Re: ER visit...
I went to the ER when I was 20 or so. At the time, I thought I suffered from migraines (they may have been, but looking back, I think they were related to my TMJ issues). I had a particularly bad one when my mom called me to see how I was doing. I picked up the phone and couldn't form words. I just kinda mumbled. She came over to my apartment immediately and took me to the hospital. She had a hard time getting me to the car.
Once we arrived at the hospital, they put me ahead of everyone else (even patients that were bleeding heavily). They gave me a "pain cocktail" shot. They had to observe me for 30 minutes to make sure that it didn't put me into cardiac arrest. It broke through the pain, I still remember the wave of relief as it passed over me.
That night (and a few others come to mind), if I had had a gun at my apartment, I wouldn't be here now. I'm glad I don't own one! It can get so bad sometimes that you literally would do anything to get the pain to go away. Very scary! It's getting better now with my splint therapy and biofeedback techniques. The pain is always there though, just varying levels. It's part of living.