Yesterday, after arriving in Sacramento and taking the obligatory nap, I yawned. But my jaw didn't close. OUCH.
I have TMJ pretty bad. It causes my jaw to click and gives me headaches, and sometimes when I yawn or eat something really hard, I have trouble closing my mouth. Usually, I just shift my jaw around a little bit from left to right, front to back, until I get it closed, which never takes more than a second or two. Yesterday, however, something went terribly wrong, and no amount of shifting worked in my favor. I was stuck.
With some hesitation, I called down to the hubby: "______ Con yo con hea??" (It was terribly hard to understand me with my mouth open)
He took one look at me, mouth agape, and suggested the ER. I suggested he call my mom, since she has TMJ trouble too, and is a nurse to boot. She suggested we put a hot compress on my jaw joint, and see if that helps. It didn't. The hubby, again, suggested we go to the ER, and I agreed.
I was humiliated. I mean, I couldn't close my mouth. I looked so dumb. Also, what a wimpy reason to go to the emergency room. There were people BLEEDING in there, and I just couldn't close my mouth.
Luckily, the triage nurse didn't take my condition lightly. She took pity on me quickly, called in the doctor who "likes the unusual cases", and sent me back to wait in the hall, rather than in the waiting room. I appreciated that, because it kept the looky-loos to a minimum. I tried not to cry, and I tried not to drool. In an effort to keep things light, I had the hubby take my picture and upload it to Facebook:
|I tried to look as miserable as possible. My mom commented, "Does she know you took this??"|
At this point, it had been about two hours of open-jawed-ness, and I was laying with an oxygen tube up my nose, trying to have a conversation with the hubby that did not require consonants. He was just remarking that it didn't look as bad as I thought it did when--CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!--VICTORY! My mouth closed on its own! Hooray!
|This is just about the happiest I've been in years..|
I was euphoric! After it closed, they still did an X-ray just to make sure there was no permanent damage, and the doctor came in and told me what he WOULD have done, had it not closed on its own. Boy, oh boy, am I glad it closed on its own! It was something of a fish hook maneuver that would have required mild sedation and larger quantities of pain meds. Not my cup o' tea.
I left with instructions to ingest a soft diet for the next couple of weeks, until I get into the ENT doctor when I get back home. My evening consisted of lying on a couch and trying not to puke from the gelato remnants, and my morning so far has consisted of trying not to yawn or open my mouth too wide for fear of it happening again. Not ideal, but at least I haven't ruined our entire vacation with my stupid mouth.
San Francisco on Wednesday! Woot!