Fifty-one days in the past, I had a really lengthy and really sophisticated jaw surgical procedure. I’m principally positive now; you don’t want to fret about me. However I do know precisely what number of days it’s been as a result of obsessively crossing squares off my calendar is the one manner I’ve been capable of keep sane by way of the restoration course of. That, and documenting each horrific part of this in order that some day I can look again and snort about it. That day has not but come. I’m typing this sentence after being pressured to cease consuming risotto as a result of my tongue began bleeding in three completely different spots, from fishing wayward rice grains out of my wired-in splint. After I instructed Barry I used to be writing about my surgical procedure and restoration, he requested me what my angle was. “This sucks butt?” he steered. Just about.
After I was 16 or 17 years outdated, I discovered myself again on the orthodontist as a result of I began noticing my tooth had been hitting in another way. I had braces once I was 10 and 11 to repair my very distinguished buckteeth, and the braces had labored. My tooth had been excellent. Julia Roberts was my favourite actress then and I had a smile that rivaled Julia’s. However now my jaw joints had been hurting and my chew felt humorous. I went to my orthodontist to see what was up, pondering I most likely was simply clenching my tooth and wanted an evening guard. Nope. The scans confirmed that my jaw was doing this uncommon, bizarre factor. My orthodontist despatched me to an oral surgeon to research additional. He confirmed what my orthodontist thought: Idiopathic condylar resorption. Translation: My jaw joints had been consuming themselves, and for no obvious purpose.
After I obtained my analysis I realized that ICR is commonest in teen ladies and the one strategy to repair it’s with surgical procedure, however I’d have to attend till all of the injury was carried out, till no matter little demon was inflicting hassle in there had worn itself out. So I waited as my chew stored altering. My jaw joints slowly shrunk and my cute little chin moved farther and farther again, till I hardly had a chin to talk of. I couldn’t shut my lips. I couldn’t breathe out of my nostril very nicely. I couldn’t chew right into a sandwich or a slice of pizza. I had to make use of a fork to eat a hamburger! I hated consuming in entrance of individuals as a result of I might solely use my again 4 molars to chew and I used to be consistently dropping chunks of meals out of my mouth. My bizarre open chew quickly turned my occasion trick: I’d stick my tongue out between my fully shut tooth and wiggle it as my pals appeared on. I appeared like just a little lizard.
I obtained scans of my jaw each six-ish months to evaluate the destruction. By the point I used to be 21-ish, the jaw had eaten its little coronary heart out. I might now get surgical procedure at any time when I used to be prepared. However I wasn’t prepared and certain would by no means be prepared-ready. I used to be graduating and transferring to New York. When would I ever have the time to deal with this?
My particular downside meant I would wish a complete joint substitute and higher jaw surgical procedure, each carried out on the identical time: Two titanium joints on each side that might convey my decrease jaw ahead an complete inch into its earlier and correct place, and a LeFort osteotomy, by which the docs noticed (I don’t truly know if “noticed” is the right verb right here and I don’t really wish to know) my higher jaw into three items, after which match the items again collectively in a brand new place. With a purpose to do it, the surgeons must stretch the facial nerve that runs alongside your jawline. That nerve doesn’t wish to be disturbed, so it rebels and goes on strike and there’s normally short-term lack of facial motion and feeling after surgical procedure. It might take months to return and there’s no assure it’ll come again absolutely.
The surgeons don’t have the know-how to point out you a mockup of what your face will appear to be post-surgery, and I used to be actually afraid I would hate my face or have a tough time adapting to my new look. Most individuals I’d seen who obtained an identical surgical procedure ended up trying manner hotter, however I’d additionally seen a Youtuber crying about how she thought her nostril was greater post-surgery. There’s a surprisingly giant neighborhood of jaw surgical procedure tik-tokers on the market that may present you all of the graphic particulars and actually fill you with dread. On prime of all that, my mother’s brother died throughout a routine surgical procedure when he was 12 years outdated. We’re unsure what occurred, however the more than likely trigger is a genetic situation known as malignant hyperthermia, principally an allergy to the most typical types of normal anesthesia. None of my household is aware of if any of us have it, as a result of the testing may be very sophisticated, so we’re all terrified of getting surgical procedure. I’d by no means had surgical procedure earlier than and with MH looming over my head, I made a decision to place this off as a result of my jaw downside was not life-threatening. It was inconvenient and irritating and I didn’t all the time like how my face appeared, however the common individual wouldn’t know something was mistaken with me if I didn’t inform them.
