My TMJ Experience and Mid-Week Update

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Ahhh this is me right now. Kindof a tired puppy and all is catching up to me. We are in my favorite season – fall and holidays approaching. An exciting and busy time. But with so much going on, it kinda feels like you are at the beach but with no energy to enjoy it. I have been trying and we have had brief spells of getting to do what we want and need to do here and there. Everything is starting to catch up to me in a big way. The last two days I’ve had TMJ – a locked jaw. I have only had it briefly once and it scared me but it was over as quick as it set in. This time I couldn’t unlock it. I dealt with it all day yesterday. I can’t open my mouth very wide to eat anything like a hamburger, sandwich, taco. I can eat with a spoon or fork – things on the softer side.

Yesterday, while doing payroll – I stopped to see what can cause it and what to do about it. I had to know. Stress can cause it, being out of alignment can cause it. I know that I’ve been out of alignment for some time. And I think now it’s a combination issue of these things: alignment, picking up heavy boxes of clothes when I knew they were too heavy on Sunday, stress, standing for long periods of time that I am not used to, the way I sleep. While one of these things in themselves would not probably cause it – the sum of all, I think is what did. I think the weight of the boxes pulled down my skeletal frame along with the standing. Not only do I have the TMJ, but also my lower back is hurting, along with my right shoulder/rotator cuff/arm. Just everything is off.

So it occurred to me the last time we moved Mom’s clothes – which was the heaviest things I’ve lifted in the move, is also when it happened before. It was a day and a half after. Same this time. For some reason I think just because it’s clothes I oughta be able to lift it. No more. I can deal with a sore back here and there, but TMJ no sir. I cannot stand this. You have a tendency to panic and it creates even more anxiety.

Anyway, I laid on my back last night with no pillow and it was able to sort of relax those muscles and realign my neck and frame as a whole. I also woke up at 2 a.m. and prayed and followed God’s whispered regimen for relaxing stretching my muscles. He was very calming and assuring. This morning it is improved. Giving me some hope. But yesterday I felt like just bursting into tears most of the day because I was afraid of what was happening to me. But it was payroll day and people depending on me so I sat there and distracted myself and got it done. I really wanted/needed to be lying down.

I don’t normally take a proper lunch on payroll days, but I had to take a few minutes to do some research. So I went to McDonald’s and got a chicken sandwich and sat in my favorite little place in our office park. I realized just how bad it was while trying to eat it. I had to tear it off into little bites and it was really a workout to chew. Some YouTube videos kinda showed some exercises to do. The doctors on there though try to scare you into coming into their offices with words of “it’s only going to get worse over time” and “you need to come see us so we can professionally do procedures and give you exercises to cope”. While individuals came on and gave you assurance for which I was grateful. While I don’t totally understand what is happening, I can say with confidence my alignment is off and no doubt there is some bone and/or muscle degeneration. I also chew gum a lot due to stress and that exacerbates the issue. You think it would strengthen the muscles, lol. I don’t know that I have been a “grinder” but I may have been housing some stress and clinching teeth at times without realizing it and also likely in my sleep. I know the position I sleep is in a pretzel at times and in a ball on either my left or right side with neck curved in or down instead of straight on my pillow. So I think the heavy lifting just really sent all of this spinning out of control.

Thankfully, it is somewhat better this morning though. I can tell a difference. So maybe another night on my back will help. I’m considering getting a back massage also to relax my shoulders. Already from quarter end, I have had tight shoulders. The lady before me said she had to get back massages also after QE at times. Open enrollment used to do it to me also. I think it’s mainly you are sitting more and standing less during those times with less movement. So yeah, that is what I’ve been dealing with.

So last night after work we took Mom to look at Mattresses. She found one she likes if it will fit down into her bed frame. George is going to measure her bed and we can see. And she is going to have to order something for the other bed (guest bed). So that is still up in the air. She has to stay here til we get all that settled. She found an adjustable bed that she really likes. I think that is good for her to be able to raise up and lower as needed.

Afterwards we went to Jonathans because I felt that there would be food there to please everyone. I think Mom is tired of asian and mexican and seems to want her meat and three type of cuisine. While Jonathans is not meat n three – it at least had a wide variety to meet what we all wanted. Mom and I got the BBQ pulled pork stuffed potato. Oh gosh it was so good. It came with a salad and I was able to eat it with my fork. I had to kindof shove the salad in with a small open mouth but it worked.

