A member of one of the TMJ facebook groups quit the other day.
“It seems like there’s no hope here.” She posted in her goodbye message.
And I get it. It does seem like there’s no hope here.
And that’s why it’s important to talk about more than the pain.
To chase your dreams and build your wonderful life.
Living with TMJ
Means remembering to take your medicine.
Living with TMJ means that you sometimes can’t eat the foods you want.
It means that you’re going to be in terrible pain from time to time.
And it means that there’s no permanent cure for that pain.
But there’s so much more to life.
You’re still living, so don’t give up the hope.
Don’t get so focused on your jaw that you lose sight of the rest of your life.
Living with TMJ means chasing your dreams
Distraction for TMJ pain management is a great way to combine relieving your pain and building your dream life.
It’s something we use a lot because TMJ pain is a regular feature in her days.
She knows that we use distraction more when her pain is bad, but it doesn’t feel like we’re spending all that time managing her pain.
It feels like we’re spending all that time hanging out, taking pictures, and enjoying ourselves.
It feels like we’re spending all that time growing as partners and as people.
Improving ourselves in ways we want to improve.
Living with TMJ means ignoring the TMJ
Listen: this is about you and your dreams and your life.
I did a search on “living with TMJ” and what I found was the same as the woman from my intro.
The results are staggering.
They are staggering because of how many pages were clearly written from that tone.
“LIVING WITH TMD – A LIFELONG CHALLENGE” isn’t what I want to hear when I’m first diagnosed.
It’s not what my wife wants to hear now, years later.
And it’s not what I want to hear for my wife.
That’s http://tmjhope.org, site explicitly dedicated to hope.
Granted, they do sound hopeful.
But not positive.
And that’s sad.
Living with TMJ doesn’t have to be like this.
The reason I talk about distraction so much is because it works on so many levels.
And one of them is to give you that hope back.
The hope that even if TMJ cannot be cured you can still live the life you’ve always wanted.
Don’t let the TMJ stop you.
Living with TMJ means not letting it stop you
And I don’t mean you have to be super macho. You don’t have to tough it out and never cry.
It’s okay to have days where you hide in bed with heating pads and painkillers.
It’s okay to have days where you don’t feel like doing your exercises and stretches.
Forgive yourself. You are not your TMJ.
You are bigger, badder, meaner, and much more awesome than your TMJ.
And living with TMJ means remembering that.
Make sure to bookmark TMJHope.org. They are great people doing great things for the community.