Since the surgery 2/18 the horrid TMJ pain has not returned. I am trying everyday to not allow myself to live with fear of the real pain returning. I have learned my own left mandiable is not strong enough nor is there enough of it for me to live without the implant. I will be returning to Shands on May 31 st & surgery will be scheduled then to re-implant a new left Mandible from TMJ Concepts. The feeling started returning to my face about 4 weeks ago. My chin is now the only numb place. It has been 9 years since I have had feeling in my face. Only negative thing is now when I get my eyebrows waxed I am gonna feel it!
To ALL my TMJ sisters & brothers...NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!! TMJ treatment has moved forward so much in the past twenty years and it continues to move forward...ask some of the veterans what "treatment" they were receiving 20-25 years ago!! Today there is no "cure" for TMJ BUT there are ways to help reduce pain & return function. I NEVER EVER thought I would live pain free again in this life I also NEVER thought I would undergo 19 surgeries but here I am! None of us will walk the exact same TMJ Path but we can ALL relate to the never ending pain, the discomfort, the why me, the abuse from non TMJers, just because YOU do not see it does NOT mean I am not living in horrid uncontrollable PAIN...I NEVER gave up HOPE! The first meeting with my current OS almost 14 years ago he asked me what I wanted him to do & my response was fix me put me back together & make the TMJ go away! He told me to my face he could NOT do that BUT he would TRY to reduce my pain level & with hope get me some function back. After recovering from the shock of knowing the TMJ would never go away my focus for HOPE was on being in less pain even if that only ment one day a month i could have just 6-12 hours of NO HORRID PAIN & maybe I might be able to expand my diet....let me clarify MY term for "HORRID PAIN" the pain is so intense you are unable to think clearly, when you try & take a deep breath the pain buckles your knees, there is NO ESCAPE from the pain, there is no pain medication that will make it go away just slightly dull it long enough for me to fall asleep & try to escape my own body, crying only made the pain worse, I was amazed that my heart could keep beating with such intense pain and MANY times I thought there was no way the pain could ever intensify and it would. That is what I thought the rest of my life was going to be. I begged my husband many times to divorce me & take the kids because I did not want them to see me suffering so much & I was not able to be a part go their lives he refused & stood by me. Pain & TMJ was my life & ruled my life then I made the decision to NOT BE A VICTIM & take my body back..I REFUSED TO ALLOW THE TMJ TO RULE ME AND DICTATE WHO I WAS. Yes I have TMJ but TMJ does NOT HAVE ME! It is NOT who I AM! I NEVER GAVE UP HOPE & when I was down I reminded myself there is ALWAYS SOMEONE OUT THERE IN A WORSE SITUATION THAN I WAS...my husband stood by me, I had my kids and my parents, my sisters and a lot of family that loved & encouraged me to not give in and to not give up HOPE. It is okay to have "bad days" & "pity me days" right along with the "why me" BUT then you pick yourself up off the floor because tomorrow is a brand new day and anything can happen! Just try & stay as positive as you can, tomorrow WILL come! I am here, if someone needs to talk. Remember you ARE NOT ALONE! This is a great place to get support & understanding...it is hard for those around us that do not have TMJ to REALLY, REALLY understand what you are experiencing and going through, sometimes it can even be hard for you yourself to grasp what is happening to you & what you are experiencing. That is TMJ. We are ALL stronger than we know & until we are forced to tap in to that inner strength it is very hard to see the path in front of you and not fall into the sink holes.
Stay strong and Take Care!