Positive, I hated my profile, the best way my chin sank again into my neck and made me appear to be a turkey. I hated the best way Twitter trolls commonly commented on my gummy smile and large tooth, evaluating me to a horse woman or as soon as, Rufus, the bare mole rat from Kim Doable. However I realized how you can smile in photos and how you can angle my chin so it appeared just a little extra there. I hated how my open chew gave me a slight lisp and I hated getting common sinus infections and having seasonal allergy symptoms just about daily from mouth respiratory. However none of this was devastating sufficient for me to noticeably think about going by way of surgical procedure hell.
Then the pandemic arrived and all the things slowed down. I obtained laid off, I didn’t journey as a lot, after which I wanted a root canal. A root canal at 27?! I used to be pissed. It was costly as hell and my dentist instructed me that if I didn’t get surgical procedure, I’d quickly burn out all 4 of my molars that had been doing all my chewing. I would by no means have the time to do that once more, and with everybody sporting masks nobody would even have to know I had braces!
I spoke to an oral surgeon in Chicago, who I’d been referred to years earlier. I began the method with him within the spring of 2021. This time I used to be certain I needed to do it, till I met his boss, the top of the oral surgical procedure division, who requested me what my primary motivation for surgical procedure was. “I wish to save my tooth,” I instructed him.
That’s it? he mentioned. This isn’t a straightforward surgical procedure. It’s essential to be actually certain that that is what you wish to do.
I used to be offended by his response. I wasn’t uneducated about this. I’d been studying about my situation for years at this level and had put surgical procedure off for therefore lengthy as a result of I knew how dangerous it was going to be.
“Nicely, I additionally wish to breathe higher, and be capable to chew issues usually, and never have a lisp and be capable to shut my mouth once more!”
OK, he mentioned, nodding at me. Now I needed to do it simply to show him mistaken.
It turned out he was onto one thing, as a result of because the months slowly glided by, I had loads of time to doubt my resolution. I virtually give up and pulled the plug three or 4 completely different occasions. As soon as once I was instructed I’d want braces for a 12 months upfront (that was incorrect), one other time once I was instructed I wouldn’t be capable to have lengthy conversations (aka interviews!) for 5 weeks (principally unfaithful). In September, my surgeon submitted the order for my titanium joints. In fact there’s just one firm that’s FDA-approved to make the joints, so I needed to get in line and wait. In February, I lastly obtained my surgical procedure date: Might 4.
Every week earlier than surgical procedure, I obtained my braces on. I used to be surrounded by children discussing their eighth-grade graduations, and I used to be silently fuming. At one level within the appointment, one other orthodontist got here by and checked my resident’s work. “Chunk down,” he mentioned. I bit down. He waited. “I’m biting,” I mentioned.
“Oh, you’ll love your outcomes from this surgical procedure,” he mentioned.
“Yeah, nicely fuck this,” I mentioned, a bit louder than I meant to. However I didn’t remorse it. This sucked and I wasn’t going to faux like all the things was all positive and dandy. I needed everybody to know I used to be not happy and I hope I scared all of the little tweens within the room too.
After I lastly left the orthodontist with my bag of particular floss, I known as my mother and burst into tears. The brackets had been irritating me, I might hardly speak with the surgical hooks protruding in each path, and the fact of what was coming in every week hit me exhausting. I obtained on my bike to go residence and I cried for a lot of the 4 miles. I taught my dance lessons that night time, my final dance night time earlier than my lengthy surgical procedure break, and as I mentioned goodbye to all my dancers I discovered myself truly questioning, what if that is the final time I see them? What if I don’t make it out of this surgical procedure? Rationally, there was principally no danger. None of my docs had been involved in any respect. However I’m not a rational individual. I’m definitely not a scientific individual. I’m emotional, dramatic and impulsive. It was the elective side of this surgical procedure that was slowly destroying me. I wanted a physician would simply say: Kalyn, you need to do that.
That night time I booked a flight to Florida for the following morning. I used to be a multitude after the braces expertise and I wanted to go to my mother and get in some sunshine earlier than surgical procedure. She picked me up from the airport and I cried once more as I instructed her how I used to be anxious that I would die. “You don’t have to do that,” she instructed me. “It’s OK to vary your thoughts.”
