Archive for the ‘food’ Category

I have been suffering from what I’m calling the “evil pocket” for awhile. I mentioned this here and here.

Basically, left side of faces gets kinda sore, presumably from the food. Then body starts fighting bacteria. Then inflammation goes down. Rinse wash repeat.

Today, I took one of the picks I’ve had a long-time, sterilized the blunt end of it with isopropyl alcohol and used it too pull back my cheek. And then I saw it, a small hole approximately 1mm or so in my cheek-gum region, behind that last molar.


Why do I have this? Did I have this before? Or is this a relatively recent occurence? Sometimes I had bad breath before … was food getting stuck there? I dunno. I wasn’t aware of it before. But the inflammation feels kinda like the wonky feeling I had before … that led to me bugging my dentist about this.

This must be where all the crud is getting stuck. I’m going to start washing this out with that Monoject 412 they gave me and salt water and/or chlorhexidine mouth wash.

Incidentally, my back molar is black because of the chlorhexidine. It does stain your teeth. Apparently, it comes off when you get a dental cleaning, somebody told me (I don’t remember who).


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1 – 1.25 lbs pinto beans
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
7oz can of chipotle peppers
16oz container of beef broth
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

Sort through the beans to remove dirt, rocks, etc. Rinse beans. Soak overnight, beans will double in size. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a large pot and cover with water. I use a large pot with a drainer insert, which prevents the beans from contacting the bottom of the pan, which prevents burning and sticking.

Heat on high until the beans begin boiling and reduce to low and let simmer several hours. You will know the beans are done by their texture. They should be soft a mushy, but don’t cook them too long or you’ll end up with paste.

Drain but keep 1-2 cups of the bean liquid. Add those back into the beans in the pot along with the container of beef broth. Beans should be covered in liquid. Dice the peppers up finely (or puree them) and add them back, along with the tomatoes. Add the half onion. Cook till sauce reduces to desired consistency. If it gets too thick, add beef broth.

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This is a simple, fast way to make strawberry smoothies.  First you start with frozen strawberries.  You can get these in Texas year round, unlike fresh strawberries which you can’t get in the dead of winter (or they’re expensive).

You will need a decent blender.  I use a $25 Oster blender from Walmart.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  But you do want a crush ice pulse setting.

You will need:

1     handful / 1.5 cup fulls of frozen strawberries
10-12 ounces of juice
1     banana

Put the strawberries in first and pulse with ice crush till you’ve chopped them up.  You will want to break these down.  You must start with the strawberries first.  If you do not, then it’s harder to break them up I found.  Especially if the juice you’re putting in is cold to slushie.

Next add the juice and banana.  Then put it on the puree selection until it all mixes up.  This will be icey / slushie consistency.  If you want it more liquid, use more juice or let the strawberries thaw a bit.  Thicker, use less juice.

I’m trying to get somewhat natural foods into myself and since I can’t chew hard things, this helps.  I think though that I’d wait awhile after the surgery till things heal up.  I wouldn’t want to get a strawberry seed stuck in my wounds.

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The incision where the biopsy was performed appears to have healed. As I mentioned earlier, the stitches came out last week – 14 days later. The only observable thing I see is that now I have a little gum flap or gum bud. Some little piece of gum that kinda sticks out. Probably ~1mm squared in area and 1mm thick.

But in my back cheek, back behind my #18 (backmost molar), or maybe down where the cheek meets the gum in that little pocket, I’m trapping food. And it’s gross. I don’t like re-tasting food a few days later. Yuck.

Between when I eat and when I brush and clean it out, I notice that as time goes by it seems like my left mandible gets more tender. And I was pretty sure that last night the lymph nodes in the side of my neck where swelling a bit. And I’m still taking my amoxocillin (beta-lactamase antibiotics).

I’m willing to bet that the food getting trapped is causing this and that bacteria are sitting in that gap, feasting on this and that my body’s getting annoyed and causing inflammation.

I can feel stuff with the tip of my tongue. And I’ve found that I can take kleenex and get back there and “wipe it out”. Q-tips work a bit too. And it I use the needless syring my dentist originally gave me I can get some chlorhexidine back there. But it cleans out in waves over 30-60 minutes.

Just something I need to bring up at the next visit.

