As my son jumped wildly with excitement to catch the water filled sponge ball, which almost careened our heads from the other team, (my husband and daughter), he accidentally elbowed me with a left jab to the right side of my face.
As I heard the crack in my jaw, I didn’t think much of it at the time, except that it hurt…a lot! I wanted to shrug it off as my son’s apologizes overflowed.
I hesitated to show the pain and tears for fear it would upset him even more, my son has Sensory Processing Disorder, and does really well, but at times his feelings of empathy and concern are over whelming for him.
“It’s an accident, I’ll be fine” I repeated several times, attempting to stretch my jaw from side to side.
Letting the aches and challenges of eating go on and on for months, as each day I thought it would get better, I finally surrendered to the fact that I need to get some help; perhaps there’s something really wrong?
The kids and I went for our routine dental check up and cleaning. After explaining why I couldn’t hold my mouth open as wide as they would have liked, my dentist recommended that I visit with my orthodontist first about the jaw, then perhaps see a specialist.
I scheduled an appointment with the orthodontist, and had extensive x-rays taken; a cool kind of X-ray that circles your entire head giving a panoramic view of your jaw.
From what they saw, there was no “visible” crack in my jaw. Big time relief! Prior to leaving he adjusted my retainer so that the muscles of the jaw would relax, and fall into place. Ah…pretty easy fix, I thought, just have to wear a big bulky upper retainer 24/7 for the next couple of weeks.
As the weeks passed, I felt better but still as I opened my mouth it veered to the right, the bite was off and caused me to frequently bite my lip…not a pretty sight.
I will preface this by saying that I am a firm believer in both acupuncture and chiropractic work when done by a trusting and experienced professional: Next I was off to the chiropractor.
After an in depth consultation and some minor tweaking of my body, the chiropractor said that I have a dislocated jaw, and we need to work on it for some time…Yikes, what is ‘some time’? Did I have the time, could I make the time? Who has time?
Throwing in the towel about now sounded good; I’ll live with the pain.
Knowing that this treatment can make me better, I opted to continue. Thank goodness for insurance and the little positive voice in my head!
So, I scheduled several appointments at a local holistic healing center for adjusting the jaw back into its proper spot.
The treatment at times was definitely painful, however, using relaxing techniques, heat, cold, massage, the adjustments and Advil, I got through.
While in the waiting area of Whole Health Center, I noticed that there was a brochure on the treatment called Facial Rejuvenation. Hmmm…After all these months of pain, I could really use a “lift” in my face, and tackling the fine lines and wrinkles could be a bonus!
I started seeing my acupuncturist for the muscles surrounding the jaw. The chi (energy) and blood had stagnated contributing to the discomfort, getting needles stuck in my face was a welcome relief, if you can believe that!
Feeling much better, yawning with ease, more relaxed around my family, and realizing that if you don’t take care of yourself, there is no way you can be the best mom and wife to your family.
If you are on top of your game, everyone is a winner!
Marla Roth-Fisch, award winning author and illustrator of Sensitive Sam.