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Old 08-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
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Fuzzy Brained

Good Evening my TMJ Friends,
My family is concerned that I'm fuzzy brained. They say that this has been going on for the past year or so. Does anyone else have this problem.
Just to lay the groundwork, I was assaulted 25 years ago. I was beaten about the head, being punched 15-20 times. Initially the left side was dislocated and needed an arthroplasty just a few weeks later. I've had everytreament known to man since then. I'm currently scheduled for bilateral joint replacement on Sept. 25th.
My meds include a Fentanyl patch, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Trazadone, and Norco for break through pain.
I promised my husband that I would ask you guys if my fuzzy brained, scatter brained issues are TMJ or medication related. Oh, my symptoms include forgetting things that I say or that others say, and having a tough time coming up with words. I can explain what I mean, describing things or people, but it takes a bit for me to come up with the word.
Thanks for all of your help.
Here's to a pain free minute, hour, or in my dreams, Day!

Old 08-14-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: Fuzzy Brained

I can relate to this issue - I went from a very demanding job that required staying on top of every client or personnel issue, where being organized and remembering details was critical - to suddenly not being able to remember the simplest things - like socks on first then shoes. I was always a bit absentminded at home with misplacing keys, eye glasses, shoes, etc but this was so different - I couldn't remember things said to me 5 mins earlier and I had a hard time focusing (if not comprehending) what others said to me.

In addition to the head and face pain and head and ear noise - well - it just felt like there was too much going on in my brain and it had overload - and no room for anything else. I called it brain fog as that is what it felt like - cobwebs or a cloud impairing my cognitive abilities. It also affected my handwriting and ability to type (almost every letter in each word would get reversed- like dyslexia but not with reading but with writing or typing).

My family thought I was just not paying attention (????) and my med dr thought it might be vascular or neurologicial and sent me for every test he could think of.

I thought is was due to the intense level of pain and lack of sleep - so I eventually went on triavil and baclofen - I slept more but the brain fog remained if not worsened. So I put up with it and started doing whatever I could to help me through the day - like making lists of things to do, keeping an appt calendar with notes, etc. This really didn't help though in terms of being able to carry on a simple conversation.

During this time I tried various alternative therapies as I went from dentist to dentist and noticed one day the "fog" was breaking up a bit - around the same time the ear and head noises finally started to ease up as well. It was intermittent at first and then I started getting several hours and eventualy days that I felt more clear headed. It was kind of like slowly waking up from a bad dream.

I still get bouts of it - sometimes for several days and then it will ease up again but they seem to coincide with the days the facial and head pain are more intense as well so I am pretty sure there is a relationship there and that medication only adds to it.

I now only take meds on really bad days - and try not to get frustrated or angry with myself during those days as I know they will eventually pass - so there may be hope that once you have the surgery - if things go well and your symptoms either lessen in severity or are resolved and you are able to ease off your meds you may see a return of your "old self".

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Old 08-15-2009, 07:04 AM   #3
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Re: Fuzzy Brained

Thank you for your response. I've thought for some time that I was the only one who lived with this brain fog. I continue to work, I'm a Special Ed Teacher. Like you I continually make lists to stay on the straight and narrow. I'll start the school year next week, and work for about a month before I go out for the surgery. I'm hoping that once I return to work I'll be feeling better and thinking more clearly.
I also get to the point where my brain just can't process any more information. This is really a challenge with my daughter who has Asperger Syndrome. She has difficulties reading social cues and can't understand why I get to the point where I need a break.
I've gotten very good at smiling or laughing when others are smiling, or laughing even when I've lost track of the conversation, as in, my brain just can't process any more info.
Thanks for all of your support Thelma, or is it Louise? I really appreciate it. I'll keep you posted.

Old 08-15-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mobile, AL, USA
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Re: Fuzzy Brained

I am VERY fuzzy headed with my TMJ and it's related to muscle spasms near the ear causing a vestibular disturbance. When I first experienced this I thought I was losing my mind and it gave me horrible anxiety. After several medication trials I found that, while this did not cure it, valium helped the most with what I was suffering from. It lessened the spasms (pterygoid, tensor veli palatini) and decreased the anxiety associated with it. I was no longer house bound and could hold a job which was great.

* Disallowed website link and related information removed by hb-mod, moderator * see a psychiatrist about perhaps getting on an older anxiety med (valium or klonopin) to help with spasms. These are WAY cheaper than muscle relaxers and knock out a lot of the pressure behind the eyes.

Last edited by hb-mod; 08-15-2009 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Please don't post disallowed links as per Posting Policy. Thanks.

Old 08-15-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: Fuzzy Brained

Dear Velvetrance,
Wow! This makes sense. I've never heard of or thought about a vestibular disturbance. I've had some issues with my balance lately in addition to the pain, and of course the fuzzy brained issues. I've also never heard about the spasms that you mention. I'm definitely going to do some research on the spasms you talk about as well as the vestibular disturbance.
I've got an appointment next week with my GP. He manages all of my meds, and has studies the psych meds extensively. I'll take a summary of the research that I do, and I'm sure that he'll help me.
I am so very blessed to have found this forum. I didn't know how much I didn't know about TMJ. I'm learning more every day.
Thank you for you input and support.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Old 08-15-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mobile, AL, USA
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Re: Fuzzy Brained

I started posting on this forum about two years ago when I had no idea what was going on and knew that TMJ had something to do with it.

TMJ will give you vertigo and vertigo itself is debilitating. That is where the fuzzy feeling is coming from. It's like you are in a dream when really it's a muscle spasm thats affecting your balance. That's the part a lot of people don't get.

With TMJ there is always some kind of muscle spasm. Your teeth are not geared and the muscles are compensating. With some it's more severe than others. But walking around in a fog is scary and irritating because people don't understand how frightening it is.

I don't know how likely a GP is to give you valium but they may be able to help you get somewhere that will moderate that. I have no insurance so it's the only muscle relaxant I can afford.

Read up on vestibular disturbances and you will be amazed at what you find.

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