Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Soft food sorrow

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

After wisdom tooth removal, hard food offenses are considered especially heinous. In the Jones-Keas household, the starving patient who is recovering from oral surgery has become a member of the Soft Food Squad. This is her story.

I should probably spare you the dramatics, but I havenít had a cracker or even a crumb in six days. They warn you about the pain from wisdom tooth surgery and itís certainly no vacation. Still, I wish someone had told me how the soft food diet would affect my mood. Spoiler alert: Iíve become pretty irate.

The day of the surgery, I didnít hunger at all. Gideon forced me to down a protein shake but that was the extent of my sustenance for the day. And I didnít miss it. Truly, I didnít miss it one bit. I was too focused on resting and taking all my antibiotics to think about cheeseburgers or nachos or the creamy, acidic avocado salad from Oscarís.

Days two and three proved slightly more difficult. I had three protein shakes each day and a little bit of yogurt. Before the surgery, we stocked up on my favorite yogurt flavors: strawberry and strawberry banana. Youíd think this would make recovery more bearable. Youíd think I wouldnít grow to despise yogurt with every ounce of my soul. Youíd be wrong.

By day four, Gideon made a pot of beyond mushy macaroni and cheese. Some real food for a change! And I ate only a small bowl before putting it away, too nauseous to try any more. Gideon bought my all-time favorite ice cream brand, Blue Bell, but I couldnít have my all-time favorite flavor because it has chunks of cookie dough in it.

I settled for homemade vanilla. Just four days in and I had transformed into a choosing beggar.

On Saturday, Gideon put on a cooking show. I grimaced and watched chefs create the most elaborate dishes with uncommon ingredients ó†ingredients I never would have eaten before oral surgery. But sitting on the couch, my mouth began to water.

Inside, I raged. Our cat Ghoulie passed by and hissed at one of our foster cats. I hissed too, because I deeply understood his anger. The cats were unmoved.

Gideon made himself a vegetarian sandwich wrap Sunday afternoon with bell peppers, spinach, cucumbers and so much cheese. He offered me a bite. I snarled and reminded him that I live on the dark side of life now, where you have to wait at least a week to have soft breads and Cheetos.

As I write this column, I am still several days away from enjoying hard cheeses and chips and grilled chicken. Thereís not much to do when youíre recovering from oral surgery so I created a list of all the foods Iím going to eat when this is over, typing like a madwoman on my dinky little Chromebook.

Chicken skewers and salad with balsamic vinaigrette and stuffed grape leaves. Chocolate chip cookies and honey crisp apples and a lifetime supply of jelly beans. Cool Ranch Doritos and sliced gouda and teriyaki beef from Thai House. Oh, and five billion orders of the bento box from Sushi House in Bentonville ó with a side order of the Samís Roll, of course. This is a short list.

Someday my hard food dreams will come true. Someday I will eat and eat and eat some more. But until that day, Iíll be sitting here sipping on a protein shake and forcing Gideon to eat dinner in the other room.

Itís safe to say I have discovered the true meaning behind the word ďhungry.Ē