Liquid diet: alternatives to milkshakes.
September 27, 2008 7:22 PM   Subscribe

In two weeks, I'll get both my jaws broken by my oral surgeon. Because of this, I might end up spending a full month on a liquid diet. Can you help me find some tasty alternatives to milkshakes?

I really, really don't want to have to live off of dairy products and Ensure for the duration; it'll make me sick.

Rules of engagement:
1. It must be very very liquid and relatively thin. Yogurt does not count unless I liquify it in a blender (swishing it around with a spoon apparently won't be enough); the dietitian that I saw stated that apple sauce was absolutely borderline, and even then I'd probably have to liquify it. There's a chance I might have to feed myself using a syringe for most of the month, so nothing too thick... it'll clog up my syringe.
2. Absolutely no chunks of anything in it. Can't have chicken soup unless I pick out all of the noodles, and can't have any fruit in my yogurt.
3. Cold is better than hot. The problem is that the front half of my mouth will be numb (perhaps permanently, which, ugh...), so it's more likely that I'll scald myself with hot liquids than before. Which is bad. I'm already going to have a heck of a time eating, a burned mouth would only make this worse.
4. I know I can puree foods; I know about Boost, Ensure etc. I've have two separate professionals go over diet options necessary to keep me alive.
5. I know how to add the calories and protein necessary to maintain my weight. That's fine.
6. It's tasty! I'll be eating a lot of really, really bad-tasting food to get my calories... I need to live a little. :P
7. Can't use a straw. I can't imagine how this would limit my options, but you never know...
8. No booze.

Suggestions I got from my surgeon and my dietitian:
Pureed fruit or juice, strained oatmeal or cream of wheat (diluted), eggnog, milk/pudding thinned with milk, strained cream soups, pureed/liquified meat; baby food; milkshakes; ice cream; chocolate mousse; hot mulled cider; lemonade; blenderized eggs (cooked), thinned with broth.

There's more options, but they're all variations on the milkshake. Too much milkshake = feeling sick, just like how you feel sick if you eat at KFC if you haven't had anything greasy in awhile. I'm not lactose intolerant, I just know my limits.

Please, toss some suggestions my way.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Food & Drink (45 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd get a immersion blender and blend up fruity things. It might be nice to have tart things like raspberries or cranberries.

You could also try things like split peas or daal. It would have to be even thinner than I tend to fix them but at least they would taste a little like what you expect.
posted by advicepig at 7:27 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Gazpacho is a cold thin soup usually made from tomatoes. I have seen mango and cucumber before as well.
posted by idiotfactory at 7:31 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Some of those Soup at Hand soups are mostly liquid because they are drinkable through a small hole. Strain out the tiny chunks or puree them, and you would have a thick soup that is not dairy-based.
posted by fructose at 7:33 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: My sister had the same procedure and ate lots of baby food. She preferred Beech Nut brand. Good luck!
posted by dreaming in stereo at 7:33 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Try Columbian fruit shakes. You can make them with milk or water, but it'd be a tasty change using tropical flavors like guava, papaya or tamarind. Mango is my favorite though.

You can make mango lassi thinned out a little more.

Mash up avocado and mix it with condensed milk. That's what I ate as a baby in the Phillippines. I still like it. Another thing is Samporado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge) but you'd have to liquify it.
posted by spec80 at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: I went through the exact same thing nearly 4 years ago. Good times.

First off, check to see if Zip 'n' Squeeze bags are an option for you. They're like a syringe (in terms of squeezing the liquid into your mouth rather than sucking on a straw), only a lot handier. (The reason you can't use a straw, as they've probably said, is that the mouth suction can screw up your stitches.)

I did actually drink a lot of milkshakes (made more calorie-riffic with cream, Carnation instant breakfast powder, and pureed frozen fruit), but there were two other main things I found that were the absolute life saver for me: thinned mashed potatoes, and cream soups with tofu blended in. For the potatoes, I used lots of broth and butter to thin them out, sometimes varying the seasoning or adding some sour cream to get a little variation in flavor. For soups, I went with a lot of smooth roasted vegetable soups (they carry several varieties at Trader Joe's that I liked -- roasted red pepper and tomato, carrot/ginger, butternut squash, etc.) with tofu pureed in with a stick blender for added protein. I suspect you could also blend in some ripe avocado; that actually might be really tasty in the red pepper/tomato soup, actually. I also pureed some more chunky soups -- like lentil and clam chowder -- which worked OK, too; I just had to strain them first.

