Dealing with this jaw therapy has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced to date. How it is going?
The therapy was a success! There is no locking, no pain. It’s the New Normal that hurts (albeit only emotionally) every once in a while.
What’s the New Normal?
No crunchy or chewy foods, which means no bacon, no hard candies, no nuts. Everything I eat is on a case-by-case basis. I have found that my entire system is really sensitive to foods that were once common place, so I have to be careful in that regard, too.
If one more person suggests I could just make a smoothie out of whatever it is that I’m craving, I’ll scream. First of all, I’m just not a smoothie type of person. They’re okay, but they’re not fabulous. Second, what little mystique they had for me died back in JUNE.
Also, for me, taste has very little to do with the foods I crave. Yes, I love tasty food, but I love the crunch of the bacon as it breaks against the crispy lettuce and succulent tomato in a BLT. I love the sound of iceberg lettuce as I chomp on it. I view chips as a necessary vehicle for whatever dip I’m being served, and I love that feeling of crunchy and soft. No, I really don’t want to eat that dip with a spoon, thankyouverymuch.
I have been granted some leeway in some foods. I can have crisp lettuce on a sandwich if the bread isn’t too tough to go along with it. Salads themselves are still a bit too tricky. Chips are still tricky, too! You see, by design, most of my teeth no longer touch. They have to be this way to keep my jaw in proper alignment. My front teeth touch, and if food is thick enough, I can chew it. If it’s too thin, I can’t. If it’s crunchy or tough, I can’t bite down hard enough to chew it. How do I eat? If it’s soft enough, I can bite into it (Yay! This is a HUGE breakthrough!), but then once whatever it is has been chewed to a certain extent, I have to use my tongue with the roof of my mouth to finish the process, and then I swallow it.
That’s a wonderful visual, eh? Sorry about that.
Remember when all I could think about was a hamburger? Well, I finally was able to eat a tiny one. It was the most wonderful thing ever, and I got so entirely sick afterwards. Oddly enough, that craving has been filed away as a thing of the past.
My routine is as such, and will be forever: The nighttime device will be worn every night. The daytime device will be worn during “times of known stress,” or once a day, or at least once a week so that I know it will continue to fit properly if I do need it.
I won’t see my Jaw Specialist for three months, and at my appointment last week, he granted me permission to snorkel when we’re in Hawaii. I was ecstatic! (So, New Normal isn’t all bad!)
In fact, New Normal is almost all good. I’m thankful that the pain is gone. I’m thankful the locking is no longer an issue. I’m thankful to have reached the other side of my therapy with (most of) my sanity intact.
As we get into the holidays, I’m battling my emotional ties with traditional foods, and I’ll take this journey one day at a time.
New Normal isn’t so bad.