my #1 favorite thing. I'm looking at my calendar considering his next days off spent together and how I will be drinking my meals. I know one day soon he will come over and we'll go out for lunch and I will go insane because I love food so much but it's crazy to consider. Is this why America is so obsese, simply because food is so amazing?

Everything in moderation is my motto. Taco Bell included. Your body likes to have different flavors, and entrees because each dish possesses different characteristics that make your taste buds water, and your stomach accept or reject. Don't be a porker, but go with your gut.

My tongue feels even more disgusting than it did last week, obviously, due to lack of brushing. It's not that I'm not hygienic, my Waterpik is used eight to ten times per day. It helps rid food particles and dead skin cells, but still I feel slimy, especially the backs of my teeth which are impossible to clean. Salt water rinses help too and I personally don't feel I reek, however I am consciously aware of my grubby feeling tongue.

I have a full-fledged goofy smile now. Not quite as goofy as it was a week ago, but definitely on the goofy side with the bands and all. I'm just glad that my mouth is gaining back its flexibility because this indicates the numbness is way, way down.

On an unrelated note, here's something to look forward to..... The New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel airs Tuesday on Fox. It looks funny, so tune in and watch it! Check out the trailer here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 31 - Apple Crisp through the Wire

One month ago I was lying in a recovery room at this hour, constantly wiping my oozing nose and watching Hot in Cleveland around 3am, feeling inevitably alone, and numb. As for today my only complaint is the numbness in my right nostril and chin which is starting to become annoying. That and not being able to sneeze legitimately. Minor complaints for significant surgery, so all is well.

I drove for the first time in 30 days today when driving the fam to the apple orchard. Dad was worried I had forgotten how to operate a vehicle, but I think I passed the test of completing the 4 mile route to and from the farm. After picking apples, I came home and made a scrumptious apple crisp. I was a little timid to use the apple wedge slicer because it really asks a lot of your body in-terms of force exerted. I kind of felt my jaw yelp but it was probably good exercise and I only had to use it six times for my six apples.
See, these are the faces of total enjoyment. Yippee.
On another note, farm-stand donuts are probably the only donuts I eat because the ones I like have maple frosting and chopped nuts on them. They are my favorite, so I insisted mom and dad eat that variety only when in a state of complete euphoria and to thoroughly enjoy it as much as I would. They complied (see photo above). I would've blended it, but nuts supposedly don't blend well. So, I blended up a plain maple donut and chocolate chip cookie and now I feel like a porker from washing it down with an 8oz glass of milk. It worked out though and I wasn't completely deprived. In any case, I'll be back at the farm-stand come October to get my pumpkin, and yes, more donuts.
Admiring my apple creation before some is tossed into the blender later.
Apple, apple crisp and Cooking with Apples cookbook. 
I'm getting a bit of tooth sensitivity today (hot and cold) which I'm surprised I haven't gotten sooner. Other jaw people had complained at the beginning about this, so I think I will be okay. Jaw pain is mild today, daily massage aids sufficiently in decreasing pain, and my elastics are causing much less hell as they are getting stretched out each day that passes. About one and a half more weeks (if everything goes well) until I'm de-banded, at least for the daytime hours. That is the day I will be yelling out a big hell-yeah to all the greatest foods in the world. Hell yeah!

I just whipped some apple crisp, mint chocolate ice cream and cold milk together in the blender. The result was not bad at all and the consistency was good too. I debated making two apple crisps, one for now and I'd freeze one for later, but I thought nah, too much work. It's still fun to cook although I can't eat (the normal way), but I'll possibly enjoy my cooking ability more-so in a few short weeks. 

Check out this country singer bellowing out lyrics with her jaws wired shut. Neat-o.

Post-Operative Checkpoint Past 30 Days
(With Significant Improvements from Day 10 forward: 
(Jaw Surgery 101)

Experienced a Reduction in: 
Swelling (95%)
Numbness (78%)
Jaw Pain (97%)

Increase in: 
Hunger (92%)
Meals per Day (73%)
Energy Level (67%)
Boredom (77%)
Lip Function (top lip only - bottom lip still numb) & Mobility (59%)
Bone Regrowth (60%)
Quality of Sleep (93%)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 30 - Where's the Good Service ? BBB!

Today marks 30 days since my surgery. I think I am healing well. I went to Tj's last night, thinking I was looking much better, just to be told by my coworkers that apparently I am still huge. Thank you, thank you very much, this is such a great boost for my confidence. You think I'm swollen now? Perhaps you should have seen me a couple of weeks ago.

