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My jaw is wired shut!

Hi everyone! I need some majorrrrr help!!! I was in a horrible accident and had my jaw wired shut last week. I will be this way for another 5 weeks! At first all I could eat the first 2 days was chicken broth! Then I finally was able to have a muscle milk protein shake n that helped fill me up for breakfast! Ensure doesn't do it for me! Today I FINALLY got more feeling in my lip and was able to use a straw! But still everything I've tried (which is only soups) has to be blended to a water consistency! I need recipe ideas or places to try because I'm loosing my mind and walking around growling 24/7 is unbearable!!! Please whatever help u have ill try!!!

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  1. Sorry about your accident. The blender is your friend. Nearly any food can be pulverized with the addition of some stock or other liquid. From the more traditional perspective, try adding avocados, coconut or nut butter to your smoothies to boost the calorie count. Maybe to start try blending a chicken noodle soup, and if that works out, try foods that you crave -- even burritos and spaghetti and meatballs can be made Into a shake. May sound a little gross now, but hunger might boost your sense of adventure. Good luck. Hope your healing is smooth and quick.

    2 Replies
    1. re: maxie

      Thanks so much for responding! Me n the blender are definitely best friends now! I'm craving so many things its so hard! I just feel better trying different soups though Bc the thought of blending chicken parm ( which I want more than life) I don't know if I can get it down in a straw n enjoy it but I guess I have to! Unfortunately I know weight loss is inevitable but I am so petite as it is that I don't want to look scary! And this past week my calorie intake has probably only been like 300-400 a day which is even scarier and IF THAT! I want to be able to get over the fear of drinking food n just do it! I do use broth in everything to make the consistency as thin as possible! I'm going to attempt things later try and toughen up! Everyone keep saying to try mashed potatoes but idk how that can be come thin enough even with the stock n blender! Sorry just so frustrated! Thanks for writing me back!

      1. re: Tjb124

        I don't know how adventurous with food you are, but I just made Haleem (Indian) from a Shan mix. The box of Mix contains everything except the meat, water, and oil. I used chicken. Fry chicken and the spices in oil, then just add grain and water. After cooking slowly for four hours you remove bones and blend it as smooth as you want (mine was pretty smooth and I could drink it. It is spicy and I love it.

        The seasoning and gains are all in the box (it does also come with only the seasoning). The recipe on the box calls for a lot of oil which I reduced, but it would be really the kind of calorie count you need.

        If you cook, you could easily make it from scratch. I have done it, but when I saw this mix I jumped at it. So easy

        I hope you are doing ok.

    2. What maxie said - the blender is your friend. I used to work with teenagers who had reconstructive jaw surgery - best tip was a cup with a lid and a fat straw - to hide the visual aspect of whatever you've just blended up. Broth to thin savory stuff, whole milk, un-set jello, or juice to thin sweeter foods. Might be a good idea to get your doctor's office to put you in touch with a dietician, just to make sure you're meeting your protein needs - getting the nutrients in can be tough. Hang in there!

      1. take the opportunity to treat yourself to a really extravagant blender? costco in sunset park has vitamix models for under 400 dollars (a ton to spend on a blender, sure, but a good deal for a vitamix)

        1. Maybe some chowders that are blended? A veggie or clam chowder might be good. I'm not sure about chicken blended. Hang in there!

          Oh, I just made chocolate mousse. Maybe that would be ok too.

          1. Sorry to hear about your accident. Can you fit a small baby spoon in between *any* space in your jaw? If so, perhaps mashed potatoes, applesauce, pudding are all options.

            Otherwise, my mother always used to make milkshakes with a couple of eggs cracked in (yes, raw eggs - didn't kill us!) for added protein when we had our braces put on (or tightened).

            Blending or food processing fruits (peaches, etc.) might also give you different flavor profiles.

            Did your doctor give you any literature as to what might be easy for you to eat?

            Also, here are some other CH threads that might help:


            1. gazpacho
              carrot juice
              Barefoot Contessa makes a yogurt cucumber soup with shrimp, you could leave the shrimp out and sub stock to thin it

              do you have a juice extractor?

