Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fits Like a Puzzle

Yesterday I went back to the dentist. After at least eight Novocaine shots to deaden my mouth, SUFFERING through a series of very painful tests on several of my teeth, he concluded that, not only do I have an abscess and infection in my gum, but am also SUFFERING -- and I do mean SUFFERING -- from TMJD. It was an AH-HAH moment of epic proportions.

I went to the ear, nose and throat doctor once before complaining of an earache. He didn't find anything wrong with my ear and thought it could be TMJD. Each and every time I have a migraine headache, I also get very bad ear pain. The pieces fit together like an ugly puzzle.

I came across this article and thought it was so interesting. It's kinda boring, but you never know, by sharing it I may help some other poor soul get a diagnosis.

This article was printed in Oprah Magazine.

Frequent headaches? Ear pain? The cause may be a TMJ disorder, a condition that often goes undiagnosed.
The sufferers are primarily women, and there are 10 to 30 million of them: They develop a snap, crackle, or pop in the jaw—and it isn't their cereal. They have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. If any part of the TMJ system of muscles, tissues, ligaments, and bones dislocates or becomes inflamed, the disorder can result. Experts aren't completely sure what causes the problem. It may be a chronic clenching or grinding of teeth, or trauma to the jaw from, say, a root canal (when you have to keep your mouth open wide for an extended period), or whiplash. Arthritis may play a part, yet for a significant number of people, TMJ disorders begin for no obvious reason.Some of the symptoms—headache and ear pain, for example—can be mistaken for migraines or ear infections. Other symptoms include neck pain, a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth, and jaws that catch or lock up. You can do a simple self-diagnosis by using the test on this page, suggested by James Fricton, DDS, a professor in the division of TMJ disorders and orofacial pain at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Most of the time, sufferers can find relief by reducing the amount of wear and tear to the joint. Your dentist might suggest avoiding chewing gum and may prescribe a nighttime bite guard to minimize clenching and grinding. Some people find relief with muscle relaxation techniques, but for chronic sufferers, prescription drugs or even surgery (to repair or even replace the joint) may be recommended.The Test: While opening your jaw slightly, place a finger over the joint in front of your ear, and then open wide until you can feel the joint move. If you feel the joint click or if it's tender when you press, you may have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
There has been one shining spot to all this SUFFERING. Suz and her family sent me the most beautiful, cheery flowers yesterday.
I have found myself moving them from room to room so that I can enjoy them wherever I'm at.
Alayna was in a Shakespeare play last night. It had been postponed twice. She was soooo excited about it and knew that, of course, I wouldn't miss it for anything. Except maybe excruciating pain. When I called her to tell her, Suz had already told her and she was sobbing. She was soooo disappointed. She knew I was hurting and she didn't want me to come if I couldn't, but she was so sad. I pulled up my boot straps, asked Cam if he'd come along for the ride, and off to Buford we went. In the pouring down rain.
She was beautiful. And, get this. Her mom made her dress out of a Goodwill find! She made the hairpiece too.

Couldn't resist having my picture made with the beautiful "Hermia".

By the time we left to come back home, all the shots of Novocaine had worn off. I couldn't take any pain med because I was driving. It was a rough ride home. But I made it to her play. And it was worth it all.

It's nice to be loved. Especially by a child.

Till tomorrow. . . Have a good Wednesday!


suzanne said...

I sooo bad hope that it is TMJ and that they can get you some relief, finally!
What you don't know is that Alayna had already texted me on the school bus asking me if you were at our house yet! UGHH! I almost cried myself when I thought of having to tell her. She just loves you so much... and so do I!
Thanks so much for making the agonizing trip to and from. I know she won't forget it :0)

Tracychele @ The Week-Ender said...

It's nice to be loved by an Aunt too!!! You were the best to drive out there and see her! I have heard that TMJ is really bad and I hope you get the right drugs to get better soon! At least you have an answer now! Have a great day and the flowers were beautiful. How thoughtful!

Joyce said...

It is amazing what we will do to not disappoint someone we love... especially a child. You are amazing! Praying for you Kelly Kelly! xoxo

Cindy Lou said...

Well I sure hope they can get you all fixed up!! I am sure that you also hope for the same! You are so sweet to go to the play!! I would have done the same!! Hope you get to feeling better!! Love you!!

Cindy Lou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Lou said...

Well I sure hope they can get you all fixed up!! I am sure that you also hope for the same! You are so sweet to go to the play!! I would have done the same!! Hope you get to feeling better!! Love you!!

Theresa said...

I actually had that one time from grinding my teeth. It was very painful and I haven't had any problem with it in years. Knock on wood:) Hope it gets better soon, I don't like it when you feel bad!

You are precious to go for Alayna's play. You are so special to her and her to you! Isn't it great to be loved? Suzanne is so talented to make such a precious dress and Alayna is gorgeous!

I love you and yell if you need me!

billypandnikkysmom said...

Well, I sure do hope that you feel better soon & you get your great big smile back! Feel better/take care!

wendy said...

You are a trooper indeed to go to Alayna's play!!! I bet she LOVED that you were there and she looked great.

I am sorry you are going through such pain. The flowers you received was such a nice gesture and they are gorgeous. When I get flowers, I take them with me from room to room too so I can enjoy them everywhere. I. Love. Flowers,

Hopefully now that you know more about your diagnosis.....they can get you treated properly and OUT of this misery

Nana said...

Sorry to hear about all that pain.
My dentist has me wear a mouth gaurd to bed so I won't clench my jaws in my sleep. It does help w/ my headaches.