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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Meg - wow, I'm so sorry to hear that! I feel guilty for going on and on about my symptoms when I can't even imagine the physical and emotional pain you've endured over the years! It sounds so very strange coming from a complete stranger such as me, but I suppose sometimes talking with a complete stranger can be very therapeutic, especially if there's a common issue that facilitates sympathy. The idea about the journal sounds great; I should start one of those. With the countless amount of doctors I've seen, I feel so frustrated feeling like I have to 'start from scratch' explaining my symptoms to a new doctor for the first time. My primary doctor has been great and very empathetic; however, of course, he's limited in what he can treat. I can already sense he's feeling out of his comfort zone, and my next step (should I require stronger medications for pain), will be needing to seek out a pain specialist. I tried my luck with one of those earlier last year, and I didn't care for the place I was referred to @ all. Several different visits, I never saw the same doctor once; and I was charged as an outpatient just for a doctor to see me for 5 minutes and prescribe medication! My out of pocket fee for each visit was 200 each! I've already done my research and found a pain specialist doctor I'd like to be referred to next, should I have to do that. The sad thing is... I'm 29 now, I have a full time job in Finance, and I've been on the climb up for several years now. Having to resign to taking narcotics for the rest of my life makes me feel so defeated and definitely threatens my job performance--though I've already begun noticing a decline in my productivity.

Canuc: Thank you for your response. It's become very frustrating for me because while I know that I have at least one disc displaced (w/ reduction) based off my own research, I can never seem to get a doctor to do an MRI on me. Reasoning seems to be that it costs more than medicinal treatment and none seem to take me seriously since I can still at least open my mouth pretty wide. I may need to become more aggressive and insist it. I know that, by law, the state of North Carolina mandates diagnostic x-rays & TMJ surgery (should I need it) to be covered by employer health plans. Anything else and I'm on my own. I've already taken out a loan with my bank to pay off credit card debt racked up for this very reason so future treatment options will need to be given serious consideration before I put money down. I know that I need to have my bite fixed (since it was ruined with an occlusal equilibration, throwing my muscles into permanent spasms), but maybe a more justified approach is to wear a night guard for the rest of my life and hope that it doesn't progress to surgery. I don't know honestly. What I do know is that I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to respond to a complete stranger. I don't know why it's taken me so long to come here, but I was feeling pretty low this week and needed someone to listen who truly understands. I have really close friends and they're great and all, but I can only talk their ears off so much .. and to be honest, they don't really know what it feels like either. They see me, and on the outside I look completely normal. It's very easy for people to think it's all in my head (even though my friends would never say that to my face). I have been taking OTC anti-inflammatory meds, but maybe I should revist the prescription strength approach. It never worked previously, but perhaps I should try it again. Seeing a neurologist is also a good suggestion; it's the only specialist I haven't seen yet for this condition. There's a muscle on my right shoulder that's in a pretty bad spasm, and I definitely think it's pinching a nerve in that arm. In addition to the gabapentin, I've tried changing how I sleep. I love sleeping on my stomach, and I read that that's the worst sleeping position for one's jaw/neck. Will see how that goes also.

Best of luck to you both! Keep me updated on your journey!

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