Anyway, good luck with the surgery. Speaking from my own experience, the recovery was a pain in the ass, but TOTALLY, 100% worth it. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
posted by scody at 7:46 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: If I were you, I'd get a juicer and juice the hell outta everything. See what fabulous concoctions you can come up with. My favorite is apple, carrot and a bit of ginger root. Juice it and ta-da!

As for something a little different - how about some horchata?
posted by Sassyfras at 7:51 PM on September 27, 2008

I hate to derail, and to pry, but what procedure requires the breaking of both jaws?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:51 PM on September 27, 2008

Response by poster: scody: The second reason I can't use a straw is that my mouth won't be wired shut, and for the first week after surgery won't even have elastics, so sucking can actually displace my jaw... making this entire exercise worthless.

Thanks for all the ideas so far! This is awesome.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:52 PM on September 27, 2008

Response by poster: Cat Pie Hurts: Currently, I have an underbite, and as a bonus, my teeth don't meet up in other ways. This means that chewing anything substantial requires grinding my teeth on one side of my mouth, then grinding them on the other side. It causes headaches every time I eat and makes me the slowest eater known to man. There's also cosmetic benefits.

The procedure doesn't require the breaking of the jaws, per say; it is the breaking of the jaws. (Breaking is an inaccurate if descriptive word; think 'cut into pieces at specific locations' if you prefer).
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:55 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: And scody: thanks for the reassuring words. I stupidly googled the name of my surgery + "permanent numbness" as I was writing this question and got myself right freaked out, even though there's only a 5-6% of that happening.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:57 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Soups're great. If there're chunks, blend it up a bit (before you strain it).

Avoid straws.

Meat blended in broth isn't bad. You can kinda-sorta swish it around your mouth to savour the flavour. Crispy streaky bacon, crumbled into soup can add a little texture; you can work it with your tongue against the roof of your tongue. Pea soup + crumbled bacon ain't bad. The longer it sits in the soup, the easier it'll be to gum tongue-pallet. It's much more satisfying than pureed meat but takes a little more time.

Pork fluff/crisp (you can also get it in beef or salmon) is really really good stuff; it'll have some texture but it'll also semi-solubilze in your saliva. I love this stuff. Don't know if you can mail order Soo products, but they're quality.

Take eating S.L.O.W.(ly). It's going to take forever to eat enough. Just take it slow, especially at first, since you're going to overwork face muscles (which are already going to be sore from the trauma and associated inflammation) that aren't used to the duty.

Maybe check out some Chinese Congee/Noodle places. Congee is, basically, rice porridge but with chunks of (various) kinds of meat. If you don't know how to make it yourself, see if you can talk to the manager at a Congee/Noodle restaurant and tell them of your condition. It's likely that they might be able to get the chefs to make a special order; loose ground pork/beef instead of meatballs made from same or shredded/ground liver/kidneys instead of whole.

Fish... you can pulverize cooked fish with a fork before putting it in your mouth. Tinned salmon (try to sockeye if you can afford it) is pretty good. You can fry up pulverized salmon with egg; then tongue/pallet-gum it before swallowing.

Hmm, roe is very nutritious; salmon, flying fish, and smelt roe should be easily available. Small, easy to break open, and tasty. If you visit the fishmonger, you might be able to find other fish roe that isn't quite mature yet (they come in 'steaks'); fry with a light egg batter. Easy enough to tongue-pallet gum; lots of protein, fat, and micronutrients. Tasty, too (depending on the fish it came from).
posted by porpoise at 8:01 PM on September 27, 2008

Oh, I forgot; if you're having a real calorie intake insufficiency problem?


Beer's got calories and, depending on the beer, a reasonable amount of micronutrients. Heavier bears will also help you "fill up" (short term) if you're suffering from hunger issues.

The anaesthetic properties are nothing to sneeze at (which'll probably hurt if you do, sneeze).

Don't bother with baby food; the vast majority of it taste like crap to an adult (I'm not saying all because I haven't tried every single variety - but what I've tried was only from baby shower "games").
posted by porpoise at 8:10 PM on September 27, 2008

I am pretty fond of red lentil soup, and if you use an immersion blender I think the consistency would probably be thin enough to go through a syringe. Here is a recipe I have used before and liked.
posted by mjcon at 8:12 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: flibbertigibbet: heh, I did the same thing, googling every possibility and then worrying about it. Stupid internet!

