Difficult Sandwiches and Other Meals

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
edited 18. Aug 2018, 10:54 in Living with Arthritis archive
Does anyone else have problems with them?

I don't mean the ones you make at home but the ones in cafes. And I don't even mean the ones that come with their own scaffolding and have to be dismantled floor by floor before even those with working fingers can tackle them :roll:

What I do mean is that, with the arthritis preventing my jaw from opening wide (Mr SW, please shut up and behave!) I now find myself having to peer round a cafe to see what the sarnies look like before I dare attempt to order one. Rule of thumb is, the better the menu, the more home made the bread and the less likely I am to be able to get it into my mouth.

The other day I was a lady who lunched – or at least I lunched :wink: The other three all had jacket potatoes. I didn't. For a start I'm a slow eater and, by the time I'd waded through a jacket potato, it'd be supper time. And I'd require someone to cut it up for me. I noticed none of them did the skins. What on earth is the point of a jacket potato without the skin? Why not just have mash? No-one in the cafe was eating sandwiches so I couldn't gauge the depth of them. One can hardly ask the waitress to take a tape measure to their sandwiches. Bravely, I ordered soup. I don't usually do soup in public as I'm better at pouring it down my blouse than my throat but, luckily, all went well on Thursday.

Today, I just had a scone. I struggled with the tiny pot of jam and my beloved, who will always help when asked but knows better than to leap in and make me feel.....er....disabled 8) helpfully suggested I might have more success if I tried to lick it out rather than fiddle with the knife :lol:

I suspect I'm not a 'cafe person'. I'm better with a full menu where I can order stuff I can actually eat which, happily, coincides with what I like best – fish, risotto and pasta (though not the long types). Thank God I don't like burgers! Trying to eat a burger in a bun, even without the obligatory lettuce leaf to make it look healthy, and even squashed down to its thinnest, would be akin to attempting to shove the complete works of Shakespeare into my glasses case.

What do you struggle with?

Comments

  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I love your sense of humour. You never feel sorry for yourself.

    Like you, it’s been many years since I had full mouth opening. Fortunately, I learned to talk incessantly despite being locked for quite some time at less than a centimetre. :D Unfortunately, I also used to like to sing. I mean, it was fine for me but less so for other people.

    My new jaw is in full working order but I forget I can eat sandwiches. My first baguette was recently and I was in heaven which is sad but such is life. We arthritics gotta take what we can get.

    I actually had brunch in a cafe today and had an omelette with baked beans which was perfect. I would hugely recommend.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am also struggling with eating albeit for different reasons. I haven't had an effective bite since, many moons ago now, I fainted in our kitchen and changed the shape of the teeth on my top jaw with the top set sitting nicely inside the bottom. As biting became a thing of the past I became a tearer of food, not pretty to look at and not very effective either: me wrestling with crunchy bread is not a spectator sport. I found a sideways approach worked but was messy.

    Now added complications are present thanks to having four double teeth removed, it's amazing what gets stuck in the gaps. A favourite snack was yoghurt with added pumpkin and sunflower seeds, flaked almonds and pistachios: no longer as the seeds are a nightmare to remove. A salad is painful as gums are no good at getting through celery, radishes or cucumber. Lettuce? A nightmare, I am now a tortoise (and can hiss beautifully to protect my share at the trough). A friend described me as having a sideways snatch. :shock: How does she know? :wink::lol:

    When eating out I try to go for things I wouldn't have at home. I am not a great lover of soup (too filling plus I don't like the word) but I now play safe, opting for softer food that does not require much in the way of cutting or biting. I am lucky in that I can still manipulate a knife and fork which is a great help but find myself sticking to my age-old favourites, chicken, salmon, shellfish with the occasional burger if my body says I need the beef. I take it apart then tackle with the cutlery. DD
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Firstly Starburst I'm so pleased to hear the new jaw is working!
    My food difficulties aren't due to my jaw but my throat. I used to love crisps and nuts but sadly no longer as my throat soon tells me it's had enough!
    Crusts are another no-no too, and I have learnt that it all gets worse when I'm tired.

    Then it's a case of avoiding anything too spicey or my stomach complains!

    It certainly adds a certain something to choosing what to eat.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    For me it's the age-old challenge of getting the food/drinks from the counter to the table. Some restaurants are very helpful (obviously I can't name them here, but please message me if you want to know).