              1. Sorry about your accident :( I have a friend who's jaw was wired shut years back. He was tall and lanky dude and was also freaked out by weight loss. One thing he did a lot of was buy lots of rich soups from the store's deli, like seafood bisques, baked potato soup, anything cheesy, and whizzing it up really well in the blender (you can thin it down with stock). He also was able to use the really thick straws that you find in some sports bottles. Maybe a thicker straw could work for you? If not right now, maybe soon, I hope.
                Also, you can buy adult gummy vitamins and cut them up to cram in your mouth and let them melt on your tongue. As long as you get some nutrients, the weight will come back.
                Best of luck!

                2 Replies
                1. re: alliegator

                  Thanks all so much for the feedback! I appreciate it so much! I tried drinking some clam chowder the other day but even bein strained after those LiL clams snuck their way in and got stuck in my wires! Maybe now that I can use a straw ill try it again being I had to drink it before and made it very hard! Also with the cheeses that's my weakness so I tried Campbell's cheddar cheese soup (which I normally use to make my delicious home made Mac n cheese prior to this lol) and I thinned it out with stock and enjoyed that too! I definitely want to look into baked potato soup I keep hearing about that idea. The straw change today definitely will help me find more options! Like I said before I have major issues blending chicken up and other foods so stickin to soups is what's best for me but unfortunately I need more fat to fill me up! I am going to try out all of it ideas thanks so much! The weight loss I know comes with this type of injury but as I said before I'm 30 yrs old very petite and tiny as it is and trying to not be below 100 lbs seems impossible right now with the low calorie diet! I swear I'll never understand how people survive not eating food!!! I dream about food all dayyyyy longggggtt now more than ever!!!

                  1. re: Tjb124

                    The friend I mentioned above actually got teary eyed when he grilled his first steak after the wiring.
                    And I'm probably about the same size as you, and I realize that even 5 lbs makes a huge difference. Maybe some fatty candy, like rich little chocolates can be broken up and melted down in your mouth? Or heck, you could even eat icing!

                2. Hope you heal quickly!

                  All good info here re: stock-thinned savory stuff, but when a friend had to drink her meals, we'd make outrageous ice-cream blended dessert drinks, too. Whatever flavors you like...the friend even learned to thin down caramel. You could also sub thinned Greek yogurt for ice cream.

                  Best wishes. Let us know how you're progressing.

                  1. You have my deepest sympathy - I had my jaw wired shut for 6 weeks when I was 14 (about 20 years ago), and I remember every detail - I know how hard it is! Here are a few tips based on my experience:

                    - Baby vitamins are key (your doctor probably already told you this). They are liquid and taste horrible, but it's the only way you'll get enough nutrients.

                    - Ensure is disgusting, but it really is a good way to get enough calories. I thought the Vanilla ones were far preferable to the other flavors, and I drank one can every morning. Carnation Instant Breakfast is another good option.

                    - You may find that you get a little, uh, backed up. Ironic, since you're on a liquid diet, but it happened to me. Lots and lots of Gatorade (or other electrolyte drink) was the answer.

                    - There are basically two food groups for you now - Smoothies/Milkshakes and Soups. The former is self-explanatory. As for the latter, as long as you have a good blender, you can make basically any soup you like and then blend, blend, blend. I found that very strongly flavored soups were more satisfying to me than less, so for instance I had a lot of jook (Chinese rice porridge), which has a lot of garlic and ginger, blended and thinned with chicken broth.

                    - If you're like me, you will find yourself obsessed with food. Unfortunately, I found that no matter how many calories you take in, you never really feel full without being about to chew. You will also get desperate for foods you can't have (I remember blending cookies with milk because I wanted so badly to eat cookies - resist the temptation, it doesn't work!). There really isn't anything you can do about this except to try to distract yourself with work, books, movies, etc. as much as you can. And you will lose some weight, which for most of us is desirable, so you have that to look forward to.

                    Best of luck!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: aching

                      I would make lassis with kefir and fruit (not berries, I suspect the seeds are bad). Throw in a raw egg for protein. Also coconut milk (From a can) would make a great smoothie/shake, with lots of fat and calories. I would also experiment with almond milk, hemp and rice milks for different tastes. Think about getting a powdered greens supplement, you can add it to your fruit shakes/smoothies. while it won't add calories it will add a lot of nutrients you will be missing. You can also add hemp powder or ground flax to help with motility, although I wonder if the flax will get stuck in your wires, if so, you can buy straight psyllium fibre to put in, but you have to drink whatever you have made very quickly and continue with lots of water.

