Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suffering & Sickness - Is it Time to Vent or Repent?


We've all experienced it at one time or another.

Emotional pain.

Spiritual pain.

Today I'm venting about Physical Pain.

I am suffering with a deliberating pain. Have you heard about TMJ?

Per WebMD:

What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

There is also something called TMD, again thanks to WebMD: Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for  temporomandibular joint.

So, I have TMD and TMJ. Many people probably hear a click or pop in their jaw and think nothing of it. It's like the popping of a joint or a cracking a knuckle in your finger. For post people that is okay. It really means nothing.

Then there are SOME people.
Some people, like me, encounter pain with the pop. Then sometimes there is no pop, and the pain persists.

Imagine this: One day you are enjoying a great bite of steak and you chew, feeling the tasty juices seep out of the meat and flow down your throat. Chewing, not wanting to miss a single morsel. 


Your jaw won't shut.

The pain brings tears to your eyes.

You try to close your jaw, the pain pierces through you.

After consultation with your dentist and an oral surgeon, a mouth splint is molded of your bit an you are required to wear it every night, for what seems like forever, not chewing, and liquids only. You take pain medications and muscle relaxers until the jaw joint relaxes and you can close your mouth.

Recovery was slow. I never want to go through that again. I'm careful what I chew, I wear my mouth splint when I feel my jaw getting sore.

Months go by. I have similar pain. Year go by. It doesn't seem serious. Then one day, out of the blue, pain like no there pierces your jaw. It's like having a migraine, a toothache and an earache all at the same time.
What did I do?
I wear my mouth splint for 2 months. Time goes by slowly. The pain isn't better. 

So, I make another trip to the oral surgeon. Out with the old. In with the new. Previous Oral Surgeon retired, in with a new Oral Surgeon.
So, I sit through x-rays, examinations, measurements, etc. He decides to take a conservative course of treatment.
No Chewing
Liquids Only

For three weeks.

I feel better. I think the pain is going away.

Back to the Oral Surgeon.
Some slight chewing.

For three weeks.

The pain returns 100 fold.
No chewing
muscle relaxers
Liquids only

For three weeks.
"For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an an example, that you should follow His steps." -- 1 Peter 2 19:21

The pain doesn't get better. It's worse.
This time the doctor adds a does of steroids, tells me to continue with the Aleve, gives me more muscle relaxers, stay on the heat, no chewing, liquids only.
I wait.
For three weeks.
More pain. Constant pain.
Ironically, I'm given pain medications for my low back due to two recent RFA procedures. The pills manage to take the edge of the irritatingly vivid pain of my jaw. 

I pray.
"Let us then approach the approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy nd find grace to help us in our time of need." -- Hebrews 4:16
I'm frustrated. I call the Oral Surgeon. I explain how much pain I'm in. How much I need to write. How I can't with this kind of pain. I'm very frustrated. I'm loud. I'm irritated. I'm in pain. I cry.

I pray.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

This time the Oral Surgeon sends me for an MRI.
We get the results in a week. The diagnosis. Surgery.
Okay, great. Let's get it scheduled. Relief. I'm happy. But….
My Oral Surgeon says that he think's it's too complicated for him and wants me to go to the best specialist in this field at the University of Florida.
Referrals are sent. A letter written and sent to the specialist.

A letter written to my airline insurance company after having to cancel a special trip, explains why I can't fly out to see my new grandson because of TMJ and surgery. My daughter doesn't understand why I can't come and see the new baby. 

I cry.

More waiting.

More prayers.
"Behold, I will bring it health and healing: I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth." - Jeremiah 33:6

I don't wait anymore. I call UF. My appointment for an "evaluation" is February 5, 2014


No chewing. Liquids only. Heat. Pain. No Thanksgiving Dinner. No Christmas Dinner. No Anniversary dinner. Nothing. I have been beaten down.

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered." - Mark 11:22
I cry.
My jaw hurts.
I cry.
I pray.
I cry.
I seek answers. Who else can help me. 
I pray.
God sends me to my insurance company. Who, after much explaining, gives me a directory or oral surgeons in a 30 mile area of my home.
I send the list in an e-mail to my Oral Surgeon along with a lot of venting and tears.
I'm sorry I vented against my doctor. I'm sorry he had to hear and feel my anger and frustration. I'm sorry. Dear Lord, please forgive me.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

I wait.
In pain.
I cry.
I pray.

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." James 5:13

"Please, Dear Lord, find someone who can heal me of my pain before the end of the year."

""For I will resort health to you and heal you of your wounds." says the Lord, "because they called you an outcast saying: "This is Zion; no one seeks her."' - Jeremiah 30:17


Image credit: robodread / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: andreus / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: razihusin / 123RF Stock Photo


The Dose of Reality said...

Oh, Vicki, I am SO SORRY. This just sounds like torture. I cannot being to imagine how difficult this has been for you. I'll be praying for you and thinking about you. --Lisa

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Thank you, LIsa. I appreciate your sympathy and comments. I truly is a form of torture - something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Please, all prayers are gratefully accepted. Thank you. Have a blessed day.