Category Archives: TMJ

100 posts! A blurb of the upcoming year.

We have an email system set up where UPS shipping will tell us if our packages won’t arrive on time. For the past several days we’ve gotten endless “adverse weather conditions” notices through the email. It’s beginning to become a joke. “Yes, we know. Snowy Armageddon in the east. Stop sending us 20 messages about it every hour. We know.” Needless to say, if you ordered something overnight from us and it’s not there yet, it’s probably an ice cube in New Jersey.

On another note, I have reached 100 posts on Lacking Sense! (throws confetti) Lacking Sense has been on the air for 6 months. I made my first post on July 21, 2010. There have been some rocky moments where I failed to keep up with posting but I know as long as humans are idiots I will have something to post about. Keeping up with a news blog has been a chore but it’s interesting to see how much I can keep up with current events. It’s inspired some awesome discussions (fights) with my parents.

This year will hold some first for me. I still plan to move out in May. You can expect a lot of posts about the process of renting and furnishing my own space. I suspect something will piss me off and someone will be an idiot, so I should have a lot to rant about. My first chiropractor/physical therapist appointment is this Monday. I’m hoping it will relieve some of my neck pain and lessen my migraines. As it is, I have a low grade headache all the time and I’m getting really tired of it. Next Wednesday is my first appointment with a new orthodontist to see if she can do anything about my bite being off at the same time as taking care of the pain. My teeth do not properly connect right now and my cheeks are often sore. Especially right in front of my ears. If I can’t have a correct bite without pain then I’ll just take having no pain. I still have no idea what caused my TMD / TMJ problems.

Anyway, it’s a busy year up ahead for me. I’ve been saving money as much as I can and paying off my car as fast as I can while doing so. I don’t want to have the car payment while I have to cover rent. As it stands, I’ll have the car paid off in March. Since I’m not looking to move until May, that will give me another month or so to really save some money. I can’t wait.

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Continued TMD / TMJ drama and going to yet another doctor.

Last week was kind of a bad week for me. It’s been just over three months since I started going to Garvey for my TMD / TMJ treatments and as more time progressed the more pain I was starting to have again. Near the beginning of this month I was beginning to regret that I ever did anything after Quiqless was done with me. My bite was all screwed up but at least I wasn’t in any pain. On Monday of last week I had a knock out migraine. A “kill me now, please God, I want to die” migraine. On top of that my jaw was aching fiercely and clicking and popping when I chewed. I had an ortho appointment with Garvey scheduled last Thursday and pretty much decided right then and there that I was going to go back to Quiqless and have him make me another splint to redo what he had done. I just couldn’t stand it and if I had to choose between having a correct bite and having no pain, I’d choose the no pain.

Well, an ice storm postponed my ortho appointment until this morning and I finally got into Garvey to tell him that it can’t continue like this. I am just in too much pain. My jaw and face aches constantly and I’m getting three or more migraines a week. I have a constant low grade headache that does not go away and I pop Tylenol like it’s candy. Quiqless wants me to see another ortho, someone who has both TMD / TMJ experience and knowledge about neuromuscular treatment. A Ruth Gomes from Viva Smiles. Garvey also knows of Gomes and agrees I should see her and get another opinion. She will be the fourth person I’ve seen for my TMD / TMJ. Quiqless -> Rosenthal -> Garvey -> Gomes. This is getting ridiculous.

Then I need to get myself into a chiropractor / physical therapy person and get my neck and back seen to. Those are hurting like a bitch too. I’m hoping that may help with the migraines. Please all ye Gods, let it help with the migraines. I’m sick of being in pain. Garvey wants me to go to Julie Hereford but she’s out in Webster Groves and I’m also sick of running all over the place for different doctors. Between the gas and bills for so much as looking sideways inside their offices, I’m slowly being drained. At some point, I’ll just have to stop. Because I will have reached the point where it’s either food and shelter or it’s paying for the treatments. So far I’ve spent over $6,000 and that’s not including the gas and time off from work.

My biggest piece of advice to someone treating their own TMD / TMJ is that if you get to a place where you are pain free, stay there. Don’t try to straighten your teeth or fix any weird cosmetic things. Because if you find a solution that leaves you without pain and you then fuck with it, you will regret it.

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A filler post and I hate the holidays.