I knew that was true, however I’d already put in a 12 months’s price of physician appointments, battled by way of insurance coverage pre-authorization (not straightforward!), put down a $600 deposit for braces, and waited months for these silly joints. I’d made all my plans for medical depart from work, my mother was coming to care for me for 2 weeks, and all my Amazon packages of syringes and protein powder and peanut butter and bone broths and ice packs and a capsule crusher had arrived (thanks to the TikTok-ers for correctly getting ready me). I’d been in remedy for 2 months discussing all my fears and anxieties. My toilet mirror was stuffed with hopeful post-it word affirmations that I repeated to myself every day, although they often took the type of questions.
MY FEAR IS FADING BY THE DAY.
MY SURGERY WILL GO WELL.
NO MATTER HOW SCARED I AM, I WILL GET SURGERY.
I AM READY?
“Do you suppose I’ll rooster out?” I requested my stepdad.
“Not when you have any frequent sense,” he mentioned.
“However that’s the query,” I identified.
I cried loads.
On the day of surgical procedure, I wakened at 4 a.m. to chug a Gatorade earlier than my deadline to cease consuming. I showered with antibacterial cleaning soap after which was forbidden from placing on any lotion and even deodorant. I cried as I shut the door to my condominium, serious about how depressing I’d be once I returned. When my mother and I attempted to park within the hospital’s storage, the ticket reader wouldn’t scan our ticket to allow us to by way of the gates. Flip round! I mentioned. However then a lady who labored on the hospital walked by and scanned her month-to-month go for us. Oh God, I believed. I actually have to do that.
My legs began shaking as I checked in for pre-op. I used to be hiding within the toilet when the nurse known as my identify to come back to the again. I began crying once more because the nurses gave me pre-operation instructions to make use of the antibacterial wipes and alter into the surgical procedure robe and surgical procedure hairnet and surgical procedure socks. Two completely different nurses came visiting to hug me as a result of I appeared so upset.
We nonetheless had an hour to kill earlier than surgical procedure. My mother wore her particular affirmation shirt for me, embroidered with the phrases, She Can, She Will. Usually I hate that shit, however boy did I want it now. Certainly one of my pals up to date our group textual content that I used to be actually on the hospital: She was stalking my location on Discover My Buddies to ensure I wasn’t going to run away.
They began placing some enjoyable juice into my IV even earlier than they wheeled me again. I requested if I might convey my headphones with me so I might take heed to music till I used to be completely out. My resident mentioned no, however supplied to play music from his personal telephone whereas they wheeled me to the working room. “What do you wish to hear?” he requested.
“Umm, the Mamma Mia soundtrack,” I mentioned immediately. ABBA all the time makes me joyful.
“OK,” he laughed.
I bear in mind getting wheeled again, after which everybody lifting me onto the working desk. By the refrain, I used to be out.
After I wakened, I heard the docs all speaking round me. I blinked my eyes open a sliver to see their very blurry outlines. I couldn’t breathe or transfer my limbs, however I used to be very awake. My mind was raring to go. I panicked, making an attempt to determine why I couldn’t breathe by myself but additionally by some means wasn’t dying or useless. How was this attainable? I used to be completely paralyzed but additionally extraordinarily aware and no person appeared to comprehend I used to be awake. I attempted to breathe once more. Nothing occurred. Then I felt somebody pull out my catheter, after which my respiratory tube. Ohh, there’s the oxygen!
They wheeled me out of the working room and I fist bumped my docs. A part of me was genuinely shocked to have made it out alive. What time is it? I requested. 9 p.m. The surgical procedure took 10 hours, somebody mentioned.
Within the restoration room, a nurse strapped ice packs on my face. The docs didn’t rubber band me shut then as a result of I’m claustrophobic and I particularly requested them to not, so my jaw was hanging open. I had no thought how you can maneuver it in any respect. My tongue flopped out aimlessly as a result of I additionally had no thought what to do with that factor. Whereas I waited for my mother to come back again to the restoration room, I took stock of my face. The one factor I might really feel was my brow. The surgeons requested me to maneuver my eyebrows and shut my eyes. Just one eyebrow labored, and I needed to work tougher to squeeze my eyelid shut on the non-working facet. My nostril was so stuffed up so I used to be principally respiratory out of my mouth. My lips had been huge and numb however with my tongue, I might really feel the thick everlasting plastic splint that coated my higher tooth.
