eating, and jaw surgery ramblings

July 23, 2008

I managed to chew avocado today. Yes, this is an accomplishment. (And I only managed to chew about 1/4 of my half an avocado before I gave up and mashed it, and then chewed coarsely mashed avocado.)

But, I am still very happy. My appearance hasn’t actually changed much at all–I think I still have a “weak chin”. Well, my appearance now when my jaw is in the right position hasn’t changed all that much from my appearance previously when I was pushing my jaw way forward to eat and talk. Which is not all that surprising really. Plus, I keep going “wow! My jaw! It feels like it’s in the right position! WTF?” I think it’s hard for people to imagine constantly feeling physically like your jaw is in the wrong position (because it is, not because you have some crazy body dysmorphic disorder or whatever). People think “but don’t you just get used to it? After 26 years??” The answer is no. No, you do not. Every time you try to talk or eat, your brain wants your jaw to behave in a way it is physically incapable of behaving. It’s not even that things seem difficult… they don’t really. I mean, my teeth didn’t touch, so things like biting through thin lettuce–those were difficult. But this is a different thing here. My muscles just KNOW how they’re supposed to work, and know that THIS IS WRONG. (Fortunately, as previously stated, they now feel like it’s right. MY GOD would I have been pissed if I went through all this crap and didn’t get that feeling.)

In other news, my pronunciation of r’s has changed. If you took phonetics, you might know that the american english r is actually pronounced in two indistinguishable (to the hearer) fashions (different ways by different people). The one that most people do involves the tip of their tongue curling back and touching the roof of their mouth (this is called “retroflex” because of the curling back bit). A very few people also do this thing where the tip of their tongue goes to the front of their mouth (by their teeth), and the back of their tongue comes up to make the r sound happen. I used to do the minority (non-retroflex) r. Now I naturally do the retroflex r. In the past, I had no trouble making the retroflex r when I tried, but when I just talked, non-retroflex happened. Now, retroflex happens when I just talk. Isn’t this bizarre? Over a less than 2 day period, what is “natural” has just completely changed.

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