Slow day at work. I need to make a different graphic for the header on this blog. Something still Alice in Wonderland but the right length. For some reason, this template is using an old graphic. We just put up the Christmas tree in the front lobby at work this morning. An annoying task made even more so when Pat joins the party and begins to make “decisions” about the tree. Then there is my co-worker, Amanda, who is an OCD tree branch fluffer and bow rearranger. [snicker] I haven’t even put up the tree at home and there is a good chance I never will this year. I hate the holidays.

My brother will be out of town Christmas week. (Something about finally accepting a friend’s continued invitation for Christmas. I didn’t catch much.) So, the family will be going out to dinner the weekend before. Yes! No cooking! No cleaning! No people! Now that’s my kind of holiday. I’ll probably hide in my bedroom and watch TV on Hulu on my laptop computer.

Dad brought back another mutant germ this weekend. So, when both my Mother and I fall victim to some illness we have no immunity to, we can thank him. Again. Yeah.

This afternoon I will be heading over to view an apartment in the complex I plan to move into in the spring. I won’t move until around May but I want to see the apartment size and shape so I can start collecting furniture now. It’s 752 square feet of space and has a separate dinning space from the kitchen. So, I’m hoping it will be a pretty good size. The layout sheet doesn’t offer measurements, so this will be the first idea of the space of the place I’ll get. I can’t wait to see it. I brought my camera and I’ll take a few pictures for you all. I’m really excited.

I went back to Dr. Quiqless yesterday for a talk that could have happened over the phone and saved me a 40 minute trip but I’ll talk about that later. Needless to say, nobody has any idea what is wrong with me. Like usual.

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Any questions about TMD / TMJ? Leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Uh. I got quite a few views on my post yesterday. This brings me to believe that my posts on my TMD / TMJ problems are my most popular posts. So I ask you, dear readers, do you have TMD / TMJ or does a family member or friend have it? What is your reason for stopping by my blog? What information are you looking for? Any questions? I have a mild form of temporomandibular joint disorder but I’d be happy to share any information or experiences I might have with you.

I’ve been dealing with TMD / TMJ for about ten months now and I’ve gone to three doctors about it. I wear a splint right now but surgery had been thrown out there as a possible treatment. My pain is mild and chewing, while a bit weird as my teeth don’t really connect properly, is not painful. My pain is mostly migraines and an ache in front of both ears and down along my jaw and cheeks. I’m lucky in most respects. I know it could be much worse.

Since these posts seem to be getting the most views, I must assume that people are searching for TMD / TMJ and getting my blog. So, please, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask another sufferer about then feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

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Just admit you have no idea what’s wrong with me so I can kill you and move on with my life. My MRI results, two more visits to Dr. Garvey, and getting very, very annoyed.

Laughs at all the spam comments I got for my McDonald’s post on the 4th. Apparently, using the word McDonald’s in your blog post means you get a lot of robots sending you offers for weight loss shakes, liquid vitamins, and one line explanations that whey protein is easier to digest. Thanks for the chuckle, soulless robots.

I knew the NaNo writing challenge would eat my head and I was right. I meant to post about my TMJ / TMD orthodontist visit on Tuesday and spent that time writing my novel instead. Bad blogger! Now I’ve had another orthodontist appointment on Wednesday and have new news. Basically, Gravey has no clue but what else is new with healthcare professionals? First, we’ll start off with what I learned during my first appointment back on Thursday November 4th.

Last week it looked like I would be needing some sort of surgery for my jaw. Of course, this is dependent upon if and how much my insurance will cover. I returned to Garvey on Thursday for the results of my MRI and the only thing he could find was that the cushion between my jaw bone and my head seemed to be in the wrong position. It’s too far forward, I believe he said. However, he wants me to see the surgeon to get his opinion. Garvey admitted that Dr. Webber might be able to better read the MRI results and see an alternative to surgery or have the opinion that surgery might not be necessary.

Then after a discussion about the cutting of bones and how it really isn’t as bad as people think it would be, I had a little mini breakdown in the car. This was not what I wanted to hear. Such surgeries cost $20,000 and unless my insurance pays basically all of it, it’s not happening. I don’t have the money or resources to have it done. Plus, I’m chicken shit and I hate pain. Which is silly because I’m in pain now but it’s a low grade ache type of pain that I can ignore. It’s the cutting, breaking bone type of pain I don’t want.