We went to the Common Man today for, yes, another torture session of me watching everyone eat delicious food. The hostess hears about my surgery and says to my parents "so, why did you take her out to a restaurant!?" And they replied, "to make your wait staff blend her up something wonderful." Kidding, but we thought we would give it another go - after yesterday's not-complete-fail, (I did blend the soup later and it was quite scrumptious) I figured this could be a new trial and error experience.

The hostess suggested corn chowder. I'm not generally a fan of corn chowder but it was that or pumpkin, bean, and chicken soup. With that being said, we asked if they could blend me some corn chowder, and the hostess checked with the cook who said he could do anything! I thought this sounded promising. Until I received my bowl of unblended, lobster corn chowder which I ended up bringing home and blending up myself (and it was absolutely fabulous). Apparently utilizing the liquify button on the blender is a task many restauranteurs are not willing to undertake.
Common Man's lobster corn chowder - deliciously buttery, more liquified with extra water, and pureed to perfection in under 10 seconds ;)

If you think it's outrageous to ask a restaurant to blend a meal, first consider a few things. Does the restaurant have a bar? If they do, then they will have a blender. Such as the chinese restaurant (and bar) yesterday who was not accommodating of my request. Consider a second piece of information. Mom works with elderly and chronically ill people, some who do not have all their teeth. They request their food be blended at restaurants all over town. Save a plate and blend something up. It doesn't take more than a minute to clean out the blender, I can even do it for them! I guess good service is hard to find these days... but it wasn't last night!!

Doug and I went out because my energy level had skyrocketed and I felt normal again. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and the energizer bunnies working behind the counter, complimentary wrapped our gifts. They were spunky, and glad to be of service. Doug commented afterwards that that is how retail employees should be, but sadly a very small number are so accommodating.

I forgot to mention we got an extra meal for me for later. Those cool coupons the high school kids sell to raise money for sports, certainly come in handy. I think I'll be putting a dent in some of those coupons in a couple of weeks, when I'm unwired and hungry. The buy-one-get-one-entree coupon was handy today. Mom and dad shared an apple almond chicken and got one for me for dinner tonight, that I can blend up with apple juice. I've been packing on a few pounds. Blended chicken alfredo is filling, hearty, and great to have some stashed on-hand in the fridge. A full tummy is a happy tummy. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 29 - Who Doesn't Own a Blender?

My blender gets a good work out, each and every day. It used to sit idle and not get much attention, but that all changed when I got socked in the jaw, intentionally of course. My blender became a big part of my life, where it goes - I go, except the Chinese restaurant, where Chinamen are instructed to happily serve us and not call us a-holes because I have special needs and am temporarily wired shut.
I forgot to photograph all the delicious food I drank today, so this photo is of Doug and I from a few days ago. I would take a photo now, but my face is extremely oily from the remnants of swelling that still remain, plus I've talked way too much today and my jaw is upset with me and saying "ouch, please stop talking." 

So I got my hopes up and I'm still banded shut. At my 4th post-operative visit today, my surgeon was impressed with the cleanliness of my mouth. He was also impressed with the position of my jaws, or shall we say, my new bite. However, he wasn't sure whether or not my bite looked perfect simply because I had been wearing fairly tight elastics for the past several weeks, or if it genuinely was in good shape. So he left me un-banded for about thirty minutes, allowed me to brush my teeth and instructed me to talk as much as I could and gently move my jaws side to side.

First, I brushed my teeth and was happy to see that I could open my mouth up a good amount, more so than last week. I could even get my tongue out a bit and I jumped at this opportunity and scrubbed the tip just a bit, still not wanting to open too wide. Then dad handed me the box of trivia cards and I read them off one after another, practicing my enunciation and opening and closing my mouth. When the doc came back in, he appeared very happy that my jaws still looked great and aligned, even after I had brushed my teeth and talked for a good half hour. But, just to be on the safe side, he wired me up once again with thinner bands that will stretch (and probably break) easily, so I'll be careful with these ones. He asked me if I'll be okay one more week wearing these, I answered that I will have to be! Heck, what is a couple more weeks on a liquid diet anyways? Pure hell? Nah, just kidding. It's quite lovely actually, particularly if you have a busy schedule and are always on the go. Many minutes are saved when you do not spend time gluttonously inhaling large quantities of lard-ish food that tastes, so wonderfully good.

