This I Believe

Angel - austin, Texas
Entered on January 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Imagine being seventeen years old, and finding out that this holiday season, you have to undergo jaw surgery. No, not your ordinary TMJ surgery, we’re talking orthognathic-three-procedure-fixation-of-the-jaw bones-surgery. I knew if I didn’t do this now, later on it would much more painful. So I did it. The pain was excruciating, despite all the meds I was high on and I swelled up like a “lemon head candy” so my niece called me. Now in my fourth week of recovery, I don’t regret missing out on having fun on my two weeks of vacation like all my other friends did. I didn’t regret that I had to go through a “revision” surgery the second week of recovery and go through the whole healing process once again. Oh no, I didn’t regret going out in public with a balloon head that fascinated every stranger who happen to glance at me.

I know exactly what you are thinking. No, my ‘this I believe is’ not on my doctors’ talented abilities to improve my standard of living by maintaining my healthy state for the future. It’s not on the incredible advancement of technology and science that was performed on my mouth. It’s definitely not on the medications that suppressed my pain and prevented an infection. What could it be then?

I’ll just put it simply, I believe in food. Give me some monkey brains, cow liver, intestines, fish eyeballs, stuff from the show Fear Factor, shoot I do not give a crap. At this point, I’ll eat anything, anything at all. Just as long as I can have that feeling of chewing my own food, savoring every taste in each bite, using proper utensils to eat, instead of having everything through a tube. I want to taste and feel what I am eating, even if it is gross! Four weeks of this freaking liquid diet is mentally, emotional, and physically straining on my poor mind, body, and stomach. My daily thoughts are what I’m going to eat once I can finally eat normally again, which is in April of this year, yeah we’re talking three months from now folks. Or how about hitting up all the little sandwich shops, and restaurants that I’ve never tried when I took the art of eating for granted.

Lately, my days have consisted of coming home from school and smelling my mother’s scrumptious cooking. I get excited because she’s cooking my favorite meals such as baked chicken with rice and cabbage soup. I think ‘yes, mom finished cooking food right when I got home!’ ERRRRRRRRCK. “What do you think you’re doing?” I turn, “The food’s not ready?” I innocently asked. “NO! Angel have you forgotten something?” Oh yeah….hehe, I can’t even CHEW! Gees, how did I manage to forget that my mouth has been sealed shut? So I slumped down in my comfy, familiar couch in front of the television. I find myself watching food network a lot lately. My mouth literally drools when I see Italian food. I admit, I get pretty jealous watching others eat and smelling the food they are about to devour. I especially get really pissed when I hear Rachel Ray going “mmmmhmmmm, that is one good crusted red snapper. You know I can really taste the thyme and rosemary from the crust and I think it works perfectly for this dish, and for under ten bucks, who can pass up a deal like this?” Well I got news for you, Mrs. Rachel Ray, I CAN, because I can’t even eat gelatos, much less some good southern comfort food.

God, who ever knew missing food would be this torturing? I believe in mac and cheese for breakfast, some chicken flautas for lunch, some pumpkin pie cheesecake for dinner with mashed potatoes and green bean casserole or pineapple honey ham, some rice and white bass soup with sautéed shrimp, and for a midnight snack, vanilla almond cereal. I believe in eating food that you know isn’t good for your health, but is so darn good you can’t give up. I believe in everything fried and greasy. I believe in watching Monday night football while eating some hot buffalo wings drenched in ranch dressing dripping down the side of your mouth. As of right now, I even believe in Auntie Anna’s cooking (she is the worst cook in our family) because compared to these wimpy protein fruity shakes I’ve had, her cooking will do. I believe in sinking my teeth in a homemade one pounder cheeseburger with lettuce, mayo, onions, ketchup and pickles. Now, we mustn’t forget about some wonderful ethnic food like couscous, Pad Thai, spicy red tuna sushi, lamb gyros, or roasted Brazilian goat. Best of all, I believe in my mom’s home cooked Vietnamese infused meals that I’ve come to appreciate. Lastly, I believe that anorexic people are truly missing out in one of life’s remarkable gifts—eating!