Other updates:

*Well as mentioned we worked on Mom’s clothes Sunday afternoon. And still have a lot of things to set up but have done all we can do really until the furniture arrives. She has someone coming Thursday to work on the screen door. I’ve asked George to move some more clothes in her closet for her to hang and also the pots and pans box as we still don’t have those unloaded yet. She can rinse those off and that will give her something to do Thursday. George is dropping her off at the house there on his way to work.

*Our dishwasher is on the blink. The repairman is coming Monday and Mom said she would be here while he was here.

*The big furniture move is this Saturday – sofas, china cabinets, etc.

*We have our Thanksgiving planned and each have our dishes to make.

*The next video is almost finished. I have had an hour Monday morning and an hour before dinner one night. I just have to add on more more thing, rewatch it to make sure all good and then I can export and get it scheduled for a weekend launch. Yay! This makes me so happy.

*My hair is horrible this week. I’m in the midst of a grow out and it just is hard to manage. I don’t really have time to play around with styling so I end up pinning it back. I’ve also pulled it back and let it dry in a headband. That puts curves in the top and sometimes that works and sometimes it is a flop. I need to watch some styling videos. I’ve always had bangs. I don’t know how to be without bangs. So it’s all different. I just need time to play. Some days I just want to pull out the scissors and start whacking away at it. But I won’t let myself. I am making myself wait until after the first of the year. I always cave at this part and I at least want to get to a certain stage before I let myself change my mind again.

*I will miss the office tour and lunch provided Friday and am very sad about that. I can’t win for losing it seems. But it is what it is. Mom’s eyes are more important than an office tour and a lunch. They were kind to say I could arrange to go another day. But it would be cool to go with my office buds. Anyway, it’s ok. I’ll leave and have lunch with Mom and take her to the eye doc b/c they are closing the office down at 11. So I’ll at least get a half day in. I’ve worked the other four hours at other times of the month by going in on Tuesday’s. Darn, I mean I probably work it twice as I get in about 10 or more hours on Tues – esp if I don’t take lunch, but I made that commitment to go in so everyone would know and depend on and be able to see that time is being made up. Anyway, I’m off of here and going to get in to work as soon as I can. Lots to do in getting ready for the short HOL week next week with payroll.

HOPE you all are having a great fall season and are looking forward to Thanksgiving! Hope your week is going well.

Take care.

8 responses to “My TMJ Experience and Mid-Week Update”

  1. TMJ is no joke. I have had it in the past while working a high-stress job. I had to go to the dentist because the pain was terrible. My problem was I was grinding my teeth when I didn’t realize it. Like you, I could barely eat. The dentist prescribed me something to relax my jaw and for pain. I will never forget the pain. It lasted a good while. I hope yours doesn’t get as bad. I ended up quitting the job and it was the best thing I ever did. I could kick myself for not doing it sooner.
    Once you get your Mom moved maybe your stress load will be less.
    She will love her adjustable bed. The daughter has one and it is heaven to lay there with your head elevated to watch TV.
    We had problems with our heat pump this week. It kept freezing up. So we had to call someone to come fix it. Thank goodness the part was under warranty. It saved us $360.00. Always something it seems when you are a homeowner.
    Hang in there it is almost the weekend.

    • Thanks for your comments today. I think the cause is a perfect storm of stress, lifting, and already being off center. I just booked a 30 min chair massage after work to release some tension in neck and shoulders. Gonna order a heating pack of some kind.

  2. TMJ is horrible. I had that before Jamison was born. I actually ended up with braces at 30 because it was not correcting itself. Sounds like you have a great plan.

    I made the trip😀. Saturday night was quite bad after riding all day but I survived. I forgot my heating pad so I found a CVS and bought a cheap heating pad that was NOT CHEAP!

    I will write more later,

  3. TMJ sucks for sure. I’m a grinder & I just love to stress myself out. So, I feel your pain.
    I’ve wondered & been impressed actually, as to how you have physically managed to do all you have done with this move. Clothes are HEAVY. And you always think you can just add one or 2 more pieces to your load.
    Your bbq dish looks delish!!
    2 more days 2 go.

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