Can’t get out of it. No different than anybody else. Damn jaw has twisted around and I am now diagnosed with TMJ. So, after having sucked on peanut and butter sandwiches for 2 weeks I sat in the dentist’s chair today to be fitted for a splint.
Shoved a gooey mess in a metal tray into the lower part of my mouth for an impression of that set of teeth. When that had hardened up enough did the same for the upper part. Anyway, this goopey mess squishes out of the tray and shoots into the back of my throat. We’re talking gag reflex here. I’m thinking if I start counting maybe by the time I get to 200 it’ll be finished. I start counting. This is when Spirit steps in. The guides are telling me now that it was my mother who was helping. I couldn’t tell at the time. But, she says to me, “Say a Hail Mary.” So, I did. Over and over and over again. I don’t know how many Hail Marys I cranked out. After awhile I sort of drifted into them and away from what was going on in my mouth which was a blessing, I have to tell you.
Once all of that is over I’m ready to leave. At this point nothing has changed with the way my teeth are meeting. They still only meet in the front. It’s like I don’t have any molars. They’re no help at all. It’s just my two front uppers meeting my two front lower teeth. That’s it. Just like a chipmunk.
But, we’re not done. The technician says, “Bite real hard on this.” I said, “What for?” She said, “Bite real hard and tell me when your first teeth touch.” I said, “Which teeth?” (Psychics are not known for always intuitively figuring out their own health matters.) She said, “Whichever two back teeth meet first.” I said, “It’s not going to happen biting down on that thing.” (It was a little cotton roll.) I said, “Here, this is what I’m going to have to do. It’s going to hurt like hell, but I’ll do it if this is what you want to have happen.” Impassively, she stands by waiting to see what I’m going to do.
So, I fisted up my hands and pushed my jaw back into alignment. I didn’t think they would want me to do that. She was all for it. I’m thinking she’s probably got a sadistic streak somewhere. I managed to squeak out the F word while I was manhandling the lower part of my face. Do you remember watching Mel Gibson in the first, “Lethal Weapon” movie when he put his dislocated shoulder back together again himself? Yeah, it felt like that. After I’d relocated my jaw I bit on the little cotton roll. The intention was to really wear out the jaw muscle so that they could take an impression of my mouth the way it was supposed to be.
But, magnifico, for the first time since the beginning of August I was able to experience a normal bite. My jaw and head hurt like the dickens right now, but hey, isn’t that what Advil is for? Also, we got the Valium going on too. I had to apologize at work to the ladies I work with today about all the inappropriate comments I’ve been making lately. There’s a reason I don’t drink anymore. Evidently, Valium might be right up there with making me a party animal.
Anyway, the Kaiser nurse told me to alternately apply heat and cold to my jaw. She said to do upper body stretching exercises because I’m so tense. She said to practice relaxation techniques and the last thing she said to me was to rest my tongue on the roof of my mouth. I had to puzzle that one over for a day or so before I figured it out. If your jaw is so screwed up that you can’t even close your mouth properly (which is what had happened to me) then keeping your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth will force you to breath through your nose. If not you are in real danger of sucking in stray bugs.
Anyway, I figured since my jaw was realigned, even though it hurt like hell, I was going to splurge and have something I didn’t have to suck on for dinner. I made us a chicken salad with diced celery in it.
It’s interesting, but the technician at the dentist’s office told me that I could continue to push on my jaw when it went out of alignment. I’m thinking there’s something wrong with this advice, but will be returning in 2 or 3 weeks for my splint. What the difference is between a splint and a bite guard I’m not too clear about at this point. Will also be meeting with my regular doctor on Monday just as a precaution. If anybody has any stories to tell about their experiences with TMJ I’m all ears.