It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-22-2003, 08:48 AM   #1
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post Are you able to work with your TMJ?

Hi!

I hope you don't mind me posting another question. I guess I am finally getting up the nerve to post.

I am currently not working. I would love to go back to school or work part-time if I can get my symptoms under control. I am fortunate that my husband can support me financially at this time. Currently, I still have pain, and I am afraid any additional stress would just make everything worse. I have a lot of bad anxiety/depression. The medication I was on was just making my grinding worse, so I am not taking my old medication. I have tried several different medications with the same results of more grinding/clenching.

I was wondering if any of you are able to function in your job with your TMJ? Do you think the stess of a job makes your TMJ worse? I am finding myself isolated from life and wondering if I should continue to put my life on hold due to my TMJ.

Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Michelle W (edited 09-22-2003).]

 
Old 09-22-2003, 09:16 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 630
PINKYPRISCILLA HB User
Post

Hello,

I don't know your history with tmj, but, are you going for treatment?

Based on my personal experience I would say that keeping busy and going to work will help you take your mind off of tmj however, based on my personal experience, you will get bad days, depends on your stress level at your job. If you have a stressful job, maybe switching to a less stress ful job might help. I
had a lot of problems with my supervisor understanding my tmj problems and he was very nasty about it. But I won't let that get me down !!!!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-22-2003, 10:43 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 650
saaraah HB User
Post

i have had to alter my life to accomodate the pain. instead of going to "normal" university, i have been doing it by distance education [online] even tho i live in the city where the university is located. my pain limits me in how much i can read and how much work i can do in one sitting, so i really have to pace myself and hope i dont feel too badly.

also, im currently looking for a part-time job, but it's proving to be extremely difficult because i need something that doesnt include heavy lifting or talking.

im pretty scared of what type of career i'll end up having once im done university, since i cant deal with people.

- saaraah.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 01:26 PM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post

Hi Again,

Pinkypriscilla I had TMJ bilateral arthroplasty done in March 2003. My disc were displaced, so the surgeon put them back in place and pinned them with titanium screws. I could not eat on my right side at all most of 2002. I underwent many splint adjustments last year. Eventually, my TMJ dentist recommended a MRI and referred me to my surgeon. I wear my splint 24/7 since a couple of weeks after surgery. I did the whole PT, liquid diet, soft diet for a couple of months. Currently, I am having splint adjustments with my orthodontist, but my progress is going very slow. My surgeon tells me I am having muscle spasms. I did pretty good for a couple months after my surgery but then something obviously changed. I am trying to sort it all out. It is hard to know what to do with TMJ. You never know what will irritate it. I am glad to hear that you are currently able to work.


 
Old 09-22-2003, 05:33 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 62
20carfan HB User
Post

Hi Michelle,

I have not been able to work for over 6 months as well. I could deal with the TMJ pain, but when the ear ringing and dizziness set in, with the severe clicking and migranes I just couldn't handle even talking to my family. I am at the point where I mostly only talk to people by phone, it hurts too much to use expresssion. And locking for sometimes 6 hours is scary. I go to doctors everyday almost (ear, head, TMJ...) and have been to the ER a few times. My work doesn't care, which I guess I can understand. Im not productive, I can't concentrate on anything, Im a space zombie. Anyway, I applied for the disability insurance though my work. The disability co seems to think TMJ is a joke you should hear the things their "doctors" say to me. I understand your position. I wish I could find a job that required little talking and no lifting.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 07:19 PM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post

Hi to Saaraah and 20carfan,

I am glad to have your responses.

carfan-I think it is awful that the doctors are giving you such a hard time with your disability insurance. I don't understand why there is such discrimination when it comes to TMJD. I don't think the medical profession really understand the problem, so they behave in a negative way.

I am hoping everything will change in the future, but maybe I am dreaming.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:00 PM   #7
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,219
TiffanyAnn HB User
Post

Hi Michelle:
I saw that you live in Joplin Mo. I live right near there too. I saw that you had surgery. Did Dr. Scott Bolding do your surgery? Also, you said you are being treated by your orthodontist, I am also being treated by an orthodontist in Joplin for my TMJ so I was wondering who your orthodontist is?
Thanks,
Tiffany

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:39 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 62
20carfan HB User
Post

Hi Michelle,

Yes it is outrageous that doctors don't care to learn about this disorder. Even my own doctors tell me, "I think your ear & jaw problems may be coming from depression." Don't I wish! At least then someone might take me seriously and have a solution. Today I had to call my neruo to see if there was a good gen. practice doctor that understood TMJd, she said to be honest, she doesn't know of one because she gave up on trying to convince them of the severaity of TMJd symptoms years ago.

