Monday, 10 February 2014

Day 1879 - TMJ Attempt 3

I would like to apologise to the readers of this blog for my silence over the last few months. Since starting this blog, I told myself that I would not whinge and whine about my headache; rather, I would try and post about possible cures found.

Since my last post a few months ago there has been a change in the headache. It’s still very much there - but shifting, which has never happened since it started over five years ago (another anniversary passed - a fact I have tried to ignore and once again push away). Over the last few months it seems that the headache has popped up in other places along the right side of my head. It’s always in the middle of my right temporal bone, but it also seems to be further down by my ear. When I put my finger in my ear and exert pressure it hurts.

A few months ago I went to see a TMJ specialist in London. The Doctor read through all of this blog, the first time a doctor I have seen has ever looked at, let alone read, my blog. Just by reading my entries, he felt certain my headache was jaw related. He even wrote up the session’s diagnosis before I had arrived to our appointment - which he showed me after our session, ticking off each point one by one.

I decided to get a second opinion. I did some online searches and came across the website of Dr Grossman, an orthodontist in central London. His website has a detailed (and very interesting) section on headaches. I am able to tick quite a few symptom boxes:

During my first session, the Doctor prodded all sorts of points in my head, jaw, neck and shoulders - many of which made me jump. He asked me to get a TMJ MRI to see what showed. I have had two MRI’s since the onset of the headache - but neither of them of my jaw.

The results showed that my jaw is slightly displaced. I do not - and have not - got too excited at the prospect of having solved my headache, given the amount of times that I have been let down in the past, thinking I had found a cure. So now I feel hopeful but in a way nearly indifferent - of course I want the wretched pain to go away, but I am not getting my hopes too high.

I have been wearing a splint for the past three weeks day and night. The Doctor said I would notice a difference within the first week. Three weeks have gone by and I am yet to see any reduction in pain - but after five years of constant pain I am certainly not expecting the pain to disappear overnight.

But fingers crossed.