I am beyond sad and frustrated today. I had the worst Thanksgiving of my life. I wasn’t even hungry; I had to force myself to eat all day. Dinner was Progresso Chicken Rice Soup. I did manage to get out and walk on the beach for 30 minutes even though it was cold. It felt good to move. Looking at Facebook and seeing everyone’s photos just made me cry all day. It still makes me cry. I need to see a light at the end of this tunnel because I’ve been having some desperate thoughts and it’s worrying me.
Tomorrow, November 25th, will be six years since the day I quit drinking and smoking. I had been sick for a long time. I quit because it was killing me. I quit so I would be healthy. I quit because I was told I would be dead by 50 if I kept living the way I was.
I am 50 now. 2017 has been the worse year for health in my life since six years ago. It makes me wonder why I gave up booze and cigarettes in the first place. Why didn’t I just go out partying and having a good time? Why did I sacrifice so much and work so hard to only be here now – I am still sick. I’ve been sick for month. It all started with jaw pain which I now know is TMJ. I am allergic to NSAIDS. It’s gotten out of control because I can’t manage the inflammation and the steroids didn’t work.
I was thinking back to what I was eating and doing before this flare up started. I was eating a lot of Gluten Free Granola and I liked Gluten Free tender Jerky as a snack. Both of are very crunchy and required a lot of chewing and jaw work. I was also eating steak once a week which also requires a lot of chewing. Well, I didn’t know I had TMJ so I didn’t know I shouldn’t be eating all of that constantly and should be resting my jaw more. Eating them once in a while is ok. I also didn’t know to ice my jaw most nights. I didn’t know I was chewing mostly on one side which was creating an imbalance. I didn’t know I was clenching my jaw when stressed and frustrated. I didn’t know my jaw is misaligned and pulling to the left. I didn’t know.
This same exact thing happened back in April except that time they told me it was a Salivary Gland Infection and I most likely had Sjogren’s Syndrome. Since all of the Autoimmune tests are now negative and we know my jaw has inflammation in it and pulls to left we know it’s TMJ with arthritis in the jaw. It’s doesn’t appear to be Rheumatoid Arthritis. Just the type you get in joints from overuse and previous injuries. Since I am a baby and I wanted my MRI done in a sit up machine where you watch TV instead of going in the tube, I rescheduled my MRI to next Friday at a local place with a sit up machine. I go back to Penn TMJ Center the first week of December. I also have a script for an MRI of facial obits to check the Salivary Glands but I am holding on to it for now until after I follow up at Penn. We think the swelling in the joint is somehow blocking the Salivary Gland.
The other thing is I am sweating like crazy, having hot flashes and night sweats. My doctor was asking about menopause the other day. Are my hormones just fucked up and causing chaos? I am two weeks overdue for period and I am not pregnant. The last time I was this late all kinds of crazy chaos was going in my body like my body was trying to have a period but just couldn’t. Is this just hormonal imbalance and crazy hormones flowing in my body with no where to go causing this chaos in my body? I am praying every day for a period to end the madness 😂 Let’s get my TMJ under control before I have to deal with Menopause? K? Menopause can cause a flare up of TMJ and other joint issues.
I also learned TMJ joint inflammation can also be caused by food allergies which brings me to my unsuccessful reintroduction of Diary this week. Well, I should have waited until I felt 100% to experiment with Dairy. I have been eating Dairy a little bit a time once in a while but not every day or in every meal. This week I decided to relax a bit with Chocolate Cake, Greek Yogurt and Cheese. OMG! The bloating, nausea and IBS was insane. I also had a stuffy nose. I knew I felt better without Diary in my life. I also learned if I want to eat it, I need to only eat small amounts on a rotation basis (once a week). Honestly, I can live without it. I’ve lived without that and Chocolate cake since June and have been just fine. I am not sure if it was the sugar and dairy or just the dairy because I’ve been low sugar too.
The scale is clearly showing the affects of cleaning up my diet. I lost 70lbs when I was sick six years ago because I was too sick to eat a lot. I gained back 20lbs two years ago when I was feeling better. Mostly it was sugar snacks and coffee that tasted like candy that did that. I’ve took off 20lbs in the last year. I am now losing more because I am just not that hungry. Honestly, eating a highly restricted diet doesn’t bother me all that much. If I feel good doing it, then it is worth it. It’s just now that I know I have TMJ I have to rethink the whole thing to include soft foods/snacks that won’t stress out my jaw. That is taking some thinking and planning.
I need a fucking break and I need to see some light at the end of this fucking tunnel. I need a reason to believe. I need something to look forward to…Because I am close to being done with it all…
(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life is best when lived passionately