Gravey wanted me to lessen the amount of time I wore the splint because I had been wearing it 24 hours a day and taking it out while I’m not eating caused my whole face to ache. So, I took it out after leaving his office last week and forgot to put it back in for the rest of the day until I went to eat dinner and realized it wasn’t in my mouth. I was fine. The area in front of my ears ached but that mostly went away after a day or two.

I had another appointment with Gravey yesterday to have the splint adjusted again. This is where things were getting weird. I haven’t been wearing the splint at all except at night, because that’s when I clinch my teeth, and my bite was all over the place. In fact, it was so all over the place that it sometimes looked like it was in the correct position, with the gaps between my front teeth lining up like they’re supposed to. Unfortunately, when I closed my mouth in that position the only contact between my teeth that I had was the ridge of my very back left molars. No connect anywhere else in my mouth. It was a tad painful to be chewing and suddenly click just those two teeth together. Now Gravey doesn’t know what the hell is happening and maybe thinks we might be able to just do orthodontics. [headdesk] Which is it? Surgery or orthodontics? Nobody knows and I haven’t seen the surgeon Webber yet either. No doubt he’ll have his own opinion.

The really weird thing is that the doctor that originally looked at my MRI results at the imaging place said that he could see no signs of temporomandibular joint disorder. Now I’m really confused and don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I’m beginning to be sorry that I ever tried to get my teeth straightened after Quigless’ shit was done with me. I had to deal with the splint but at least I wasn’t in any pain.

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My MRI, where I am not claustrophobic but having leg problems and up way, way too early.

Well, that was fun. I slid from bed at 5:45am this morning (and I’d like you all to note that this is an hour and fifteen minutes earlier than I normally get up for work) and got dressed to head up to Metro Imaging for my MRI. I rolled up at 6:45am when it is still fucking dark and cold as hell and filled out the usual paper work. Then I changed out of my clothing because I’m in my work clothes and have a zipper on my pants and a metal embellishment on my shirt. Goodbye glasses, ring, and earrings. I took my splint out and stuffed it in its case. The only thing I couldn’t remove was the permanent retainer attached to my bottom teeth. It’s just a wire but the tech told me a void would show up where it was. It wouldn’t be a problem since that wasn’t where we were trying to get pictures. Which it good because there was really nothing I could do about it if there had been a problem.

Not Me

Not Me

I didn’t think I was claustrophobic and I’m pleased to say that I’m not. I had no problems being slid into the machine. I just close my eyes and tried not to move my head. No, my problem was not being able to move my legs. I had a big triangle cushion tucked under my knees, so it was better than if my legs were lying flat. But near the end there I thought for sure my right leg was going to cramp on me. I could feel my back thigh muscles quivering and knotting up. I was never so relieved to sit up and move in my life. I have a few problems with cramping in my legs and not being able to really shift my legs was a big pain.

Otherwise, I didn’t have any problems. The tech stuck me in there and I just laid there for about 20 minutes. I had to hold my teeth together as much as I could during the first part, which takes some conscious thought to achieve since my teeth don’t really meet and my natural habit is to hold my jaw as loosely as I can now. Then she put a white plastic thing between my front teeth and I bit on that for the second half. Then I was up and out and about ten minutes early for work. No big deal.

It looked like that with open sides but the top was only about two inches from my nose.

The tech said the pictures were good and they would send them along to Dr. Garvey. So, I should be hearing from him in a day or two. If I don’t hear anything by next week I’ll give him a call on Monday. Apparently, all doctors are like little children and if you don’t keep reminding them you exist they have a tendency to forget you’re there. Or that you just paid them an obscene amount of money and would like your health problems seen to without having to hunt them down by phone. I do not appreciate the fact that I waited a month for something to happen and then had to make my own MRI appointment when I was finally able to hunt Dr. Garvey down. Or at least, someone answering the stupid phone. Yeah, I think somebody needs a time out! Fail, people!

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Temporomandibular joint disorder; going in for an MRI and having to hunt down my own doctors.

I’ve been dealing with TMJ / TMD for about ten months now, ever since Christmas 2009. After getting my first splint from Dr. Quiqless in the beginning of 2010 my pain has only been slight. I’ve been lucky. But I don’t want to wear a splint for the rest of my life. It’s inconvenient and annoying. So, after spending $5000 for the first splint from Dr. Quiqless and then discovering he would not be the one to straighten my teeth (a fact I was not aware of. I was under the impression that Dr. Quiqless would straighten my teeth and correct my bite as well. Basically, I’ve given him thousands of dollars for no reason. I hope he rots in hell.) I was forced to seek out another orthodontist that could treat TMJ /TMD.

