Being a pain in the neck is one thing. Having a pain in the neck is another.
And having my face, teeth, jaw and ear ache as well, is a real kill joy. My right side of my face feels like it is clamped tight to a vise. My right ear, oozing of warmth, feels like maybe a sun-drenched jar of mayonnaise is slowly rippling down inside my ear.
Isn't that lovely?
It's been going on since mid October. Some people are claiming it to be TMJ. (TemporoMandibular Joint).
I believe them.
I can barely eat a ripened banana without breaking small pieces off and poking it into my mouth with my finger. And you know that crunchy part of the lettuce? Nope. Can't eat that at all. Too big. And you can forget about a hamburger or a sandwich.
I remember a few years ago I could listen to me chew and think how much it sounded like a bag of potato chips. I sorta got a kick out of it. Wondered if others who sat within ear shot of me got the same enjoyment.
Then there was that fun way I could move my jaw around, as though it was disjointed. "LoOoK what I can do!" I'd happily show off.
Last summer while waiting to board the ferry to San Francisco, I decided to have a sip of my bottled water. In the corner of my eye I noticed some folks near me in line watching me, so I decided to entertain them by drinking it all at once. Give them a bit of a show of sorts.
When I was finished, I noticed my jaw was very sore and I had trouble opening my mouth. I should have known better. I've experienced repercussions before in showing off.
That was the beginning. Though the pain only last a few days, it was intense and most unbearable.
It was sometime in early October when I noticed my jaw was sore again. I think it was right after I chewed a very hard bazooka bubblegum. Though in time, I managed to soften that fabulous pink gum, the texture was thick and difficult to chew. It's now been six months and I still can't even even lick my lips or run my tongue over my front teeth like the seductive young woman did in those 1970s Pearl Drops Tooth Polish commercials, while moaning, "Nnnnnnnnnnn .. it's a grrreeeaaat feeeling!"
I have an appointment with my dentist on April 24th. I scheduled it in December but April was the earliest appointment he could get me in with all his patients.
With that sort of patience, I hope he has time to wait for me while I try to open my mouth for him. The rate I'm going, I could be sitting in that chair for another six months before it opens fully for him.