by Mitchell Joe
What’s it like to eat with a broken jaw? Well, it’s terrible of course! Your chompers can’t chomp. Your (liquefied) steak looks like gravy. And that gravy looks like it would be good on top of…a steak. Your mouth waters and your soupsucker sips but your stomach still rumbles and grumbles afterwards. But hey, at least you can eat. I’m not complaining.
Here are some things worth noting.
The straw soon became my best friend. I liked it because the gaps in my teeth where food could get through were really small and the straw helped me aim at those gaps. And being able to suck from those bigger gaps was also helpful. Sometimes if a food was still slightly chunky (and by “chunky” I mean pieces of food that are probably around 1 cubic mm or less), then sucking a little harder would get them through the gaps in my teeth. Without a straw, these chunks of food would just get caught in your teeth and not make it through to your tongue.
Normally when you drink through a straw, you put the straw behind your teeth and whatever you’re sipping lands on your tongue. When your jaw is wired shut, whatever you’re sipping hits your teeth first and then part of your gums before it makes it way past your teeth and onto your tongue. Because it hits your gums first, you want to keep the temperature of your food between lukewarm and lukecool. I mixed juices from the fridge with room temperature water to make them a little warmer, and I let hot foods cool a little bit before eating them through the straw.
One thing to keep in mind with hotter foods is that as they cool they become less liquidy, so if you take too long to eat that scrambled eggs and melted cheese mixed with chicken broth, then you’ll have to heat it up again or add water to keep it liquidy.
Variety is the spice of life. And so are spices. And spices, for some reason, are more spicy when taken through a straw. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it lands on the back of your tongue more? That’s the only thing I can think of. Anyway, all I know is that I have never thought that pepperoni pizza was spicy until the day I blended it up with some water and ate it through a straw. It was pretty good actually.
Eat with a Clock
For me, it was helpful to just eat every 2-3 hours, or even every 1-2 hours, whether I felt like it or not. The reason for this is that if I waited until I was hungry, I found myself to be SUPER hungry instead of just normal hungry and I’d have to eat something for right away even if I was cooking something else. So if I was cooking eggs, I’d have to eat and Ensure while the eggs were cooking just to get the calories and not be grumpy.
Please feel free to add your stories and suggestions below.