A little over a week and half ago, I woke up with awful tightness running from the top of my left ear, all the way down through my jaw. It hurt to open my mouth, eat, yawn — staring at it for too long in the mirror made it hiss and growl.
Moaning my way into the kitchen, my mother-in-law, a nurse, told me that it could be a couple of things, the likeliest of which being either a sinus infection or a rotten tooth. I pooh-poohed at the latter (My scruples for dental-hygiene eliminated this possibility right away.) and chalked it up to a sinus infection, seeing that I quite definitely have inherited the WORST allergies on the planet. Those of you who suffer with me, you know . . . Anyhow, I figured, like a bruise, it would go away on its own. Regrettably, optimism was short-lived when a day later my jaw began clicking in and out of place, sliding clear across the width of my face with every chomp. (Picture a cow chewing its cud, and behold me in all my elegance.) For someone who loves her food and works very hard to reward herself, I was bereft, let me tell you. By now this had been going on for about 4 days and I was starting to get a little nervous. I decided to give my chiropractor a call to see if he had any idea why I was beginning to display signs indicative of Emily Rose. I’ve included a picture for your convenience.
So . . .
Something had to be done, right? Right. Dr. Black, my chiropractor, said he believed I was suffering from TMJ. “Too much juice?” I asked him. The gracious man he is, he overlooked my terrible joke and invited me to come in as soon as I could. My distended jaw — Carl, I named it — and I left immediately. Continue reading