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Controlling TMJ Pain; Fixing a Wheelchair Controller

The roaming pain should have been my first clue that my mouth wasn't hurting from newly replaced fillings. As soon as I realized it was TMJ pain, I followed advice from old TV ads for pain pills: "Take at the first sign of pain." They were right--nip it in the bud and tension can't turn into spasms, which turn into pain, which turns into more tension. All I've taken is aspirin and ibuprofin. I've also avoided long practice sessions playing the recorder. (I could say I'm a purist about playing baroque music, but truth to tell, a clarinet is really hard to play. I've tried.) I also avoid coffee when it bothers me, which is as intermittent as my TMJ pain.

My parents are still roped in red tape and I have nothing but nail clippers and a screwdriver. Since their credit union wouldn't accept their power of attorney, I whipped up a new one and brought a notary public to their nursing home.

Even with some practice, my mother couldn't drive her new wheelchair: the joystick has right and left reversed and she can't get used to it. Tonight I had the idea to flip it over so that the joystick is facing downward and right and left aren't flipped. We'll see how Mom does with it. 

Comments

tess said…
i hope you're feeling better now!
Lori Miller said…
I am--I stopped ignoring the pain and letting it get out of control.
valerie said…
About TMJ: I had a dislocated jaw once (well, twice actually, but the first time it happened it was quickly and efficiently fixed by a competent doctor). It happened during my sleep. I woke up unable to close my mouth properly, and my joint got more and more painful as time went by. After three days, I saw a (stupid) doctor at the hospital. He tried to fix my joint, failed, and then pretended that there had never been any problem with my jaw and sent me home.

Disheartening, to say the least.

The nurses generously gave me OTC pain medication as I left (it was late in the evening, the drug store was closed). The next day (day 4 of the ordeal) I took enough medication to be somewhat comfortable, intead of trying to tolerate the pain. My jaw got back in place the next night, during my sleep again.

I guess that lessening the pain relaxed the muscles enough for the joint to pop back in place. So, you're right: much better to take care of the pain right away than to let it get out of control.
Glad to hear you are feeling better.

Good idea with the wheelchair control - do hope it made things easier.

All the best Jan
Lori Miller said…
Valerie, I guess Dr. Feelgood wasn't on duty that day.

Jan, I really hope the new joystick setup works. Otherwise, it's a trip back to the storage unit in Longmont with my mom.

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