Monday, September 25, 2006


Illustration from M & C Dental Center, LLC, Cochran, GA

I'm spending most of tomorrow with a new doctor, one who will spend three hours -- his standard initial exam -- in diagnosing my TMJ.

Dr. O, my brilliant ENT, discovered the TMJ when I went to see him for what I thought was a persistent sinus infection. No, those headaches weren't sinus related, they were from the TMJ. And I thought my face was hurting because my salivary glands had gone haywire again. They had -- in fact, they are still misbehaving -- but the facial pain wasn't just because of whacked salivaries, this time.

The new doctor's office is the better part of an hour away, and I have to get there at least a half-hour early to complete the 15-page (!!!) medical history beforehand. I know that is pointless because I will spend a lot of time filling out a form and no one will read it; I will be forced to re-iterate every damn thing on it to the doctor, frittering away the first 15 minutes of the appointment. Personally, I can't listen faster than I can read, so why doctors always start out with "Tell me what's going on," when they already have the answer on paper in front of them, is beyond me. But that's the way it always seems to go, so I will be surprised if it goes otherwise. Perhaps I will rebel and say, Read the history, it'll be quicker, I'll wait until you're ready. There's an idea.

I'm not exactly afraid of this appointment, I just don't want him to find anything dreadful. I'm hoping for something on the order of Stop chewing gum and wear your retainer during the day until this settles down. I'm not sure exactly how I'll take it if he diagnoses me with some condition that needs invasive procedures to correct. I'm under attack from enough angles already.

Given a choice between surgery or living with my popping jaw-joints, I'd choose the popping jaw-joints, unless given a really, really compelling reason. I'm doing OK, my current status is quite manageable. So what horrible thing is going to happen if I don't aggressively treat this? Because aggressive treatment is right out... at least right now.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

First, I had to laugh at the "right out"! Monty Python reference. I can't believe how much physical stuff you are having to endure. I certainly hope this TMJ thing is "nothing" although I'm sure it doesn't FEEL like nothing.