At next week's appointment I'll most likely get two bands, one on each side of my mouth that will gently hold my jaws together. I'm guessing that after this I will only have to wear the elastics at night. A few more post-op visits will follow, every few months (after the next two) to verify that my bite is where it should be.

I was sitting in the surgeons chair thinking how hungry I was. This feeling was much more intensified after we had been there for two hours. Dad decided he couldn't drive home hungry. He decided it would be proper to get Chinese food and sit in front of me and eat it. We asked the waiter if he could blend up some food for me. He said no and then started talking about soy sauce, so I'm guessing he had no clue what was happening. I was wrong. (See a-hole comment above.) For who doesn't own a blender? I sucked out all the broth from my wonton soup, and took the leftover wontons home to blend up later.

So, I'm a little bummed out about the Greek festival which will be only a couple of days after my 5th post-op appointment. Going with today's notion that I'll be in bands still, I won't be able to eat this deliciousness and this makes me sad. However, it does de-complicate things because the Rochester Fair is that same day and James Wesley will be performing. I think this helps in my decision of which event I should attend. I was so confused on which one to choose!
James Wesley performing his hit song "Real".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 28 - Like It, Love It, Done with It

Do we all know what tomorrow is? Tomorrow is my fourth post-operative appointment, and I'm hoping for great news. I've been massaging my cheeks each night, which by the way, everyone should do. It feels marvelous. Actually every part of your body should be massaged, particularly any zone that is achy, or feeling neglected. If your feet hurt, you should massage them and give them attention, that's all they are asking for!

Anyways, my swelling in my cheeks is way down, from what I can tell, but lets hope the surgeon agrees and lets me wear my elastics only at night. Glendi Greek fest is three days away, so it's sunken in by now that I will not be in attendance this year. I have marked my calendar for other joyous events such as our local Greek festival on September 24, and of course a family wedding at the end of September, which happens to be two days after my six week post-operative appointment, talk about good timing! If all continues to go well, tomorrow I will begin on soft foods, (i.e. mashed potatoes, baked beans, scrambled eggs, probably not all together at once) and by six weeks I will be working my way onto regular foods.

Fall used to be my favorite season, back when I was young and enjoyed riding my bicycle through piles of leaves, :) then I got tired of the chilly weather, but now the cool air coming in feels rather refreshing.  September and October festivities are right around the bend, such as apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and probably my favorite, eating fresh donuts at the farm stand. I guess I'll stop talking about food as soon as I'm allowed to eat whatever I please. Oh heck, who am I kidding, I'll continue as long as you keep reading my blog!

I'm considering posting recipes that I've encountered during my jaw surgery endeavor, for you to have handy at all times. Who knows when you may need some great blenderized recipes, but I truly hope you don't need them too soon.

Speaking of great recipes for the blender, see Melon, Banana, Yogurt Smoothie recipe below, (my own little creation, but you can basically try out any of your favorite fruits --neglect kiwi if you can, it's somewhat pucker when blended):

Ingredients

1/2 a cantaloupe
1 small, ripe banana
1/2 cup any flavor yogurt (try honey vanilla yogurt)
A splash of apple juice (a couple of tablespoons)

Blend until smooth.
I try it.
I like it.
I'm happily content :)
Today's the first day I haven't been constantly eating, because I've been eating substantial meals throughout the day that are actually quite good. I've had zero Ensures or Boosts today. I had blended Progresso turkey noodle soup for lunch. My fruity treat above was satisfying, nourishing and filling. I made chicken broccoli fettucini alfredo for dinner. In a small sauce pan I scooped in a good sized amount, and added extra milk, sour cream, water and butter, to make sure it was extra fattening, and to ensure that it would taste good all liquified. I blended it up and downed it in less than a few minutes. It was very cheesy and delicious, and I downed two glasses. 

Although today's nourishment tasted just delightful, this isn't to say that I'm not ready to actually feel my food in my mouth. I've been missing out on texture. I didn't feel like cleaning the blender just now, so I left out the ice cream for awhile, plopped it into a glass and slowly drank it all, letting it melt as I went. I have to say it tasted better than blended ice-cream because there was no fizz on the top. That is the way to complete balanced nutrition. A glass a day keeps the doctor away... 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 27 - Surgeons and Seamstresses

I keep snapping my elastic bands. Today one more snapped. I have this weird phenomenon that keeps occurring. I'll be relaxing, like sleeping or browsing the web, and then I get a sudden need to cough, but it's so difficult being banded shut and all, that I hold it in. Then I feel like I'm choking, so I tell my subconscious-self to relax, that I'm getting plenty of air and that I will survive. But this time it was too late and I had released my cough and snapped the band on my top teeth. Well, two down. One or two is okay, according to my surgeon, but any more will require an inconvenient visit up north to have them replaced. I'm going to be preparing my food for the next couple of days in an extra blenderized fashion, to ensure that I don't have to open my mouth more than necessary, and snap more bands.

