TMD and disability
Hi everyone. I am new to this board. I have suffered from TMD for 6 years now. I recently filed for disability and would like to know how many of you have filed for disability due to TMD and how many of you were awarded it. I will also list my symptoms and treatments and I would like to know your opinions on my chances for getting disability. My pain started in the left side of my neck and slowly moved into my jaw and ear and now even my right side has clicking and pain. My jaw has never locked open and I can still open my mouth wide enough to eat a big mac. I do have pain and clicking on both sides of my jaw every single day. Some days are more tolerable than others. On my worst days I have no energy and can't get my mind off my pain. Those days are living hell and I sometimes think that I would rather be dead than endure it. On my good days I can still notice it but it doesn't slow me down much. I have seen Chiropractors, Oral Surgeons, MD's, Dentists, Orthodontists, Physical therapists and Psychiatrists. Popular opinion is that stress and anxiety contribute to my TMD and that's why I have seen a Psychiatrist. He put me on Prozac and it doesn't help. I have had my wisdom teeth out and I think that it got marginally worse after that. I have had 2 splints made but they don't work. The problem with the splints is that I'm a side to side teeth grinder and my teeth don't stay in the grooves. I had an MRI done on my neck but not jaw. The MRI revealed 2 herniated discs in my neck. My doctor said my neck and jaw pain were not related and that I could live with my herniated discs. He said surgery would be risky and I would be best off seeing a physical therapist for my neck and a TMD specialist for my jaw. So that's what I did. Neither did me any good. All I accomplished was blowing alot of my $7500 lifetime max my insurance had toward TMD treatment. The splint cost $1000 big ones by itself and it was total junk. It broke in half the first day I wore it. I got a second one for free and it hasn't broke yet but I quit wearing it after a few weeks because I could easily tell it was making things worse. The Orthodontist I saw wanted to put braces on my teeth. He said I would wear them for 3 years and they would be very visible and unattractive and he couldn't guarantee that they would help. So I declined that treatment. I have had cortizone and it didn't help. I was laid off at my job and had to cobra my health insurance until my daughter was born. After that I couldn't afford dishing out $650 bucks for insurance. So now any TMD treatment I get is coming out of my pocket and I just can't afford it. The one thing I wish I would have done was get an MRI of the TMJ. I'm pretty sure there is severe tissue damage in my jaw. My left side has went from a clicking to a mooshing sound when I open and close. The right side still clicks and I have burning and a feeling of fullness in both ears. I got a new job and worked there for 8 months before the pain forced me to quit. My new insurance wouldn't cover pre-existing conditions for the first 18 months of enrollment. It wouldn't even cover my chiropractor visits. So I lived in pain everyday. I don't have much money and I'm gonna live off my tiny nest egg for the 4 months of waiting to see if I get disability. My wife is working but her income alone leaves us well short of paying the bills. Im praying that I get my disability benefits the first try because if I don't, I will have to get another job and live in pain just so I can provide for my family. I paid in for 15 years and I hope it comes through for me when I truly need it.