Hard to write

There are so many reasons why it is more difficult to write right now.

The main one is that I have no time. The second one is that I am really tired (again). The third one is that I want to spend every waking moment with my family, while I can still talk to them, eat with them, play with them, laugh with them.

I think that my last post was just after the appointment on Wednesday at the hospital. Since then I have had more advice on what is coming and how to deal with it. I have also had time to cogitate a little and to have some (more) bad dreams.

Hmmm – now I feel ready to say that I believe it is pointless to anticipate too much: the operation will probably be completely different from what I am (overfeverishly) imagining – when I can’t keep my thoughts under control. Also, the time afterwards, when I am still on the ward, will probably also be the opposite of what I am expecting.

So, I shall attempt not to imagine. (Tough one, that.)

Thank God, life at home has been great since the last hospital visit, so I feel quite well equipped to deal with tomorrow (GP to get an Überweisung /referral to an internist and also to get a thorough blood check before the operation) and then with Tuesday and Wednesday as well. (Tuesday is school stuff for Little Miss BD and Wednesday, I am back at the hospital:)

The energy I get from home is worth more than something very valuable – it is self-propelling energy which comes right back at me. Pow! Like a Batman punch. It wakes me up again and reminds me to exude and enjoy. If I didn’t have my kids and my man, there would only be the hole that is my soul.

Poisonous green liqueur
Poisonous-looking green walnut liqueur many months too early (Nocino)

Look at this! Hubby is on his mission to make an even better evil-looking green walnut liqueur than last year! I don’t really mind how this one turns out – it’ll be good even without all his anxiety about the correct day to harvest, the correct place to store, the correct length of time to stand and mature and and and…

As long as he carries on experimenting, there’ll be some gems for me amongst his inventions (Apple Strudel liqueur and Spiced Plum Compote with Chocolate Gingerbread liqueur being two of his notable successes) – yum yum!

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Where was Mr Surgeon?

Yesterday was my long-awaited pre-op check-up ‘have you got enough gaps in your mouth?’ appointment at the hospital. I had a slot at 10am, but my first staff contact was at 10:40 with a radiologist, who gleefully informed me that I was only the second person she had ever seen in her many years of service who had such an open bite (of course, I couldn’t bite onto the grips of the X-ray machines). ‘How can you manage?’ ‘Well, I’m 44 and I’ve managed so far…’

Finally I got into the consulting room and – Mr Surgeon was nowhere to be seen! Only his crack team of (all-female) doctors. Oh!

It unnerved me slightly, but they are all very clued-up with my case and got started on me straightaway. I had current casts done as well as some impressions of my bite.

Due to my extremely poor occlusion, when I was supposed to bite down on the wax to make the impression, there were not enough impressions for the surgical team’s liking. We tried twice. After some confabulation, they came at me with a huge gun (looked like the ones you use to squirt the grouting in between the tiles when you are DIYing) and deposited large amounts of silicone in my mouth. Then we waited (me with trepidation, them with small talk abounding) and luckily that seemed to work.

The last step was to measure my skull with a scary-looking metal instrument which poked at me all over my head and measured distances between my ears, nose, forehead and chin. I felt like a specimen in a museum of natural history.

(As it is getting too late, I shall break off tonight and continue tomorrow…)

Picture of the day is ripening blueberries in our garden:

Blueberries

Big day tomorrow…

I do want to tell you about my physio session last night as it was particularly memorable.

Due to my having drunk a smoothie shortly before the session started (otherwise I would have not had anything to eat or drink for a good few hours), I ended up making those terribly loud stomach-gurgling noises for almost the entire 50 minutes. Barefoot physio guru didn’t say anything, of course, and continued kneading and tweaking at me, but I was inwardly cringing.

People like physios and pedicurists get to do quite intimate things to your body, and yet you don’t know them from Larry sometimes. That means that if your body behaves in a natural manner and expels air when you are relaxed, it can lead to a peculiar scenario where you are revealing your private foibles to an almost stranger.

Luckily, when I went to my orthodontic Frau Doktor this morning – for the BIG check-up – no awful grumbles issues from any part of me.

She was looking at The Gap and wanted to see if it was large enough for Mr Surgeon to get his saw through. After having been ogled manually, I was X-rayed as well and she seemed satisfied with the result. To my eyes, it looks quite narrow, so I am hoping that Mr Surgeon has lots of experience and a steady hand. (Mind you, I would hope that all surgeons have steady hands…)

Mouth 5 June

I must admit that I want to get started with the operative procedure now.

It is nearly exactly a year (21st June 2017) since I first visited the hospital and met Mr Surgeon and his team.

After that appointment, I went home and rang Mum.

I was scared of the thought of such a big op and she reassured me, and also promised that she would come over to stay with us, so that she could visit me in the hospital.