It occurred to me today that the breaking of the elastics may be caused from my newfound adoration for tomato soup. After all, tomatoes are acidic, and could potentially break the little rubber bands holding my jaws together. So today I took a break from the tomato soup and tried broccoli cheese soup. I added way too much milk and was left with a queasy feeling afterwards. I think I'll save the other can for when I can have soft foods. Ahem, Thursday, please.......

In today's rough economy, I was considering similar jobs that a tradesman could potentially transfer into, if needed. I was looking at my mouth in shock at the wonderful alignment of my new jaws. I thought that if there was ever a decreased need for surgeons, my surgeon could be a seamstress. It then occurred to me that I doubt there would ever not be a need for surgeons, but perhaps a decreased need for seamstresses, and they are the ones who could assist in doing the focused needlework, planning and mapping out of breaking jaws and sewing them back together. After-all, my surgeon is meticulous and my jaws are aligned perfectly. Kind of a weird thought I suppose.

My jaws do look great though, and I am shocked, not that I didn't have faith that the operation would be a success, but because of other jaw surgery patients. All my prior reading had indicated that one would not be able to get a firm image of what the jaw alignment would look like, until at least a few months after surgery. Well, the day after surgery, when I bravely looked in the mirror at the hospital, I looked like the little blue girl from Willy Wonka who ate the candy she wasn't supposed to eat and blew up to the size of a whale. I was enormous, yet I instantly could tell that my lips were meeting, although they were initially meeting more than they do now, due to incessant swelling. A few days after surgery however I was given an even better image of how my jaws would look, as the swelling dissipated. I conclude that operation-break-my-jaw was completed by the most qualified in the field.

My jaw pain is null today and the slight remnants of pain are vastly decreasing each day. However, I still am timid when it comes to laying directly on my jaw, like when lying on Douggie while watching a movie. A few weeks ago I had to manually drag my head with my hand when I got up out of bed. I felt like the walking dead. I'm happy to say that my head gets up all on its own now, but still will require a bit more R&R until it's back to normal. All part of the good ol' healing process.

Douggie and I went to Borders tonight because tomorrow is their last day before they are closed for good. They had a few items, and everything is now 90% off, but once again, unless you want a copy of Sarah Palin's book, sorry, you're out of luck! I did get some cheap gift bags though. Chao Borders, it 'twas nice knowing you!
Check out Doug's new hair cut :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 26 - Feed Me!: Pork Roast Suppa Time

Mom got pizza for dinner, and so I did the usual, exciting blender routine. I consumed one and a half slices and one can of watered down tomato sauce. I felt relatively full, for about 30 minutes. I'm hungry. I'm not tempted by any sugary, sweet, excessively flavored item. Plain, flavorless dishes are all that I want right now. I'm planning out my new soft food diet, for whenever that may be beginning, and it includes mashed potatoes, baked beans, and of course the almighty delicious Annie's mac n' cheese.

Mom came home from work tired and compared with dad their amounts of productivity they both participated in today. They look to me like I'm a big lump on a log, but I say, "hey, it's not like I didn't do anything...I ate all day." I swear my biggest chore is eating. I have to eat every hour or so. At first it wasn't so frequent but the longer I am banded shut, the greater my constant need for food becomes. Oh sweet food, wonderful food, I love you so much. 

I was Googling recipes for a wired jaw today, one of my daily activities when I'm sitting at the kitchen table, famished, (you'd think I would stop doing this, as it always yields the same results) but nonetheless I continue and I came across this. Check out this cool article on what this guy has accomplished, while being wired shut. Guess you could say he's accomplished more than I -- all I've become is incredibly hungry and irritable but hey, you win some you lose some.


It's just a few more days until my 4th week post-operartive visit, and I'm trying to not break any more bands. One broke tonight, but I knew it would break soon as last night I could see a small tear forming. Doc said they would begin to snap when I begin talking more as my jaw heals. I guess I'll have to shush for awhile and go back to using my automated Text to Speech function that I used in my initial days home from the hospital. 