When my mother got here again, I instructed her and my nurse how I used to be wakeful when the catheter got here out. “I felt that shit!” I mumbled at them. My mother had tried to consolation me the day earlier than by saying I most likely wouldn’t even bear in mind being within the hospital.
Earlier than lengthy one other nurse wheeled me to go get a scan to ensure all the things was right. On the experience to the scan, I began choking on blood in my throat and coughing it up onto my robe. “I can’t breathe!” I attempted to say. My mother ran to the toilet as a result of she felt dizzy seeing a lot blood.
The nurse sat me up very slowly, however I nonetheless handed out. She shook me awake (impolite!) and compelled me out of the mattress once more. I slowly shuffled into the chair and put my chin on the chin-rest, shutting my eyes as a result of I used to be too dizzy to perform. After that nightmare ended, she wheeled me to my room for the night time, which is once I realized how a lot I hate hospitals. They gave me a roommate and instructed me my mother wasn’t allowed to stick with me. I texted her nonstop. (She knowledgeable me the following day that she woke as much as 109 texts from me.) Each time I used to be on the sting of sleep I jolted awake, panicked that I wasn’t respiratory. I requested paper and a pen from my nurse as a result of I couldn’t speak nicely sufficient for anybody to actually perceive me. At 3 a.m. a special surgical procedure resident got here in, one I hadn’t met earlier than. He requested me to attempt consuming water, however I couldn’t work out how you can swallow it, so I began crying once more.
By the morning, I hadn’t slept greater than half-hour. A path of blood coated the tile ground as a result of each time I stood as much as go to the toilet, my nostril bled uncontrollably. Apparently nobody bothered to wash it up. My resident got here and checked on me at 6 a.m. and gave me a syringe with a catheter tip to make use of to drink water. This made it a lot simpler to swallow, as a result of I might shoot the liquid down the facet of my cheek straight into my throat. He instructed me I might go residence that afternoon if I used to be capable of drink an entire jug of water and eat a bowl of rooster broth. My room was scorching and stuffy and I smelled worse than I ever have earlier than, so I used to be determined to get the hell out of there. I syringed and syringed and syringed till it was all gone. I felt like just a little gerbil consuming water from that factor gerbils drink from, however I succeeded in my mission and obtained dismissed at 2 p.m. The hospital one who was speculated to wheel me all the way down to the foyer was late, so I mentioned fuck it, I’m strolling out.
The subsequent week was absolutely the worst single week of my life. I misplaced 10 kilos, I hardly slept as a result of I nonetheless couldn’t work out how you can breathe, and each time I stood up my coronary heart pounded like loopy. Each time I went to the toilet I shut off the sunshine so I wouldn’t must see my reflection; I used to be so swollen I appeared like a cross between a grumpy toad and Vito Corleone. I couldn’t transfer my lips in any respect, so my mother solely understood 40 % of what I mentioned. I wakened early every day as a result of I used to be ravenous however then I might solely eat broths or chocolate milk. Even apple sauce was too thick. The primary time I showered was horrific; I combed by way of my matted hair and screamed once I tugged on a large tangled chunk and it got here off in my hand. I felt like I had been in a automobile accident as a result of my complete physique damage. My neck turned Elphaba inexperienced from bruising and I had a scab proper between my eyes and extra throughout my hairline and the again of my neck, the place they’d by some means pinned my head into place throughout surgical procedure. My sideburns had been shaved the place they made incisions in entrance of my ears, and I might hardly flip my neck due to the incisions beneath my jawline. I had to purchase a particular pillow as a result of one facet of my butt was too sore to even sit on. Thrice a day I needed to syringe essentially the most evil-tasting liquid antibiotic. My face was so numb I couldn’t even do my very own nasal spray, as a result of I had no thought the place the hell my nostrils had been. I stained all my garments as a result of I used to be consistently drooling. I used to be constipated for eight days, so my mother break up open a laxative capsule and put it in water for me to syringe. I took one shot of it and spit it in all places, coughing and choking. The drugs burned my throat for a minimum of 20 minutes. This time each my mother and I cry-laughed.
