As lightning strikes and cackles, silver pain against a mournful deep black sky, rockets flare rapidly from my brain to my chin. Immediately, I recognize and rationalize the signs; I sigh wearily breathe slowly and finally admit that TMJ has come back to stay for the next few days or a week. At least I love my two options for dinner, peanut butter and jelly or an American cheese sandwich and tomato soup:
I had a tiny, mild spasm when we had dinner but I was eating the mushiest of foods. A veggie burger that I had to scoop up with a spoon and I didn’t eat the top half of the bun. After that, a small portion of ice cream that I put in the microwave, I was sure I had paid the price for the pain already. Yeah, right. As if fairness counts in this world. I shake my head from side to side.
I didn’t “say AHHH” as if I was giving in to a strep test, my mouth was as wide as it could go comfortably (yes, dentists/doctors from all over say I have a child size mouth and face and hands and ring size.) I do remember the tip-toe beginning signs of TMJ and paid heed to them, with further occurrences, I forgot about it and went to sleep and slept well. When I woke up (or did it wake me up?) the first flash of agonizing pain ripped through my brain to my ear and down past my teeth into my wobbly neck.
There is no rhyme or reason for when this happens so I just resign myself to it happening every once in a while and search (I know, I know) for the mouth guard that I should have worn all along. My bad.
I can’t feel too sorry for myself because I’m the one to blame. I remember yesterday, even before the first pang, opening up the case and finding it empty. I did find it later on, of course, I’ll need to search for it again ( Fibromyalgia Fog) since I forgot where it I found it. I don’t lose things, I just misplace them ( repeatedly.) I look outside at the cold, crystallized window and I find a little comfort in the fact that I can nurse myself back to health today without (a lot of ) help from anyone. (PS I found it and have been wearing it.)
I slip back into bed with my five layers of blankets and heating pad, it is the second day and I am still in so much pain that I can’t even go down a flight of stairs to make my cherished mug of coffee. I hate asking for help but this morning I knock on my daughter’s door and ask her to help me. In a second, she goes downstairs to make me coffee and warms my heart. I am so grateful for her.
The coffee barely cheers me up which is unusual. I try to gulp it down quickly but the pain interrupts me. I’m doomed. I’m not allowed to use most pain medication because of my kidneys so I reach for one Tylenol, two. I automatically click the heating pad that lives beside me on the beige carpet. Please help me soon….
I don’t know how other people can get motivated to get dressed and race out of the door when it is below freezing outside. I truly wonder. I don’t believe I was like this when I was young, but then again, I didn’t have Fibromyalgia or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Maybe I did have it all along but never knew?
My mother calls and she hears “the slight off pitch” of my voice.I can never fool her, my mother and my son are the only ones I can’t fool. She zeros in for the kill. “What’s the matter?” she inquires directly bypassing all courtesy. I answer truthfully yet less urgently “I just have a little TMJ thing going on, that’s all.” She sighs, she feels helpless, I totally understand. My 22-year-old son had the flu last week and I certainly felt the same way, “what can I do, do you want something to eat, tomato soup with mashed up crackers? no? NO?!)
Mothers love to mother and when we can’t or when our kids grow up, at first we don’t know what to do. Mothering is our job, one we always will love. Without it, we just feel a little lost. Many people, including myself, ask themselves the question “Who am I now” when our youngest child is in college.
I know the feeling. After my daughter’s two wisdom teeth were extracted during a summer holiday and the medication wore off, she got up and gently woke me up at 3 AM. She scowled and said through muddled cotton mouth “it hurts.” For me, as bad as I felt for her, I felt happy I could help her, I could mother her and make her feel better. I didn’t want her to have pain, I wanted to make any type of pain go away.
My daughter and son have left to go out, my husband will be home shortly. I will go down and make my own soft American cheese sandwich and drink some Yoo Hoo, I don’t want to bother my husband who has worked all day. I understand pain, I’ve lived with so many different forms (too numerous to list), I don’t need people near me, I have all of you.
Thanks, Facebook Friends for always being there for me.