As for mouth numbness -- it's definitely freaky at first (the drooling! the sensation that your lips are three times bigger than they used to be! The inability to feel your chin!), but you'll most likely be fine. I have a tiny spot on the edge of my lower lip and right below it where the sensation only came back around 50%, but other than that, I'm right as rain. (And that's after going through unexpected complications that put me in ICU for several days -- but do not let that worry you, as my docs told me that pretty much everyone has an easier time of it than I did!) Which also reminds me: try not to fret about the bruising or the swelling, either. The swelling, in particular, can linger in subtle ways for longer than you may think it should -- I had to have all my doctors reassure me repeatedly that the things I was freaking out about a few months after the surgery really, truly, would work themselves out. (And they did.)

cat pie hurts: as flibbertigibbet noted, jaw surgery (whether single or double) is used primarily to correct significant bite problems that can't be fixed by orthodontics alone. For me, my upper jaw was a couple of millimeters too low, which had caused my lower jaw to develop incorrectly and meant that I had major problems chewing (I was also the slowest eater known to man!). I also constantly had to grit my teeth in order to try to keep my mouth aligned, even when I wasn't eating, which resulted in near-constant headaches, earaches, jaw pain, and neck pain. And yep, there are cosmetic benefits, too. I feel so much more confident about the way I look now that my jaws are fixed. I used to freak out if anyone wanted to take a picture of me, but in the past couple of years I finally learned how to turn to a camera and just... smile. Jaw surgery -- no lie -- changed my life.
posted by scody at 8:14 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Miso soup! Mmmmm miso....
posted by Hildegarde at 8:18 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: You might try looking into green drinks. Raw-foodists are really into them, and if you google around, you'll probably find some good recipes.

Sometimes I blend 1/2 an apple, the juice of half a lemon, a few handfuls of spinach or romaine lettuce and some mint. It's very low-calorie and fairly high-effort, and it might not sound very appetizing now, but it might be a very refreshing change from milkshakes.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:28 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: For baby food, all the fruits are good (pears and apricots are delicious!). Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are good. Green vegetables and "meats" = AVOID.
posted by peep at 8:31 PM on September 27, 2008

Maybe I missed something. Why no noodles in your soup? You don't have to chew them to swallow them, and swallowing them whole doesn't hurt you.

There are a lot of foods that you can swallow without chewing. Toothless people eat, don't they?
posted by bh at 8:33 PM on September 27, 2008

Why no noodles in your soup? You don't have to chew them to swallow them, and swallowing them whole doesn't hurt you.

I think it's because of this:

There's a chance I might have to feed myself using a syringe for most of the month, so nothing too thick... it'll clog up my syringe.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:37 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Been there - I'm sorry you have to go through it, but you'll be really happy with the results when it's over. Just make sure you have someone around to take care of you, especially in the beginning, and remember to use mouthwash so they stick around - if you don't get to brush your teeth for a month, your breath will not be pleasant.

Lots of good suggestions here, I wish Metafilter had been around back when I had this done. Whatever you eat during that time, you'll never want to eat it again. I can't eat Miso soup anymore, nor anything that tastes remotely like chocolate Ensure. Also, when you get your teeth unwired, your stomach will have temporarily shrunk. I remember feeling stuffed after eating an apple.

Oh, and don't worry about numbness. I've never heard of anyone who had significant problems with it, it's just one of those things that can happen with any surgery but so rarely does. All my sensation eventually came back, just be patient and expect it. The only long-term effect I had was that my lower lip has slightly less temperature sensitivity than the rest of me, which means I tend to dribble close-to-room-temperature water occasionally... at least, that's what I blame it on. Most likely I'm just a klutz.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2008

Borscht (or borsch/borsht/borshch)! It's has cold varieties, find a good recipe and blend the shit out of it if it has chunks (though the cold version usually doesn't).
posted by Anonymous at 8:46 PM on September 27, 2008

Sassyfras - thanks. I figured I had missed something obvious. I need to work on my reading skills.
posted by bh at 9:03 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: I had a similar procedure (upper/lower/genioplasty) performed about 9 months ago. I was wired shut (I see you aren't) but was also on a completely liquid, syringe-fed diet. I will not lie to you, it was four weeks of empty-stomached hell. Fortunately, I felt immediately better as soon as I could eat normally again (at four weeks) and am very happy with my results. I have no permanent numbness, and I urge you to talk to your surgeon about this concern, because he or she may really ease your mind. Now, to your question!

