| | Osteomyelitis Lower Jaw
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in the lower jaw. One morning, I woke up in pain and my intuition told me that I had an infection in the jaw bone. I almost immediately got to an oral surgeon. I told him that I thought I had a bone infection and he told me that was just not possible. He said, "I told you last time that you have TMJ and you need a night guard." I persisted to tell him that the sympotoms got better after taking antiboitics. He said, "I think for you antiboitics are like a placebo." His attitude was annoying, however, I got him to take a CT scan. In the CT scan he found a mass in my lower jaw and ordered a biopsy right away. His staff misplaced the paperwork so it took about two months to get the biopsy, but it showed that I had inflammation in the bone, but no irregular bacteria.
To make a long story a little longer, I have had 2 more biopsies with other oral surgeons all of whom were trying to prove that I don't have osteoymyelitis, but the lab results come back saying chronic inflammation in the bone, which results in a diagnosis of either chronic diffuse sclerosing osteoymyelitis or just chronic osteomyelitis of the lower mandibul.
The ID doctor, who is amazing, put me on a year of antiboitics and 6 months of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. After 6 months the pain and flu like symptoms had almost decreased to nothing. I was finally feeling like myself again, but slowly the symptoms returned. My HMO insurance sent me to another Facial Surgery Specialist who thought I had been misdiagnosed and did another biopsy only to find the same thing on both sides of the lower jaw-chronic inflammation.
I have a history of tiny fractures in my teeth, none of which has been detected in an x-ray. I have always had to beg the endodontists to open up the teeth. The first place that discovered the issues with my teeth were at the University of Washington. It was a professor in the emergency clinic in the days before I had health insurance. I went 6 times for a pain in my tooth. Finally the doctor, used a laser and found that I had no enamel left on my teeth. She then noticed that I had a brown spot on the tooth that appeared to be a cavity. But once they opened the tooth, they found that brown spot went all the way down into the root of the tooth. The head professor came over and put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry, this must have been very painful." The nerve was so inflammed that the tooth could not get numb but a root canal was performed as I squirmed in my chair. But what a relief it was to finally get that root canal. This was in my early 20's and I'm now 44. I have been through this same scenario almost 14 times. I'm not going through this again with the newest oral facial surgeon. When I tried to explain he said, "I don't look at the history, I look at the science." I'm working full time and trying to act like I'm fine, but I'm in a lot of pain and I'm so frustrated. I feel like this will never end. Luckily, I have faith in my ID doctor and I'm doing positive afirmations and meditation. I was hoping that if I shared this, it might help someone or it might help me to get this off my chest.