    I now gratefully accept any offers of assistance from the staff in getting the tray to the table. If I'm with friends, I ask them to carry the tray in exchange for which I stagger off with their bag (seems a fair exchange to me). At times I'm also brazen enough to ask the staff to take the tray/drink to the table for me. I no longer feel embarrassed to do this - I've long since accepted this is something I have to do although it irritates me somewhat.

    I no longer eat toffees (or chewy/hard sweets). Let's just say I've learnt the hard way - fillings coming out - not to eat certain foods. :roll: I also avoid pastry now as it's not a good mix with my acid reflux. As for spicy stuff - bring it on! :lol: I can't abide bland, tasteless food!

    GraceB
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,424
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a problem with food, I keep eating it and it then sits on my midrife until I get the energy up to move it, usually a few months. Haha.

    I do find that unless I eat evenly chewing using both sides that my teeth go through my skin easily or through my tongue.

    I do get fed up of pub grub, everything and chips, oh for a light delicate lunch that doesn't fill you up.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Starburst - you are very kind. A baguette :o Wow! That new jaw really is worth every penny. Enjoy as many as you like :D I often have omelette and hash browns in USA. Their omelettes are chock full of gorgeous veggies and their hash browns are actually what we call rosti.

    DD - 'me wrestling with crunchy bread is not a spectator sport' . Let us be the judges of that please :wink:

    Slosh - Yup, I can do the throat and stomach problems too. Fun, innit :wink:

    GraceB - I totally agree. Trays are a nono and well done for conquering your embarassment. It's hardly a moral failing.

    Airwave - choose your pub. Some have delicious lunches which come without chips :wink: I was recently advised by the head waitress at our local to ask for a child's portion next time as I fóund myself having to leave half of a rather good plate of food. I think I might.
  • Mctricky88
    Mctricky88 Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I knew I shouldn't really start reading this thread as I'm starting to feel hungry now. I was at the dentist this morning for an extraction so I'm on cool drinks and soft food for now. It should've been two teeth out but after the dentist leaving knee imprints on my chest to get the first one out I decided to leave the second one until the next time.
    In cafes I struggle with cups, as the handles are usually too small to get a finger through, if I get a mug it's too heavy to hold with a couple of fingers and too hot to put my three or four fingers through the handle plus I can't open my hand wide enough.
    In a pub I cannot use a pint jug which is too heavy, then every time I pick up a straight pint glass I have to force it into my hand before I can pick it up, either that or risk dropping it.
    Food wise I tend to avoid steak, which unless really tender makes my jaws ache and gets stuck between my teeth (the one's I have left). I have to try and eat smaller meals but have them more often as I'm diabetic, so I like snack type meals, omelette and beans is fine for me
    We were in Turkey recently which presented the problem of staying hydrated and me not being able to open bottles. Asking people half my size to open a bottle of water often leads to bemused looks and comments it seems.
    One of the biggest problems of eating out for me, especially if I'm
    paying at a tillpoint is getting my change. I cannot turn my hand over to collect change so I often end up dropping it or leaving a larger tip than planned :0(
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    McTricky, I think I have some tips for you. I always knew arthritis would come in useful one day :wink:

    It's years since I could pick up a cup or mug by using the handle. Instead, I hold it with my thumb on one side of the handle and all my fingers on the other, squashing the handle as far into my palm as possible. I then balance the bottom of the cup on my other fist. Elegant it aint but it usually works.

    In a pub, the two-handed approach works slightly differently but I need a half pint glass. Better to drink wine :wink:

    I've been asking people to open bottles for me most of my life, starting with asking my kids to open childproof pill bottles. These days I only have to show my hands for people to understand.

    If you are a bloke (and I'm guessing you are) you won't have a purse which you can ask shops to put your change into though my Dad, many years ago, did used to have a coin purse (a male one of course :lol: ) because my Mum got sick of sewing new pockets in his trousers.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have replaced our mugs with the fluted contrast mugs from Royal Copenhagen. No handles and a sillicone sleeve make them very comfortablefor me and with a 33cl capacity they give a good drink too: guests like them but 'im indoors turns up his nose preferring to use them for his yoghurt and nuts.

