I'm 62 and deal with a similar after-effect of surgery. I had radiation for tonsil cancer in 2004, then for new tumors around the base of my tongue in 2017 they removed part of my tongue and pharynx. They made a flap for me out of tissue from my wrist. It tingles, does not move well, and is sort of numb to pain. I got off the peg one month after surgery, by swallowing an all liquid diet, and I have therapy therapy therapy trying to get me to swallow better. It's that problem of getting food from mouth to throat, and then cough cough cough.
This morning I ate one Ritz cracker as part of my daily exercises, and I can manage a full serving yogurt or a few bites of pancakes with syrup, but I've sort of resigned myself to an all-liquid diet. I'm already old, and it is sad to think of how much of your life you have ahead of you with this awful handicap.
So much of the pleasure we get out of life depends on enjoying food, and now we have to find something else. I suppose we should be grateful we survived and all blah blah blah, but whatever.