TMJD: the struggle is real

TMJD: the struggle is real

When pain prevents productivity

by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash

This week I has goals and challenges that I set for myself; things that I wanted to get done so that I’d feel like I’d achieved something. Unfortunately, my jaw had other ideas when it decided to lock itself up continually and then become so painful when I tried to release it that I’ve had a near constant headache all week, which has since spread into my ears and my neck.

I can hear you asking “Have you taken painkillers?” The answer is a resounding yes. I have taken painkillers. Because I’m not an idiot and I don’t think that just sitting there in pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality is really going to cut it in today’s society.

The thing is, that even with doing this, and with applying heat, I’m still in constant pain. And yes, I can hear you also wondering why I don’t go to the doctor, but there really isn’t much that a doctor can do other than prescribe pain killers, which I already have.

Usually, I can manage the symptoms, but this one seems to be a particularly bad flare up, which has had me in bed early most nights.

The problem is that when you have a headache, you don’t really feel like doing much. You can’t focus or concentrate. You feel dizzy, and your ears ache, and the pain is sometimes so bad that you want to cry. But, guess what?! If you cry, it makes your head hurt even more.

Added to that, none of these symptoms are actually visible, so even though you feel like death, no one else can see it. Do you know how annoying that is? So not only do you feel lousy, but people can’t even see it, so you feel like a damn attention seeker and like you’re just lazy when you can’t achieve the goals you’ve set yourself.

Still, there’s always tomorrow, and you hope that you will wake up feeling better, and that maybe, you’ll be able to accomplish something.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep on making goals, and I’m going to keep on trying, because it’s only when I give up, that the illness truly wins.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

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