I spent weeks trying to get Dr. Quiqless and his staff to recommend someone but the only information I could get out of them was for a man in Kansas City. I am not driving across the state to have my teeth fixed. I live in Saint Louis, Missouri. This is not a small town. Somewhere there was someone who could straighten my teeth and help with my TMJ / TMD pain. I ended up with Dr. Garvey. During my first consultation, he said he wanted me to get an MRI so that we could rule out damages to the muscle and soft tissue in my jaw. I hadn’t had any pain or symptoms before Christmas 2009 and he was concerned with why my pain started so suddenly.

That was in August. Dr. Garvey has the weirdest office hours of anybody I’ve ever gone to and I had trouble catching him again. I called up my general care doctor, Dr. Sattler, to see if they had gotten any information from Dr. Garvey about ordering me an MRI. Nada. They hadn’t heard a thing. I finally got Dr. Garvey’s office yesterday, after many weeks of forgetting and phone calls ringing for an eternity with no one picking up (not even a message service). They had sent a letter but to Dr. Quiqless. [headdesk] That doesn’t do any good. Dr. Quiqless himself is an orthodontist, not a doctor. He can’t order a MRI for me.

I got the number for Metro Imaging from the woman at Dr. Garvey’s office and called them up myself. I made an appointment for tomorrow morning at the butt crack of dawn. Wednesday at 7am and could I please be about 15 minutes early to fill out paper work. They also need a work order from a doctor. So I call Dr. Garvey back again and tell the woman there what fax number to send that information to. I just got a call this morning to say that they have sent that information and I should be good to go for tomorrow. I hope I don’t have to pay for this. I know my insurance will cover something but how much I don’t know. I’m so sick of paying people money.

The results of the MRI will tell me how to proceed. If it turns out I do have a tear or damage to the muscle or soft tissue of my jaw it will require surgery. If I don’t, we straighten my teeth and get me a new splint. I’m hoping, since I’m pretty sure it’s my crooked teeth causing the strain on my jaw, that straightening my teeth will at least solve the cause of my TMJ / TMD problems. As is, chewing is not painful but it does feel weird because my teeth aren’t meeting right. I can’t chew some candies because I don’t have the bite surface to mash them with. Plus, the sides of my face often ache and I get migraines. I’m sure you know which result I’m hoping for.

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Symptoms of being a writer – pooping post-it notes

I’m a writer. Well, I’m a writer when I can get the motivation to write. But, a symptom of being a writer is also being a scribbler. You leave little ideas and half finished thoughts on any piece of paper you have on hand. My Mother calls it pooping post-it notes. I have no idea why. I rarely have something as nice as a post-it note handy when I have an idea. It’s mostly the edge of newspapers and the backs of receipts. I once had a major freak out when my Father cleaned off the dining room table and threw away all of my little scribbles because they were written on the back of receipts and magazine tear out cards. Who knows what brilliance was lost to his malicious cleaning.

I don’t actually like to handwrite things. I touch type and thus using the computer is faster than trying to handwrite something. My hand is not fast enough to keep up with my mind. (That sounded dirty.) If I type then I can just keep up with the flow of crap spewing from my mind. At the moment, I have two notepad windows open on my computer. Eventually, I’ll print them out and add little notes by hand in the margin. Then the pages will disappear into my bedroom and probably never be seen again. Or be thrown up on by a cat. My bets are on the cat puke.

I still haven’t heard back from Garvey or my regular doctor about the MRI I’m supposed to have done. I missed a call on my cell phone on Friday but they didn’t leave a message. I should probably call Sattler and see how that’s coming along. I really want to get this shit started because I’ve had a low grade constant headache for the past week and I’m sick of it. My whole face aches when I’m awake and since Garvey adjusted my splint it’s been getting worse. This sucks.

P.S. I spent over an hour last night pulling small green caterpillars and tiny fuzzy white caterpillars from the bee balm plant. It was never ending. Then I spent an extra 15 minutes this morning pulling more of the tiny fuzzy white caterpillars off and making myself horribly late for work. Tonight, I fully expect to have to pull more of the caterpillars off the bee balm. How do I kill these things? The one-in-three spray I used doesn’t seem to be killing them! Argh!

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Hate you back world…hate you back.

