Glassquilt's Jaw for Those Who Haven't Heard the Story
IÂm waiting for surgery to be scheduled to have my left joint replaced.
I have known for almost 20 years that my bite, when IÂm standing, is not the same as when IÂm lying down. Found that out when I got my first crown. I never thought anything of it Â had no idea it wasnÂt normal.
For the past 2 years my bit has been changing. My teeth no longer touch on my right side. My dentist couldn't do anything and sent me to someone who sent me to Loyola. They took a wrap-around X-ray. On the X-ray I could see that my left jaw joint is no longer a ball & socket. It looks like a mushroom or an anvil - the bottom is flat on top. Dr S, at Loyola, told me that was from a traumatic injury sometime ago. For years the two parts have been rubbing against each other and wore away. My left side is now 1cm shorter that the right.
I don't know when I suffered the whatever. I have a vague memory of something happening before I was in school but since both of my parents are gone I'll never know. I have been able to hear a grinding noise in my jaw; that is [i]now[/i] I know it's a grinding noise.
Jan 4,Â06 I had the CT scan done. In order to keep my jaw in place it was wired shut. That was an experience. IÂll bet the subordinate doctor used a dozen shots of Novocain. My face was so numb I had trouble talking to ask directions as I walked from the oral health building to the building with the CT equipment. After the scan another doctor cut the wires the kept my jaws immobile but left the wires wrapped around the teeth in place for future use during the surgery.
The surgery was first scheduled for Feb 28th. It was postponed till April and then put on an indefinite hold because my insurance company felt it wasnÂt necessary at this time. So there where phone calls back & forth between the insurance company & the surgeonÂs office. I saw Dr S July 31st because he was concerned about the wires in my mouth. While I was there, I found out that a copy of the CT scan had never been sent to the insurance company. Bureaucratic mess up between the two staffs apparently. I went to the records department myself, got a copy and hand carried it to my insurance companies office.
Finally I got pre-determination in August. An interesting aside: the women I was talking to at the insurance company told me they were sending the CT downtown for a doctor to look at it. Does that mean the first refusals were made by someone other than a doctor?
In early September I found an online TMJ support group so I now have people to ask questions of Â many of whom have also had surgery. My surgery will be on Halloween Day. In theory IÂm supposed come home the day after. IÂll be on a liquid diet and then food with a soft texture. Mashed potatoes thorough a straw. Pudding. Finely chopped anything (read blender/food processor on counter). Yummy, yummy