You will eat a lot of dairy and fruit. Yogurt (thinned with some milk) is a good bet, as are thin milkshakes, fruit smoothies, and cream soups. These things are also pretty tasty. In order to feel full, I ate a couple of cans of soup a day. I picked ones that seemed especially flavorful or spicy and blended and strained them. It was pretty gross. I did like meatballs blended up with a bunch of tomato sauce, or mashed potatoes with milk, cheese, and broccoli. Though my surgeon pushed the Ensure, I could not stomach the stuff. I much preferred Carnation Instant Breakfast made with whole milk. Shop around. Also, drink a ton. Water is good for you, but juice is a good bet too for the calories. I drank more soda than I usually do, also.

As far as the syringe eating: it's going to be messy and frustrating at first. It took me about a week to develop a pretty reliable system. I highly suggest having a bunch of dishtowels handy to mop up your face, the table, the floor....etc. Also, make sure the things you are putting into the syringe are plenty thin. Though immersion blenders are handy, I found they really didn't blend fine enough.

There is a huge network of bloggers who have had similar experiences, and have a lot of advice and encouragement to offer. I recommend seeking them out! If you would like the address to my surgery blog, send me a message. Best of luck!
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:04 PM on September 27, 2008

Response by poster: i_am_a_fiesta: I have talked to my surgeon, and didn't feel at all worried until I was composing this post and stupidly googled for patient experiences.

All the positivity in this thread is really helping me!

And yeah, thanks everyone for the recipes! This'll help me a lot.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:29 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had my lower jaw surgically broken at age 15 and I managed to gain wait (ie, keep growing) over the summer. Mind you, I was able to puree spaghetti, which you won't be able to do. But, man, I can still taste the food from that summer. I remember the plastic McDonald's cup I used for eating. I still kind of resent my parents for ruining my summer like that.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:31 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Almond milk! delicious and healthy. It's also really good with fruit blended into it.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:36 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: You might want to buy a really great blender for this, like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. Either one will liquefy pretty much any food you'd want to eat. Expensive, yes, but about two weeks into your recovery it might seem really worth it.

Also, something not a lot of people know, but you can add raw baby spinach to just about anything you puree and you really can't taste it. My favorite smoothie is:
1 banana
1 c water
1 c strawberries
half c blueberries
2 T flax seeds
2 great big handfuls of raw baby spinach

I run it in my vitamix on high for about 2 minutes and drink. Very filling, extremely nutritious.
If you aren't using frozen fruit, then you should probably add a few ice cubes to the blender to make it cold.

A variation:
1 c soy milk
half pack of frozen cherries
1 T cocoa powder
2 big handfuls of baby spinach

blend on high till smooth: tastes just like cherries garcia, but so much healthier.

A normal blender can't usually handle these sorts of concoctions without dying, but you can make it work if you use smaller portions of things and chop things up really well before adding them.
posted by Brody's chum at 11:30 PM on September 27, 2008

I had to do a liquid diet at one point for different reasons and drank alot of high-protein instant chicken broth. Honestly, it doesn't taste great and if you don't need to worry about protein then I wouldn't recommend it.

But I did come in to say that if you find yourself eating less fiber than you normally do, you may have some constipation issues. If you've never dealt with that before, there are a number of options such as this tea which will help. Or you can just drink prune juice.
posted by cabingirl at 11:49 PM on September 27, 2008

Best answer: Avocado almond lecithin flaxseed water smoothie.

Bananas can be peeled and put in the freezer, used in smoothies.


1 large pear, chopped

1/2 cups green grapes

1/4 avocado

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Blend and top with chopped pecans.

Recipes for Pureed Foods - Entrees, Vegetables, and Salads

Recipes for Pureed Meals - Soups
posted by nickyskye at 12:10 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: Seconding the suggestion of miso soup. If you want to get creative, there are different kinds of miso paste you can get (check an asian grocery); I've never really explored all of them, but they sound interesting. You may also want to look into the other ingredients used to flavor miso soup. It's generally very easy to make and could be an interesting experience, as well as a reasonably healthy thing to eat.

You could also think about exploring different kinds of teas.