It boggles my mind what health and disability insurance companies will and won't cover. Sadly it seems like its all about 'working the system' and codes right.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:43 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 62
20carfan HB User
Post

Oops Michelle, forgot to mention I saw your post about your insurance co saying TMJd is dental, I am not sure but I think there have been some court cases decided in favor of the TMJ patients that TMJ is infact medical, you may want to check with your state, Im not sure where, maybe the local Bar can point you in the right direction.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:46 PM   #10
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post

Tiffany,

This is unbelievable. Yes, Dr. Bolding did my surgery in March of 2003. I am sure we are going to the same orthodontist, because he only recommended one to me in Joplin. I am seeing Dr. LaFerla. I have heard he is good. I have yet to start braces at this time. I would love to hear how you are progressing and anything else you would care to share.

 
Old 09-22-2003, 08:49 PM   #11
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post

Thanks for the information 20carfan

 
Old 09-22-2003, 09:22 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,219
TiffanyAnn HB User
Post

Hi Michelle:
OMG, isn't this a small world. I have refused to have surgery but Dr. Bolding's name keeps coming up as surgeon. That man has made millions off TMJ surgeries in this area. I have a friend who had both TMJ done a year or so ago. It cost her like $14,000. She had to take a loan out to pay it. And what's even more amazing is that I also see Dr. LaFerla. He is the best. He has done wonders for me. He is an excellent orthodontist and a really good human being. This is just too cool. Do you have an upper or lower splint. Mine is a lower. I'm in an occlusal orthotic device. What splint are you in? Dr. LaFerla told me that I have to be stable and without symptoms for at least 6 months before he will do braces. Is this what he told you also?
Tiffany

 
Old 09-23-2003, 07:00 AM   #13
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MO
Posts: 489
Michelle W HB User
Post

Yes, I am really surprised we go to the same orthodontist. Huh, I can hardly believe it. I guess you never know who you will run into online. You know I am not exactly sure what kind of splint I am wearing. I will ask Dr. LaFerla today. It is an upper splint, and it is hard plastic. I didn't realize there are different kinds of splints until I came to this board. I wore one similar to this for a couple of years only at night. I had to have a new one made after surgery. My old broke off in the back probably due to so many splint adjustments.

Yes, the surgery was very expensive. My surgery was as expensive as your friend's surgery. I also had to take out a loan. My hubby and I took out a home equity loan to pay for it. It really bites to be honest. I had such a hard time trying to decide last year whether or not to have the surgery. I was so scared, and I didn't find this web site until after surgery.

My braces are also going to be expensive, but I am going to pay them out.

You mentioned your friend had surgery last year. How is she doing? Does she feel she is any better off? I would love to know how she is progressing as I have no one to compare my situation with at this time.

I mentioned earlier that I had the bilateral arthroplasty. The surgeon put my disc back in place and pinned them with the titanium rod/screw device. I did have splint adjustments most of last year, so I feel like my dentist worked with me.

Have you actually seen Dr. Bolding? If so how did you feel your consult went?

You mentioned the braces with Dr. LaFerla. I am six months post op. My bite is still changing some. He feels it is due to my muscles continuing to relax. Basically, he wants me to be symptom free or minimal symptoms for a couple of months prior to starting the braces, but I haven't gotten that far. I also read in a book by an expert that you should not start moving the teeth around until you are almost symptoms free.

I think I have been seeing doctor LaFerla for about four months. I am not due for a splint adjustment for two to three more weeks, but I am going in today. I have a worn spot on the right side with a little hole. I want him to check it out. Plus I am having some spasm on the left side while eating. TMJD is such a complicated syndrome.

Did I answer all your questions? I would love to hear more about your situation and your friend's experience since surgery.

I will check back several times today to see if you are able to post. I am currently not working outside of my home.

