Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A bad case of TMJ.

That's right. As though living with narcolepsy wasn't hard enough for me to deal with, I now have temporomandibular joint disorder as well. :\ For those of you who don't know, temporomandibular joint disorder (or TMJ as I will refer to it from now on) is when the disc that sits inside one or both of the temporomandibular joints (the joints that connect a persons jaw to their skull) becomes displaced. As a result the persons jaw may start to click on one or both sides, and in some cases, even lock up. This was the explanation that I was given by my doctor and dentist anyway.

For me my TMJ started around this time last year when I was out on one of my pracs. I had already been having problems with my wisdom teeth so when the left side of my jaw started clicking I didn't really think much of it, but I told my dentist just to be safe. My dentist told me that they could actually feel my jaw getting stuck and hear the clicking without even being close to me. They told me straight off the bat that I had a condition called TMJ and that there wasn't much that they or I could do aside from applying the occasional heat pack and possibly wearing a mouth brace at night. As it was just a bit of clicking at the time I decided not to worry, and come summer time I barely even noticed it.

Fast forward to just over a month ago though and the clicking had returned full force. The clicking had pretty much become a 24/7 thing, and then all of a sudden it stopped completely and my jaw decided to start locking up instead. At first it was just locking up temporarily, but since the end of my prac two weeks ago it has been permanently locked in the same spot. By that I don't mean that my mouth is permanently locked open, but whenever I go to open my mouth it will only open to a certain point.. and certainly not to a point where I can eat or brush my teeth properly. It's gotten so bad now that I can't even take a bite from a sandwich without getting the sandwich all over my face and/or gagging. :(

I ended up going to the doctors late last week as I couldn't go in earlier due to still being on prac, and my doctor of 21 years confirmed that I definitely have TMJ and that I will probably have to go in for surgery at some point during the next few months. :| He told me to take the maximum dosage of ibuprofen everyday for the next 3 weeks and if my jaw is still locked in 3 weeks time he will be referring me to some sort of facial surgeon at the hospital. Yikes!


I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty freaking worried right about now! It's been a week since I was at the doctors and my jaw is still locked in that same awkward position. As painful as this whole thing is, the thought of someone operating on my face scares me to absolute death! Every morning I wake up and try to open my jaw with my fingers crossed that it will magically be unlocked, but each day it is still the same. :(

I just wish I knew someone who has been through this before. I need somebody that I can talk to and confide in, and have reassure me that everything will be ok..

22 comments:

  1. I have TMJ but mine isn't as bad as yours! <3 I know everything will turn out okay! You have to keep us updated! <3 <3 I hope everything turns out well!

    -Madeline Grace
    Just Let the Sparrows Fly

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    1. Well I didn't think mine was that bad until my jaw decided to lock up, so I'd be careful with it hun. Apparently stress is the main cause for jaw locking and that was exactly what I was feeling right before it locked up. :(

      Thanks for the support love, I will definitely keep you guys updated! :)

      xx

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  2. So sorry-- know I'm thinking about you!

    Wanted to let you know, I'm hosting a protein powder giveaway-- and I'd LOVE for you to enter :)

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com/2012/05/3-new-protein-powder-recipes.html

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    1. Thanks for your support hun, I hope your giveaway goes well! xx

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  3. My mom has TMJ as well, but it only causes her to grind her teeth at night. Everything will work out alright though! The doctors know exactly what they're doing and won't let anything happen to you. Email me if you need to talk! I'd hate for you to go through this without the support of your followers!
    snuglierduckling@gmail.com

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    1. Naww, thank you so much for the kind words and for offering me your support. Isn't the bloggy world awesome? hehe. :) Send your Mum my best wishes with her TMJ, I hope it doesn't get any worse for her.

      xx

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  4. Hey sweet,
    TMJ sucks. I know first hand! My jaw clicks all the time, and I locked up last year for about a week... a LOT of advil and rest later, it relaxed. For me, it was all related to stress and my migraines. I totally know what you're going through. Don't hesitate to come to me if you want to cry, bitch, or generally moan about the pain of it. I'm here for you, for sure.

    I might suggest a little wine ;)
    xoxo
    jackie

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    1. Hey Jackie,

      Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one. :) That sucks about your jaw locking up but good to hear that it ended up relaxing. How long did it take for the advil to kick in? My jaw has been locked up for over a month now and I've been taking the maximum daily dose of ibuprofen for the last week with no results. :( The doctor says mine has probably locked up due to the stress I was feeling due to prac, but said the TMJ in general was most likely caused by teeth grinding/jaw clenching during childhood. :\ Wish someone had warned me of that when I was still a kid lol.

      If you ever need to vent about your TMJ you can always email me as well, hehe. :)

      - Felicity. xx

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  5. Oh my god, that sounds horrendous!!! A friend of mine had a similar thing and had surgery for it, and she's fine now, but it's a really awful illness to have. Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Oh wow, well that's so awesome that her surgery went well! That's exactly what I needed to hear! :D
      Thanks so much for your support love, it means the world to me that you stopped by!

      xx

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  6. Ouch, I feel your pain :( I got diagnosed with TMJ last year... my jaw has clicked and dislocates when I open it so far for years but didn't see the dr until it locked open and was stuck for a few hrs! He referred me to a dentist and mentioned the guard but I never went because it freaked me out! I hope that you don't have to see the surgeon, poor thing! I really feel your pain, i'm just lucky that since last year nothing serious has happened.