So, I stopped for gas last night (Yay! $2.39 Gods, we’re pathetic.) and found this little guy hanging out on the windshield squeegees. (Is there a proper name for those things? The long sticks with the sponge on one side and a scraper on the other? I have no idea!) I really wanted to clean my windows because the dirt was reflecting the sun in such a way to be almost death laser like but I let him be. I still have dirty windows. I hope you appreciate that nature. I have dirty windows because of you twice now.


Krystal’s plants hate me. The lavenders, rosemary, and oregano plants are doing fine. Like little angles. The two pepper plants are now just semi-evil now that I’ve been giving them more water and placed them on the porch rather than the more sunny sidewalk. I’ve already lost a bell pepper to sun scorch. I still have to take them into the garage at night because it’s been getting too cool. But, three of the plants are pure evil. The lemon balm is turning a yellowish color and I don’t know what’s wrong with it. I pruned it a little because it was getting too big but everything I’ve read says it wants sun. I don’t know. It hates me.

Then there is the bee balm. Some warning about the bee balm would have been good. Something about not getting the leaves wet and it being prone to fuzzy mold would have come in handy. Now I’ve had to removed half the leaves and spray it down with a water, baking soda, liquid dish soap mixture and hope I’m not too late. It’s evil. But, the award for pure evil goes to the patchouli. Its leaves are yellowing and falling off. I have no idea why. It’s a hot weather plant that likes drier soil but not burning sun. I think I may be watering it too much. Eh. I brought it inside to my bedroom last night (complete with a daddy long legs that met a tragic end before I could rescue it from my cats) and might just leave it there most days. It is, however, evil.

Also, I’ve been informed that my dental insurance will not cover adult orthodontics. This means I will be paying the whole $6,000 for my braces and retainers myself. Look, my MetLife insurance will only pay a total of $1,500 for the whole year. Like I said, that’s pee in the poop bucket. Can we not be total assholes while screwing me over? Hmm? Including the up coming stuff, I will have spent just about $11,000 to treat my TMJ. I only make $24,000 in a year people! This is bullshit. Complete bullshit. A curse upon you all! A curse, I say! Fuckers.

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TMD/TMJ & more money…agian.

I went to my first appointment with the new orthodontist for my TMJ problems. I like Dr. Garvey. He’s very personable. Unlike Dr. Quigless, who was never very approachable. We spoke forever. He wants me to get an MRI. [sigh] Since my symptoms came on suddenly, Dr. Garvey wants to make sure I haven’t torn the muscle or soft tissue cushion that moves and guides the jaw bone in and out of its socket. If there is an injury there, I’ll need surgery. If not, it’s another few thousand dollars worth of braces, retainers, and splints for me. Again.

I feel cheated. I already did this with Dr. Quigless, even if everything I did with him ended up being worthless. I still say the man is a cheat and a thief. I should sue. Asshole. Gods. Argh!

Anyway, Garvey’s office will send a letter off to my general care practitioner, Samantha Sattler, to make sure the MRI is covered by my regular medical insurance and to get referred. He also wants me to go to a physical therapist/chiropractor. This may or may not happen. It would just cost more money and this shit has already ruined my year. I wanted to move out in the beginning of September. I wanted to be gone. Now, I’m stuck with my parents for at least another half a year. I’ll shoot for spring 2011.

(My favorite place, Triangle Apartments, was saying they will have some openings in about three or four months. It’s a small complex without any amenities. This means it’s a good $150 less than the apartments that offer pools and exercise rooms. A one bedroom with washer/dryer in the apartment for $500 a month is too sweet to pass up. So, I’m thinking, even if it would be in the middle of winter, I’d try to get a place at Triangle Apartments no matter when an apartment became available. I’m on a list, so it might not even be until next year that I get a place. I’ll definitely try but it won’t be as soon as I wanted.)

Worse, even though my insurance covers TMJ stuff, my limit is $1,500. That’s right. For the whole year. That is bullshit. They pay for cleanings twice a year but Gods forbid you ever have something wrong with you, like having a tooth pulled or a cavity, because you are screwed. Why am I paying for insurance if they give me such a low maximum? That’s nothing. That’s piss in the poop bucket, people. Basically, they’ll pay for a healthy person who has no teeth problems but if you having something wrong with you, then you’re on your own. Bullshit. I could get better insurance than that on my own. This is ridiculous.


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