I went to the doctor’s office today and sat in the room to wait for him. I’m always interested in the posters that are hung up on the wall – allergies, heart disease and back problems. The illustrations of how the back can get distorted made me sit up straight in my seat. I told the doctor, too, and he laughed and said, “Made you want to straighten your posture, right?” That’s how they getcha.
Anyway, I went in there thinking I was just being my usual, nervous, hypochondriac self. What I did find out was actually not too bad, and it didn’t require him writing out a prescription that doesn’t have a generic form. He said I have TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome. He had me open up and close my mouth while he felt both sides of my jaw. We both heard a clicking sound, but there wasn’t much pain for me. He said I might experience some discomfort on and off. He said it can be brought on by consistently chewing on things (I chew lots of blowpop gum and I chew on unpopped popcorn kernels….hmmm..), grinding and clenching teeth, etc. He said if there’s any pain I can take ibuprofen. Hey, I have that stuff at home!
Then I had some blood taken so that he could see if my thyroid medicine regiment is working out for me, and then I was done with my appointment. That’s all there was to it! What was I bitchin’ about, right? Not that the TMJ Sydrome is “nothing”, but when you’re a hypochondriac and you think you might have a tumor by your ear or…as someone suggested….the ear isn’t draining correctly…..Well TMJ Sydrome sounds much better.
Anyway, this may sound crazy, but I am glad he noticed something too, and that I wasn’t my usual, paranoid self and taking a trip to the doctor for no reason. I mean it would’ve been nice for him to say, “Yes, you just strained your jaw, don’t chew on popcorn kernels for a few weeks.” I would’ve been happy if I hadn’t heard I have TMJ Syndrome. But now we both know – I told him and he advised me that if I get more pain, then I need to go to the dentist.