Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Best Dinner For A Bad Jaw

Arthritis is a funny thing. You never know where it's going to spring up next. In my teenage years, it took over the right side of my jaw. It was around Christmas time one year and my jaw kept popping. I couldn't really talk or eat, it was just sticking and clicking and driving me crazy. And boy was it painful! They took x-rays and found that there was definitely some arthritis bubbling around in there.

How the heck did I manage to eat that burger? What was I thinking?! 
Fork and Knife might be silly to you but that's how I tackle a burger now-a-days.

A year or so (maybe two?) years later I'd been having steroid injections in my jaw on a regular basis and my doctor had gone in arthroscopically to clean out the joint. After my millionth x-ray, both my surgeon and my rheumatologist sat together and reviewed the latest pictures(this was incredibly uncommon, as both were the heads of their departments at Children's and were far too busy to ever meet up. With this exception which included my surgeon urging my rheumatologist to come quickly.)

I remember it clearly. The two of them, looking at my x-rays in shock, whispering to each other, my dad and I sitting on the other side of the room with dumb looks on our faces. What were they talking about? It sure didn't look good.

When the turned to us, their faces chilled me to the bone. And my bones were what they were so worried about.

 Perhaps I should be sticking to burgers this size from now on. 
We will return to talk about these burgers at another date!

Apparently so much arthritis in my jaw had eaten away at the cartilage in between the joint on my right side. And now, the bones had nothing to protect them, and they were rubbing against each other. So much so that they had completely flattened out. (I have the x-ray somewhere. I'll show you guys soon, though it has the habit of making me cry when I see it.)

That afternoon, on our way home, my dad and I stopped for a milkshake and fries. It was an emotional day, and milkshakes had become my go-to snack because it was something that I didn't have to chew. (Also on this list was mashed potatoes, jello, and bean and rice burritos!)

Christmas Eve Dinner 2009. 
Mashed potatoes and gravy were a staple for me in my teens.

And ever since then I have had some serious jaw problems. Pain is just something that I live with and pain medication is something I can't live without. Someday I might have one of a number of surgeries on my jaw, but for now, I deal. You want to talk about pain? Let me tell you about eating a piece of jerky.

Anyways, last night Mitch and I made pot roast and veggies. It was the most amazing collaboration in the world. And it was a great meal for someone who has jaw problems.

Notice there is no need for a knife with this meal!
The meat was falling apart, the veggies were soft, it all tasted like butter melting in your mouth. Yes, I admit, we needed some green in our meal, but this was a meal made for a bad jaw.

It started with a chuck roast, browned on all sides.

Then browning some carrot, celery, onions and garlic. Adding beef and chicken broth. Heat it all up, and then plop that meat back in.

Put that bad boy in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 and a half hours, turning it over every half hour.

An hour before you're ready to eat, we like to put some sweet potatoes, onions and carrots in the oven to roast.

And there you have it. Simple, delicious, and perfect for me.

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