“They call me….Syndrome!”

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.


9 thoughts on ““They call me….Syndrome!”

  1. Well, I ‘m glad you found out what it was and how it can be treated. That’s great!

    I always think the worst, too when I experience aches and pains. And looking symptoms up on the internet doesn’t help matters, as I tend to gravitate towards the really serious and debilitating disease. I’m not sure why I always think I have the worst diseases–maybe it’s because they’re more dramatic and are somewhat more interesting to me. Or it could be just an subconscious way of preparing myself for the worst case scenario.

  2. I’ve had it for about 10 years….since my wisdom teeth started coming in. It doesn’t hurt or anything unless I have been chewing a lot, but it is a bit annoying…and embarrassing- especially when I yawn in front of people.

  3. Ouch. Well, as you say, it is reassuring to know what is going on and how to handle it. Probably mothers won’t be pulling their children away from you on the street and whispering to one another – Oohhh, it’s that woman…you know…with the syndrome… :-) I hope you are able to keep yourself pain free!

  4. Manuel: Yeah, you could’ve! Check’s in the mail. :P

    Eros: I really try not to go the negative route when I’m worried about my health, because I’ve done it before. I also need to stay away from the internet when I’m worried about stuff. I made the mistake of looking up TMJ today and got a bit stressed. That won’t help anyone.

    Ash: I’m glad yours doesn’t act up too much. I was worried my smile would be crooked, but it looks okay. Not that I’m looking in the mirror and smiling all the time… :)

    Laura B: It’s Syndrome Girl! “Look away, I’m hideous!” Hehe.

    Churlita: Could be tons and tons worse, that’s for sure!

  5. Silver: I was eating a lot this weekend, so my jaw would get a little sore at the end of the day. Otherwise, not too bad! I’m staying away from popcorn kernals and gum for now.

    FW: Yeah, I do feel better about it now. I did worry myself a bit when I asked someone who had TMJ. She told me a horror story, so I had to shake that off. :D

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