Sunday, December 27, 2009

jaw surgeon visit, part billion

Went back to the jaw surgeon last Tuesday. Nothing happened - she seemed surprised I was in rubber bands, told me she didn't want to do any injections into my jaw joint (a combination of steroids, anti-inflammatories, fluid, and pain medication) until I was out of the rubber bands, because it's a bit major and it won't do anything if I'm still banded. She gave me a prescription for vicoden and told me to come back in - in a month - if it was the same (and I was out of rubber bands). The injection will take anesthesia - laughing gas type - and it can be done in her office.

I didn't even fill the prescription. I'm concerned about taking too many pain-killers like vicoden and percocet - high addiction profiles. PLUS, I really feel that those types of pain killers are for pain that I can't handle. And I can handle this pain, it just sucks. And wakes me up a lot at night.

I immediately called my orthodontist, but they were already out for the holidays. My joint pain is still wretched. I still have no side-to-side or forward-to-back motion in my jaw (less than 1mm change in either direction is possible, even when I push as hard as I can). My ROM is pretty much exactly the same, 28mm this time (but I'm sure I could have stretched it to the 29 I got last time). Nothing is improving, and she seems to think it's all because of the rubber bands so I guess I'm trusting her.

We talked about why this is happening - the angle of my lower jaw is quite extreme - in 'ideal' jaws it's close to parallel to the floor, mine is a very steep angle from the lower jaw joint to the chin. This means my muscles are too short, and pull sharply over the joints - which causes a high risk for relapse (yay not me!) and TMJ pain/ problems. My joints ARE remodeling, but she's not concerned at this point. Hopefully this will all resolve itself once the bands are off. I'll talk to my orthodontist about it at my appointment on Jan 19th... My bite is almost perfect when the rubber bands are in, but when I leave them out for a few hours (I only have to wear them 18 hrs a day) I can tell it becomes off... my right side doesn't even touch after a few hours.

Anyway, I don't mean to be a downer around the holidays. Even with all of these problems I'm having, I'm really glad I went through the surgery. I am still migraine free, close to 6 months after surgery. My bite is perfect with the rubber bands! And things are improving... I ate fruit and nut bread from a good friend, I am starting to be able to eat without thinking - in moderation, crunchy and chewy things are possible now.


Rainne said...

What about taking the painkillers just at night? Sleep is important to the healing process, as well as to your mental well-being...

Melinda said...

I agree - sleep is important - but I totally understand your reluctance with the pain pills...that's a bummer.

I'm glad you're still migraine free!!!