Little did we know that 16 weeks later I would be visiting her in hospital; not once, not twice, but four times between the beginning of November and Christmas.

She passed away on 27th December.

So much has changed since my first trip to the Jaw Institute and I feel like my brain is playing catch-up with my body.

People are continually commenting on my mouth and my teeth, yet fewer people think about the changes inside of me. No-one has said that I’ve changed since I have no mother anymore. No-one has congratulated me on managing to cope with becoming an orphan.

I don’t actually expect anyone to – that would be a script or a screenplay. In real life, I cannot expect anything from anyone, yet a tiny part of me would love an acknowledgement from someone, anywhere, that I am managing well. Motivating yourself constantly is draining and my body needs all my energy right now to cope with the physical.

Aaargh – I fell into the pit of self-pity again there, didn’t I?

Let’s be blunt: I miss my Mum; I wish that I had had a dad, so that at least there would have been some emotional groundwork; I feel scared and I am tired of coping.

But I’ve got Hubby and my kids. I am blessed with some good friends and I am very happy and content with my life as it is. In fact, I very much love this life and that is why it is great that I have the chance to make it better and get repaired before my jaw goes on strike forever and I cannot eat or talk anymore!

A life with no opportunity to enjoy food and to communicate using my mouth would be a dull one indeed…

 

Foods you can eat without chewing

Since September last year, I have been learning to eat with a fixed brace. There have been many weeks where the ulcers and/or jaw problems have meant that I cannot chew or move my jaw adequately. As I am a woman who loves her food, it is of greatest importance to me that I can substitute usual food with ‘no chew’ alternatives.

So, here is a summary of items that I have learned to love due to their ‘no chew’ qualities! (This will be very funny to look back on after the orthodontic treatment is over!)

As previously mentioned in this blog, those fruit pouches made for toddlers are a lifesaver – no need to struggle with apple or pear skin. Related to the pouches, and also slightly more ‘adult’ are the ubiquitous smoothies. Current favourites are the red or green ‘Spar’ Enjoy smoothies.

If I need protein, I go for tinned mussels in garlic butter: super for squidging between tongue and roof of mouth. Soft sausages (frankfurters, Berner Würstel – frankfurters stuffed with cheese and wrapped round with rashers of bacon) and pate are extremely useful.

The amount of guacamole I am currently getting through is obscene. I try to alternate it with hummus, but the guacamole usually wins. As bread is a big problem because of the crust, I am eating savoury shortbread (yum!), oat cakes or rice crackers. (Marmite flavour rice crackers are divine – and disintegrate beautifully when you suck.)

Crisps were a problem – I mean the traditional ones made out of potato, but I have of course identified the best ones for sucking now. Highly recommended by me are Kelly’s Erdnuss Snips. (Not to be consumed by those with a peanut allergy…)

I think I should stop writing about food now (although I could continue) as a) it is 9pm and I want to see my husband today and b) most people are probably not as interested in my ramblings today as they might be, if I were writing more inclusively ;-).

I took two more photos today for you. One is of food (*gg*) – squeaky leeks and Mairübchen (early/spring turnips?) which the kids don’t know yet  is in their pasta bake for tomorrow. (Don’t worry – I have made it child-friendly by chucking loads of bread croutons and cheese on top which went crispy in the oven.)

The second photo is of Little Miss BD’s lovely trainers that are now at the end of their useful life. I don’t really want to say goodbye to them, so this photo helped me to chuck them in the dustbin successfully earlier.

I know today’s entry has been peculiar: please forgive me, dear reader. My mood is unusual.

It seems to me rather a paradox that complete strangers are participating more in my life than flesh and blood is. However, this does not need to be a bad thing. I think I just need to accept that even if my life is not celebrated as I expect, it is a life and I want to celebrate it.

The banal, the usual, the unusual.

Pine needle syrup

Wow – someone else who uses pines! Super 🙂 We love pine cone liqueur and now I have a new recipe (and stunning photos) to pore over. Thank you!

Cooking Without Limits

GAB_6702_res_mix

In the spring we make pine syrup after we harvest the new pine spruce. We use the syrup for Christmas cocktails because of the rich flavor or when we are sick.
My husband made a vodka pine flavor last year and he loved the idea. This year he is gone try again.
Go and have fun foraging the pine trees with your family. We did this year a photo shoot also. Imagine my little one asking for photos near the small trees. It was a great day to spend with my family.

Ingredients:

– 4 cups fresh pine spruce needles
– 8 Cups water
– 2 cup sugar

Directions:

In a saucepan combine the needles with water. Cook until liquid is reduced about 40 minutes. Stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

I replaced the sugar with honey. I liked it too.
Most of…

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