Other things to look forward to include the pork roast supper coming up at the end of October. I shall be de-banded, fully functional, and seriously in need of some pork, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet apple sauce, yummy biscuits, and scrumptious brownie sundae. 
Cracker Barrel's chicken fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy and fried apples.

I'm not sure why I'm torturing myself by Googling images of the delicious Cracker Barrel's food, but I'm so looking forward to my first dining out experience and enjoying all they have to offer. Yummy yummy, food in my tummy!!!!!!! Well, I'll leave you with this delicious photo as I am currently in my pj's, after continually slobbering pizza sauce all over myself. All is well, for who doesn't want to dream about the Cracker Barrel tonight? I know I do.

All an eagle would really like, is a teapot

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 25 - Blended Waffles, Only Temporary

I'd like to begin by recognizing today as September 11, 2011, marking the ten year anniversary of 911. Television news programs replayed past coverage today and hosted memorial events to help remember the lives taken, and bring peace and serenity to families of victims, friends, neighbors, and all involved. We go about this day, honoring the lives of the deceased and the families, and hoping for a world of peace.

A melancholy feel was felt around the globe today, and mom and I experienced it out at the shopping center, where lonely souls were united for some togetherness in the form of feel-good shopping. Mom and I went to Marshalls and I got fabulous black pumps. I've realized I haven't been working for one month. We would have gone to TJ's but I'm not ready to encounter coworkers and announce my new speech and vocabulary impediment. In due time.

My waffles this morning for breakfast were delicious, buttered with honey to perfection :) Once popped into the blender they taste just the same! Okay, I keep telling myself this, and although I add extra butter to really make them taste like waffles, it still isn't the same! Similar, but not the same.
Surely not the end result... satisfying yes, but I'm looking forward to ending this never-ending cleaning out the blender ritual...
I've been eating a lot, but a lot just isn't enough! I'm not calorie-counting anymore, as my weight is remaining steady and I'm not too worried. I get enough calories to feel alive and not too lethargic, most days. If I'm feeling dead, then I just go whip something up in the blender. Melon and plain yogurt makes a delicious, satisfying snack, or breakfast. I like to add a smidgin of melted chocolate. I got this idea because the other day I added a Stonyfield Chocolate Underground yogurt, which is vanilla yogurt with chocolate on the bottom. Mom insisted I use the plain, boring yogurt today, in efforts to clean out the fridge, so I spiced it up with the melted chocolate. God only knows, this household has got plenty a supply of chocolate on hand at all times!

Before jaw surgery I was never a huge fan of tomato soup. I love grilled cheese with tomato soup, but I would pass on having it solo, until now. I practically live off of tomato soup. It goes down smooth and does not need to be blended. I am so tired of cleaning out that blender. I try to blend only at dinner time. I generally can do this if I grab a bottled drink for breakfast, tomato soup for lunch, and an Ensure here and there. But somedays I go nuts with hunger and I feel like I spend my whole day cleaning that thing out! Gahh! Mom reminded me today that this stage is only temporary. Yes, temporary is a nice word.

My nose is totally congested and I'm trying to not sneeze through my nose, as instructed by my surgeon, but sometimes my sneezes are so quick I just don't know they're coming! Besides this, and my annoyance at being hungry and my irritability at cleaning my blender, I'm in zero pain. My jaw pain stopped a few days ago, and I'm drug free. I'm pretty numb in my chin and that is annoying, but bearable. I'm still bruised a bit on my chin but my surgeon was glad to see it is yellow as apparently it had been brown before, and yellow means healing. My cheeks feel smaller, as I've been massaging them at least once each night, in hopes that I will be noticeably less swollen on Thursday and will be released from rubber band hell! I'm so hungry and would love to hear that I can wear my elastics only at night. We'll see how that goes.

As I mentioned previously in the Mary Poppins post, I'm on a Disney movie kick. Tonight, we're going to watch either the Rescuers or Rescuers Down Under. I don't remember much of either one of them, except that there are two cute New York City mice, (I think this is an omen or a tribute and therefore specifically meant to be watched today), a cute little orphan named Penny, and one evil, evil woman. Disney movies are great, but the singalongs can get to be a bit too much! Disney movies on the list to watch include Aladdin, Bambi, Pinocchio and Wild America. So, off to the movies guys! 
Momma and I are tired, we look glassy-eyed! Momma got new glasses, classy huh!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 24 - Greasy French Fries and Doug's Whopper

So, today Doug and I galavanted around town, again, but this time I had much more energy, after lounging at the park for a good while. I was rejuvenated after relaxing in the shade and enjoying the cool breeze. We then proceeded to window shop at the mall, and go to McDonald's so Doug could get his whopper, okay, double-cheeseburger with bacon, and large order of fries that he was forced to eat all by himself, (Douggie's words).

