They Can Fix The TMJ Joint, But What About The Rest Of My Head?!Posted: April 15, 2011
It’s 5:56 am, and I’ve already got a cup of joe the size of my kitchen sink in front of me—I just adore latte mugs. They are so rooooomy—and am ready to write. Yes, I’m feeling a little better this morning, but not enough to warrant my change in mood; rather I believe I found the culprit to my pain, and that in itself makes me very happy indeed. Okay, so I guess I can’t take all the credit. Okay, maybe none…but I did do the research on it!
Actually, it was my older sister, Na, that figured out what it was. Sometimes I really believe that she is my gift from God, because she always ‘thinks’ of me when I need her and calls with the right answer. Anyway, she called night before last and asked how I was doing. I admitted, not too well. Now if this had been anybody but her they probably would’ve replied with, “Oh, that’s too bad”…or some shit, cause you know few people want to hear another ramble on about illness. Not Na. Na loves to know everything about everybody. Now I know that sounds like she’s prying—and I suppose to people that don’t know her it would appear to be—but it’s not really that. I mean, my sister really, genuinely, cares about other people, and wants to know what’s wrong so she can pray for them. That, and okay…she’s a ‘wee’ bit inquisitive, but those who know her love her for that. I guess because she never judges no matter what you tell her. That’s one of her wonderful, endearing qualities.
Anyway, so I’m on the phone with my sister and she’s trying to help ‘diagnose’ my problem. I told her of the headaches I’ve been experiencing for several months now, and how lately they’ve been getting bad, I’m nauseous, almost dizzy, and have no energy. I thought it had to do with a bad molar, but they extracted it. Then thought perhaps it could be an infection in my gums that was making me sick, but they went in and did a root planing on my teeth about a month ago and yet they started recurring again. Suddenly, out of the blue she exclaimed, “It’s your TMJ Joint!” Huh? Umm…what exactly is that?
Apparently my sister herself had this disorder many years ago with exactly the same symptoms. Hers got so bad, in fact, that it laid her up in the hospital for five days she said. I don’t remember. Anyway, it’s some shit that happens to the hinges of your jaw and can really screw with your head, literally. Well, now I’m asking her how exactly I came down with something like this, and she told me a lot of things can contribute to it; for instance: Arthritis, injury to the jaw, or having your jaw opened wide for a long period of time. Eureeka!
Okay, so once my brother-in-law stopped insinuating from the background that it was caused from my talking non-stop, and my sister stopped laughing—so hard she almost peed her pants—from ‘said’ comment, we figured out it had to have been from the root planing. The initial headaches could’ve come from stress and/or the infection before that, but what was going on now was definitely different. Also, if you’ve been reading along with my blog you’ll remember in my March 31st post I commented that I hadn’t posted the day before, because the night before that the right side of my jaw and ear area swelled up. I had all the classic symptoms of a TMJ Disorder, and knowing that I had just recently had two, separate, dental procedures to scale my gums, and each time it lasted about an hour and a half, I felt that pretty much validated it for me. Would’ve been nice if my dentist could’ve forewarned me that this shit might occur.
Yesterday afternoon I did a little research of my own online, and my symptoms fit the descriptions all the sites posted nearly word for word. I’m comfortable that this is the problem, but also know I have to do something about it, cause I can’t live like this. I guess I’m going to have to make an appointment with the local doc today and see if I can get in. Apparently the norm to fix this—unless it’s gotten really serious—is just some anti-inflammatory and/or pain meds, some jaw exercises, heat/cold packs, and rest for your jaw. Anyone reading this who knows me is sitting back in his or her chair right now and thinking, “Rest her jaw? Yeah, right! She’s gonna have this shit forever if that’s the case!” Funny, but I have found the one thing that is able to shut me up…a headache. I can’t function with the damn thing.
So I guess today’s post is all about figuring out what’s ailing you and fixing it. For every problem there’s a reason and a solution. I need to keep reminding myself of that. Especially so this morning after the dream I had last night. One of those dreams that are trying to ‘tell’ you something about yourself, because you wake up and every detail is vivid in your mind.
I admit, this one disturbed me, but was giving me a glimpse into how angry I am and that I need to fix it cause it’s making me internally sick. I’m not one for violence, unless provoked. I’m also not one to threaten harm upon another. I definitely am not the type capable of inflicting serious injury or death upon another. Yet, in this dream I ran into my nemesis in a room with other people, waiting for the right moment I tackled her to the ground, and quickly whispered in her ear before anyone could break it up, “You took something from me but you’ll never be able to enjoy it. When you least expect it I’ll be there, and intend to cut you from ear to ear. I have no problem taking my own life after. You’ve given me no reason to live now.” Yeah, friends…how’s that for some ‘fucked up’ shit?” THIS is how angry I am that I’m dreaming this crap!
The crazy thing is that I really no longer feel like she ‘took’ anything from me. I had to confide in my husband what was wrong with me the day I found out about their ‘new’ relationship, because I was hysterical. Then when he asked why this ‘guy’ was back in her life and mine in the first place, I had to tell him about that too: Sadly, my curiosity and not being able to find closure. I honestly don’t know what would’ve happened between this ‘ex’ and I had her relationship with him not began, I only know that I didn’t intend to do anything wrong, and just wanted, no…thought I needed, to have the friendship of this person in my life to fill the gap that had been there since he left—probably because we’d been friends for 18 years before we ever had a relationship, I don’t know. That, and a part of me thought I would always love him. Anyway, my husband seemed to take all this in stride, admitting that the same thing could’ve occurred with one of his ‘great’ loves, and he would’ve been beyond upset too if a member of his family was to get involved with one of them. He let it go….well, for a couple of days.
It took my seeing this ‘ex’ through my husband’s eyes to wake me up, I believe. A few days after all this occurred, with my head still reeling and emotions still flared, my husband abruptly asked me one night to pull this guys facebook page up. What? “Umm…why?” I asked. He said he wanted to see what this guy looked like. In other words, the way I took it was, he wanted to know what the hell was so special about this guy that I couldn’t let him go and my family member would risk her relationship with me over. Well, I did. I guess I figured after what I dumped on him I owed him at least that much. His reaction surprised me. He looked at it for a second, a bit of a smirk crossed his lips, he turned around and shook his head as he was walking away and said, “The guy is fucking old. I don’t know what I was worried about!” Game over in his mind.
I looked at this same picture the next day. I mean really studied it. I drug out an old one of the two of us and studied the details of it too. My God, he was beautiful! Much too pretty for his own good. But my husband was right. The man in that picture was old, and the man I’d been with, the man that still haunted my dreams, was young and beautiful. They were no longer the same man. Time had changed everything. She hadn’t stole anything from me but good memories I had that would now be forever tainted. I guess my anger at her assuming she had taken something from me, and was willing to do that whether it hurt me or not, is what fueled the fire after that, but I think it’s time too to now let that go. Later that evening I confided in my husband something. I told him, in fact, my ex was not old, but only forty-three. He looked genuinely surprised, given that he was forty, a mere three years younger, and yet the difference in age seemed startling. I guess it’s true your face is a roadmap of your life. My husband’s must’ve been relatively simple and uneventful in comparison.
I’m closing this chapter of my life now and am moving on. If I have to seek therapy for that which ails me in order to do so I will. None of this or them is worth losing a good night’s sleep over anymore. Life is much too short. I want to dream of golden arch’s and Big Macs. Fireflies and the feeling of soft grass underfoot. Ocean waves rolling in against my legs as the sun overhead bakes my fair skin. Conversations and laughter with friends. The soft skin of my grandchildren’s cheeks next to mine. There are a lot of better things I could dream of.