Nights had been scary. I attempted so many issues to go to sleep. I fine-tuned an elevated pillow construction, ran my diffuser and humidifier, sniffed a Vicks stick for congestion, meditated, placed on enjoyable lotion, took melatonin and performed Buddies on my TV all night time lengthy.
Each time I wakened in the course of the night time and checked out my telephone to see that solely 45 minutes had handed since I used to be final awake, I whimpered. (I couldn’t actually cry as a result of my face couldn’t transfer.) As a result of I couldn’t sleep, the times felt impossibly lengthy. I felt like a toddler as a result of I needed to nap daily at 3 p.m. And even then, I nonetheless had every day tantrums as a result of I couldn’t inform if I used to be drained or hungry. I even appeared like a toddler, because of my cherubic swollen face and my braces. About 4 weeks after surgical procedure I obtained into an Uber and the very first thing the driving force mentioned was: “How was faculty right this moment?”
There have been numerous meltdowns. Sooner or later throughout these first couple weeks, I used to be syringing a thick soup when the catheter tip got here unattached and the soup exploded out of the top of the syringe, coating my glasses and my entire face in ginger turmeric rooster soup. I began laughing, however then the laughing damage my face, which felt prefer it was concrete cracking. So then I began crying. This meltdown ended with a hysterical bathe tantrum, laugh-crying till I exhausted myself. How lengthy was I going to be like this?! I began crossing off the times to remain sane, marking the varied checkpoints alongside the best way but additionally retaining monitor of how lengthy I can go with out having a meltdown. As I click on publish on this weblog, it’s been seven days.
Every week after surgical procedure, I might syringe thicker shakes with ice cream and peanut butter and watery mashed potatoes. I began consuming ice cream two or 3 times a day for the additional energy, although I used to be nonetheless not gaining weight, which might be enjoyable if it weren’t so horrible. I put ice cream in my espresso, in my fruit smoothies, in my shakes. My mother and I went on longer walks and even went to Anthropologie earlier than I ran out of power and wanted to nap. We noticed the musical Six, as a result of it has a run time of solely 80 minutes with no intermission, that means I might make it by way of with no need to eat something.
My surgeon mentioned the primary two weeks could be the worst, and he was proper. Issues began to get marginally higher. My congestion cleared up and I might breathe by way of my nostril so nicely it was painful. I used to be getting a lot air into my expanded airway that my throat and nostril felt dry. Is that this what it feels wish to breathe? I requested my mother. It jogged my memory of what I mentioned to her after I obtained glasses once I was 8 years outdated. Bushes have leaves?
After two weeks, I might a minimum of drink out of a cup, which meant I used to be carried out with the rattling syringes. I nonetheless couldn’t work out how you can shut my mouth through the use of my precise jaw muscle tissues (I had to make use of my hand to push my chin again into my neck to power my decrease jaw into place) however I might a minimum of go on walks with my smoothies and keep away from the bizarre stares that got here once I sat on a park bench and drank out of a giant syringe. I nonetheless needed to nap and if I wasn’t residence at naptime, it was a problem. My second follow-up appointment was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on a Monday, dangerously near naptime. There weren’t any seats within the ready room and my surgeon was half-hour late. Then I couldn’t open broad sufficient to place my rubber bands in myself, which annoyed me, and my surgeon scraped off the scabs on my incisions, which made me nauseous. My surgeon mentioned I might begin making an attempt to make use of a spoon however I felt like I used to be nowhere close to opening broad sufficient for that. I used to be drained and annoyed and it was too chilly. I cried the entire drive residence.
That day I made a decision the approaching Friday could be Spoon Friday. Absolutely I’d be capable to open broad sufficient in 4 days’ time. The factor I didn’t perceive about this surgical procedure earlier than I obtained it’s that once they put within the titanium joints, they must strip away a lot of the current muscle. What did you do with my muscle tissues?” I requested the physician. “Are they within the trash?”
Yeah, we despatched some out for tissue samples, however principally, sure.
So my muscle tissues are within the trash and now you need me to attempt to open my mouth? It didn’t damage to attempt, it was simply principally ineffective. I’d suppose I used to be opening it so broad after which I’d look within the mirror and it’d be only a few millimeters. Because the week progressed it turned clear I’d not be celebrating Spoon Friday.
