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Grab the extinguisher

November 15, 2007

I feel like my skull is about to burst open and release the fires of hell. That’s the only thing that could possibly cause this painful of a headache.

See, I have temporomandibular disorder. Saying the name alone is enough to cause the disorder, so it’s more often called TMD (or TMJ, depending on who’s doing the calling). Basically, my the disc my jaw rides on when it opens slips out of place, causing the bones to ride on each other instead of the disc. It causes jaw pain and tiredness, and it also causes these rip-roaring headaches that are accompanied by neckaches.

I’ve been through the first step in remedying the disorder without much success. I’m not in pain nearly as frequently as before, but it hasn’t stopped entirely, which is what I would call fixed.

The next step starts with seeing an oral surgeon who specializes in the disorder. I’ve had a referral to one near me for a few months now, but I haven’t gotten around to going.

Why? Because I’m a big, feathery chicken. I’ve never had surgery. And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that jaw surgery sounds nothing like a walk in the park. I envision wires and scars and general displeasure.

Plus, my jaw hasn’t acted up since I got that referral, and I’m kind of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kinda girl. That tends to make things easier on me.

But this pain. It’s driven me to go back through my e-mails and find the note from the referral person. I now have the doctor’s name and phone number written down on a post-it note next to me, just waiting for me to actually call.

So while going to see the oral surgeon is the next step in fixing me, the real next step is picking up the phone. And I’m having a really hard time with that.

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