• Last Thursday, I had what I hope will be my first and last gum surgery. I had to have tissue surgically removed from the roof of my mouth and grafted onto gum tissue that had receded, both on my top and bottom front gums. TMI, I know. But trust me when I say to you: FLOSS AND USE A REALLY GOOD ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH EVERYDAY! I’m not sure if my genes would’ve doomed me regardless, or if Celiac had anything to do with it, but perhaps if I had been more obedient and listened to my dental hygienist all these years, I would not have had to go through this painful ordeal.

    I was prepared for the surgery – it wasn’t a surprise – in fact, I put it off for about 10 months. But because I knew about it in advance, I was able to make sure that all the products used by the oral surgeon were gluten free. For those of you who might be faced with the same sort of thing, don’t be afraid to ask and ask again. Make absolutely sure that the oral surgeon or dentist understands the nature of your disease. I am very, very fond of my oral surgeon – he did a wonderful job, start to finish. I am grateful that he was willing to research and make sure that what he used in my mouth was gluten free. Every single thing that he put into my mouth had to be considered. He complied, agreeably and willingly. He made all the necessary phone calls – all except for a couple which I made to the appropriate companies. Ultimately, I felt very safe going into the surgery.

    Now, onto the real reason for this post. What have I eaten for the last 3 1/2 days and what will I eat for the next 6 – 7 days, until the stitches are removed?

    I am going to give you a list of what I’ve eaten thus far, but as the next week progresses, I will come back and edit the list, adding foods that I’ve found are agreeable with my situation. My hope is to help others who are in similar situations and need gluten free, safe food choices. Bottom line, think baby food. I know, it sounds yuck and boring. But you don’t want to disturb the packing in your mouth that is there to protect the areas that were cut or stitched. Trust me, you want it to stay in your mouth as long as possible.

    Fruit Smoothie
    I don’t have a definite recipe, but will approximate what I’ve been drinking. Feel free to play with it. Substitute different fruits, different juices etc. Add flax seed meal, psyllium, spirulina etc.

    1/2 cup plain soy yogurt (can use cow’s milk yogurt)
    1/2 cup apple juice (make sure not to use citrus juices)
    1/2 cup purple grape juice
    1/2 banana (can freeze if you want – makes the drink nice and cold)
    1/2 apple, cored
    1/2 cup blueberries and/or strawberries
    1/2 cup fresh mango
    1 big handful baby spinach (optional)
    1 cup ice cubes

    Use blender to mix really well.

    Mashed Garlic Potatoes
    I made these in my pressure cooker and followed a recipe from Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass. I used an immersion stick blender to really get them soft.

    Homemade Vegetable Soup
    I followed a recipe from the Fatfree Vegan. Only thing is that while my husband ate his as cooked, I totally pureed mine with my immersion blender. While not the best way to eat this delicious soup, I will admit it tasted pretty darn good, even blended up.

    Homemade Crockpot Applesauce from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson

    Plain juices (apple, grape, pomegrante, all three combined)

    Banana Pudding

    I tried hot, cooked oatmeal – no go. You really don’t want to chew your food. I tried making potato pancakes – also no go.

    New Addition as of March 25:
    Bananas & Yogurt
    Mash fresh banana, add yogurt, combine well. Yum. Delish. Easy.

    New Addition as of March 31:
    Made homemade chocolate pudding. Very easy to eat. Good snack.

    By about a week after the surgery, I could eat very soft scrambled eggs. I also discovered, sort of by accident, a good soup to eat. I went to a lunch meeting at a local Vietnamese restaurant that has been good at making gluten free meals. When I told the owner that I’d had gum surgery and couldn’t eat anything unless it was soft, he told me he would make something special for me. He brought me something that isn’t on their menu – a sort of Rice Porridge. It was so good that I decided to do some online research and discovered that it is actually a very common soup made by the Vietnamese – especially good for getting over being sick – sort of a Vietnamese version of Jewish Chicken soup. There are a ton of recipes online – just google Vietnamese Rice Porridge and you’ll find them. I went back there three times to have the soup! Each time I walked into the restaurant, the owner knew exactly why I was there!

    I can’t wait to eat a bagel again!!!
    • ~M

      After I had my adenoids and tonsils removed – which left gaping holes in my throat – I ate a ton of salmon sashimi. It practically slid down itself, and it’s buttery-oiliness was very soothing. Also, the protein is very healthy. Lucky for me, I didn’t need to pay restaurant prices (or tip) since I got it at a Japanese grocer near my hometown in IL.

      In general, I had trouble maintaining enough calories (despite pints of ice cream) so my mom bought me pedialyte freezer pops to suck on and keep me hydrated.

      Are you sure that you can have flax seeds? After oral/throat surgery, I was told no nuts or seeds or straws.

    • Natalie

      I had a lot of trouble with my gums receding when I was eating gluten (at 22!!!) Once I stopped, it seemed to get better. I hope you feel better soon. :)

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