Thursday, November 26, 2009


For all you Americans out there, Happy Thanksgiving! It's funny, this year I am thankful for an odd thing.

I haven't said anything on here, but I've been a little discouraged again about the face. I'm still not quite used to it, and it's been pretty swollen between the root canal and new rubber bands and a minor sinus infection - which I'm sure hasn't helped the matter. However, today after running I decided to take the extra 15 minutes and blowdry my hair - after it was done, I realized that I really like my new face today. The new haircut accentuates my new jawline and new chin and it really is flattering. Maybe I should dry my hair more often :) So, I'm thankful for becoming used to my face.

I haven't posted a picture for a while, and I'm not sure it's even really changing much anymore, but here you go - along with pictures of the new rubberband configuration at my orthodontist appointment this past Tuesday. He told me that the reason for my root canal was a cavity that had become irritated, and there was really no way for it to become painful due to the shortening of the roots (phew!). They changed both of my wires out, gave me lots of new hooks again, added the metal lacing between the front brackets on top and bottom again, added some rubber tie-backs from my incisors to the back teeth to close those gaps again, kept me in my old rubber band configuration and added new crazy ones up front. I'm allowed to take them out while I'm teaching now to help aid with my jaw pain in the right joint, but he wants me to try to hit 18 hours a day, and then 24 (minus eating and brushing) on weekends and any breaks. Luckily, my next appointment is a month earlier than it normally would be - in mid January. Hurray!

Also, with the jaw pain/ lack of range of motion, the heated rice sock has continued to decrease my jaw pain. For the first time since surgery (edging on 5 months now) I can yawn without severe pain. Whenever I'd accidently yawn fully my right joint would SCREAM. Now, no pain! I'm not sure if it's the rice that has done it or if it's because my ROM has increased (still at 20 sticks) and now yawning doesn't strain the joint, but I'll take it.


Jackie said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so glad to hear that the rice sock has helped and your not having as much pain...that is so awesome!

I totally agree with you about your hair. It is a great cut for look so different and GREAT! And by all means, if blow drying your hair gives you that extra confidence...make sure you do it everyday :)

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Rainne said...

You are absolutely stunning, Steph.

Melinda said...

aw Steph - what a great thing to be thankful for!

Andrea said...

Hi Stephanie, I just read the last bits of your blog and I see why you follow mine - the same painful jaw joint problem! Poor you!

I can only recommend the nortryptiline... basically I feel my jaw joint problem has gone and it dominated my life. Too much pain, not enough movement.

I notice ZERO other side effects. I'm on 20mg each night now. As an antidepressant you take something like 100mg so I certainly don't feel I'm on antidepressents or anything. Apparently it can make some people wakeful at night and if so they need to take amitryptiline instead, which is more sedating (but you take a lower dose of the ami).

Also in answer to your questions: I used to be able to get 3.5 fingers in mouth before surgery, now I'm scraping 3 but feel I will get there. Only since I started this drug did I get the mobility breakthrough and, at the same time, the pain disappeared.

You don't seem to actually say it in your blog but your pain and movement problems are exaclty like mine and therefore due to a displaced disc in the tmj joint? The disc is moved by a muscle called the lateral pteragoid and it gets upset sometimes by surgery and doesn't move the disc properly in the joint (well that's what my phsysiotherapist told me) but it can come right!! I'm sure yours will!

Andrea said...

Hi again Stephanie - I am so glad to be of comfort. I know how you feel. I was desperate to hear about someone who had the same thing and it got better! I searched and searched but found very little.
OK, disc: my surgeon was the first to tell me that's what it was. At one stage it was so bad I was practically falling over with the pain when it did its shooting thing. He did a joint flushing thing called an arthrocentesis which was GREAT at first but the pain came back.
I asked him to recommend a phsyio (he didn't suggest it). He recommended a woman who has a great reputation but specialises in hands, and she recommended me to my guy, who is a head and neck specialist.
The physio suggested the drug. I am anti-medication but as you will appreciate I was desperate. I went to my general practicioner (family doctor)to get the prescription. Mistake. They know very little about tmj problems. Very upsetting. But then when I telephoned my surgeon he wrote the prescription straight away - it really is an accepted treatment (and I wish he'd suggested it himself ages ago).
One other thing I found comforting, which my surgeon told me, is that the condyle (bit of bone where lower jaw goes into upper) remodels itself over time in a way that makes the joint 'work better'. I guess our jaws and joints have had such a massive radical change that something gives sometimes... but the body is very good at healing if you give it time.

knut NO said...

cool pic:)do you hawe headgear too?