                      As mentioned a juicer would be a great addition if you can manage.

                      squash, carrot and potato soups would all be high calorie and quite filling.

                    2. Sorry about your accident - I also had my jaw wired shut many years ago when I was 12. I also lost a few teeth so I think I could use a spoon. I remember at first almost everything was difficult. Maybe the first food I recall eating was baby food - hey I liked it when I was a baby and I was able to find stuff that wasn't too bad - lamb with a little mint jelly stands out as rather good. As time went on I was able to eat blended food and my Mom tried to make my favorite foods - The breaded, blended veal cutlet was delicious. If your craving veal parm I'd think that'd work well with enough sauce. Thick blended food may be too hard at first, but as you heal it'll get easier and I think you'll be able to blend almost any of the foods your craving. Good luck

                      1. If you do try potato soup, cook it with plenty of bacon then remove it before blending. Also add lots of cheese.

                        Same goes for split pea soup, minus the cheese. Although I do like mine with parm.

                        Other types of bean soups should give you some needed protein and play nice with bacon flavors.

                        I keep pushing the bacon to add a meaty flavor and needed, in your case, fat.

                        If you're not cooking from scratch (which I wouldn't be in your situation) try the campbells bean with bacon. It's one of my favorite flu foods.

                        Don't forget about hot chocolate. If you could stand it made with cream that'll give you more calories.

                        Poor thing. I feel so sorry for you!

                        1. Another jaw-wired-shut-surgery survivor here. I remember wearing scissors around my neck 'just in case' and wanting to eat crunchy food more than anything.

                          For the first several weeks, everything hurts too much to even think about something as thick as a chocolate milkshake so sipping something thin all day long was my answer. Another no-no was anything spicy since open wounds + spice do not mix.

                          I borrowed a juicer from a friend and practically lived on carrot juice for the six weeks. As some time passed, I was able to progress from the water-y thin liquid to something with a bit more substance; V-8 was about as far as I got though. Adding an egg made the food too thick to easily - key word here - pass through a straw. Canned anything (like soup) just did not cut it for me.

                          I was cooking for a family of four and my children were delighted that mom could not shout! They were also enthralled that someone could add melted ice cream to fruit juice and call it a meal. Yes, the weight loss was inevitable, but a plus for me. You might ask your physician for recommendations for a RD who deals with this. Meanwhile, I second the baby vitamins even though they were disgusting.

                          Keep in mind that you are alive (!) and the wires will come off in about one month. In a zen-like way, this helped me cope with the inevitable hunger, sacrifice and look on the ordeal in a positive light.

                          1. See a lot of good ideas here. Don't forget avocado! Full of really good fats and it blends well into almost any smoothie or soup.
                            Good luck.

                            1. Ensure is kinda not yum. Boost is more palatable, if you're going to have prepared supplements.

                              The milkshake our onc unit makes uses 4 tiny single-serv ice creams and one Boost/Ensure. Do consider something similar if you're in a sweet mood.

                              (Edited to add: Things will get better. Please do update us/let us know how it's going. And would a Waterpik help with stuff stuck in wires or is that verboten?)

                              1. Wow, I wish I had some great idea.

                                But mine would be to embrace the soup (okay stock) thing but think of each stock by cuisine to fool your mind into thinking you are "Changing it up".

                                Go Asian - I find asian soups/stocks to be much more complex than european/american soups.

                                Pho broth
                                Thai coconut curry broth

                                That type of thing would certainly help to mix things up.

                                With spring coming soon (I hope) you could also really focus on different vegetables to change it up. Very french . . .

                                Carrot soup
                                Asparagus soup
                                Pea Soup

                                Italian -

                                nice thick stock but simmer in some pancetta or prosciutto trimmings or any salami and a parmigiano reggiano rind to add some complexity
                                (this one might help with the chicken parm craving, you'd be surprised how much the rinds add to the flavor)

                                Good luck - hang in there!!!