Finally, if some of these things end up being too thick and/or lumpy for you, maybe explore straining things through cheesecloth.

I hope you're fattening yourself up now! Maybe a head start on acclimatizing yourself to milkshakes?
posted by amtho at 5:03 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: Get a 2nd blender pitcher. A friend went through this, and variety was a problem. Chicken or turkey broth can be used to puree veggies. Make savory things lukewarm at best, and you should be okay. Test a drop or 2 on the inside of your wrist to check the temp. Homemade chicken broth is really good, but canned is fine (Swanson's tested best). Hot-n-sour soup or egg drop would blend well. I like V8, and bloody mary mix is really yummy, even without the vodka.
posted by theora55 at 5:27 AM on September 28, 2008

A little late to the party, but. . .

Fiber is going to be an issue for you, I think. I know it is gross, but you may want to consider adding some fiber-based drinks to your diet, like Fibemini (at Asian grocery stores) or (shudder) Metamucil. Best of luck; it does sound as if it will be worth it.
posted by jfwlucy at 5:42 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: I'm another person who's had the exact same surgery as you, except they wired my jaw shut (with the help of my braces). The syringe is kind of a pain, if you leave the consistency of food too thick, it will explode all over your face. I had lots of soups, what was particularly nice was a potato and roasted garlic soup from Campbell's thinned out with milk or chicken broth. I also drank lots of juice from a Gatorade squirt top bottle.
posted by blueskiesinside at 6:11 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: if it were me, i would make a lot of pureed soups (it's not me, and even so i've made three pureed soups in the past week). an immersion blender makes these fun and easy. cool them until they're just warm, not hot. dip a finger in to be sure you won't burn yourself. even warm soup is delicious and i would imagine it would be a very welcome change from all the cold smoothies. if any of them end up too thick, add whole milk to thin them + add calories + fat + yum factor. try tomato soup, roasted pepper soup, carrot soup (add ricotta before blending, omg), pureed corn chowder, cream of cauliflower, squash or pumpkin soup...
posted by nevers at 7:27 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: also, you can get almost all the soup varieties i suggested and more in a box from imagine or pacific, but if you have the time to make them yourself, i guarantee they will be 10x more exciting. there's such a difference between "what's the flavor of the day?" and "wow, the cumin i added made this amazing, and the purple carrots gave this soup such a great color."
posted by nevers at 7:31 AM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: How about baingan bharta made extra liquified? Marinate peeled aubergine slices with salt/ roasted garlic/ powdered cumin/ red chili powder / anything else you like. Roast or pan fry till very soft. Wait till it's cool and mash into yoghurt. I lived on this and gazpacho when my wisdom teeth were pulled. I had it with khichri (South Asian invalid food: a soupy rice in meat or lentil broth), but give your constraints you could have it as it is, liquified with additional water or milk. Optionally, sprinkle chaat masala over it at the end (A spice mix often used for snacks and over fruit salads. You can get it from an ethnic Indian/ Pakistani store, I like the Shan brand which is available in the US and UK). Good luck!
posted by tavegyl at 8:18 AM on September 28, 2008

Here's some answers to a previous, similar question of mine. (Although in my case, it was a wisdom tooth extraction. Answers should still work, though.)
posted by Xere at 12:09 PM on September 28, 2008

In addition to the advice above, you might also check out cookbooks for people with chewing or swallowing difficulties, like The I Can't Chew Cookbook. I got a copy for my father when he had to go on a liquid diet.

His oral surgeon told him that one of his other patients used to take a slice of pizza and purée it in a high-powered blender. But that might be too thick, or too gross, for you.
posted by brianogilvie at 2:53 PM on September 28, 2008

I worked with a girl who went through something like this, and she swore you could puree anything with the right blender, including pizza. Not something I would like to experience, just a data point for you. All I actually saw her consume was chicken noodle Soup at Hand.