  • I’m worried about the effects of this over a few weeks when my mouth is wired shut
  • I’m also worried about this being a potential source of bacteria preventing any graft from taking due to infection.

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Last night at the store, on a whim I bought Dinty Moore stew. While I can’t chew due to doctors orders, I thought maybe this wouldn’t be too bad pureed. And it’s not. A little different, but not too bad. I pureed it cold, then microwaved it for 3 minutes or so. It is better if you mix in cheese and grits.

So now I’m sitting here eating this with a glass of pomegranate-apple-orange juice I made in my juicer.

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Today I ate lunch with my manager. He likes to schedule one-on-one lunches about once month to see how we’re doing. I was under instructions from my oral surgeon to not eat anything hard.

Fish, I figured, would be okay. I will not name the name of the place I ate at, because it wasn’t there fault and the food was actually tasty.

Maybe I was stupid and didn’t realize the gravity of my situation. But I was trying to be careful and cautious. I made sure that I didn’t eat anything that was hard, because I didn’t want to break my jaw. And the coleslaw seemed pretty soft.

So were almost done and sitting around when I was eating very small bites of the coleslaw. I tried consciously chew with my right side, but maybe I messed up.
And I heard a loud pop in my jaw. The pop reverberated throughout my skull and I was absolutely horrified. I had never had anything like that happen before. It was so surreal. But it didn’t hurt, it didn’t swell and nothing seemed to happen.

Except that when I pushed in on my backmost molar, it hurt. The deep tearing pain, like when I had my biopsy. That pain was so horrible that I immediately withdrew my finger from my mouth. I was able to pull it together and get back to work, but I called my oral surgeon’s office, just in case.

And I made the appointment with the orthopedist, which I will be going to this coming Tuesday.

My oral surgeon’s office asked me where I was, then told me to come by and they’d take an X-ray. So they took a panoramic X-ray and emailed the X-ray to the on-call oral surgeon. The assistent there looked over my jaw, mouth, felt around. She told me that I was keeping the biopsy site clean and it had healed really well. That was encouraging. Then she had me close my teeth together so she could see if my molars were closing flat. I asked her why and she said that if there is a fracture, sometimes the bone snapping will tilt the teeth so that they don’t meetup evenly. She said it was like snapping a stick, then trying to bend it back to the position it was in before. With the stick being slightly askew now and non-straight.

But she didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. They apparently took bone from the bottom of my mandible, because she touched an area which hurt surprisingly more than it should have and mentioned something about the biopsy there. I’m actually not sure where they took biopsy bone from. I was numbed up, but felt sharp digging tearing pains just from my bone. Truly unpleasant, as mentioned in my earlier post.

As it turned out, the oral surgeon on-call would take 20 minutes or so to get to a place where they could look at the X-rays, so I was to wait around. Since I was already there, I thought to address the issue of why I wasn’t getting my copy of the CB CT scan data. I was promised a copy of the CD. I had already stopped by earlier on the way into work to talk to them about it, but they could get ahold of the person who did the CT scan. So I remembered while I was there and brought it up and they called over to the imaging place.

And here’s the rub. One copy was sent to the oral surgeon, one copy was sent to my dentist. I really didn’t care if my dentist received a copy, that’s fine. In fact I want him to have a copy. But the imaging people said that I had to pay $25 AND get a signed authorization from the ordering doctor.

What? This is data from my own body. Data that I actually paid for, because the imaging place doesn’t file insurance. Uggh. $25 is probably going to be a drop in the bucket compared to what this whole ordeal is going to cost me in the long run. So I bore this indignity.

I was quite happy to get my radiographic data. It made me fill like things were a little more defined.

And I saw the tumor in my jaw. Actually, it’s a CT scan, which shows bone (it uses X-rays as well). So what I really saw was the lack of bone in my jaw and how much was missing. And I even got the raw Dicom (DCM) files, which is awesome. I’ll post some of graphics from these later on.

I went back to work after that and started playing with the application they had on disc to read the DCM graphics files. I thought the UI had kind of a clunky interface, but it had quite a bit of features once you got use to it. A guy at work who actually did an internship doing volumetric rendering of DICOM files, so we talked about that quite a bit. He told me about ImageJ.

The oral surgeon’s office called me back and told me that there might have been a really tiny fracture, but that they’d give me antibiotics anyways. And DON’T CHEW. Trust me, I was more than happy to comply.

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