 
Old 09-23-2003, 06:35 PM   #14
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,219
TiffanyAnn HB User
Post

Hi Michelle:
I was thinking the same thing about being online and never knowing who you might meet. I mean, Joplin isn't all that big of a community. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool to have run into at least one other who lives in my area. You could be in the same splint I am in. Before he made my splint I asked him if it was possible to make a lower splint rather than an upper splint because I've had both over time but I've learned that the lower splint is so much easier to speak with. He said either one was fine so he made me a lower splint. Mine is also hard plastic and it has two little pieces of wire in it with like little balls on the end. He said these help hold the splint in place and he has found these work better with adults. I'm not sure if he does that only on the lower splints though. Does your also have these in it? I guess it's a good thing that I am so hard headed. Several dentists have suggested surgery to me but I have always been very determined not to allow surgery on my jaws. I've had other surgeries in my lifetime and what I learned from those is this, once surgery is done on any joint or any part of the body that joint is never the same again. I was just too afraid to allow surgery to be done on my jaws. The surgery you had is what has been suggested to me. My left side is the only side that is bad. I had an MRI done and the left disc is displaced.

My friend who has surgery done by Dr. Bolden is doing pretty well now. She doesn't live close by anymore so I don't talk to her as often as I used to but I did run into her mom in the store last week and she said she's doing well. She is supposed to be down this coming weekend. If I see her, which I sure hope I will, I'll ask her about her surgery and progress and let you know what she says ok.

I have not seen Dr. Bolding myself. The reason I didn't see him is this, when I was searching for someone to treat my TMJ I kept hearing Dr. Bolding's name. When I called the office in Joplin I discovered that Dr. Bolding does not work out of that office daily. He comes down here once a week or every two weeks. I was interested in ONLY splint therapy. I had no interest in surgery at all. The receptionist told me that Dr. Bolding sees you and then refers you to a local dentist to do the splint surgery and charges you $125.00 for that referral. I felt like that was ripping me off because I have the ability to call around to local dentists to treat me with splints. Dr. Bolding would not be doing the actual splint therapy, he would only get involved when the high dollars came into play, $urgery$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. That upset me alot so I started making calls to the dentists locally and several mentioned Dr. LaFerla. In fact his name was one of the names Dr. Bolding's office mentioned. The one name they kept mentioning was Dr. Detar but he had treated me a few years before and I felt his care lacked a great deal and he is very expensive so I was not interested in investing more money with him. So, no I never met with Dr. Bolding.

What Dr. LaFerla said about braces to me was that he wants his TMJ patients to be six months symptom free before he will put them in braces. I got my splint about 2 months ago. I have done extremely well with it until last week I had a slight setback. My muscles got very tight and I was in alot of pain. I went in to see Dr. LaFerla and he did an adjustment and told me he will see me this coming Thursday. I am doing much better already. I am back to about the same place I was before the setback. I think what caused the setback for me was I had been under extreme stress for a week or two and I think I just tightened up all over. So, I think I will be starting all over on the 6 months countdown but that's ok with me. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Boy, you said it, TMJ is extremely complicated and frusrtating too. What I think is most frustrating is that there are no guidelines for treatment so it seems each are treating the way they think is best.

Here is my story. I've had TMJ for about 23 years. It began right after having my braces removed. I put up with it for many years and had been through several different types of splints with no success. About 3 years ago I began having much more pain and began looking for treatment once again. I had not had much success in finding anyone to treat me until finding Dr. LaFerla. I have been in an upper splint, an NTI, a lower night guard type splint and now this occlusal orthotic device. I have had great success with this splint. Since beginning with this splint I have gotten rid of the killer headaches I used to have every single day. These headaches were so bad I felt like if I ran as fast as I could and rammed my head into a brick wall it couldn't hurt worse. My jaw has not locked up since beginning with this splint. Only those few days last week did I have much popping in the joint. I've had very little pain since starting with this splint. I feel that this splint treatment is a success. Sorry this is so long. Anything else I didn't cover please ask and I will write about it.
Tiffany

 
Old 09-23-2003, 06:37 PM   #15
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,219
TiffanyAnn HB User
Post

Hi Michelle:
I was thinking the same thing about being online and never knowing who you might meet. I mean, Joplin isn't all that big of a community. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool to have run into at least one other who lives in my area. You could be in the same splint I am in. Before he made my splint I asked him if it was possible to make a lower splint rather than an upper splint because I've had both over time but I've learned that the lower splint is so much easier to speak with. He said either one was fine so he made me a lower splint. Mine is also hard plastic and it has two little pieces of wire in it with like little balls on the end. He said these help hold the splint in place and he has found these work better with adults. I'm not sure if he does that only on the lower splints though. Does your also have these in it? I guess it's a good thing that I am so hard headed. Several dentists have suggested surgery to me but I have always been very determined not to allow surgery on my jaws. I've had other surgeries in my lifetime and what I learned from those is this, once surgery is done on any joint or any part of the body that joint is never the same again. I was just too afraid to allow surgery to be done on my jaws. The surgery you had is what has been suggested to me. My left side is the only side that is bad. I had an MRI done and the left disc is displaced.