    I had lunch with a friend today and opted for the Greek salad. It was delicious and long-lasting as each element was eaten individually thanks to the lack of gnashers. Tonight's meal is tuna steak with noodle salad, will probably be messy. :roll: :wink: DD
  • bubbles
    bubbles Member Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The writings are as brilliant as ever. It seems so many of us share a common bond with cafe's, restaurants, t rooms etc.

    As anyone who pops into Val's Cafe, on chit chat, will know that I am addicted to coffee and scones / cakes........
    I would love a burger some times, but they are indeed built like the tower of Babel and held together with large skewers. I would not know where to start.

    Scones are always my weak point, I normally end up covered in jam and cream, which seems to spread, from plate, to hands, to face, to phone...... :shock: :roll:

    I like to be smart, so I am usually in a crisp white short sleeved shirt. (other clothes too)
    Even drinking coffee can have its challenges, with OH saying mind what you are doing - why, what am I doing? You are wearing most of your coffee. I was totally unaware that I was drooling coffee all down my front, which is not a good look. :shock: :roll: :roll:

    The staff, who we know quite well, were very kind and came to my aid with warm wet cloths.

    I am super careful now, taking sips of coffee, rather than guzzling it and making a ninny of myself.

    t4591 Aidan
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Aidan, we must go for a coffee and scone together sometime. That way we will distract gawpers as they won't know which of us to focus on. Or we could just wear bibs - those big plastic ones that catch all the slops :wink:
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    These comments have struck a chord with me. I have had eating issues for quite a long time thanks to dodgy teeth, and to that has recently been added a jaw problem which, among other things, not only restricts how wide I can open my mouth but also makes actually biting off a bit of food often painful and sometimes impossible. I have a hospital appointment next week to try and sort out what is going on and then decide what if anything can be done.
    Sandwiches and burgers are not an issue as I have to avoid wheat - if they are eaten it's in the privacy of my home and with suitable 'Free from' alternatives so I can deconstruct as necessary - or not construct in the first place. Jacket spuds are eviscerated as the skins don't agree with me( a considerable source of difficulty as a child bombarded with 'eat everything you are given' and 'skins are good for you'), but when my fingers are bad it is a slow process.
    In answer to your question Sticky, mash isn't offered as an option in the cafes I frequent, doesn't taste the same, and usually comes pre-loaded with things like butter, milk, salt, which I wouldn't want with a jacket filling.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The bit about mash wasn't really intended to be taken seriously but, daffy, you must have a problem with jacket potato fillings too as they all seem to come with sauces which surely contain dairy of some ilk?

    You have reminded me that being told, as a child, that something is good for us is almost guaranteed to make us hate it as adults :lol:

    This is turning into quite an enlightening thread. I'd no idea so many of us had so many, and such varied, problems with eating. Anyone for a biodegradable straw :wink:
  • bubbles
    bubbles Member Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We will definitely go for coffee and scones Sticky. It would be quite an experience, a pleasant one, even if a tad messy. :o :?
    As you say, people would not know where to look and if they did gawp, I would flick scone at them :lol::lol:
    I was very careful today, at the T room, OH reminded me to concentrate on my coffee, no spillages. The scone behaved too :) XX
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Where do I buy a well-behaved scone, please :D

    I had a good / bad lunch out. I wanted to eat half the menu but, on reflection, much of it came with baked-on-the-premises bread. My daughter-in-law wanted the recipe, it was so delicious. But, alas, enormously thick. However, my haddock with sweet potato chips was excellent and the mango ice cream..... Mango anything does it for me. Actually, mango with nothing is the best. But I pay the extra to buy it ready chopped these days for obvious reasons. I used to eat it, dripping over the kitchen sink, in private but I'm safer with ready chopped now.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The bit about mash wasn't really intended to be taken seriously but, daffy, you must have a problem with jacket potato fillings too as they all seem to come with sauces which surely contain dairy of some ilk?

    You have reminded me that being told, as a child, that something is good for us is almost guaranteed to make us hate it as adults :lol:

    This is turning into quite an enlightening thread. I'd no idea so many of us had so many, and such varied, problems with eating. Anyone for a biodegradable straw :wink:
    It's not the dairy that's the issue Sticky(thank heavens, life without cheese would be hell, especially as soya and I do not get on other than in passing). Just that a fully loaded mash with something like cheese or tuna mayo would require fatbusting on a scale I doubt I could manage!
    We used to have biodegradable straws - those paper ones that came with the school milk, they broke down pretty quickly.....

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