Day 26: Does it Blend?

DOES IT BLEND?

A special two-part blog post here, as I’ve become more adventurous in my Tim Burton-esque combinations of smoothie lately. First, I tried the delicious 5-cheese tortellini (sold at Costco) with simple marinara sauce. We eat this is a meal with some regularity, so it wasn’t exactly jumping off the comfort front altogether. As I learned with lasagna, anything with pasta requires pretty massive addition of liquids to make it drinkable. Here, it was milk. I’ve had this for a few meals, and it tastes almost exactly as it does regular, which is to say pretty darn good. The texture never became an issue (the more I liquid-ed it down) so it was definitely a success. 8/10 (although it should be noted that I’m getting sick of drinking everything, so it’s an 8/10 as far as pureed real-food meals, not what I would serve myself in, say, a year.

The second meal I tried tonight was macaroni and cheese. And chicken. I would have put hot dogs in instead of chicken but we didn’t have any and we DID have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge. For my diluter I again chose milk because, well, I guess I just didn’t have enough dairy. The reason I added chicken at all was because I feared it just tasting like the insta-mac cheese flavoring, and that sounded about as appetizing as drinking movie theatre butter (which I’ve done, and I highly recommend never doing it yourself). I had been craving mac and cheese for a while. To be specific, I’d been craving homemade mac and cheese, baked in the oven so the top layer is nice and crusty. Instead, we got insta-boxed mac and cheese. The verdict? This did not work in any sort of way whatsoever. 3/10. I could drink about 3 drinks worth (so it beats the Aztec soup), but that’s about it.

However, I’m not totally willing to abandon the idea of liquid mac and cheese, it’s just I didn’t have the recipes, energy or, probably, ingredients to make my own. To that end, if anyone in the greater Reno/Sparks area likes making baked mac and cheese, or considers it a specialty, or just wants to give it a go for us, I encourage you to make it and drop it off. My kids will devour it, and I’ll definitely try blending it up. I’ll have to buy hot dogs first.

Anyhow, aside from eating, I’ve spent much of my time speaking, which is taking its toll on my jaws today – they’re quite sore. I feel like taking off my bands and just letting myself be slack-jawed for a couple of hours, but really that would probably only add to the discomfort, not help. My speech is somewhat clear, even with bands, but I have no stamina.

Making my way through Season 4 of The State. Man, for the most part the first and fourth seasons of that show were pretty rough, but the second and third seasons were pretty great. A pretty short half-life that show had. I’m tempted to go through my old list of favorite State skits and amend it as there are some notable and inexcusable omissions from that list. Copy Shop, PMS, Inbred Brothers, The Jew The Italian and the Redhead Gay, Prom Photos, The Personal State, Sports Beat, The Answers to the SATs, and Fragments all could make the list, or at the worst be honorable mentions. And The Animal Song needs to be much higher than it was. Some day maybe I’ll rank them all. Because, y’know, problems.

P.S. For the big State fan (and you kind of need to be a big State fan to appreciate this), I found a place where you could watch all of their entries into the You Wrote It, You Watch It video canon. They make some of the first season of The State look like Python by comparison.

Recovery plods on. I can’t wait until I can eat real food.

PAIN: 2

INCONVENIENCE: 4

REGRET FACTOR: 2

Day 15: 2nd Follow-Up Appointment

Dinnertime, BUT WHAT'S HAPPENING OVER THERE?
Dinnertime, BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING OVER THERE?

Dr. M said I was looking great. I tried to give him a coquettish smile, but with my mouth still not working properly, I don’t think he got it. He took off the bands and saw how far I could open my mouth (good improvement), listened to me talking a bit, and then did my favorite thing ever: he brushed my teeth. He surprised me (and my increasingly cumbersome gag reflex) by jamming the toothbrush all the way between my teeth. After a stop-and-start (I basically grabbed the toothbrush out of his hand and pulled it out), he got back in there and cleaned the inside. It was the second-most glorious thing that happened today. (That is what we in the writing industry call foreshadowing.)

He said all is looking good and that I should be taking the bands off a few times a day, not just once, so it looks like I’m going to have a normal regiment of meals. They’ll take longer than a normal lunch, which is something I’ll have to remember when I go back to work, but it’ll be a few hours each day I’ll be able to open my jaw.

Oddly, I’m pretty sure my jaws have Stockholm Syndrome. The second they’re free, they immediately do exactly what they were doing before being liberated: clamping together. It’s taking much concentration but I’m trying to really relax my jaw both in the bands and out. It’s relieving my head pressure.

Speaking of which, I did figure out something last night with my sleeping. I went back to the bed, but we brought along two square throw pillows to put under my pillow so my pillow sits in a bit of a trough. Then, I can sleep on my side but my face itself is still angled towards the ceiling a bit, taking the pressure off my jaws. I was able to fall asleep somewhat fast and basically slept through the night. No neck pain either (which I thought would be a natural consequence of doubling my pillow height). Also, Doubling My Pillow Height – worst metal band name ever.

So Ash’s folks made me this delicious beef broth (which Ash mixed with mashed potatoes and blended it up), and I also had a full yogurt for dinner and half a smoothie. My weight seems to have reverse plateau’ed (trenched?) at 170, about 11 pounds down from when I started. I was oddly hoping for a little more, what with me having put on a bunch, but I guess I get to start working out once my body is ready for it.

After dinner, I got to brush again, and that’s when the earlier cliffhanger picks back up. The toothbrush I got at Dr. M’s office was slightly less tall than the baby one I use, and I was able to get it between my teeth fairly easy and brush the insides of my entire mouth. PLUS, and there is no fathomable way I could overstate how important this is, I was able – after some finagling – to brush the bottom of the splint. It had, over the course of two weeks, accumulated what I can only describe as a festering coatĀ of gangrenous mucus pus slime. I think that adequately describes it. It was making me nauseous at times and my tongue had become pretty adept at avoiding that part of my mouth for about a week now. At long last, it is almost entirely clean. Now it just feels like I’m licking a plastic toy, which I’m okay with, given the alternative.

Also, Gangrenous Mucus Pus Slime – best metal band name?

This is the part of the recovery I was oddly looking forward to – just playing a ton of Oblivion all day. I was also going to play some Kerbal Space Program, but I’m still not certain my brain is ready for rocket science. I *did* manage to pack up all the indoor Xmas decorations today, so I at least got some movement in.

Productive day.

PAIN: 1

INCONVENIENCE: 5

REGRET FACTOR: 2 (maybe less if blending that lasagna Granny made tastes as good as it does in my mind)