At my third appointment, about three and a half weeks out, my surgeon mentioned I might transfer to a semi-solid weight-reduction plan, like mushy bread, potatoes, oatmeal, small pasta, if I used to be capable of open broad sufficient for it. I wasn’t, however my chew was slowly bettering, and so was my speech, although my dad, who had taken the second caretaker shift, began calling me “Slurpee.” Even full strangers had been noticing my progress. At UPS, the place I am going to print return labels for my on-line buying, the cashier mentioned, “Wow, you look so significantly better! You appeared such as you had been able to go to mattress final time.”
By week three, I used to be able to attempt to reenter society. My dad took me and a few pals to a Chicago Sky recreation, although I needed to get particular safety clearance so I might herald my very own smoothie.
The determined want for actual meals began to hit me exhausting. I had by no means realized what number of meals commercials there are. I ended opening my weekly recipe newsletters. I drove previous a Popeyes and instantly rolled up my home windows so I didn’t must scent the fried rooster. On my stroll residence from Goal, I go by two eating places with outside seating, a scorching canine stand and a Mexican restaurant, and I discovered myself staring on the meals so intently that I used to be turning my head as I walked previous the diners. I went to the farmers’ market simply to gaze upon my favourite scone. I began an inventory in my Notes app of all of the eating places and meals I wish to have in the course of the week after my splint removing, which I’m calling “Consuming Week.”
I’m unsure how a lot I’ll be capable to chew by Consuming Week however I’m making an attempt to be optimistic. My splint is that this massive fats plastic mouthguard that’s wired into my braces on my higher tooth. I can’t take it out and it impedes my consuming as a result of all the things will get caught inside it or on the underside of it. After I eat a candy potato, it fully coats the grooves of the splint to the purpose the place I’m unsure how a lot candy potato I’ve truly swallowed and the way a lot I’ve rinsed off the splint within the sink afterward. I get the splint eliminated in 5 days (eight weeks post-surgery) and so far as I’m involved that’s when my life will start once more.
I lastly celebrated Spoon Friday on the Friday of week 4, besides that I modified it to Fork Friday as a result of that sounds higher and since I’ve realized that I hate spoons. The convex nature of the spoon doesn’t make it a pleasant utensil for folks like me. Forks are skinny and far more approachable. You are able to do something with a fork! I used my fork to eat chocolate frosting off a chunk of yellow cake and it tasted so good. It was essentially the most thrilling factor to occur to me in weeks.
I took 5 weeks of medical depart and wanted each minute of it, however I’m not used to being so unproductive. It’s been exhausting to get again into my work, and exhausting to give attention to something for lengthy sufficient to make progress on it. I nonetheless want my naps. All my story concepts appear unimaginable. However I felt like if I might end this jaw weblog, I might most likely bear in mind how you can do my job.
The toughest half about this lengthy restoration interval is that each one of my pals have had the audacity to proceed dwelling their lives and touring and having a great time. This sense of being alone, that my life has stopped and everybody else is having enjoyable with out me, transferring on and conducting issues, has impressed a number of meltdowns.
Nonetheless, I’m glad it’s over and it’s not looming over me anymore. My nervousness feels far more manageable now. I checked out my profile within the mirror final week and I’ve a chin, which may be very cool. I even have two new affirmation sticky notes on my mirror, borrowed from what my yoga instructor mentioned throughout shavasana in a latest class:
MY BODY IS HEALING THE BEST WAY IT CAN.
EVERY MOMENT I AM ONE STEP CLOSER TO FULL RECOVERY.
My most up-to-date meltdown, and hopefully however most likely not the final, got here on Day 43. My insomnia was getting worse as a result of one thing I added into my weight-reduction plan was hurting my abdomen. I used to be drained all day lengthy and feeling actually caught. My cheeks had been—and are—nonetheless numb and swollen and my left eyebrow was—and is—nonetheless frozen. I’m so sick of my braces and splint all the time getting in my manner. I cried in entrance of my laptop computer that morning, desirous to get to work and truly do one thing however unable to cease pondering of the 2 extra weeks I’d nonetheless must endure till I might begin chewing usually.
For dinner that forty third night time I made a decision to attempt consuming ramen. I hadn’t but been capable of eat different pastas with out mixing them, however perhaps these noodles could be skinny sufficient to calmly chew and swallow.
I caught my fork in and I completed the entire cup.