My friend who has surgery done by Dr. Bolden is doing pretty well now. She doesn't live close by anymore so I don't talk to her as often as I used to but I did run into her mom in the store last week and she said she's doing well. She is supposed to be down this coming weekend. If I see her, which I sure hope I will, I'll ask her about her surgery and progress and let you know what she says ok.

I have not seen Dr. Bolding myself. The reason I didn't see him is this, when I was searching for someone to treat my TMJ I kept hearing Dr. Bolding's name. When I called the office in Joplin I discovered that Dr. Bolding does not work out of that office daily. He comes down here once a week or every two weeks. I was interested in ONLY splint therapy. I had no interest in surgery at all. The receptionist told me that Dr. Bolding sees you and then refers you to a local dentist to do the splint surgery and charges you $125.00 for that referral. I felt like that was ripping me off because I have the ability to call around to local dentists to treat me with splints. Dr. Bolding would not be doing the actual splint therapy, he would only get involved when the high dollars came into play, $urgery$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. That upset me alot so I started making calls to the dentists locally and several mentioned Dr. LaFerla. In fact his name was one of the names Dr. Bolding's office mentioned. The one name they kept mentioning was Dr. Detar but he had treated me a few years before and I felt his care lacked a great deal and he is very expensive so I was not interested in investing more money with him. So, no I never met with Dr. Bolding.

What Dr. LaFerla said about braces to me was that he wants his TMJ patients to be six months symptom free before he will put them in braces. I got my splint about 2 months ago. I have done extremely well with it until last week I had a slight setback. My muscles got very tight and I was in alot of pain. I went in to see Dr. LaFerla and he did an adjustment and told me he will see me this coming Thursday. I am doing much better already. I am back to about the same place I was before the setback. I think what caused the setback for me was I had been under extreme stress for a week or two and I think I just tightened up all over. So, I think I will be starting all over on the 6 months countdown but that's ok with me. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Boy, you said it, TMJ is extremely complicated and frusrtating too. What I think is most frustrating is that there are no guidelines for treatment so it seems each are treating the way they think is best.

Here is my story. I've had TMJ for about 23 years. It began right after having my braces removed. I put up with it for many years and had been through several different types of splints with no success. About 3 years ago I began having much more pain and began looking for treatment once again. I had not had much success in finding anyone to treat me until finding Dr. LaFerla. I have been in an upper splint, an NTI, a lower night guard type splint and now this occlusal orthotic device. I have had great success with this splint. Since beginning with this splint I have gotten rid of the killer headaches I used to have every single day. These headaches were so bad I felt like if I ran as fast as I could and rammed my head into a brick wall it couldn't hurt worse. My jaw has not locked up since beginning with this splint. Only those few days last week did I have much popping in the joint. I've had very little pain since starting with this splint. I feel that this splint treatment is a success. Sorry this is so long. Anything else I didn't cover please ask and I will write about it.
Tiffany

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Will I be able to work ever again? 10sox Back Problems 4 07-10-2008 07:00 PM
How will I know when I am able to return to work? mckesscl Fibromyalgia 3 12-20-2007 08:10 AM
feeling good on meds.... but will i ever be able to come off of them? shellshell82 Depression 3 06-13-2007 10:34 AM
Are you able to keep your jobs?? julie10 Multiple Sclerosis 17 06-03-2007 07:06 PM
How are you able work? kayda Lyme Disease 6 10-06-2006 10:07 PM




« Buff | Swelling? »
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Botox
Flexeril
Ibuprofen
Klonopin Motrin
  Neurontin
Tylenol
Valium
Vioxx
Xanax




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



MountainReader (78), Canuck65 (37), Shirlett (26), TMJ82 (22), Jill 227 (17), judye (16), Marlene (13), navymid (10), clencher1 (9), lancewan (8)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1006), Apollo123 (906), Titchou (852), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:29 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!