Re: juulie - are you out there?
Hi pwc, how nice of you to think about me. I'm glad to hear you are slowing starting the recovery. I guess at this point,that's the best you can hope for.
I had a fourth surgical opinion a couple weeks ago from a Dr. at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. He is the only one that is not recommending joint surgery at this point. I have a bad open bite and a midline shift and he said that because my main complaint is excruiating headaches (not joint pain), he suggested botox in the masseters and temporalis muscles and a change in my splints. I had LOTS of botox on April 29 (3 vials) and it should be working by now but hasn't touched the headaches. This is actually my second round of botox... I had the first in January. My regular TMJ doc, whom I've been seeing for 2 years, is convinced the problem is coming from the joint. He actually called the Mayo doctor and they talked. My splints were changed two weeks ago but no relief. I have a headache today that is so bad no amount of muscle relaxers or pain med's are touching it. And to top it off, I have meetings today so I have to be on my best behavior and can't go home.
I see my regular TMJ doctor this afternoon so I am sure he will have some insight. He believes that arthroscopy (which is what another surgeon wants to do next) will be a waste of time and $$ and that I need a disectomy without replacement. The Christensen implant has been offered to me but I don't want it. So I am trying to decide what to do. As you know there is no easy solution. I can honestly say that I have tried EVERY OPTION at this point and surgery is my only other option. I don't want to do it and have resisted for quite some time. But I am only 32 and can't live the rest of my life this way. I can't believe I have been able to work through the pain but I need the health insurance and the money. My husband has taken the brunt of it as I pretty much go to work then come home and sleep. I think I will have to take a chance on surgery.
I'll let you know what my doc says today. Thanks again and take care of youself.