Right now back in 2010 I was still sitting in the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital with my jaw wired shut wondering what on earth I was going to do with my life but eager to get started. My trach had recently come out and I was feeling pretty awesome to say the least.
I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again, that trach was one of the worst things I had to go through during the whole recovery.
My mom and I were getting ready to fly out to California on a C-17 and other than the wires on my jaw I was feeling great and just happy to be alive.
I loathed having to eat everything through a straw. The hospital wasn’t very good at getting chunks out of my food so I was constantly stopping to try and blow the clots back out of my teeth. The one positive thing about wiring your jaw is that you lose weight like you can’t imagine! When eating is more work then it’s worth you tend not to do it much. It’s a great diet if you’re desperate.
It’s also very pokey and uncomfortable though. They gave me some wax to put on the wires that were poking me and by the time I got them all covered I couldn’t breathe through my mouth at all. Fortunately I still had the hole in my neck as backup. Since I had to eat and all I had to just deal with the discomfort of the wires.
A few weeks later when I finally got them off, I felt like a free man! I could finally open my mouth and once the doctors gave me permission, I could eat whatever I wanted…at least in front of them. Regardless of what they said I have to admit that the first thing I had, the same day, was a burger and fries from Burger King. They had never tasted so good. Almost 7 weeks of cream of wheat and soup will do that to a person.
The only issue was that I could barely open my mouth enough to fit one fry in there at a time. I had to pull the burger apart and basically mash the pieces, one at a time, into my mouth. Slow and tedious to say the least but it was amazing!
I still remember how exciting it was to get official clearance to eat whatever I wanted. All the choices and options were almost overwhelming after going so long without having any real say in what I ate.
I’m so grateful for this experience and all the others like it that I had to go through. I was, and I guess still am, the typical spoiled American who has so much yet still manages to be unsatisfied with life. Living through a straw gave me such an appreciation for the ability to go out, find a restaurant, and order massive amounts of anything I want pretty much whenever I want. We’re so spoiled! There are so many people all over the world who will never experience that.
As you watch Denver beat Seattle today remember how blessed you are to be able to watch the game and pack your gut with tons of game day snacks. We are all so blessed and life truly is amazing. Take the time to realize that and enjoy every minute of it. Next time your driving around and see someone with a cardboard sign near a freeway exit buy them a meal and a drink. It’s only a few extra bucks but it goes a long way for those who don’t have it.
I appreciate you all for reading, commenting, and sharing these stories and posts. Happy Superbowl Sunday and GO BRONCOS!!!