Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jaw Dislocation

I've determined I will take a hip dislocation over dislocating one side of my jaw any day.

Perhaps it is because I've survived a hip dislocation many times.  Maybe the soft tissue surrounding my hips are able to adapt better because they are larger.  Possibly, I just don't remember how much it hurt the first time.  Whatever the reason, the pain in my face was incredible.

I am so thrilled that the rolfing is working and, with the help of the new shoe lift to level my short leg with my long one, I have not had a full dislocation of any joint in many months.  An occasional slip, but nothing big.  Dislocating my jaw was a complete shock.  One side slips and pops a lot, and occasionally dislocates, so I am careful not to take too big of a bit of an apple and avoid tough-to-chew food. 

To add to the complete shock of having to reset the other side - it happened while I was yawning.  I guess I over-compensated for the weak side, but it slipped right out.  As with other joints, I snapped it back into place, but that is when all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in that side of my face exploded in colorful ways.  I didn't realize how many little tissue lengths are involved in the jaw, cheek, and neck.  Swelling went into my mouth and my sinus cavities on that side.  I've spent the past 3 days talking as little as possible and eating soft food.

This event also reminded me how much pain and anxiety are closely related.  I have had a little stress recently, but nothing so much or such type as to stress me out.  The past three days, while living with this pain, little things send me through the roof and I panic.  I fought down two panic attacks yesterday, and realized I was worrying about things not worth worrying about. 

This morning, my pain is much reduced (ate an entire banana with only a little discomfort) and I am reflecting on the experience and realizing that I need to manage my pain better.  I cannot afford to run to the emergency department every time I dislocate a joint - the visit fees and prescription drugs will destroy me financially; besides, I hate the side effects of pain killers.  But, I do need to find something so I can keep the pain/anxiety minimized while I heal. 

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