Thursday, October 25, 2007

Diary of a TMJ Sufferer Part 3

Mexico! Glorious Mexico! San Jose del Cabo, a smaller, sleepier, more traditional town close to the more touristy, more Americanized Cabo San Lucas on the tip of the Baja peninsula. 1000 miles south of Los Angeles. Beautiful, fabulous, can’t say enough about this part of Mexico.

I am now 25. I go on a two-week holiday with Puffy & Pippy. It was a grand ol’ time. The boys & I were sent down courtesy of their bosses at the time, free ‘n’ clear, for doing such an amazing amount of work for the company. They graciously included me in the deal.

We may have drank a lot, & ate a lot, & made some friends & had a great time. Until the morning of the day we were to leave.

We woke around 9ish. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. It was a Disney movie kind of day. I yawned. My jaw dislocated. I managed to put it back in. We chuckled.

I yawned again. It dislocated again. This time, I was unable to correct it immediately, which put me into a panic which tightened the muscles which caused more panic which made me unable to fix it. I started crying. I started wailing. There would have been gnashing of teeth, but, well, my jaw was frozen open 2 inches wide so that was not a possibility.

Puffy panicked. “What do I do? What do I do?” he screamed as he ran around the room waving his arms in the air like Kermit introducing the guest star. I started writing on a pad ~ yes, also unable to talk. I sent him down to the front desk to see if they had a doctor they could call. He bustled down there, & they contacted a doctor that was on call for all the resorts.

On his frantic trip back to the room, he passed some people we knew hanging by the pool. “What’s wrong? What’s happening?” they asked. “Wilma dislocated her jaw & it won’t go back in!” he yelled, running by. Two of the ladies popped up immediately. “Can we help?” Up to the room they came.

One lady had worked as an ER nurse for 25 years; the other was a dental assistant in a practice that specialized in TMJ treatment. Their help was most welcome, as Puffy was unable to concentrate on anything, & took to pacing the room like an expectant father. They finally sent him out to watch for the doctor.

The doctor arrived within ½ hour. A pleasant surprise, he could speak fluent English, & was aware of the problems that come with TMJ syndrome. He wanted to take me to the hospital & put me out in the emergency room. I write on the paper “Plane today! No way! Fix now!” while underlining it emphatically. After trying unsuccessfully to change my mind, he shrugged & opened his bag.

Can I just say how much I lurve prescription medication? Am I allowed to admit that I would be a total addict & probably die on the toilet of an OD like Elvis cuz I lurve me the drugs? This doctor mixed up a magical cocktail containing Demerol & some kinda enchanted Mexican yummy liquid & gave me a manual IV right there in the hotel room. It took effect almost immediately.

Then, while I was floating on a cloud of daisies, the one lady grabbed my head to stabilize it while he manipulated my jaw back into place. It took a couple tries, but he did well. Well, from what I remember looking down on the scene from my perch on a palm tree outside the window, it looked like he knew what he was doing.

He advised me to put my splint in & keep it in for the next few days. Crisis averted, no ER trip in Mexico for me {whew!} the hotel staff kindly allowed me to stay in the room & sleep until it was time for us to head to the airport. I have a photo of me right before we took the shuttle, looking very blurry. I slept the whole way home.

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