Before you begin to think he is very cruel for eating this in front of me, I gave him the okay. He forgot to eat lunch and we couldn't decide the least likely place he could eat, that wouldn't completely irritate my smell senses and cause me to go into anaphylactic shock. So, first, we walked into Papa Ginos since this is one of my least favorite restaurants. But there was a long line, and Doug felt bad eating in front of me, and we walked out. So we ended up at McDees, and I waited in the car. When he came back to the car I thoroughly sniffed his bag of grease, and as he held his double cheeseburger to his lips, I couldn't hold back. I reached into the bag of fries and took out the thickest, greasiest little sucker I could find and put it in my mouth. I just let it sit there, for that's all I could do! I soaked up the salt in all its glory and let the grease fully absorb into my glands. Wow, such enjoyment.
Doug joined me in sucking out the salt from our fries :)
So I'm very disappointed as I realized that the big, bad Greek festival that only comes once a year, is six days away. I'm bummed out but there is another little Greek fest that is at the end of September, and I should be able to attend, and eat at this one! There's a chance that next week I'll only have to wear my elastics at night, but since my jaw will be difficult to open, I'll still be restricted to soft foods. I'm guessing that Baklava and Greek chicken are not considered soft foods. As for the second Greek festival, this one is taking place three days after my 5th post-operative appointment. I am very hopeful and would be very sad if I do not get to attend a Greek fest. Greek fest 2011 here I come! 
The Simpsons =)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 23 - Cheddar Cheese Soup and Mary Poppins

Doug, mom, dad and I are watching Mary Poppins to start my new kick of watching Disney movies, which we have over 60 of, currently collecting dust on the living room shelves. I need to start my journey of re-watching these classic, collectible films, and reliving my childhood memories as we have so many that I would like to watch, and what better time than during my recovery period :)

In other news, we went to visit Doug's family, ventured out for some window shopping, and then returned home, as that was the extent of my energy supply. I did have a heartily delicious meal for dinner. During our shopping outing we went to Shaws, to get me some new soups and switch things up a bit. Tonight I tried Cheddar Cheese soup and wow, was it good and it certainly satisfied my overwhelming craving for cheese, as it is probably one of my favorite foods. Cheese is one of the best foods in the world, as I can't think of any other food that doesn't complement it.

So I added some milk to the soup, and was intrigued by the recipe for tacos on the back of the soup-can. It said to mix salsa in with meat sauce and the cheese soup, and place this mixture into a soft tortilla. Well this sounds great, but since I cannot eat real food, I simply blended the cheese soup with some delicious meat sauce, that I made for the family for dinner. Doug cut up tons of garlic and Olive oil to spread on their bread, so I stole a little and added it to my soup, mostly only oil l so it wouldn't be too thick. It tasted to me like how Hamburger Helper tastes, but much better. It was cheesy and included my daily amount of protein that I need for strong bones. I also had a sweet treat for dessert. We picked up a giant whoopie pie on the way home, and Doug used a small bit to blend up a glassful of deliciousness for me, with chocolate milk and chocolate pudding.

I'm tired of having sweet drinks all day long, but particularly not fond of beginning my day with a glass of sugar, like this morning. Typically I start with a bottle of Carnation Instant Breakfast, usually vanilla flavored. But I've run out of the bottles, and now have two boxes of individual packets of the vanilla and chocolate variety. I figured it would be identical to the bottles, but I was let down, and nauseated after consuming it this morning. I'll check the sugar content later. It kinda of tasted like a gigantic bowl of ill-flavored ice cream. Even my favorite flavor of ice cream would not be appealing to me first thing in the morning.

So, tomorrow I'm going to make waffles for breakfast. You all know about my positive experience with blended waffles, but I'll be making some regular waffles for the fam and for Doug who has never had a taste of my waffles, yes, I know he is in a for sure treat :) It will be a good change from these sugary liquid drinks. I also will try oatmeal and cream of wheat again, as I only tried these immediately upon coming home from the hospital and my stomach was still queasy.
Douggie and his I <3 NY shirt, watching and thoroughly enjoying Mary Poppins :)