    Also I realised I forgot to reply to the last comment again... my brain has been everywhere! June definitely works :) I'll be starting Nursing at the end of June but otherwise it's all good! Decided Education wasn't for me, I was always going to do Medicine / Nursing and was doing Nursing last year! But pulled out when I got sick and went on a completely different track haha.

    I hope the ibuprofen starts to work decently! Have you tried Nurofen Plus? The extra codeine might help, maybe?

    I'm glad you got to catch up with Phoebe and Joey :) Are you going to the Million Paws Walk with them? I still haven't decided if i'm going this year!

    Anyway my comment is long enough!! xo

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    1. Oh my gosh! Talk about another coincidence lol.

      I think I reply to this comment on your page instead. :)

      xx

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  7. Thank you so much for posting this. The same is happening to me and I didn't know there was anything to it. It started two years ago when I was asleep in California on holiday and some days, even now, I can't open my mouth enough to brush my teeth. I can feel it clicking all day every day but some days are fine whilst others are terrible for it. I'll definitely get it seen to now. x

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    1. Oh no! That's terrible! :( I wouldn't have known myself if it wasn't for an overly observant student dentist who was obviously paying attention in class, lol. So glad I could be of help hun! xx

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  8. Hey hun!

    I hope your jaw sorts itself out and you get better. I am sending you all my good vibes. You will be fine. Make sure you look after it for the time being and hopefully the doctor gives you good news. :)

    It was great seeing you on Sunday, made me realise how much I miss you. :) xx

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    1. Hey Stephie!

      Thanks babe. I'll take all the good vibes I can get right now as the ibuprofen ain't doing a thing. :(

      Was lovely seeing you on Sunday as well! :) and yes, I agree, definitely made me realise how long it's been and how much I miss hanging out!

      xx

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  9. Yeah, lots of people seem to have it! But definitely not as bad as yours :( When my jaw locked open I just had to put up with it, thank god it was only a couple of hours! It wasn't wide open, just enough to be uncomfortable. I hope you get yours sorted really soon!

    There's 2 types of Nurses - Enrolled Endorsed and Registered (or EEN and RN). EEN is at Tafe, RN is at Uni, RN's have slightly more responsibilities but that's about it! Not much difference really!
    Million Paws Walk is held once a year by the RSPCA! You go on a big 1.5 or 3km walk, hundreds of people and hundreds of dogs, and the dogs get all dressed up! They have comps like Best Dressed, Owner / Dog lookalike, stalls, etc, it's one big charity event! It's this Sunday, they have locations everywhere! Here's the website if you want to check it out :) http://qld.millionpawswalk.com.au/ xo

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  10. Yikes! I hope you feel better soon.

    Two summers ago, I was having MAJOR problems with what we thought was my jaw -- everyone thought it was TMJ. I was going to the homeopath, chiropractor, my doctor, and nothing was helping. From July - October, I was constantly in pain and it got so bad that I would cry myself to sleep until I basically passed out from exhaustion. Every 2 - 3 hours I was taking 2 Advil and 2 Muscle relaxants (extra strength). I even ended up in the hospital a few times from the pain. One day I was having shocks run from my jaw up to the top of my head. It was horrible. Finally they figured out it was the nerve in my face -- trigeminal neuralgia. Once they put me on this medicine, the nerve wasn't as active and the pain settled down.

    Besides the medicine, the one thing that REALLY helped was going to an Osteopath. From the moment she took one look at me, she was able to pinpoint almost every medical thing that had happened to me from the day I was born (it was a complicated birth). She couldn't help what was going on in my face until she fixed other issues. I know they treat TMJ, maybe it might be worth looking into. It was expensive, but for me, it was money well spent.

    This is the website of the Osteopath that I saw:
    http://www.healthyosteo.com/about-osteopathy.html

    I would personally look into other alternatives rather than surgery right away! Good luck!

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    1. Oh wow, that sounds truly horrible. You poor thing. :( TMJ doesn't seem so bad now compared to going through what you did.

      So good to hear that the medicine is working for you. I wish I could afford to see an osteopath, but unfortunately I can't even afford to go to the dentist.. In a sense I'd actually be lucky to have my doctor refer me to a specialist at the hospital, because at least then I wouldn't have to pay for anything. Hopefully my jaw unlocks before then though and I can just wear a mouthguard at night or something. :\

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing you story, and thanks for the good luck! :)

      xx

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  11. It is pretty fun, seeing so many dogs all dressed up! Still not sure whether Mim and I are going, hopefully we will! You have a lovely weekend too! xo

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  12. i am surprised your dr. recommenced surgery..makes me think if i need surgery because i have TMJ too!
    ?! I've had it since may of 2003. it started a few weeks after i was in a city bus accident. He also prescribed me to take ibruprofen for the discomfort pain. I can only open my mouth like an inch in height, so basically everything i eat i cut up into small pieces and yeh, i ALWAYS make a mess when i eat dropping food and crumbs on me..sandwiches are the worst! lol. I feel your pain girl! I sure hope your case gets better! Mine might be and is prob related to the fact of my SMA,spinal muscle atrophy disease i was born with, however, I didnt start having jaw/mouth problems til after that accident.

    I am a new follower too :)

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Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! I really appreciate it. :)