Thanks for the support.
I don't know what the solution really is.
I am totally against a person who has never had surgery ever having surgery on the Tmj...OK. There are exceptions...facial deformaties...the like.
My first surgery was when I was 13. I really didn't have a choice...my mom made it for me. She thought she was making the most informed decision she could...there was no internet back in those days.
I had a total of 6 bilateral procedures......and, the last one worked. It worked to the point where I threw out my bite splints, my therabite, my CPM unit. Gone, in the trash. That open joint procedure gave me my life back. I didn't have the opportunity to have most of the normal moments teenagers have...because of the tmj. But, I was determined to enjoy my 20's. And, I did. The last surgery, an open joint procedure w/ear cartilage grafts, saved my life. I was close to suicide, at that point, due to the pain...I couldn't deal with it. But, as soon as I woke up from that surgery in 93, WOW
amazing. I felt weightless. And, for the next 11 years, I earned an AA, a BA, and a MS degree....People always stated to me I wouldn't even finish high school...well, ha ha
I excelled in college.
Since I bit on that screw last year, I've backslided. I am partially angry because the restaurant is doing nothing to help with my medical expenses...they say, "you had a medical history" SO what!!! I've never had to be on a pain patch before. And, never once, did doctors ever say, "I recommend a total joint replacement." They are confusing muscle spasms and flare ups with a joint issue that was caused by biting on a metal screw...ah!!!
Second, I am angry at myself and what this is doing to my life. I lived this once. And, I feel like.., "What did I really learn?" Think about it. I am just as upset, angry, sad as I was then. I really don't know if I have really grown as a person.
I was hired almost 2 years ago at my dream job, teaching AA degrees at college....I was an ace at it, a pro. Now, I can barely get through my one class.
I usually run to the restroom to break down and cry, because of the pain.
I am constantly afraid of losing this job....and, this intensifies with the impending surgery and recup period.
And, I rarely go out with friends. Some have dropped off the face of the earth...they were insensitive to what I faced. One had the audacity to say (about my rapid weight loss due to a liquid diet and the severe pain), "I wish I had that problem." Nice, huh? Besides that, I am in too much pain most times to even attempt being a social butterfly.
In terms of the money situation, I really believe there is a solution...but, not my family. I tried my brothers and my half sister...they won't return my calls or emails, great family, huh? My mom is ill. She is 67. I can not do what her other kids have....to take money from her. She deserves some peace.
I went to my brothers because I feel they shell some of the money responsibility. There was money to treat this, back in the early 90's. They accepted checks...from my mom...for new cars, trips, and furniture...that would at least have covered my treatment to now, my ded. and copays for surgery and hospitalization, and money to live on while I recup. Yes, my mom gave them the checks; but, they were old enough to realize that their sister had medical issues facing her.
So, as I sit here this night, pumped full of morphine...I just pray that God will take care of this. If it means I lose my apartment, my car, my job..then so be it. I just want my life back the way it was before may 15, 04.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words.