Good luck to you!
posted by beandip at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2008

Best answer: Melted ice cream
Nut-butter java smoothies. Blend: coffee + milk-of-choice (i like chocolate almond milk) + banana + peanut or almond butter + cocoa powder.
Drinking chocolate- melt a good bittersweet chocolate bar in gently warmed whole milk on the stove. Nom nom nom.
Thinned custard
Baby food isn't bad. Apricot is the best flavour, with prune in a distant and surprising second place.
Hot buttered rum (melt brown sugar + butter + water in a pan, add rum)
The combination of painkillers and strained food might make it hard to get enough fibre- maybe water or juice with inulin (sold as "non thickening" fibre, in your grocer's metamucil aisle). Or prune juice.
Cold green pea soup with mint
Cheddar beer soup, oh man
Melted brie or bleu cheese in thinned mashed potatoes?
Thinned mashed potatoes with a little bacon fat (!) & some extra salt mixed in (I'm making this up here. But I'd bet you a hundred bucks it tastes amazing.)
Roasted sweet potato puree with salted butter (you need extra salt to make sweet potatoes really great, and roast them til the edges brown & caramelize before you puree & strain)
Curried squash and apple soup
Roasted cauliflower & garlic soup
Coconut milk! A nice non-dairy way to get some fat, calories, and creaminess:
Coconut milk soup flavoured with chili, lime juice, onions, & garlic, thinned with a little white wine or chicken broth. Puree in some cilantro if you like it, then strain it out.
Coconut milk & avocado smoothies, sweetened with condensed milk.
Coconut milk & pineapple or mango smoothies.
Mix a teaspoon of rosewater into melted vanilla ice cream, oh so good! Or other unusual extract combos- Lavender & Honey? Basil & Cantaloupe? Lime & Mint? Vanilla & Rose?
Cool watermelon soup. Reduce it a bit on the stove so it has more concentrated flavour.
Cold cherry soup with kirsch.
Pureed blueberries with cream & vanilla.

This has totally made me hungry for mush.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:44 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh god, I had this done and I am truly sorry.

I'm not kidding, go to McDonalds and stock up on their straws. They are a bit larger than the standard store-bought straw and easier for sucking up chunky stuff.

One thing that is horrid is that you cannot open your jaw the tiny ammount that you reflexively want to in order to swallow. You may not know that you do this, but you do. Swallowing therefore becomes a chore. Chunky stuff, like gazpacho may sound delicious, but really you are going to want smooth consistency. Grits were my savior. I think I lived on grits and pudding. Anything that clogs the spaces between your teeth in a beverage, like Metamucil, is horrid, avoid, your teeth act as baleen during this period and you will end up suffocating.

Baby food with added salt and spice is good, without spice it is unpalateable. Beer is a must, non-alcholic if your doctor puts you on strong painkillers.

Last, get yourself a bunch of washcloths. Yes, it's gross, but your nerves will be stretched in your lower face and you will drool a lot. Get used to it until you get some feeling back and get yourself a washcloth to catch the drool. The feeling, mostly, comes back. I still get hit in the mouth and bust my lip and only realize the dammage when I see the blood all over my shirt. Sorry, but there is little you can do to avoid this.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:28 AM on September 29, 2008

Response by poster: Well, my jaw shifted a bit, so my no-chewing diet got extended a couple of weeks (sigh). I'm on week 5 on my liquid diet right now, and whoever said it was empty-stomached hell was so, so right. I'm getting BARELY enough calories to maintain my weight, but am constantly hungry. Like, say, now. Which is why I'm on metafilter instead of studying, which is getting difficult as I get hungrier, but eating will take too much effort.

The nausea from eating milkshakes for breakfast every morning is getting extreme, so my laziness (and rushed morning schedule) is being overcome by the fact that I really need to try these recipes out to give my stomach a break. Thanks again!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:33 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, update.

So I spent most of my 'liquid diet' eating milkshakes (blergh) and pasta covered in so much alfredo sauce that I swallowed it whole, because my surgeon allowed me to eat solid foods so long as I didn't chew. This seems to be a side effect of my mouth being surprisingly limber immediately post-surgery. I stopped using my syringes after my third day out of the hospital. Basically, despite all the great recipes, I was pressed for time in the mornings and went for dairy, and felt sick all the time.

Downside: I then got complications that meant I had to go back to a semi-liquid diet as my jaw would pop and lock (very painfully) if I opened my mouth more than 1.5 fingers wide. Compare to 3 fingers wide one week after my surgery. I went back to these easy recipes then.

Upside: My jaw joint complication is going away, and I have almost all of my feeling back, so I can eat kinda normally now! Yay!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 1:37 PM on February 8, 2009

Good to hear you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As I said, I am truly sorry. I do not recommend this hell for anyone. It took some time before I would say that my jaw was ever completely "normal" so go easy, don't push it. Best of luck to you!
posted by Pollomacho at 5:51 AM on February 9, 2009

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